Book of the Month Update to Jazz Age Wednesdays 8 ― Pip and the Potent Poltergeist

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sheiks and Shebas, welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays! 

(I’m probably causing frustrations by doing this… but I had something special to add, and I had already launched this mid-week post… So bear with me.  Thanks to Dan AntionOIKOS™-RedaktionVicto Dolorefragglerocking, and Olga olganm who had already commented.)

cropped-img_6396.jpgMy November is off to a pos-i-lutely neon-bright start!  I’m so giddy, people will think I’m zozzled, but get this — Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I  is the featured book of the month* for November at Hugh’s Views & News!  I hope you’ll click on over and visit Hugh’s blog.  It’s the bee’s knees, and so is Hugh! 

Seriously, I’m so excited! 

November 1st is also the kickoff of National Novel Writing Month* and yes, I opted in for that insanity again.  However, I’ll give an update on that this weekend, with the Thistledown Hiatus post, since that is the reason why the serial is well… on hiatus.

Now, let’s get to the Jazz Age!

Halloween was only yesterday and I’m still feeling that spirit.  So, I am sharing a ghostly tidbit from the not yet “book-ized” 1920s serial, “A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients II.”

Pip and the Potent Poltergeist 

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

The fizzy purple vapor dissipated and I found that my eyes had not deceived me.  A strange, semi-solid man bowed before me.  I was too stunned to think.  It seemed like the purple mist befuddled my head.  I gradually became aware of one other thing, a shrill unpleasant sound that went on and on…

“Andy!” I cried, suddenly becoming aware again.

My dear old friend Andy Avis, was screaming like a school girl.  I grabbed his arm and shook him.  He stopped screaming.  For five seconds.  Then he screamed right into my face.

I felt like slapping him — only partly to bring him to his senses.  However, riotous giggling shocked both of us to silence.  The ghost stood in the kitchen bent double with laughter.  Apparently he found Andy’s reaction most amusing.Casper cooking

As seems to happen to me in times of stress, one detail stood out to me more than anything else.  I turned to Andy but pointed to the apparition. 

“You can see him?” I said, and I wasn’t sure if it was a question or an accusation.

I had been told that though I hadn’t known it, I had the gift for seeing spirits.  I was also told that Granny Phanny could too, but my grandmother had suppressed the
ability.  However, as you might expect, not everyone could see ghosts.  So I was surprised that Andy was able to see the spirit sitting sprawled at Granny’s kitchen table.

Before I took another breath I whirled on the ghost and demanded, “How can he see you?”

The apparition who had materialized from the gaudy bottle of spirits sobered.  He stuck out his lower lip in an exaggerated expression of consideration that I had a feeling was a habit with him.

“Well, I am one powerful poltergeist, Signorina!” he said between hiccupping giggles.  “It’s no effort for me to let anyone see me, and sometimes they do whether or not I’m intending it,” the ghost told me.

I thought poor Andy’s eyes were going to pop right out of his head.

The spirit looked longingly at the food on the table.  Andy and I hadn’t even started our meal.  He licked his lips and sighed. 

“Signorina, a nice Stilton cheese would be beautiful with that,” he said wistfully.Vintage girl broken dish card

“Err… Would you care for anything?” I asked, knowing that after all, Granny would expect me to be a good hostess.  Then I gave my head a shake.  Had I really said that?

“I rarely partake.  Sometimes that doesn’t turn out so well,” he said, but his eyes never strayed from the food.  “But if I could just take a whiff,” he said leaning toward the table — and closer to Andy.

With a blanched face and panicked eyes Andy staggered backward.  There was nowhere for him to go, so he bumped hard against the table.  The ornate wine bottle wobbled precariously at the edge for a moment, and then it crashed to the blue and white tile floor.  It shattered into dozens of pieces.

The ghost shrieked.

Andy shrieked when the ghost did.

I shrieked at both of them to stop their shrieking!

However, I had an unexpected concern for the spirit.  “Are you all right?  I mean, I’ll bet you were bound to that bottle somehow.  Weren’t you?  Are you going to be okay?”1920s Owl Clock

“Yes!  No!  Both!” he replied, rapid fire in his strange accent.  Then he gave a giddy giggle.  “Thank God that gaudy bottle is no more!  Can you imagine making your home in such an ugly vessel?” he commented.  “However I must have something, or there will be… consequences.  Ah! Symbol of the wisdom I should have had in life!” he exclaimed when he saw the carved wooden owl clock.  “This will do,” he said even as he held the clock to his chest and then disappeared.

The clock dropped the short distance to the counter, landing with a wobble and a clunk.  Andy and I looked at each other in stunned silence.  A moment later the spirit remerged from the owl clock.  He sprawled into one of the white ladder back chairs my grandfather had made.  That was when I noticed the Renaissance era garb beneath his apron.

Bene!  What a relief!” he said and lifted his brimless toque to mop his brow, or at least I thought the chef’s hat was called a toque.

I leaned closer, wondering if ghosts could sweat. 

“If you didn’t like the bottle…” I began, but wasn’t sure how to ask what I wanted to know.  “Well, how come you’re — ” my words failed me so I pointed to the shards of the purple bottle.

“Ah Signorina,” the ghost began.  “It is a poignant tale.  I was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican.  I always preferred the pun as a form of humor, and the Pope, he shared this with me.  However, one evening we served dinner to a plethora of patrons, speaking Punjabi, Parsi, and Philippine.  I presented a perfect prawn pasta…  Perhaps something went awry with the translations…  But — you see, the short of it is that I pissed off the Pope!  And this predicament is my fate,” the ghost said with a mournful expression.

I marveled at the poltergeist’s capacity to use the letter “P” so many times in one sentence.  I gave a hard blink to clear my mind.  Then I looked from him to Andy, with no idea what to say or do next.  However, Andy found his voice.

“You’re not a genie then?  You really are a ghost?” Andy asked.  “Too bad.  Granting wishes would have been a great ice breaker,” he joked, abruptly loosening up to my surprised relief.  “We don’t have to rub the owl clock’s belly to get you to come out, do we?”

1920s Vaudeville Cats postcard

1920s Vaudeville Furries Postcard

The poltergeist gave Andy that pursed lip expression, but then laughed heartily slapping his knee.  “No, young patron.  I can come and go as I please, so long as I bind myself to an object.  And mind you, I can’t be without one for more than a moment.  However, I tend to lose track of the time.  When I went into that gaudy bottle, I was in a great hurry, but that’s another story.  Anyhow, I think I was intoxicated on the noxious potion, so I did not wake for some little while.  Then you uncorked the bottle, and the rest, as you say, is history,” he said with a hiccup.

My nose wrinkled at the thought of being inside a bottle that smelled like that one had.  I said it must have been awful.  The apparition burped, blushed, and excused himself, making me think he might have become intoxicated from being cooped up in the wine bottle.

“Ah, one gets accustomed to the aroma,” he said affably.  “But now you speak of such… do you have any rum?  I do have a preference for the spirit, tee-hee!” he said with a giggle, inordinately pleased with his joke that a spirit would like spirits.

When I explained prohibition, he looked very downcast.  He somehow hiccuped and burped at the same time.  Then he made a shocked comment about the state of things that would allow such a law.  Andy and I agreed enthusiastically.

I finally found my manners and thought to introduce myself and Andy.  The ghost bowed again, with a slight wobble.  “My great pleasure, Signorina o Signore.  I present myself, Maestro Martino.  Please do me the honor of calling me Maestro,” he said with a flourish.

The end… or the beginning.  It depends on how you look at it.

***

I hope you enjoyed this snippet from A Ghost in the Kitchen.  Yes, you’re right — that means there’s another novel on the way for Pip!  As you see she is reunited with her pal Andy.

Now I engage in the requisite shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 8 ― Pip and the Potent Poltergeist

Please see the Updated Post.  I am sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sheiks and Shebas, welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays! 

My November is off to a pos-i-lutely neon-bright start!  There is something in the wind about Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I  but that is all I can say right now… 

November 1st is the kickoff of National Novel Writing Month* and yes, I opted in for that insanity again.  However, I’ll give an update on that this weekend, with the Thistledown Hiatus post, since that is the reason why the serial is well… on hiatus.

Now, let’s get to the Jazz Age!

Halloween was only yesterday and I’m still feeling that spirit.  So, I am sharing a ghostly tidbit from the not yet “book-ized” 1920s serial, “A Ghost in the Kitchen — Three Ingredients II.”

Pip and the Potent Poltergeist 

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

The fizzy purple vapor dissipated and I found that my eyes had not deceived me.  A strange, semi-solid man bowed before me.  I was too stunned to think.  It seemed like the purple mist befuddled my head.  I gradually became aware of one other thing, a shrill unpleasant sound that went on and on…

“Andy!” I cried, suddenly becoming aware again.

My dear old friend Andy Avis, was screaming like a school girl.  I grabbed his arm and shook him.  He stopped screaming.  For five seconds.  Then he screamed right into my face.

I felt like slapping him — only partly to bring him to his senses.  However, riotous giggling shocked both of us to silence.  The ghost stood in the kitchen bent double with laughter.  Apparently he found Andy’s reaction most amusing.Casper cooking

As seems to happen to me in times of stress, one detail stood out to me more than anything else.  I turned to Andy but pointed to the apparition. 

“You can see him?” I said, and I wasn’t sure if it was a question or an accusation.

I had been told that though I hadn’t known it, I had the gift for seeing spirits.  I was also told that Granny Phanny could too, but my grandmother had suppressed the
ability.  However, as you might expect, not everyone could see ghosts.  So I was surprised that Andy was able to see the spirit sitting sprawled at Granny’s kitchen table.

Before I took another breath I whirled on the ghost and demanded, “How can he see you?”

The apparition who had materialized from the gaudy bottle of spirits sobered.  He stuck out his lower lip in an exaggerated expression of consideration that I had a feeling was a habit with him.

“Well, I am one powerful poltergeist, Signorina!” he said between hiccupping giggles.  “It’s no effort for me to let anyone see me, and sometimes they do whether or not I’m intending it,” the ghost told me.

I thought poor Andy’s eyes were going to pop right out of his head.

The spirit looked longingly at the food on the table.  Andy and I hadn’t even started our meal.  He licked his lips and sighed. 

“Signorina, a nice Stilton cheese would be beautiful with that,” he said wistfully.Vintage girl broken dish card

“Err… Would you care for anything?” I asked, knowing that after all, Granny would expect me to be a good hostess.  Then I gave my head a shake.  Had I really said that?

“I rarely partake.  Sometimes that doesn’t turn out so well,” he said, but his eyes never strayed from the food.  “But if I could just take a whiff,” he said leaning toward the table — and closer to Andy.

With a blanched face and panicked eyes Andy staggered backward.  There was nowhere for him to go, so he bumped hard against the table.  The ornate wine bottle wobbled precariously at the edge for a moment, and then it crashed to the blue and white tile floor.  It shattered into dozens of pieces.

The ghost shrieked.

Andy shrieked when the ghost did.

I shrieked at both of them to stop their shrieking!

However, I had an unexpected concern for the spirit.  “Are you all right?  I mean, I’ll bet you were bound to that bottle somehow.  Weren’t you?  Are you going to be okay?”1920s Owl Clock

“Yes!  No!  Both!” he replied, rapid fire in his strange accent.  Then he gave a giddy giggle.  “Thank God that gaudy bottle is no more!  Can you imagine making your home in such an ugly vessel?” he commented.  “However I must have something, or there will be… consequences.  Ah! Symbol of the wisdom I should have had in life!” he exclaimed when he saw the carved wooden owl clock.  “This will do,” he said even as he held the clock to his chest and then disappeared.

The clock dropped the short distance to the counter, landing with a wobble and a clunk.  Andy and I looked at each other in stunned silence.  A moment later the spirit remerged from the owl clock.  He sprawled into one of the white ladder back chairs my grandfather had made.  That was when I noticed the Renaissance era garb beneath his apron.

Bene!  What a relief!” he said and lifted his brimless toque to mop his brow, or at least I thought the chef’s hat was called a toque.

I leaned closer, wondering if ghosts could sweat. 

“If you didn’t like the bottle…” I began, but wasn’t sure how to ask what I wanted to know.  “Well, how come you’re — ” my words failed me so I pointed to the shards of the purple bottle.

“Ah Signorina,” the ghost began.  “It is a poignant tale.  I was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican.  I always preferred the pun as a form of humor, and the Pope, he shared this with me.  However, one evening we served dinner to a plethora of patrons, speaking Punjabi, Parsi, and Philippine.  I presented a perfect prawn pasta…  Perhaps something went awry with the translations…  But — you see, the short of it is that I pissed off the Pope!  And this predicament is my fate,” the ghost said with a mournful expression.

I marveled at the poltergeist’s capacity to use the letter “P” so many times in one sentence.  I gave a hard blink to clear my mind.  Then I looked from him to Andy, with no idea what to say or do next.  However, Andy found his voice.

“You’re not a genie then?  You really are a ghost?” Andy asked.  “Too bad.  Granting wishes would have been a great ice breaker,” he joked, abruptly loosening up to my surprised relief.  “We don’t have to rub the owl clock’s belly to get you to come out, do we?”

1920s Vaudeville Cats postcard

1920s Vaudeville Furries Postcard

The poltergeist gave Andy that pursed lip expression, but then laughed heartily slapping his knee.  “No, young patron.  I can come and go as I please, so long as I bind myself to an object.  And mind you, I can’t be without one for more than a moment.  However, I tend to lose track of the time.  When I went into that gaudy bottle, I was in a great hurry, but that’s another story.  Anyhow, I think I was intoxicated on the noxious potion, so I did not wake for some little while.  Then you uncorked the bottle, and the rest, as you say, is history,” he said with a hiccup.

My nose wrinkled at the thought of being inside a bottle that smelled like that one had.  I said it must have been awful.  The apparition burped, blushed, and excused himself, making me think he might have become intoxicated from being cooped up in the wine bottle.

“Ah, one gets accustomed to the aroma,” he said affably.  “But now you speak of such… do you have any rum?  I do have a preference for the spirit, tee-hee!” he said with a giggle, inordinately pleased with his joke that a spirit would like spirits.

When I explained prohibition, he looked very downcast.  He somehow hiccuped and burped at the same time.  Then he made a shocked comment about the state of things that would allow such a law.  Andy and I agreed enthusiastically.

I finally found my manners and thought to introduce myself and Andy.  The ghost bowed again, with a slight wobble.  “My great pleasure, Signorina o Signore.  I present myself, Maestro Martino.  Please do me the honor of calling me Maestro,” he said with a flourish.

The end… or the beginning.  It depends on how you look at it.

***

I hope you enjoyed this snippet from A Ghost in the Kitchen.  Yes, you’re right — that means there’s another novel on the way for Pip!  As you see she is reunited with her pal Andy.

Now I engage in the requisite shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 7 ― Pip in the Field of Fear

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  In celebration of Halloween, I have another new 1920s tale with Pip and company.  This time I let search engines guide me to three random things to drive this story ― first Google, then Yahoo, then Bing.  I typed in “Halloween,” hit enter, and used the first thing that caught my eye at each.  The three things are:  candy, fields of fear, and children holding hands.

Pip in the Field of Fear

Peoples Home Journal Halloween 1924

People’s Home Journal, November 1924

As an autumn breeze whistled through the trees as I left the candy store with a white bag of lemon drops.  A young man with a motorized bicycle caught my eye.  I couldn’t see his face, but I knew only one person who had a contraption like that ― Hank Hertz.  He had a passion for all things electronic, especially radios.  He was such a wiz at the stuff that it earned him a place as the youngest officer of the Savannah, Georgia police department.

Hank loaded all sorts of mystifying gadgets into the basket on the bicycle.  He jumped when I walked up behind him and asked what he was doing.  Of course, that made me grin.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody,” Hank grumbled, trying to sound authoratative.  “I might have known.”

“Are you making another radio, Hank?”

“Yes.  No.  Well, not exactly,” he stammered.  “I’m working on something for a charity thing the department is doing for Halloween.  You know how people like to scare themselves this time of year.  They’re going to have something like a haunted house, but it will be outside. I’m going to rig up some radio speakers and make noises to scare people when they get to spooky parts.  I hope it doesn’t rain,” he added with a suspicious look at the sky.

“That sounds like the cat’s meow,” I said encouragingly since Hank always seemed like somebody who could use a little extra praise.

“We’re going to call it Fields of Fear,” Hank enthused.  “The chief owns a farm on the outskirts of town and he said we could use it.”

“I thought he lived over on King street,” I commented.  “It must be nice to have enough mazuma to afford two places.”

Hank made a face and nodded.  Then he looked at all the electronic gadgets and grinned.

***

Ghost chase postcard

Hank and Detective Dabney Daniels built a platform hidden in the branches of a big oak tree.  From there they ran wires for speakers to four different spots that Hank could see from the hiding place.  One speaker was placed behind a skeleton.  When anybody stopped there, either Hank or Dabney would use a deep voice as the skeleton speak to the people.

Applesauce!  You should have heard the shrieks!  They did the same with a jack o’ lantern sitting on a hay bail and a bed-sheet rigged up like a ghost.  Gaffers and bluenose old ladies were like children holding hands.  They screamed, and then they hollered with laughter.

Granny Phanny and some other women approached the ghost.  The whole thing was worth it to see the look on Phanny Irene Peabody’s face.  (Yes, my grandmother and I have the same initials.) Detective Daniels showed he was an old foggy in the making though, and made me stop laughing so hard.  But when he turned his head, I couldn’t help busting out with another laugh.

Unfortunately, the ghost stopped working not long after it got a scream out of Granny Phanny.  At least we still had the skeleton and the jack o’lantern.

Long about 11:30 that night the coppers decided to call it quits with the shindig.  While Daniels helped Hank lug the radio stuff down from the tree, I started spooling up the wires.

The “ghost” sat in a heap atop a hay bail.  It had been held up better than that.  Maybe the wind was to blame, but I didn’t remember any strong gusts.  Hank caught up with me when I reached it.  He wanted to figure out what went wrong with it before I took the speaker wire.

Bushwa!” Hank exclaimed, startling me since the expletive was so unlike the mild-mannered kid.  “The wire isn’t connected.”

“Wouldn’t that be why it stopped working?  If the wire came loose,” I offered.

“That’s not what I mean.  The wire’s completely disconnected.  The screw’s been loosened and the wire is all the way away from it,” he explained puzzled.

In the distance I heard the clock at the Independent Presbyterian Church strike midnight.

Independent Presbyterian Church Savannah Ga Circa 1920s

Independent Presbyterian Church Savannah, Ga Circa 1920s

“The sheet’s got a wire hooked to that tree,” Hank told me as he motioned to the ghost.  “I’ll climb up and get it.”

I gasped.  I could have sworn the crumpled ghost twitched.  Then I saw that the wire at its “head” wasn’t attached to anything else.  I grabbed Hank’s arm and pointed, because the cat had my tongue.

The white sheet moved again.  There wasn’t any doubt about it ― the sheet really did move.  The ghost slowly rose upright.  It reached out to grab Hank.  He shrieked like a banshee.

Hank caught ahold of my elbow and started to run.  However, the ghost had already grabbed me!  I screamed nearly as loudly as Hank.

I tried to run but the ghost had a tight hold.  Detective Dabney Daniels came along and we started yelling for him to help.

“Shoot it!”

“Yeah, just shoot the thing before it kills us!”

“Shoot it?  But ghosts are already dead,” the detective stated with infuriating calm.

The ghost started shaking. I was terrified to think what that could mean. I could feel it quaking because it held me that close to its…  Body?  Did ghosts have bodies?

I screamed again when the ghost cackled with laughter.

Detective Daniels bent double.  Had it attacked him too, through some kind of spectral magic?

Then I realized the copper was bent over with laughter.  The ghost let go of me.  Finally, I caught the cackle and recognized it.

“Granny!” I yelled.

My grandmother threw off the white sheet, still laughing uproariously.

“Pip… If you could just see the look on your face,” she said, gasping for breath between laughs.

Daniels returned to his nonchalant manner.

“The apple, or in this case the pip doesn’t fall very far from the tree,” he remarked.

The end

***

I hope you enjoyed this little ditty with Pip.

Have you visited author Teri Polen’s Bad Moon Rising event?  Leading up to Halloween, author Teri Polen hosts Bad Moon Rising.  It’s her yearly celebration of suspense and horror.  Each year more than 30 horror/thriller indie authors are featured throughout the month of October on her blog, Books & Such.  I was there earlier this month! Click here and say hello*!

At Teri Polen’s Books & Such

Atonement TennesseeIn honor of Bad Moon Rising, through October, I’ve priced the Kindle version of my debut novel Atonement, Tennessee at just $1.00. 

 

Now I engage in more shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.