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.  

 

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam 12: Hear-See-Speak No

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown

Friday, October 6, 2017 

Hello, everyone. I’m happy to see you here in Thistledown after my semi-break last weekend. Before we fly off to Thistledown, let’s take a stroll on the dark side…

Only at Teri Polen’s Books & Such

It’s already October — how did that happen?  My favorite holiday is Halloween.  Leading up to that fun day, 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

atonement-video-cover-copyEven though many could argue that my “Atonement” books are not thrillers (and they are certainly not horror), they are suspenseful and there is a graveyard…  But Teri thought they qualified.  So I’m participating for my second Bad Moon Rising on October 10th.

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

Now to the faery world of Thistledown…

In today’s episode, keep an eye out for the character Teri Polen named. 

About This Episode

While gazing through a special moonstone, the Thistledown healer, Lavender Cozy, predicted Bedlam’s friend, River Mindshadow, would be able to follow the shadows of the mind.  I can think of a few directions that gift might take the young faery.  You’ll have to look closely to see them, but figuratively speaking, this episode of my pantser serial has wispy shadows, foreshadowing, hints of the unknown (even to me) directions this tale will take.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 5

Glitter person blue h-heyerlein-199082

H. Heyerlein, Unsplash

Hear No-See No-Speak No

My fingers ran along silken strands of blue hair left by the muskoxen.  I braided it absently.  There was no entertainment for me except my school books.  The hummingbird carried a single long blue hair to me.  I thanked it graciously. 

“You really outshine me with your iridescent orange feathers,” I commented to the hummingbird.

Why not have a playful conversation with the hummingbird?  What self-respecting faery wouldn’t?  It clearly liked the attention.  The hummer’s elongated streamer-tail made a whirring sound as it hovered at eye-level.  The tiny bird gave several twittering chirps as if it understood my words.  Then it gave a light tug at the loose sleeve of my yellow dress.

“Oh no,” I replied.  “I’m glad you like it, but I look positively rumpled.  Nothing to compare with you.”

The tiny bird flew in amazing antics.  I couldn’t help giggling.  With the long orange tail streaming behind him, I was astonished to realize he flew in a spiral pattern.  I looked at the hummer curiously.  Looking at the spiral gave me goosebumps. 

“Strange,” I murmured to myself, but the bird began to twitter and chirp.  “Have you a name, little one?”

The hummingbird twittered excitedly.  Facing me, it flew up and down in a bobbing motion.  My brain ran through likely names for hummingbirds.

“Zippy?  I see, that’s not it.  Erm… how about Firespinner?” I asked, pleased with the idea.

However, the hummer made a disgruntled sounding tweet.  His tiny face looked impatient as he repeated the odd bobbing flight pattern.

“Bob?  Your name is Bob?” I exclaimed in epiphany.  “What an unusual name.”

With that, Bob the hummingbird zipped away.

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

Ruby-topaz hummingbird in Tobago

Maybe that wasn’t his name after all, I thought.  I hope I didn’t offend him.

A moment later Bob reappeared, carrying a long strand of muskox hair.  However, it wasn’t from the blue muskoxen of Blossom Stargazer’s team.  This hair was purplish blue, a periwinkle color.

“Wherever did you find this?” I murmured.

Bob darted about ten feet away, but then turned to hover facing me.  He gave an impatient chirp, clearly meaning for me to go with him.

The light capelet of my yellow dress was pushed aside as I tentatively I unfurled my wings.  I examined the tear cautiously.  It was beginning to knit but even a short flight would reopen the tear.

I looked at Bob sadly and told him, “I’m sorry little one.  I can’t keep up.”

Bob zipped back to me and let go of the long periwinkle hair.  I caught it, and fidgeting I rolled it between my thumb and middle finger.

“Ouch!” I muttered as a static discharge from the hair shocked my hand.

Darting forward again, Bob turned to wait for me.  He was remarkably single-minded for a hummingbird.  Most of them were easily distracted, and given to literal flights of fancy that they might follow anywhere, distracted a dozen times before they found their way back home.

Another pop of static from the strand of muskox hair shocked my hand.  However, I hardly noticed because at the same moment a commotion began in the bushes.  A small carriage broke through the shrubbery.  Startled, Bob zipped away.

Sparkler hands be the spark

Unsplash

I’d know that carriage anywhere.  Scores of chipmunks happily running in large exercise wheels powered the carriage.  Although sometimes the chipmunks could get off course.  They appeared to have taken it upon themselves to take a shortcut.

A head full of sparkling lavender curls popped out of the window.  Glitter Shimmerling smiled and waved before jumping down from her carriageFleur Thistle followed her.

I hadn’t seen Fleur Thistle since I was suspended from school.  I always felt embarrassed whenever I saw someone I had not spoken to since that episode.  I fidgeted, trying to think of what to say.  However, my friend who also got expelled that day, River Mindshadow exited the vehicle behind Fleur, so I felt more relaxed.

“Thanks for the lift, Glitter.  Fleur, I appreciate your help at the Trumpet.  Be sure to tell Peaches and Pucker I said hello,” River told the others before turning to me.  “They were on their way to the orchard and offered to give me a ride.”

Fleur Thistle was one of the reporters for The Thistledown Trumpet newspaper.  I remembered how worried I had been that Calico Rainbowforrest, the managing editor would say something about my terrible vision in the newspaper.  However, my fears had been for nothing.  Calico was incredibly kind to me.  Because of that, I was not as tense in Fleur’s presence as I might have been otherwise.

But what could River have been doing at the Trumpet?

“Hi Bedlam,” Fleur and Glitter said in unison.

“I’d better see to the carriage before we go though,” Glitter stated as she inspected her vehicle.

Fleur pointed at chipmunks trying to count them, and then started over.  Twice.

“Bedlam,” Fleur began with a smile, but shook her head as she bent toward the carriage wheels.  “Could you help count the chipmunks?  They won’t be still.  Someone needs to check my counting.”

“Yes, we must have picked up some extras.  I’m sorry to crash through the bushes like this,” Glitter began.  “Chipmunks love the carriage wheels so much.  To them they are fun exercise wheels.  Sometimes random chipmunks jump aboard while I’m traveling and it gets the carriage off balance, making it a little hard to control.”

However, there was no counting, as the chipmunks collectively seemed to choose that moment for a play break.  They scurried all around the area where the bonfire had been the night before.  A quartet of them ran across Fleur’s feet and she fluttered off the ground reflexively.

My eyes followed the playful chipmunks.  Uncle seemed to think any kind of fun was outside the scope of the “rest” I was supposed to get.  Everyone knew I was grounded.

River seemed to follow my thoughts.  She nudged Fleur and Glitter, and then she covered her eyes.

“I know you’re still grounded, Bedlam ― in more ways than one.  But we don’t see or hear a thing,” River promised with a grin.

“That’s right!” Fleur added, covering her mouth.  “I won’t tell a soul.”

“What?  Did somebody say something?” Glitter joked, covering her ears.

Hear See Speak No Evil Robbie C

Photo by Robbie Cheadle

(Robbie’s post https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/my-thoughts-on-indie-books/)

***

When the chipmunk powered carriage pulled away, River turned to me with a gleam in her eyes. 

“We need to dig something up – literally,” she told me.  “There’s a very old vine of the Trumpet not far from here.  Remember that while news stories come out on curled leaves from the vine, there are archives of articles stored in the roots.”

I remembered Calico Rainbowforest saying as much.  However, I wasn’t following River’s thought pattern.

“But why?” I wanted to know.

“Bedlam, you never mention anything from when you were little.  I don’t think you remember that part of your life.  Haven’t you ever wondered why you don’t remember anything from when you were very small?” 

“Not really.  A lot of people don’t remember when they were little children,” I told River.

River Mindshadow gazed at me doubtfully.  I remembered Lavender Cozy, the healer, saying that my friend would be able to “follow the shadows within the mind.”  I wondered aloud what River was thinking.

“I’m not sure myself,” River admitted and she fluttered from side to side, the equivalent of pacing. “I know everyone thought it was part of the show when that woman rode out of your grand-uncle’s bonfire.  But I figured she was from the place you went to, where no one wears colors.  You said there was a girl like me, and like Meadow Songbird* and Luminous Twinkle* as well.  So, there should be someone in Thistledown who looks like Fallow Blackmoon, don’t you think?  Fleur let me look through the images at the Trumpet office, but I didn’t find anything that looked like her.  I want to know if people have ever disappeared from Thistledown.”

Her words made me more nervous than they should have. Just thinking of the stunning appearance and disappearance of Fallow Blackmoon, was enough to make me uneasy. 

“I’ve never heard of anyone disappearing from Thistledown.  People just don’t do that,” I told her.  “Why would you think of that in the first place?”

“The things you’ve said about that other faery-verse,” River began.  “Everybody seems to have a counterpart, a double.  However, you didn’t have a doppelganger when you went there.  You’re a seer.  Then Fallow Blackmoon came here, and told you that she was a seer.  And she has no double here!”

With a gasp I told my friend, “Field Yewwasp said she looked familiar!  Do you think Fallow Blackmoon actually came from Thistledown, yet somehow became part of the colorless faery-verse?”

In a restless gesture, River flicked her wings.  Then she shrugged.

“You said faeries there didn’t seem to have wings.  What if the other faery-verse doesn’t have seers either?  At least not without them going there from somewhere else… like here,” River tried to explain her thoughts.

With unexpected anxiety, I fiddled with the long strand of periwinkle colored muskox hair that Bob the hummingbird brought me.  It emitted a bigger discharge of static electricity than before.  I cried out as is shocked me.

River gasped.  The strand of purplish hair extended straight out, as if pulled forward.  It was almost like something that had been magnetized by a hematite stone.  It sizzled with static and pointed like a divining rod.

Purple sparkles billy-huynh-278252

Billy Huynh, Unsplash

“It looks like you two should go where that electrified hair leads.”

We both turned, startled.  It was Fleur Thistle.  A chipmunk perched on each of her shoulders and several more danced around her feet.

“I didn’t mean to startle you.  Some of the chipmunks got lost so Glitter and I came back to look for them.  She went in the opposite direction as me,” Fleur explained and then nodded at the periwinkle colored hair.  “That’s too magical of a message to be ignored.  Besides, a hummingbird brought it to you!  You have to listen to it.  I’ll dig up the Trumpet archives.  Sorry ― I couldn’t help overhearing.”

“But Fleur, you could lose your job for doing that!” River objected.

“I doubt anyone will care.  Besides, I’m expected to do some ‘research’ every week,” Fleur added just as the hair gave me another stinging pop of static.  “It seems impatient.  You should probably get going.  I’ll let you know if I learn anything about missing folks.”

The periwinkle muskox hair popped and sizzled. 

***

The End

Please note: I’m compelled to state this because this has happened every time I bring my hamsters into the story.

 Every creature and thing in this serial (and in all my writing) is strictly the product of my imagination, and has nothing to do with any other writer or blog. As with the sheep, hummingbirds, muskoxen and every other creature hamsters portrayed here are the product of my imagination.  The carriage driving rodents in Thistledown are hamsters — not dudes or “hamstas,” or any other name used in the work of any other writer. None of the characters in this serial are affiliated with any other blog, including the rodents.  To avoid any additional confusion, hamsters of any kind will make no further appearances in this serial.

We were happy to see many old friends this time.  However, only one new person among the mystery folk was revealed in this episode:

You have met the “scary faery” counterparts of two more mystery folk, but not the Thistledown characters:

Maybe you can visit all of them.  I look forward to seeing you next weekend, here in Thistledown. 

Until then, hugs on the wing!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

Every creature and thing in this serial (and in all my writing) is strictly the product of my imagination, and has nothing to do with any other writer or blog. As with the sheep, hummingbirds, muskoxen and every other creature hamsters portrayed here are the product of my imagination.  The carriage driving rodents in Thistledown are hamsters — not dudes or “hamstas,” or any other name used in the work of any other writer. None of the characters in this serial are affiliated with any other blog, including the rodents.  To avoid any additional confusion, hamsters of any kind will make no further appearances in this serial.

 

#BadMoonRising Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene #IndieAuthor #urbanfantasy @TeaganGeneviene

Terrific Teri Polen interviewed me for her month long celebration of Halloween, called Bad Moon Rising. Be sure to click over to her site and say hello — and check out all the fantastic books she has already featured. Happy Halloween, everyone.

Books and Such

bmr

Welcome to Day 25!  Today’s featured author is Teagan Geneviene.  We’ve had so many stunning covers lately and Teagan’s is no exception.  I’m one of the many who miss Sookie Stackhouse and it sounds like Atonement, Tennessee will fill that void perfectly.
3-D Atonement Cover no background

Synopsis

Esmeralda Lawton is sick and tired of the big city. “Ralda” was betrayed until trust became a theoretical concept. So it’s a dream come true when she buys an old estate, complete with historic cemetery. Okay, she isn’t excited about the cemetery, but she’s strangely drawn to the estate. Atonement, Tennessee, a quaint town, seems like the perfect place for her. However, her new life isn’t quiet.

The house is full of antiques. Some have extraordinary properties — a brass bed causes strange dreams, and a mirror shows the truth of who you are.

A mysterious neighbor secretly watches over the graveyard. There’s more to him than…

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