Jazz Age Wednesdays 19 ― Pip & Artie Meet Again – Part 3

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The New Year’s celebration is finally wrapping up, here at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape! collaborated on a story with me that started here.  I couldn’t resist keeping the tale going for a few episodes.  However, today I present my conclusion.

Part-1 (here) began with Chris’ character, Artie — a genius time traveler chimpanzee determined to meet up with Pip again.  In Part-2 (here) we left Artie and Mona being pursued by the police.  Now, the conclusion.

Pip and Artie Meet Again

Part 3 — Conclusion

1920s Dance Party

The Christmas tree still stood in the parlor corner.  Granny and I had made the decorations for it.  I frowned at the strings of popcorn, remembering how many times I stuck my finger with the needle when I made them.

Light reflected on the German-made glass ornaments of which my grandmother was so proud.  They were shaped like things from a Nativity scene, although there was one I just couldn’t identify.  To me, it looked a lot like a motorcycle, but that couldn’t be right…

The shiny ornaments reminded me of that labradorite pendant I found at the corn maze site.  I thought it would look darb with my costume.  So, I hurried to my room and took the gem out of my little jewelry box and hung it around my neck.1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

A loud peal of thunder shook the cottage.  I figured Miss Olive’s prediction of a severe storm was about to come true.  Then I heard the coppers’ sirens, so I hurried to the parlor window. 

Sure, enough it was a police vehicle.  A Ford was right behind it.  Oddly, I couldn’t see anybody they might have been chasing.  Both automobiles slowed and stopped.  A tall man got out of the Ford and talked to the officers for a moment.  He made broad, frustrated seeming gestures as he spoke.

The man was Detective Dabney Daniels.  He headed up the walkway as the police vehicle turned around and drove away.

At the same moment I heard a loud commotion from outside, in the backyard.  I felt the need to see what that was, but I knew Granny would have my hide if I didn’t politely answer the door.

I met Daniels at the door and asked what was happening.

“Some hood on a motorcycle got balled up and went the wrong way on a one-way street near Union Station.  Speeding too.  There was a flapper on the back of the bike.  When he headed this way, for a minute I thought the girl might be you.  Then I saw she had dark hair,” Daniels said as he took off his fedora hat.  “Anyhow, I don’t know how he managed it, but he gave us the slip.”

Durrusehvar, daughter of the last Caliph of the Ottoman dynasty, circa 1920

Princess Durrusehvar, circa 1920

He finally noticed my attire and looked at me like I must have escaped from the looney bin.  People were wild for anything to do with Egypt or the Orient.  So, I wanted my costume for the party to be from either one or the other.  I finally put together a costume that looked like Dürrüşehvar, an Imperial Princess of the Ottoman Empire.

It bugged me to death that nobody knew who I was.

“I’m on duty,” Daniels began, but looked hopefully toward the hallway.  “I can only stay a moment.”

“Everyone is either in the dining room or the kitchen getting food,” I told him.  “Go on back and make yourself at home.”

Movement at the corner of my eye caused me to glance out the window again.  Cinnamon Bun! 

Granny’s Flemish Giant rabbit shouldn’t be out of his hutch, but there he was in the front yard.  I guessed that was what the noises I heard out back were.  Then I saw two people chasing him ― a man in a suit that made me imagine a formal military uniform from some strange country and a flapper.

(See more about Cinnamon Bun here.)

“Mona!” I cried and ran outside.

“Pip!” my friend exclaimed and hugged me.  “I remembered you describing Cinnamon Bun in your letters.  I knew your grandmother wouldn’t want him running around, so we were trying to catch him.  We ran into his hutch when we… err… when we stopped,” Mona told me in a rush.

Cinnamon sat up tall on his haunches when the man offered him a treat.  I could tell the big bunny liked the guy.  Then he turned toward me and took off his cap.  He grinned when recognition spread across my face.

“Artie?”

“I had to do a mini-jump with my portable time machine to evade the police,” Artie said sheepishly.  “When we popped back, we bumped the rabbit hutch.  I sincerely apologize.  Nothing was harmed, but the door was knocked open, and this magnificent rabbit got lose.”vintage bunny

“Pip, it’s amazing!  Who’d of thought I’d meet a talking chimpanzee!” Mona enthused.  “And travel in a time machine!”

Artie looked embarrassed.  I could tell that he was humble for a genius.

“The time machine still has some bugs in it.  It had trouble locking onto the transponder, but I see you found it,” he said with a grin as he motioned toward my labradorite pendant.  “So, Mona and I accidentally took a detour to Germany, a decade or two ago.”

Artie gave me a bright-eyed look and in a devil-may-care tone asked me when I’d like to visit.  With all of the world and all of history to choose from I was dumbfounded.

“Cat got your tongue?” Mona asked.

“Your costume gives me an idea.  Would you care to see the Ottoman Empire and meet the real Begum Sahiba Hatice Hayriye Ayşe Dürrüşehvar Sultan?” Artie offered.

He knew!  This talking, time traveling, genius chimp knew who my costume was supposed to be!

“No phonus balonus?  We could really go there?” I asked.

He nodded and Mona grinned.

“Granny Phanny will never even know you were gone,” Mona winked and told me.

“You realize of course, that you can’t tell anyone about this escapade,” Artie told me with a regretful expression in his big brown eyes.

“I guess they’d think I was spifflicated if I did,” I muttered.  “Okay.  Let’s get a wriggle on!

The End

Horsefeathers!   It’s too bad Pip can’t tell anyone about her time travel adventure.  I guess that’s why it is not mentioned in her novels!  I’ll leave all you sheiks and shebas to imagine the endless kinds of trouble Pip, Artie, and Mona got into for that little jaunt through time and space.  Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the 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 

 

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 18 ― Pip & Artie Meet Again – Part 2

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Clara Bow 1

Clara Bow as Mona the Movie Star

I’m still celebrating New Year’s here at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  You see, the pos-i-lutely darb, Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape! collaborated on a story with me.  Chris started the tale in which my character Pip, and his character Artie get together. 

Sharing ideas with “the Ape” was such fun that I couldn’t finish the story in just one episode.  In fact, it’s turned into a mini series.  Last week, Chris gave this story a great kickoff.  (Read it here.) As for my part of the story, I won’t reach the finale until next week.  Anyhow, let’s get a wriggle on and go back to Artie and Pip.  Or at least to Artie…

Pip and Artie Meet Again

Part 2

Train woman porters packages

They say the devil is in the detail and that was pos-i-lutely the case during a moment that transcended time and space.  During that bedeviled instant, Artie put the finishing touches on his portable time machine.  Tinkering with gears and gizmos, he finally located the labradorite crystal.  He had left it in the corn maze, hoping that Pip would find it.  The labradorite would act as a transponder so that he could get back to Pip and finish their visit.

When Artie first met Paisley Idelle Peabody, he had been so tired that he fell asleep before they could finish their delightful conversation.  So, this time he made sure to take a nap.  When Artie woke up the other chimps were milling around, inspecting the amazing time machine.  Some congratulated Artie and told him he was a genius.  A few though joked about his previous attempts at time travel, the tries that had not turned out so well.  Others made fun of him for having any interest at all in the flapper from days long gone.  Artie steadfastly ignored them.

Amid oohs and ahs from the other chimps, Artie checked the time machine settings and locked down the leavers.

In that same vexed moment, Paisley Idelle Peabody took off the labradorite pendant that she had found.  She placed it inside a small jewelry box made of etched lead crystal within a lead frame with a turtle carving of the same metal on the lid.

1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

Artie’s instruments were befuddled by the lead surrounding the transponder crystal.  Once again, his destination was slightly altered.  Fortunately, his portable time machine was also a motorcycle. 

He switched the machine to vehicular mode.  Just down the road, he could see Savannah’s Union Station.  Artie could get his bearings from there, and maybe even directions to Pip’s house.

A street car barreled toward him.  He was so captivated by the ancient mode of transportation that he barely got out of the way in time.  The conductor shouted and said he must be zozzled.  Artie wasn’t familiar with the term meaning intoxicated, so he smiled and waved.

Then, coming out of the arched doorway of the station, he beheld the most dazzling human woman he had ever seen.  Not that she could interfere with his crush on Pip, but anyone had to admit the strange woman’s charisma. 

She tried to hail a cab, but it already had an occupant.  She pushed back her dark brown bob in an annoyed gesture.  The beaded fringe of her flapper gown swayed as she stepped back up onto the curb.  The driver stuck his head out the window and whistled at her saying, “Hey, hotsy-totsy!  I’ll be back!”

The woman looked frustrated.  She muttered something that sounded like, “Bushwa!

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

Artie stopped his machine and stared at her, amazed.  His eyes widened and his jaw dropped when she hurried over to him.  He was so bewitched that he forgot that the people of the Roaring Twenties did not know about genius, talking chimps.

The brunette flapper barely reacted to his appearance, hesitating only briefly before smiling.  Artie finally remembered himself and pulled the visor of his cap down to cover his face as much as possible.

“Oh!  You must be heading to a New Year’s Eve costume party.  You look swell.  Why, your costume is even better than the ones they make in Hollywood!” she told him in a rush.  “I wonder, could you give me a lift?  The cabs are pretty busy on New Year’s Eve.  It’s not far ― the Peabody place.”

Artie gave her a toothy grin. 

“Of course, you must be Mona, ‘the movie star’ ― Pip’s best friend!” Artie exclaimed.

(There’s a little more about Mona in this chapter from The Three Things Serial Story, click here for the chapter.)

He remembered Pip’s words that men would do anything for Mona.  It was easy to see why that would be the case.  However, Pip had also said that Mona never “lead anyone on.”  Artie believed that too.  He could see the kindness in the dark-haired flapper’s eyes.

“Oh, you know Pip!  Then everything is Jake.  Come on, let’s blouse!” Mona cried and climbed onto the back of what she thought was a motorcycle.

Unfamiliar with traffic laws in the USA, or the 1920s for that matter, Artie drove on the wrong side of the road.  Luckily there weren’t many automobiles on the road.  There was, unfortunately, a police vehicle.  It turned and gave chase. 

Sirens blared.

1920s Police car

***

End Part 2

Applesauce!  Will the coppers catch Artie and Mona?  What would they do with a motorcycle riding talking chimp?  Will Mona replace Pip in Artie’s affections?  You’ll have to ankle back to the Jazz Age again next week to learn more. 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the 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 

 

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 17 ― Pip & Artie Meet Again – Part 1

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

Happy New Year to you from Teagan’s Books and Jazz Age Wednesdays!  Yesterday I was crowing when I saw Teri Polen’s review of Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients 1 (see it here. What a keen way to start the year!

With these Roaring Twenties posts, we’ll be putting on the Ritz as we ring in 2018.  I have an extra special treat for you this week.  An email exchange spontaneously turned into a short story — and guess who my coauthor is!  The pos-i-lutely fabulous, Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape! 

In case you didn’t know, the Story Reading Ape is also a great storyteller.  This short story furthers a encounter between Pip, and a character Chris created, Artie — one of the chimps from Chris’ imagination.  Chris begins the tale from Artie’s point of view, and then I take over with Pip telling it.  Now, let’s get a wriggle on and go back to the Jazz Age.

Pip and Artie Meet Again At New Year’s

Part 1

Artie was devastated, he’d worked sooo hard to get his time machine to finally go back beyond the time he’d invented it.  (See the backstory here.)

Artie Formal Dress

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

He’d even met his heroine, Paisley Idelle Peabody, otherwise known as Pip.  (See: Pip in the Corn Maze).

Unfortunately, because he’d been working on his machine for three days and nights without a break and only ended up in the corn maze where Pip was, by accidentally leaning against the start lever, his tiredness had overcome him and he’d fallen asleep in mid conversation!

Luckily however, he’d been woken by the preset Emergency Visit Duration Countdown alarm and had jumped back into the machine before it returned to his own time without him.

His only hope now, was that Pip had spotted, and picked up, the labradorite crystal pendant.  Artie had intended to give it to her, but he must have dropped it while he was ponderating.  In addition to the stone’s natural protective properties, it would act as a transponder, so he could find her again, otherwise, he’d end up back in the corn maze.

First things first though, he needed to sleep, then start on a lighter, more portable, version of his time machine, in case he had to travel overland from the maze to Granny Phanny‘s place.

Next time, he would be better prepared…

***

2018 Pip New Year

The Savannah folks who organized the corn maze at Halloween planned a New Year’s bonfire party at the same location.  As usual, Granny Phanny found extra chores for me.

“Pip, there’s no use in sulking around just because you don’t have a young man to escort you to the New Year’s Eve party.  I thought you were a modern woman,” Granny baited me.  “You can still get all dolled up and have a good time.”

I sputtered an indignant protest, but words failed me.  As if I was some cancelled stamp, a wallflower!

It wasn’t as if I had been in Savannah long enough to know many people.  Alastair Wong would be working at his family’s restaurant.  Detective Dabney Daniels barely knew I was alive.  I guess there was Hank… but I had been avoiding Hank Hertz for two weeks, because I was pretty sure he was going to ask me.  I couldn’t go with Hank, he was just a kid!  Why, he was nearly two whole years younger than me.

1920s Illustration of Party

“If it makes you feel any better there might not be a party at all,” Granny grumbled at me.

My grandmother sounded like she was fixing to get in a lather.  I had not considered that she might be looking forward to the bonfire party.  However, I got the impression that she was disappointed.  I looked a question at her.

“Everybody who has rheumatism says bad weather is coming.  And the arm I broke when I was a girl has been achy,” she complained.  “And Miss Olive says there’s a big storm headed our way right on New Year’s Eve,” She continued despite my skeptical expression.

“Granny, isn’t that just a bunch of superstition?” I dared ask.

Granny Phanny’s eyebrows climbed toward her hairline.  I knew I was on dangerous ground so I dried up then and there.

“Miss Olive is never wrong about the weather,” Granny told me in a dire tone.  “So, we need to go over to where we had the corn maze and see about setting up some tents.”

(Meet Miss Olive here.)

studebaker1920_2

A moment later we were in Granny’s Model-T, puttering down the dirt road.  The live oak trees seemed more like evergreens than regular oak trees, but their leaves were kind of sparse.  Granny Phanny murmured a word of thanks that somebody had filled in the big pothole we had to avoid last time.

Granny walked around muttering under her breath as she sought suitable spots for party tents.  I thought keeping some distance from her would be a good idea, so I wandered around in the other direction.  I recognized the spot where the corn maze used to be and went poking around.

Nervously I looked over my shoulder, remembering the strange thing that happened there.  I never told a soul about it, but I wrote it all in a journal.  Maybe one day I could tell my pal Andy about it.  He went to Hollywood, California.  His talent for writing imaginative stories finally paid off.  Andy probably wouldn’t believe me either, but he’d like the story.  (Here’s a little more about Andy from the Three Things Serial Story.)

You see, that night I met a talking chimp.  I would never forget his words…

“Pip, I promise you I’m the real McCoy, as you would say.  I’m Aristotle, but I hope you’ll call me Artie.  I’ve traveled a long way through time and space to meet you,” the chimp had explained.

Lost in that strange memory, I idly stuck the toe of my burgundy and cream oxfords into a clump of leaves and debris.  Something sparkled, pulling me out of my reverie.  I bent to uncover it and picked up a crystal.

It was greenish gray with flashes of color.  I didn’t know a lot about semiprecious gems, but I thought it was labradorite.  The stone depended from from a long chain.  I hung it around my neck and put it inside my dress.

End Part 1

***

Oh yes… to be continued.  Here’s a sort of hint.  It turns out Chris and I share an interest in gemstone lore.  Labradorite is said to be a stone of magic, a crystal of shamans, diviners, healers, and all who travel and embrace the universe seeking knowledge and guidance.

Sorry! That’s as much of a hint as I’m giving.  Tune in again next week for the conclusion.

It’s so darb that you visited today.  Once again — Happy New Year!

Flapper Happy New Year champagne red

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the 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 

 

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 and Christopher Graham

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.

 

Thriving Thursdays: Some will never find it. Will You?

Hello all.  It’s time for my once-a-month guest post at the tree-house of the Story Reading Ape, aka Chris Graham. On Thursdays I make a special point of helping people thrive, and that’s why I’ve gone to visit the Ape. (Please swing by and say hello — click here — because I had to disable comments here today, with work and National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo).

Thriving Thursdays: Some will never find it. Will You?

Young man glasses lights_jonathan-crews-194055

Jonathan Crews, Unsplash

Sometimes we find things without looking for them.  However, I doubt we’ll ever find a thing we didn’t believe was there in the first place.  In my own life, I have found that I can’t achieve something that I’m not able to imagine.   Will instead of wish, imagine, believe…  

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it…”   Roald Dahl  

Some will never find it.  Will you?  I believe you will.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

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.

Thriving Thursdays: Busy? Maybe That’s a Good Thing

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hello everyone.  Welcome to another Thriving Thursday.  I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene here with a guest post for Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.  Click over to the “tree-house” and say hello — I’ve disabled comments here.

Thriving Thursdays: Busy? Maybe That’s a Good Thing

Lucille Ball and Bear

Too busy to be discouraged — but not too busy to thrive!  Here are some mindful words from my favorite redhead.

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore you faith in yourself.” ― Lucille Ball

Update: I have to revise this with a shout-out to Dan Antion at No Facilities*.  Dan mentioned a fact I did not know about my favorite redhead having a connection to Star Trek. If you want to know more, click here*.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

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.

Jazz Age Wednesdays 5 — Pip in the Corn Maze

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

red tam Pictoral Review Jan 1927

1927

Welcome to October at Jazz Age Wednesday.  I’ve been so busy, I forgot today was Wednesday!  However, I’m here now, with something new for the Pip-verse and I’ve gotten all Halloween-ish!

Writing Process

I was honored when Chris Graham*, the Story Reading Ape himself, agreed to do a short story for one of my Get Caught Reading Month posts awhile back.  (Check it out here*Chris is a fabulous storyteller, and it could be a prequel for the story below.) When I started writing this adventure for Pip, I just wasn’t “feeling it” until I remembered that story from Chris.  With his permission, I decided take a cue from his story and bring in one of his “naughty chimp” characters.

About This Story

This is another pantser tale.  Online I found a Pictionary word list for Halloween.  I decided to let that be my guide for random “things” to spontaneously write Halloween-ish stories of the Pip-verse.  I cut the list into slips for individual terms, put them in a bag, and then drew three slips or “things.”  They are:  corn maze, autumn, and zombie.

Now back to the Jazz Age!

Between corn rows 2

Pip in the Corn Maze

Trees in their glad rags of orange and yellow leaves lined the dirt road.  Granny Phanny maneuvered her cherished Model-T to avoid a hole.

“It’s the Autumn Festival, Pip.  Come on.  You’ll have a good time,” my grandmother insisted, but I had my doubts.  “There will be all sorts of things for young folks to do.  Now hang on to that basket,” she cautioned as we rounded a sharp curve.  “Those apple pies are for the bake sale.  Nobody will want to buy a pie that’s had the juice sloshed out of it.”

I had a hunch that the “young folks” part was a bunch of phonus balonus.  Although, I knew better than to voice that thought to Granny.  My grandmother slowed the automobile and pointed.

“Oh look!  They even made a billboard,” she said as she stopped to admire the sign.  “See all the fun things it lists?  Apple bobbing, the Sundown Séance, why there’s even a corn maze.”

Corn Field People n Background bonnie-kittle-143218

Bonnie Kittle, Unsplash

“That’s nice Granny, but this is a weekday and it’s the middle of the day too.  Everybody is either at work or at school, unless they’re—” I shut my mouth just in time before I said the word old.

Wet blanket wasn’t a name I could be called, but nobody was there but a bunch of bluenose old ladies.  Granny introduced me to some of them.  It was a combination of fawning over the visiting grandchild and tut-tutting from the ones who knew I was in Savannah with Granny as punishment for an adventure that included a yacht, a circus baron, and a gilded mansion in Sarasota, Florida.  I excused myself and wandered aimlessly.

My bored noodle was at war with my sore feet when I came upon the corn maze.  It was getting hot in the afternoon sun too.  The day before had been downright chilly.  Not so a day later, but that was typical October weather for Savannah.

I took a limping step.  There was definitely a pebble in my shoe.  Propping against the entrance sign for the maze, I untied my burgundy and cream oxfords to shake out the offending stone.  I took off the tam I had made to match my oxfords and used it to fan myself.

When I looked inside the maze I saw inviting greens and yellows, and sun-dappled shade.  A light breeze brushed my face as it moved into the maze, as if to invite me to the cooling shadows.  I really should have known better.  I pos-i-lutely have no sense of direction.  In no time, I was frustratingly, hopelessly lost in the labyrinth.

Hands in Corn Maze felix-russell-saw-136018

Felix Russell, Unsplash

Everything was unnaturally quiet.  It got creepy.  I jumped at a shifting shadow ahead, then scolded myself.

It’s not as if you’re going to walk into a zombie or something!  Get ahold of yourself, flapper!

Sounds of movement reached my ears so I turned left at the next opening.  I heard someone yawn.  Sheik or Sheba?  Who could guess gender from a yawn, but it sounded like a man to me.  I was just relieved that there was another person nearby.

Hopefully a living, breathing person, not the walking dead, my inner cynic muttered.

When I rounded the next turn, I stopped in my tracks.  That was no man!  It was a hairy animal.  I tried not to make a sound.  I didn’t want to startle a wild animal.  I squinted into the shadows.  What was it anyway?  A baby bear?

It made a harsh, shrill sound.  My eyes widened when I realized what kind of critter it was — a chimpanzee!

The chimp stretched and scratched his armpit.  He looked at me and grinned!  Then to my astonishment he bowed politely and called me by name.  That’s right.  The chimp talked!

I asked how he came to be in the corn maze.  I expected he had gotten lost from a circus somewhere, or maybe a zoo.

Cautiously, I inched closer.  It had to be some kind of gag.  If I ran out screaming about a talking chimp, there would be twenty people standing there laughing at me, I just knew it.  He picked up on my skepticism.

Reading Ape purple

“Pip, I promise you I’m the real McCoy, as you would say.  I’m Aristotle, but I hope you’ll call me Artie.  I’ve traveled a long way through time and space to meet you,” the chimp explained.

All thoughts of finding my way out of the maze left my mind.  Since he could talk I figured I might as well beat my gums with the little hairy guy.  But wait a minute… did he say through time?

“You traveled through t-time?”

To my increasing astonishment, Artie explained how he got there all the way from England.  He had invented a time machine — a for real time machine!  However, at first it would only go forward, not back to another era.  It also tended to land about 19 miles to the west of where he meant it to be.  Finally Artie fixed the machine so it would go backward in time.  Although he still hadn’t worked out the location problem.  That was why his time machine landed in the corn maze, not at Granny Phanny’s cottage.

“You honestly mean to tell me that you came here specifically to meet me?  Me?” I asked.

“Paisley Idelle Peabody,” he began and surprised me even more by knowing my full name.  “Your adventures are known far and wide — at least in my time.  The world hasn’t always known your story, but once it was unearthed, you became rather famous,” he assured me.

The corn maze was so cool and quiet that Artie sat down for a “ponderating moment” — in other words, he took a nap.  I figured the little guy was pretty tired if he traveled both across the ocean and through time.  I eased away quietly because I didn’t want to disturb him, but I pos-i-lutely had to tell somebody about him.

I managed to find my way to the entrance.  Only then did it occur to me that I hadn’t seen Artie’s time travel vehicle.  I turned to go back.  Suddenly it seemed important that I get a look at the contraption.Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

A loud metallic screech made me cringe.  It was followed by a loud whirring sound.

“Artie?” I exclaimed worriedly as I rushed to retrace my steps.

“Oh no!  Not yet.  We’ve only just started getting acquainted!” Artie cried.

It only took a moment for me to reach the spot where I’d left the chimp, but he was gone.  I looked all around.  When I went around the next corner I found a big area where the corn was flattened and the ground felt hot to the touch.  My shoulders sagged.

The Halloween story of the century and I can’t tell a soul.  They’d cart me off to the looney bin if I did.

The End.

***

Would you like to continue the 1920s mood?  Did you notice the magazine image at the beginning? It mentions Edith Wharton having a “new” novel.  She was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.  Wharton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930.  While I didn’t find a free version of “Twilight Sleep” for you, some of her books are free at Project Gutenberg*!

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 week! (Click here if you missed it.)

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 2

Welcome back to Thistledown, everyone!  If you are joining this serial for the first time, or if you need to refresh your memory click here for the premier episode.  I also have a category button on the right side-bar of the screen for “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.”  However, these days I can’t make promises about WordPress behaving as it should. (For several days I found myself unable to comment on any blogs — including my own! WP just told me to email somebody else… Finally and laboriously got it fixed myself.)

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Writing Process

As a writer, I tend to reject rules. (Often things are presented as rules, but feel more like “formulas” than anything else.  I don’t care for formulas either.)  Although, when writing in a genre, (to a degree) I do try to follow some general expectations, for the comfort and understanding of readers.  

So before anyone asks…  When writing fantasy, I’m fond of using archaic forms of words.  Hence my spelling of “faery.”  I followed the lead of Brian Froud.  Many people see him as an expert on fairies/faeries/fae.  If you want to know more about the topic, click here or here.  

I had expected to reveal Bedlam’s vision in this episode.  However, I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  It didn’t work out that way.  That’s all part of pantsering.

About the Episode

The mystery folk from the first episode return for this one.  However, several new characters are introduced.  Be sure to click the links (like this) to reveal the mystery folk behind the character names.

This time we get an idea of what sort of gifts, talents, and magic the faeries of Thistledown might have in their daily lives.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trumpet Vine, by Manu via Wikimedia Commons free media repository

In the Kitchen

Smoke curled from the twin chimneys of the cottage where  Peaches Dragonfly lived.  I could see it a short distance away.  The warm breeze brought the aroma of tarts Peaches had cooking in the oven.  Even though my mouth watered, I couldn’t get my feet to move.

“Come on!” Peaches encouraged.  “Bedlam Thunder what’s wrong?” she asked, letting go of my arm and giving me a concerned look.

My eyes had found the bright yellow flowers of the trumpet vine.  A horrible idea sprang to my mind when I saw the blossoms.  The vine bore the local news.  I touched a petal, fearing it would shout my name.

Extra!  Extra!  Get the Thistledown Trumpet here!” the flower cried.  “Get the time and place of all the best Midsummer parties!  Take a leaflet,” the blossom added encouragingly.

“Oh good,” murmured Peaches as she reached to pluck a curled leaf.  Unrolling the leaf she read the list of parties before commenting, “Good, they got my information right.  They mentioned that Pick is visiting.  They even included that Holly Songbird will be singing!  I had to ask them to update the announcement for that.  I didn’t think I had given them the information in time.  Perfect!”

I was relieved at not hearing my own name or anything about my awful vision.  However, I still couldn’t manage to raise my eyes to look higher than the ground, or lift my feet to follow Peaches.

Crystal Ball Hand_yeshi-kangrang-258234

Yeshi Kangrang, Unsplash

“People are saying that the things in the vision I had will happen because of me — as if I’m going to make them happen.  That it’s my fault.  Or they just make fun of me.  I haven’t been around much of anybody since River Mindshadow and I were suspended.  That was so humiliating…  I just haven’t wanted to deal with seeing anyone,” I explained, eyes still firmly fixed on my feet.  “And I just can’t face River.  It’s all my fault that she got suspended with me.  I should have done something to stop it.”

It was hard to hold back tears.  I was overwrought, I had been for days.  Stellar the cat twined around my ankles consolingly.  However, it took all my concentration to keep my composure, so I didn’t pet her.  I sniffled and swallowed and sniffled some more before I could finally hold up my head.

Both Peaches and River stood watching me impatiently, fists planted firmly on hips.  I was startled because I hadn’t even heard River come up to us.  Peaches was tapping a foot.  River’s wings were unfurled, so I knew she was about to leave.

“Bedlam, I’ve been given a curfew, a truly unreasonable one too.  So I can’t stay, but I want you to know that none of this is your fault!” River told me in a firm voice.  “Especially me getting suspended, or this curfew.  If you say that again, I’ll be insulted.  My analysis of your vision was mine to state.  I made my own choices.  You didn’t make them for me.”

I drew back.  River’s reaction was not what I expected.  I started babbling an apology, but she cut me off with a smile and a wave of her hand.  Then she nudged me with her elbow.

“It’s alright.  Go on inside and get a slice of tart.  Pick Dragonfly already had two slices,” River said in a kinder voice before she zipped into the sky.

“Ha!  My cousin has been accused of having hollow legs, a slim guy who is always hungry,” Peaches commented fondly as she waved to River.  “He’s actually a good cook.  That more than makes up for it.”

Bird Cherries tree vincent-van-zalinge-38365

 Vincent Van Zalinge, Unsplash

Peaches drew me toward her cottage.  Blackberry vines covered the roof.  It was dotted with berries in various degrees of ripeness, white, red, purple, and black.  The kitchen windowsill was lined with bread and pies set there to cool.  The aroma of desserts in the oven was irresistible.  The pink haired faery did not spare the ovens for her solstice celebrations.

As we neared her home, we had to stop for something most people would find unusual.  A long line of red cherries rolled from the other side of the orchard.  The cherries tumbled along, in single file across our path and through the open front door of her cottage.

Peaches shook her head and made a wry face.  That was how her cousin Pick took care of the cherry picking chore when he visited.  It was part of Pick’s gift, convincing the cherries to leave the tree and come to him.

“If I find a single bruise on those cherries…” Peaches muttered.

Different faeries had different talents or magical abilities, and to varying degrees.  The school was meant to help us, from an early age, to develop our apparent talents, and to uncover hidden gifts.  Some faeries had hardly any magic at all.  Like me.  I didn’t see my visions as any sort of talent, and they certainly weren’t magic.

I had hoped that going to the school would cause me to manifest a better talent.  However, before my freshman term of senior level was finished, my visions got me suspended.  I sighed without meaning to make a sound.  Peaches gave me a sympathetic look before we went inside her home.

Her cottage had a huge kitchen — the largest room in the house.  The way Peaches baked, that was a necessity.

Across the room, the first thing I saw was a uniquely lovely flower arrangement.  It contained the most unexpected combination of things, with all manner of wildflowers, and even stems of cotton bowls.

Cotton plant painting 1901

Cotton plant circa 1901, Wikimedia

However, I stumbled to a halt the moment I stepped through the doorway.  The cherries continued to roll until they went into a basket beside the sink.  Pick Dragonfly carried not just one, but three plates to the sink.  Yet none of those things were what caused me to stop in my tracks.

I faced the long kitchen table, mouth agape.  All of the people I admired most in Thistledown were gathered in my friend’s kitchen.  They weren’t the official council, but they were highly respected people.

The fae at the other end of the table sat head and shoulders above the rest.  He was known far and wide as the furry faery, Field Yewwasp.  The huge table looked ordinary next to him.  I knew the large top hat on the coat rack had to belong to Field.  Wire rimmed spectacles with rose colored lenses sat on his nose.  The red jacket he wore was perfectly tailored for his large frame.  I supposed that if your size and hair automatically drew attention to you, then you would want to be well dressed.

Ember Beamwitch sat at Field’s left.  The flowers in her hair bobbled when she looked up at us.  The fiery colored print of her dress had a soft radiance even in the daylight.  After dark it would give a fanciful glow.  A voluminous sleeve swayed gracefully when she raised her hand to wave at me.  Ember would judge the dance competition that Peaches planned to include in her Midsummer celebration.

One of the spectacles of the Midsummer gathering would be worked by Catseye Glimmer.  From practically nothing, Catseye could create fun and useful things.  I suspected that he would somehow make the dance floor, and that his creation of it would kick-off the party.

At seeing these enormously respected fae, I was a nervous wreck, on top of being an emotional basket case.  My eyes were wide with shock.  I stood speechless even when someone bade me sit down at the table.  That’s when I had one more shock than I could handle.  I dazedly realized the person offering me a seat was Calico Rainbowforest.  She ran the Thistledown Trumpet News!

Oh no, I thought.  This is horrible.  What if she puts my vision in the news?  She’ll probably agree with everyone else.  What if she blames every bad thing on me, like some people are doing?

“Oh dear.  You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Calico spoke in a kind voice.  “Poor Bedlam, I know what you’ve been through.  Did you know that the Readings Master suspended me once too?”

That admission got my surprised attention.  I couldn’t imagine Calico Rainbowforest getting into trouble at school, but she grinned and nodded.

“It wasn’t that long ago, you know.  I believe you and I are more alike than you’d expect.  That man just seemed to take an instant dislike to me.  Anyway… I would very much like to hear the story in your own words,” she requested and paused as if waiting for my answer.  When I didn’t speak she continued, “Whenever you’re feeling ready to talk about it.  I’d just listen, mind you, nothing more.  Then if everyone here agreed that it was safe to share with Thistledown, only if you approved would I put it in the Trumpet.

At that moment I knew Calico was saying something, because I could see her mouth moving.  However, I was already intimidated by the individuals who sat around Peaches’ table.  Plus I was downright paranoid about the Trumpet.  I was slow to absorb Calico’s words.  It seemed like I heard her voice from far away.

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Fairy Islands, 1916, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Wikimedia

Faeries have a fight or flight reflex — quite literally.  Mine abruptly kicked-in, and my wings unfolded before I knew what was happening.  My wayward wings knocked a honeydew melon off a sideboard.  The honeydew hit the floor in an explosive crash of seeds, juice, and melon flesh.  It splattered half the people at the table.

I jumped backward in my agitation.  One of my wings caught painfully on the doorjamb.  I gasped and turned, not understanding what was causing the pain.  My wing started to tear as I moved.

In the recesses of my mind I heard more than one person scream “No!”  They could see what I was too distressed to understand — that I was about to do serious harm to myself if I moved.

I was vaguely aware of seeing Catseye Glimmer stand.  He turned to the unique flower arrangement behind his seat.  Quickly he picked a stem with several cotton bowls.  He whispered to the plant and flexed his fingers in an impossible looking motion.  Then he threw it toward me.

The stem sailed past, an inch from touching me.  It transformed to a soft cushion the size of the doorway, gently preventing me from moving or doing serious damage to my wing.

“Goodness, she looks like she’ll swoon!” Ember Beamwitch exclaimed.  “Here Bedlam, sit down.”

As if he had the same thought as Ember, Pick Dragonfly handed me a glass of chilled water.

Ember put the first two fingers of her right hand to the “third eye” area of my forehead.  A soft glow emanated from her hand.  After a second I felt a wonderful cool sensation and I no longer felt faint.

I was suddenly aware of Field Yewwasp bending over me.  Everyone else had been between the furry faery and me.  How could someone so large move so fast that I didn’t even see him?  As I looked at him in confusion, he asked if I was all right.

“You’d best stay earthbound, rather than fly, until that heals,” Field advised.

The big pain in my wing seemed disproportionate to what was actually a small tear.  Calico unexpectedly drew a tiny jar of ointment from her pocket.  She gave me a sardonic smile.

“Bedlam, my flight skills aren’t any better than yours.  I’ve learned to keep first aid with me,” Calico confessed.  “May I?” she asked indicating the ointment.

I nodded, still mute.  The ointment did lessen the pain.  I drank from the water Pick gave me.  Wide-eyed, I gazed in amazement at the kindness of the people around me.  However, a most unpleasant sensation reverberated through my head.  I shook my head to clear the ringing, but it wouldn’t stop.

Fairfacefairy_2

Wikimedia

***

I hope you clicked the links to reveal the mystery folk. Additions to the cast for this episode include characters named by Hollyberye, Colleen Chesebro, Chris Graham, Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel, and Tim Price.

Fly back to Teagan’s Books next time to reveal new mystery folk and see what happens in episode three. 

 

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.