Jazz Age Wednesday — Pip & Artie, Epilogue

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Fone_Bone

Fone Bone for Get Caught Reading

It’s still May and #GetCaughtReading Month!  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape, and I got together to support this initiative that promotes the fun of reading for all ages.

I meant our short story last week to be a single episode.  However, with an ongoing (and itchy) allergy problem distracting me, I’m having trouble getting my head into the Pip-verse so that I can finish preparing A Ghost in the Kitchen for launch.  So, I hoped writing a little more on this story would help. 

Artie, the genius time traveling chimpanzee is back today.  If you missed Pip and Artie Aghast at a Ghost, click the link.   I hope you Get Caught Reading this!  All right then, let’s get a wiggle on and head to the Jazz Age!

Pip and Artie — Aghast at a Ghost

Part 2 Epilogue

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

Nothing ever kept my grandmother down for long.  Arty looked brooksy in his time-travel uniform.  That and his kind eyes won Granny Phanny over pretty quick.  Although she persisted in a profound denial about the prankish poltergeist.

“A bird got in the kitchen,” she insisted.  “I chased it outside with my broom, but I slipped and hit my head when I fell. What?  I beg your pardon!  Why of all the gall, Paisley.  I have never swooned in all my days.”

Phanny Irene Peabody was determined to introduce Artie to southern cooking.  Granny was so caught up in showing off that she barely let me help her, suspending my cooking lessons for the day. 

She limited the meat in her dishes when Artie admitted that it wasn’t his favorite thing.  However, Granny laid out a mouthwatering spread with cornbread-dressing, collard greens, light-as-air biscuits, chicken and dumplings (easy on the chicken), mashed potatoes, and some fried chicken for Andy and me.

Even though it didn’t fit with the rest of the meal, she made some hushpuppies.  You see, Artie had asked about them, wanting to know if they really included puppies.  Andy and I were too surprised to completely hide our laughter.  Granny, however, was downright professorial as she explained that hushpuppies were only bread, with no meat of any sort.

When Granny had us all move to the parlor for dessert, Andy and I saw the ghost sneak back into the kitchen, but we kept our lips buttoned.  I knew the spirit wouldn’t beat it for long.

1920s Kitchen Bouguet ad

Then my grandmother ensured future visits from Artie by producing one of his favorite desserts – a Mississippi mud pie.

When he laid eyes on the chocolaty confection, Artie couldn’t help showing a big toothy grin.  Granny’s smile faded for a second when she saw the length of his teeth, but a look at the genius ape’s delighted eyes put her at ease.

Artie offered Granny Phanny one quick time travel adventure.  At first, she protested that it was too great a gift.  Yet an imploring gaze from Artie caused her to relent.  However, Granny swore him to secrecy about where and when she wanted to go.

Phanny Irene Peabody hopped onto the back of the motorcycle-looking time machine.  She moved as if she was an old hand with motorcycles.  Then I remembered the time she and Dr. Vincent Vale (and everybody else I knew in Savannah) went looking for me on his vintage vehicle.

The traveling duo returned about twenty seconds after they left.  Granny was misty eyed.  She gave Artie a tight hug as he bade us farewell.

The end.

Heartfelt thanks to Chris Graham for being such a willing participant in these shenanigans.  Our Story Reading Ape is a marvelous storyteller.  If you want to get caught reading another treat, check out his mom’s book.

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Don’t forget my mysterious new serial, Brother Love.  Chapter 5 will go live on Saturday. 

I’ll see you at the crossroads! 

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesday — Pip & Artie, Aghast at a Ghost

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading

Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading

May is #GetCaughtReading Month!  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape himself, and I are together again to support this initiative that promotes the fun of reading for all ages.

Chris and I have collaborated on several short stories that include his character, a genius ape named Artie and my first flapper, Pip.  It all started with Time Travel Esc-Ape.  Then there was Pip in the Corn Maze, followed by the three-part Pip and Artie Meet Again.

I hope you Get Caught Reading our new story!  It is set during the time-line of my upcoming novel A Ghost in the Kitchen.  All right then, let’s get a wiggle on and head to the Jazz Age!

Pip and Artie — Aghast at a Ghost

Fearful man and woman circa 1926

Ghost Stories Magazine circa 1926

“Hello,” I answered the telephone.  “Andy, tha―”

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, where are your manners.  That’s no proper way to answer the telephone.  Give me that,” Granny Phanny demanded as she took the receiver away from me.

“TREmont 3332, Peabody residence,” my grandmother spoke into the receiver as I turned my head so she wouldn’t see me roll my eyes.  “Why yes Andy, you may.  One moment please.  Paisley, Andy is calling for you.”

Granny gave me a stern look and handed me the card she kept beside the telephone.  It was titled The Telephone Pledge

“I believe in the Golden Rule and will try to be as Courteous and Considerate over the Telephone as if Face to Face.”

It continued with such advise as telephone manners are as important for voice-to-voice courtesy, as face-to-face politeness.  Instructions to speak directly into the mouthpiece with lips a half inch away, and keep mustache out of opening were included.

I got caught reading it aloud to my pal Andy.  It wasn’t the reading that annoyed Granny, but my laughter.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

“You’d best take that seriously or they might discontinue our service,” she warned.

“Oh Granny!  They wouldn’t really do that,” I defended as she walked away with her best bluenose attitude.

My grandmother had distracted me to the extent that I forgot to put the finishing touches on my glad rags before Andy came to pick me up in his old jalopy.  I had a special pendant with a beautiful labradorite crystal that I meant to show him.  I had recently told him the story behind that gem and he was keen to see it in person.

Andy and I weren’t gone long before we went back for the pendant.  However, during that short time a lot happened.  I only wish I could have seen it firsthand.

You see, my friend Aristotle, also known as Artie, dropped in at Granny’s cottage.  That wouldn’t have mattered if Artie was an ordinary guy.  Unfortunately for my grandmother’s state of mind, Artie was a time traveler.  Not only that, he was an ape!  He was very polite, and a genius to boot, but an ape nonetheless.  He was also the one who gave me the labradorite pendant. 

This is how Artie described what transpired.

***

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

When she went into town with Andy, Pip carelessly left the labradorite crystal pendant laying out on her dressing table, instead of in her jewelry box.  That wouldn’t have mattered with an ordinary necklace, but the pendant acted as a transponder which allowed Artie to find Pip when he went back in time.

As fate would have it, Granny found the labradorite crystal while tidying up.

She was strangely drawn to the pendant.  Phanny Irene Peabody picked up the crystal and held it, soaking in its gentle glowing warmth.

A loud “pots and pans” type of crash startled her.  The commotion was followed by a shouted string of words that sounded oddly foreign, but were obviously from someone who needed their mouth washed out with soap.

Granny, still gripping the pendant, hurried angrily towards her kitchen.

Meanwhile, as Granny ran toward the ruckus in her kitchen, Aristotle, the genius ape was summoned to his time machine by the labradorite crystal that Granny Phanny had unknowingly activated.

The pendant had sent a distress call.  So, he dropped what he was doing, hastily donned his time travelling gear and activated his portable time machine motorcycle.

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Artie’s portable time machine, image courtesy Chris Graham

Artie arrived in Savannah, Georgia of the Roaring Twenties.

Artie took off his helmet and gave a huge pointy fanged grin of satisfaction.  He was excited at the prospect of seeing his friend Pip again, but of course he was also worried because of the distress signal.

The labradorite crystal pendant locator had worked a treat, bringing him just outside the cottage where Pip lived with her grandmother.

The link between pendant and locator had brought him within 30 seconds of the time when the pendant had sent the alarm.

As Artie hurried over to the cottage, the kitchen door burst open and what at first glance appeared to be a rotund man in Renaissance garb rushed out, ducking and weaving in an attempt to avoid the pots and pans flying behind him.

Artie bounded over and brought down what he presumed was an intruder in Pip’s home.

Granny appeared at the kitchen door and clapped her hands, applauding Artie’s heroics.

“Why thank you so very much!  That strange looking man was in my kitchen.  Bring him over here, so I can give him a piece of my mind.”

Dangling the figure by the scruff of his neck, Artie obliged.

Granny was so engrossed in seeing who had spilled her kitchenware, she didn’t notice that Artie wasn’t a man, until she looked up to thank him again.

Artie was careful not to grin, it showed his fangs too much for many humans and frightened them, so he gave a broad, but closed-lip smile instead.

Granny sank down to the ground in a fit of the vapors.

As she recovered, responding to the cool compress on her forehead and the muttered entreaties from two male voices, Granny slowly opened her eyes – and wished she hadn’t.

The man in the clothes of a Renaissance Era chef winked at her flirtatiously.  Then with the sound of a fizzing pop, he disappeared into thin air! 

The huge leather clad ape was still there. 

Granny swooned again.

The end.

Heartfelt thanks to Chris Graham for being such a willing participant in these shenanigans.  Our Story Reading Ape is a marvelous storyteller.  If you want to get caught reading another treat, check out his mom’s book.

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Don’t forget my mysterious new serial, Brother Love.  Chapter 4 will go live on Saturday. 

I’ll see you at the crossroads! 

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 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.

 

Hidebound Hump Day — #WritingPrompt! The Guardian

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

#GetCaughtReading!  May is Get Caught Reading Month.  Artie is coming back to Jazz Age Wednesdays!

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

Get Caught Reading is a nationwide (USA) campaign to promote the fun of reading books for all ages.  Chris Graham, the one and only Story Reading Ape, will be a story telling ape.  We’re getting together again for a short story in support of this initiative.  It will be here next Wednesday.

Now to Hidebound Hump Day

Be warned… I’m just dashing this off quickly.  It is so hard to resist the prompts from Diana Wallace Peach.  Then I read Rob Goldstein’s story (click here), and I simply had to join the fun.

Steampunk black man Brigitte Werner_Pixabay

Brigitte Werner, Pixaby

You’ve probably heard me bemoan my unfinished novel, the second book for the alchemist, Cornelis Drebbel.  It includes one of my favorite “unfinished novel characters,” Jack.  Since the steampunk story is so fitting for Diana’s gorgeous image prompt, Jack hopped into my head.

In my “Cornelis-verse,” the second novel happens in a parallel place where Cornelis crash-lands.  There, Copper is not a little girl, but a quirky young woman.  She grew up with Jack as her only companion.  The vignette inspired by Dianna’s prompt takes place there.

The Guardian

Jackalope Superstition Mountains

Image by Teagan Geneviene

Jack didn’t understand why no one seemed to heed his warnings.  He even created a probability chart when they would not listen.  Being ignored when he presented data agitated him.

“The risk is far too great!” Jack insisted.

“I’m perfectly capable of handling any ack ruffians who try to bother me,” Copper told him in a tone that Jack thought meant disdain.

“We can’t stay here forever, old boy,” the Alchemist added.

“I understood what you both have said,” Jack replied.  “However, a guardian is required.  I propose that you at least hire a guard to protect you.”

The Alchemist chuckled.  Miss Copper gave Jack the long-suffering look that meant she thought he was being what she called a mother hen.

“My grandfather was my guardian after my parents left.  I’ve done just fine without a guardian since he disappeared.”

“Jack, my chuckaboo, we would still have to go into town to hire a guard,” the Alchemist reasoned.

Small Cornelis steampunk man dreamstime_xxl_87472463

Dreamscape.com

Jack admitted Cornelis Drebbel had a point, but it was no less dangerous.  In frustration he hopped into one of the mine cars Miss Copper had automated several years before.

He went up to the surface, and out the hidden door of the mine.  There he checked his weather instruments.  He didn’t really know why, but whenever Jack felt uncertain or conflicted, he monitored the weather.  Tracking the weather readings had been his very first job.  When he worked with the data, an out of balance world seemed more comprehensible.

Jack paused.  He detected a strong atmospheric gravity current in the area below his high observation point.

“A storm,” he muttered, instantly focused on his work.

The air pressure fluctuated.  His aneroid barometer vibrated.  Jack sat back on his haunches and then stretched to look at the device.  It reminded him of the day the Alchemist appeared.

Barograph_Analogue barometer Wikimedia

A stacked analogue recording barograph aneroid barometer

Jack’s first encounter with the Alchemist had altered him.  He became more than a clockwork jackalope.  He had fur and a bunny shape.  His antennae took the appearance of antelope horns.

The gears in his head whirred as Jack remembered that day.  Then they suddenly stopped, clicked into place.

Jack jumped back into the mine car, and went to the store room where Miss Copper kept her projects and inventions.  She was becoming as skilled as the Inventor, her grandfather.

Miss Copper didn’t like Jack to catalogue her projects.  However, she didn’t specifically forbid it, so he made an inventory when she was otherwise occupied.

“As long as she hasn’t moved anything, that one should be back here,” he muttered as he hopped to the back of the long storage room.

It was too big for Jack to move.  Carefully he hopped from shelf to shelf so he could reach the switch at the back of the thing’s head.

Gears hummed.  A tall clockwork man stiffly moved away from the wall.  It took a few steps.  However, with a screech of metal parts, it stopped.

Jack stopped too, when he heard Miss Copper behind him, clearing her throat.

Copper crop 1

Copper, Dreamstime

“Jackalope, what are you doing?” she asked in a too calm voice.

Jack’s horn shaped antennae twisted and tilted as he considered how to respond before turning.

“Oh, what have we here?” the Alchemist chortled.  “Were you making yourself a friend, Copper?  My, he’s a big one!”

Copper swatted Cornelis Drebbel, and the Alchemist popped away from her.  An instant later he appeared across the room, beside Jack.

Jack held out a vial of glowing purple goo.

“Alchemist, you can finish this clockwork creature.  I kept this sample from the pool that was created the night you gave me life,” Jack said.  “Then he would be able to protect Miss Copper and you if you insist on leaving the mountain.”

Copper’s face relaxed.  She looked at Jack in the soft way that made him feel balanced.

“Dear boy,” the Alchemist began then cleared his throat.  “Your transformation… well, you see, it was a side-effect of uncontrollable events.”

“Do you mean I was an accident?” Jack asked, causing Cornelis to blush.

“Well accents happen no matter how careful a parent might be,” Cornelis murmured as if to himself and smirked.  “Plus, there’s that mysterious device in your chest.  Copper won’t let me take it apart so I can unravel how it works.”

Cogs and gears made soft sounds.  Jack’s antennae twisted so that one pointed to Copper and the other to Cornelis.

“He means the heart my grandfather made,” Copper told him.  “Before the things that happened that night, the heart already made you more than an ordinary clockwork creature.  We don’t have another one.”

heart-red blue Pixaby

Pixaby

“Then you should remove the heart and use it in this one,” Jack declared, pointing to the huge clockwork man.  “I’m not big enough to provide adequate protection.”

“No!” Copper exclaimed.

“I’m afraid it wouldn’t work out the same way,” the Alchemist told him.  “I wouldn’t really dismantle you.  Besides, Copper and I would have a huge collie shangle if I tried.”

Jack was assailed by an over-abundance of what he termed emotional data.  He struggled to process so much at once.  Mutely he again moved the vial of glowing goo toward the Alchemist.

“Well, I suppose we could try,” Cornelis Drebbel muttered.

The Alchemist found a bit of chalk and drew a circle around the clockwork man.  He added various symbols.  Jack only recognized a few of them.  As he drew, Cornelis murmured in a language that Jack thought was a combination of Latin and an archaic West Germanic language.

The symbols and the Alchemist took on a green glow.  Cornelis poured the purple contents of the vile along the circle.

Nothing happened.

The Alchemist looked crestfallen.

Abruptly, blinding light filled the storage room.  When the light subsided, Jack saw the clockwork creature had changed.

“It wasn’t enough,” the Alchemist muttered.

When Jack was transformed, he was completely covered with flesh and fur and became sentient.  However, the clockwork man had random patches of exposed metal and machinery.  As Jack looked into his eyes, they seemed… unfinished.

“I don’t think he’s fully processed,” Jack commented.  “Perhaps it will take some time.

The clockwork man turned to Copper.  He dropped to one knee.

Steampunk black man Brigitte Werner_Pixabay

Brigitte Werner, Pixaby

Haec protegimus,” he said in a rusty sounding voice.

“Blast it all, Cornelis Drebbel!  Why did you have to use Latin in that spell,” Copper complained.

“It means this we guard,” the Alchemist explained in a voice that combined awe and self-satisfaction.

“The Guardian!” Jack exclaimed in delight.

The end.

This story was written for Diana Peach’s monthly write photo prompt. You can play along  at her May Speculative Fiction #Writingprompt.

If you haven’t been part of my new serial, Brother Love here are links to the first two episodes.  Chapter 3 will go live on Saturday at midnight Eastern.  I’ll meet you at the crossroads!

Chapter 1.   Chapter 2.

T

***

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 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: It Could Be Raining

Welcome to another Thriving Thursday, everyone. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene here with a guest post for the Story Reading Ape.  Since Chris Graham is my host for these monthly posts, I have disabled comments here.  Please click over and say hello to the awesome Ape (click here).

Thriving Thursdays:  It Could Be Raining

It’s hard to thrive when things get tough. During difficult situations, it’s hard to even think of your self in a positive way. 

When you’re trying so hard, and still not seeing that silver lining — and people begin a response with “At least it’s not…(whatever)” it doesn’t make you feel much better, does it?

However, it can help to remember that you aren’t alone.  Know there are people everywhere who are also trying to climb out of a hole of muck, or dig their way out of a pit of despair. They are trying to thrive.  Just like you.  

(My apologies if this video is not available in your area, or if commercials were added.)

So keep on trying.

Lately, I think even trying to try — that qualifies as trying too.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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.

Get Caught Reading — The Sign of the Ape 4 (2016 Rerun Conclusion)

Atonement bookshelf

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

     Welcome, one and all — to this re-run of last year’s Get Caught Reading mini-series.  Without further ado, here’s the conclusion!

***

It’s been fun participating in Get Caught Reading Month.  I hope my zany and bizarre story encouraged people of all ages to read.  Last week my real-world schedule caused me to put blogging on the shelf.  But look what grand company I had, thanks to Chris Graham!  

When we left our heroes…

As many of you know, a few elite bloggers (and their pets) banded together with one quest — catch the Story Reading Ape reading.  During the first chapter, I found a shimmering airship outside my window.  The pilot looked suspiciously like Cornelis Drebbel.  Before I knew it, I was in Time Square beginning a chase to “catch” the Story Reading Ape in the act of reading.

In Chapter 2  Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen and I met a number of author-bloggers (and their pets) who joined the quest to catch the illusive Ape. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel , Christoph Fischer, John W. Howell, and blogger Dan Antion.

Then last time a new duo was added to the intrepid band of bloggers –  Hugh Roberts and adorable Toby.  But to the astonishment of our intrepid band, everyone became anime characters when Cornelis Drebbel’s alchemy went wrong.  Now for the conclusion of The Sign of the Ape.

Sign of the Ape 4

Ape London Atonement

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

Toby barked frantically at the pavement and scratched at it with his little paws.  Doubtless, the dog could hear  John W. Howell, Dan Antion, and their pets in the tunnel beneath the street.  Finally, Hugh couldn’t take seeing the Corgi so upset. He jumped back onto the big construction loader and started digging a hole in the road — much to the dismay of the drivers in the area.

Annette Abens Cats

My phone buzzed at me.  When I answered, I was greeted with a loud chorus of meowing from  Annette Rochelle Aben’s cats.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.  And yes, that did remind me of the fuzzy ears and long tail that came with the anime version of me.  I shot Cornelis Drebbel a nasty look and muttered that I’d get him for it.  Then a second call got patched onto the meow-wow.  The four naughty chimps  translated for Annette’s kitties via text message.

“You’ve got to figure out how to get to London. The Story Reading Ape is there.  He left Tokyo before your airship even touched down!” came the message from the chimps.

London?  Well the chimps should know.  They were tight with the Ape.  But London?  I hadn’t figured out how to stop being an anime yet!  How could I possibly get to London?  I sure couldn’t go as an anime — and especially not in that horrid schoolgirl uniform!

Although I was rather shocked that  Mary J. McCoy-Dressel  and Suzanne DeBrango  seemed to take their cartoon situation in stride.  Their dogs, Kasha and Percy, didn’t seem to think it was worth barking about.  Maybe I would feel differently if I were a beautiful goddess or a cute giant-robot-driving future girl, I thought.  I steamed and stewed… I’d never forgive Cornelis for putting me in such an outfit.

Toby reading Hugh

Toby caught reading

Toby gave an excited yip and Hugh turned off the loader.  Once again I heard that crazy, funky guitar music of the original James Bond theme.  Then a sports car roared up through the big hole dug by the construction loader.

Atonement Hot Rod

Thanks again Chris!

John W. Howell  and Dan Antion, along with dogs Lucy and Maddie, and MiMi the tuxedo cat were in the sports car.  Oddly I could have sworn I saw the Boxer, Lucy driving the car.  But who am I to say that was strange. After all, I was an anime schoolgirl with cat ears and a tail…

Lucy close up_John

Lucy, who owns John W. Howell

I could see Dan wave from the back seat that everyone in the car was okay.  John leaned out of the passenger window.  He had a weird looking guitar.  I asked where he got it.

maddie_26502383972_o

Maddie who owns Dan Antion

 

MiMi reading_Dan

MiMi caught reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A strange taxi driver with bushy eyebrows gave this guitar to me,” John told me.  “But no matter what notes I strum, it will only play that James Bond theme,” he added and played the chorus to demonstrate.

However, the music abruptly changed to the Goldfinger theme.  Glittering clouds of golden dust formed in the sky.  John put down the guitar, but it continued to play.  The golden dust settled on everyone (and every pet) who had become anime.

I felt my stomach expand and contract like the beginning of a very unfortunate gastritis attack.  The most embarrassingly loud belch escaped my lips.  However, everyone else produced similar burps, so I was a little less mortified.  We were anime no longer, but the dratted costumes remained.  I muttered a new curse to Cornelis Drebbel about my uniform.

“Thank heavens you’re a redhead again,” John Howell commented.  “The raven locks were nice, but it just wasn’t right.”Animated Teagan book

Then with sharp popping sounds, one by one, my friends began to disappear. Frightened beyond reason, I screamed at the alchemist for an explanation.

“My dear, do calm down,” he said in that droll voice.  “Everyone is perfectly safe.  I sent each of them directly to their homes,” the alchemist explained as I stammered and tried to ask why.  “Darling, remember it is Get Caught Reading Month.  May is almost over!  How can they read anything if they are trotting around the globe with you?  And you still haven’t finished “The Sign of the Four” for that matter,” he told me, adding a tsk-tsk sound for good measure.

Cornelis took my hand and suddenly we were inside the giant robot.  “I’ve always wanted to pilot one of these,” he confessed with a giggle.  “Next stop, London!”

As Cornelis flew the alchemically powered robot, I wandered, exploring the many nooks and crannies.  It was more spacious than I expected.  The sound of deeply pitched chuckling caused me to stop in my tracks.  I strained to hear.  It seemed to be only one voice, like someone talking on the phone.  Ever so carefully I moved closer.Naughty Chimps

“You four truly are naughty,” the voice rumbled.  “Sending all those bloggers on such a wild goose chase.  Although I must admit, a free ride back to London in a magical giant robot is a memorable adventure.  I will see you naughty rascals when I get home, but for now I have reading to catch up on.  I think Gwydion may have just gone too far for Ralda to forgive him.  I really must see what happens next in Atonement, Tennessee

With a silent gasp I realized the Story Reading Ape was hiding right under my nose!  I removed my cell phone from my skirt pocket and switched on the camera.  I crept around the corner… Gotcha!

Ape Caught with phone

As I checked the image, the spoils of my victory, my long tail swished in a self-satisfied rhythm.  

…Tail?  I looked behind myself.  The tail was still there…

“Cornelis Drebbel!”  I yelled.

Here ends The Sign of the Ape.

***********************

Thanks to all of you for tuning-in for this zany chase.  I’m glad you were “caught reading” here at Teagan’s Books.  As you know, this is a workday, so I might be delayed in answering comments.

Special thanks to all the bloggers who participated in this madcap adventure — and to their pets as well!

 

GCR pets

The Sign of the Ape, furry family cast

Row 1:  Percy, Crystal, Lucy, Kasha

Row 2:  Claudius, Oh Kitty, and Sweeney, and Toby

Row 3:  Wilma, Greta, Maddie, MiMi

 

Copyright © 2016 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Special mention to Christopher Graham for the marvelous “Atonement, Tennessee” images.