Jazz Age Wednesdays 29 ― Hullaba Lulu 4

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas.  Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays

My “partner in crime” (Rob Goldstein) did the video above.  I’m using as a review of last week’s episode.  I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein

Update:  Here’s a fun related post that Rob did over at his blog, “10 Everyday Items Invented in the 1920s* — click over and enjoy.

Today we have Chapter 4 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu.  The “dieselpunk*” aspect of the story is beginning to show in this episode.  The “three things” Rob sent for this chapter were downright educational.  Some of the “things” take a bit more writing for me to work into the story than others.  So please bear with me for this somewhat longer episode.

 If you need to review Chapter 2, click here.  

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Today’s chapter picks up where Chapter 3 left off, with Lulu in her “secret place,” the abandoned subway station.  The Ouija board spelled out nonsense letters.  She thought she was alone until…

Suddenly, I felt cool fingers touch my shoulder.  I jumped backward and screamed.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 4

Ectoplasm, Jung, Orthophonic Victrola

Magic table Lulu Valentino Gramps good portraits

Lulu, Gramps, & Valentino in the Abandoned Subway Station, by Rob Goldstein

My elbow hit one of the dead soldiers lined up on the counter.  As my scream echoed through the abandoned subway station the empty beer bottle toppled with a domino effect.  The entire row went down, rolling and clattering.  Several fell to the floor, but astonishingly none of them broke.  I wondered if the coat of dust on the floor was that thick.

Maybe it was, because a little cloud went up and I sneezed loudly.  As I wiped my nose on my sleeve I looked up at the owner of the cool fingers that had startled me.

Valentino.

For a moment I wondered how the mysterious man had gotten into my secret subway station.  Then I realized that I had not locked the door behind me.

“Your rouge needs blending,” he commented.

Once again, he looked at me as if he had stumbled upon a new species.  It made me wonder if I had a booger in my nostril.  I touched a knuckle to my nose uncomfortably and glanced around for a mirror.

Val hat Lulu trumpet expressions

Lulu and Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

I noticed Valentino held a red leather-bound volume.  It looked like some kind of logbook.  He casually set it on the counter near the Ouija board.  He put his hand to my cheek.  Using his thumb, he rubbed the raspberry colored cosmetic a few times.

“So, what’s that?” I inquired about the book.

Lifting the red cover, I saw hand written notes and illustrations.  Valentino laid his hand on the book cover, closing it.

“The pictures in it are unusual.  Did you draw them too?”

“Yes, Lulu.  I got the idea from Carl Jung.  It’s sort of a travelogue.  It wouldn’t make sense to anyone other than myself,” he replied.

(More about Jung’s own red notebook here)

I looked up at his face, evaluating his expression.  Brooksy, a classy dresser in that tuxedo, Valentino was suavely calm.  Maybe too cool.  It made me want to poke at the façade, get a rise out of him.  I wondered what would annoy him.

Val and Tom green

Valentino and Tom Driberg, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino had a charisma that was hard to describe.  I didn’t want to be attracted to him for the simple reason that my friends acted foolishly giddy over him.  I figured he had that effect on most women.  Maybe on men too, based on the way that journalist, Tom Driberg had gazed at him.

So focused was I on Valentino that I had not noticed my grandfather enter the room.  I was almost as startled to see Gramps as I had been when Valentino came up behind me.  I thought of the brief stare-down they had outside the speakeasy the night before.

The atmosphere around the two men seemed heavy.  It reminded me of ectoplasm.  I felt I would’ve needed a knife to cut through the gauzy membrane of it.

Then again, maybe it actually is ectoplasm, I thought.

Gradually a faint aura enveloped the two men.  It trailed away from them, becoming thicker, more visible as it stretched back to the Ouija board.  The planchette raced back and forth across the wooden board.  Apparently, I was the only one who noticed.

Gramps Valentino sepia Station

Gramps and Valentino in the abandoned station, by Rob Goldstein

Gramps swallowed hard and his eyes were tight as he fixed Valentino with a cold stare.  That was the second time I had seen Gramps encounter the enigmatic man.  Both times my grandfather’s intensity, his expressions and manner befuddled me.

“So that’s what brought you back?  That old Ouija board?  I guess coming back to get something is not as cold hearted as returning on a whim.  But it would have been better if you hadn’t come back at all,” Gramps told him in a level tone.

Horsefeathers!  My Gramps already knew Valentino?  But…

The red leather book flew open and the planchette jumped from the Ouija board to the book.  I hurried to look at the pages before Valentino could get a chance to close it again.

The left-side page was filled with words written in elaborate script.  The hand was neat but difficult to read through the gauzy nimbus.  I wanted to pick up the book, but I was afraid to put my hand into the ectoplasm.  The right-side page bore a hand drawn map.  I gazed at it in sudden inspiration.  I grabbed the notepad where I penciled the letters of the Ouija board to which the planchette pointed moments before, Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A.  My eyes went back to the map.  I spat out the piece of saltwater taffy that as still in my mouth.

English_ouija_board

English Ouija board, Wiki Media Commons

“Atlantic City?” I read the title of the map.  “Bushwa!  Couldn’t it point to Paris, or Cairo, or even Shanghai?  But no― Atlantic City.  And why the devil did it spell the words backward?” I commented incredulously.

Valentino reached the desk in a single step.  He didn’t even flinch at putting his hand into the aura.  He picked up his travelogue.  He snapped it shut and the nimbus burst.  The noise of tiny pops repeatedly assailed my ears, like a string of lady finger firecrackers.  Bits of ectoplasm showered down in sparks.

I tried to take the book from him, but he held it tightly to his chest.  He gave me a derisive look that was probably meant to make me stop.  I desperately wanted to get another look at that page.  The only thing I had been able to make out in the handwriting was a name.  Lauren.

“Lauren was my mother’s name,” I hissed into his ear, not wanting Gramps to hear.

“I know, but save it for later,” he whispered back as he twisted away from my hands.

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

Pearl burst into my erstwhile secret place.  I stopped trying to get my hands on the book.  My fair-haired pal was clearly distraught.

“Lulu, you have to help me stop her!” Pearl cried.  “It’s Rose, she’s going to blouse.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” I assured Pearl.  “I don’t think Rose has anywhere else to go, no family or anything,” I commented, but paused for a second as a suspicious feeling tickled at my mind.  “At least she never talks about them.  Why would Rose be leaving?”

“I don’t know,” Pearl said near tears.  “Especially after all those gifts came.  But she is.  She’s packing her suitcase and everything!”

When I wanted to know what Pearl meant by gifts, she described several expensive items that were left at our friend’s door.

“And there was a beautiful Chanel suit, and even a big Orthophonic Victrola,” Pearl explained.  “A note came with it that was addressed to Margosha.  So, it wasn’t even meant for her.  I told her that if she didn’t want the stuff she could just send it back, but she was all upset about it.”

Valentino surprised me by telling Pearl, “I thought you were Margosha.  The name means pearl.”

Pearl Lulu Waves

Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

“Did you leave the goods then,” I asked him, and I was surprised to hear the accusing tone in my voice.

“No, but I’ve a good idea who did,” he told me.  “Pearl, go get your friend and bring her here.  It’s not safe for her to travel alone.”

Pearl daubed a lace edged handkerchief at her eyes.  She brightened considerably.

“It’d be a shame to send back the Victrola.  It’s the bee’s knees,” she sniffled and said, trying to joke.

“Not to worry.  I have one on my train.  We can let it play on the way,” he told her.

I saw Gramps shift his stance.  His hand twitched as though he was about to reach toward something.  Or maybe someone.

Valentino turned and picked up the Ouija board.

“Hey!  That’s mine,” I protested.

Gramps shocked me by saying, “It belongs to him.”

I turned to my grandfather in sputtering confusion.

Gramps_Red 001x

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

“I didn’t realize it had a defect when I left it.  That explains why I never got a message…” Valentino told Gramps in an apologetic tone that left me more muddled than ever.  “That’s why it gave you the letters in reverse order,” he added turning back to me.

My hands were still extended toward my Ouija board.  Too many strange words and thoughts were flooding into my mind.  They caught in a bottleneck, leaving me immobile.

“I’ll get you another one,” Valentino told me.

His mouth held an impatient twist as he looked at my outstretched hands.  He sounded like he was talking to a petulant child.  The whole situation was getting me in a later.

“This Ouija board is part of my train,” he added in an annoyed tone that was tinged with guilt.  “It’s part of the navigation system.  This one was a backup.  The primary board was corrupted and a default setting sent the train here, where the backup board was left.  I didn’t know it was bringing me here.  I didn’t mean to cause you pain,” he added, looking at my grandfather.

***

The End

***

Now I’ve exposed another of the challenges of writing “three things” and/or serials — achieving the right combination of stopping point and length. Applesauce, I do try…  

Will Rose arrive safely at the abandoned subway station?  Why is she in danger anyway? Lulu has a mysterious mom that apparently no one talks about?  How the heck are a Ouija board and a Victrola part of the workings of a train?  Must be dieselpunk…  At least some of these questions will be answered next time with Hullaba Lulu Chapter 5 — Automat, Tilt-a-Whirl, Cheeseburger. 

1927 Orthophonic Victrola Ad

In 1925 Orthophonic Victrola* was a big innovation in sound reproduction.  The new electrically recorded phonograph records sounded harsh on the old Victrolas.  The had to consider all sorts of frequencies and even how long the horn had to be to produce a good sound — not to mention how to fold the resulting nine-foot long horn into a cabinet. 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there. He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes. 

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

 

 

PS:  I can’t forget my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 31 — A Perversion of Phantoms

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s great to see you!  In this chapter, Bedlam relates the next part of the story as it was told to her.

Previously in Thistledown

In Episode-29, A Hummingbird, we left Bedlam and Bob the hummingbird far away from Thistledown, their home. Though neither knew quite where the other was, they were both in the colorless world with the “scary faeries.”  In their own way, both felt the need to save Thistledown from the terrible potentials of Bedlam’s vision. 

In Episode-30, Meanwhile Back in Thistledown, the day of the grand Midsummer party finally arrived.  All the hummingbirds of the realm gathered to take part.  However, the entertainment for the party was overtaken by dark magic.  The faeries of Thistledown saw, projected onto the clouds, Bedlam’s horrific vision.  All the hummingbirds flew away.

Ghosts Thomas Breeson Salbert hill fortifications Old NATO station

Thomas Bresson via Wiki Media Commons. Salbert Hill fortifications Old NATO station

From Episode 14, The Etheraris Spiregris

“A Perversion of Phantoms,” River read aloud the title at the top of the timeworn page. 

 The long muskox hair fell limp against the page.  My hand dropped, resting against the page as Rhymer and I echoed River in stating the name of the spell.  All three of us were touching the pages of the incantation as we spoke.

 The three of us exchanged a look.  It was spontaneous, a coincidence.  We didn’t mean to speak in chorus but as one we gasped.

 “A Perversion of Phantoms!”

 Abruptly the heavy volume snapped shut.  The periwinkle muskox hair was still within, like a bookmark.  The room spun wildly.  It was like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

 Then the world shattered. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 31

A Perversion of Phantoms

Rope Bare feet Dark_eva-blue-42498

Eva Blue, Unsplash

I relate this part of the story as it was told to me by my friends River Mindshadow and Rhymer Rainbow.

My friends and I had held precariously to the periwinkle colored muskox hair as we dangled in the great abyss.  Bob the hummingbird had brought me the magic-charged hair to guide me as I searched for understanding regarding my visions.  At that moment the fine hair was the only thing between the three of us and a potentially endless fall within the black abyss.  The huge furry faery, Field Yewwasp had rescued Rhymer Rainbow and then River Mindshadow.

(See Episode – 22, A Hair Aflame)

Thanks to the efforts of the crochet circle and Field, my friends were safe.  However, their well-being was damaged from their time in the dark place.  Willow Rainbow, Rhymer’s aunt called for the healer, Lavender Cozy.  The healer borrowed the big moonstone from Crescent Glimmer that she had used to examine what might be wrong beyond my physical ills.  Lavender used the moonstone on River and Rhymer.

(See Episode – 8, Shadows of Body and Mind)

Maiden and Moon_The Pink Fairy Book_1897_Andrew Lang artist unknown

The Maiden and the Moon, from The Pink Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang artist unknown circa 1897

Lavender shook her head in worry about their condition.  She ordered that my friends stay in bed and not be moved.  So, they stayed at Willow Rainbow’s charming yellow house, where they were when they were pulled from the abyss.  She wouldn’t allow them to even go to any of the Midsummer parties.

“It’s as if they are depressed,” Lavender Cozy said.  “That’s a very dangerous condition for faeries.”

Depression was unheard of in Thistledown, so the healer had to explain the condition.  She emphasized its seriousness.  She said it was not something that the girls could simply shake off or decide to change their moods.

The most worrisome part was that neither of the girls cared that they were missing the parties.  When the day arrived for the grand Midsummer party at Peaches Dragonfly’s orchard, Rhymer and River stayed in bed, without protest.  Concerned, Willow Rainbow stayed home to watch over the girls.  However, they finally persuaded her to go to the spectacular party Peaches was hosting.  It seemed to make them feel a little better that Willow would enjoy herself, so the woman reluctantly agreed.

After a while, shadows filled the bedroom.  Rhymer went to the window and looked at the sky.

“Oh my!  Such dark clouds in the sky.  Could there be a storm?  On Midsummer that’s not the norm,” Rhymer exclaimed.

Something thumped somewhere downstairs.  River jumped out of bed and hurried down the stairs toward the sound.  Rhymer went after River, long rainbow-colored hair streaming behind her as she ran.  They paused for a moment, waiting for any other sound.  Then they heard a rustling sound, like the pages of a book rapidly turning.

Ancient Book daniele-levis-pelusi-221717

Daniele Levis Pelusi, Unsplash

“I thought your aunt Willow put that book away.  Do you think…” River began.

“That’s coming from the library.  Let’s not tarry,” Rhymer replied.

Opening the door, the first thing the girls noticed was a wide empty spot on the top shelf, where Willow had put the ancient tome.  On the floor, the covers were open and the pages started to turn.  The Etheraris Spiregris moved of its own accord.

Cautiously the girls approached the powerful book that had gotten them into so much trouble.  Step by step they edged closer to the tome.  They were almost upon it when the sun seemed to go behind a heavy cloud.

Looking out the open window they saw that the sky had not clouded because of weather.  A thick flock of hummingbirds had darkened the sky.

Orange Pink Hummers Janet Weight Reed

Janet Weight Reed

“That must be every hummingbird in Thistledown!” River cried.

Then the tiny birds started streaming through the window into the library.  They went directly to the rustling pages of the Etheraris Spiregris.  A dozen of the humming birds flew in a circle around the ancient book.  The pages stilled.  Then the birds swooped down and tore out the page on which the book stopped.

River and Rhymer saw the page clearly as the hummingbirds tore it free.  It was the page containing the spell A Perversion of Phantoms.

The birds that had entered the farmhouse flew back outside.  It took several of the tiny avians to carry the page, but it didn’t seem difficult as their flight was so perfectly coordinated.  Then the mass of hummingbirds disappeared without a trace.

Everything became unnaturally quiet.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Willow Rainbow  http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Crescent Glimmer  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Lavender Cozy  https://doctorly.wordpress.com/

Valley Hummer https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

Impossible as it seems, it looks like all of the hummingbirds may have left Thistledown.  Tune in next weekend when I hope I’ll be able to tell you more.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

For an entirely different variety of “fae” read Atonement, Tennessee.  I’m currently editing book-2 and hope to publish soon.

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

 

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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 28 ― Hullaba Lulu 3

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ghost train station with color

Image by Rob Goldstein

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  You’re at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode brings us to Chapter 3 of the new series, Hullaba Lulu.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties. 

Update:  Here’s a link to a stunning video Rob made for the story. Please click over and check it out — it’s pos-i-lutely the berries!

Don’t Bring Lulu

I’m having a pos-i-lutely fabulous time working with artist Rob Goldstein.  He’s creating gorgeous artwork, starting inspiring discussions, and sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story.   If you need to review Chapter 2, click here.  Today we catch up with our bearcat Lulu the day after all the wild happenings in the abandoned subway tunnel.  Read on to see where Rob’s next three things took me for this chapter.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Valentino went up the ladder first to push aside the heavy manhole cover.  However, it was already open.  We climbed up to the street.  I looked around for my friends.  In the distance I saw the two gals climbing the stairs to Pearl’s front door.

A sulfuric smell accompanied the strike of a match.  I turned to see Tom Driberg leaning nonchalantly against a Rolls-Royce.  Cigarette smoke curled above his head as he jotted something on a small notepad.  He looked at Valentino the same way he had looked at Rose and Pearl.

Without a word, Tom walked into the night.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 3

Saltwater Taffy, Raspberry-Red Rouge, Ouija Board

 

Lulu 5

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

The heels of my T-strap shoes clicked rhythmically against the cracked pavement, keeping me company.  I did a step-slide-step-brush of the Camel Walk dance as I walked down the deserted tunnel.  I was supposed to meet Rose and Pearl for a late breakfast.  However, neither of them showed.  So, I headed down to my secret place to console myself. 

Besides, maybe I’ll run into that man again.  I guess anybody who looks like the Sheik of Araby has a right to call himself Valentino.  But still… why didn’t Pearl or Rose show up? I’m the one who’s always late.

I remembered how oddly my friends had acted when that journalist, Tom Driberg, turned up the night before.  Then I thought about that car-full of government-looking types.  I suppressed a pang of genuine worry.  I did another a step-slide-step-brush to lighten my thoughts.

vAL Grams Station_012x

Gramps in the abandoned subway tunnel — Art by Rob Goldstein

Ever since I was a kid, Gramps had told me I wasn’t allowed in that part of the abandoned subway.  He always said it wasn’t safe, although I couldn’t tell that it was any different from the rest of the tunnels.  So of course, the forbidden area was my childhood playground.  The old station was the best place in the world for telling ghost stories.

The key to the station door hung from a ribbon around my neck.  When I found the key, years before, I started locking the door.  It became my special secret place and I didn’t want just anybody hanging out there.

My stash of saltwater taffy was behind the counter that had been the ticket desk when the station was in use.  I pulled off a sticky piece of the candy.  In a mood to reminisce, I took out my box of girlhood treasures. 

When I was little, one of the highlights of my week was when Gramps would let me take unclaimed things from the speakeasy’s lost-and-found.  One of those items was a dainty gilt embossed tin from Dorin of Paris*.  I removed the top of the raspberry-red rouge container.  Inside the lid was a tiny mirror.  I winked at my reflection and daubed a bit of the cosmetic on my cheeks.

Clumsy as ever, my elbow brushed against one of the dusty dead soldiers I had lined up over the years.  I caught the empty beer bottle just before it went over the edge of the counter. 

 

Lulu at table in station

Lulu in her secret place.  Image by Rob Goldstein

My knee bumped against something on the shelf under the desk.  I grinned when I saw what it was. 

“Well, hello there.  I haven’t seen you for a long time,” I muttered to my old plaything.

It had been a long time since I’d thought about the Ouija board.  I wasn’t sure if it had belonged to my mother.  It looked so old that it might have belonged to Gramps.  Anyhow, nobody seemed to use it, so I had quietly taken it to my secret place.

I bent to take the Ouija board from the shelf.  I placed it on the counter.  Taking out my handkerchief I wiped a coating of dust from the wooden board.  The letters of the alphabet formed an arch across the polished wood-grain, and the numbers one through nine, and then zero, were in a line below.

English_ouija_board

Ouija Board, Wiki Media Commons

Most people would have said the station could use a good cleaning.  However, I liked the spooky feeling of the cobwebs in corners and the dust on the floor.  My footprints made a chaotic pattern in the dust, back and forth from the door to the desk and throughout the station.  Any prints other than my own had long since blended into the dust.

Or so I had thought.  I walked around the desk, intent on investigating.  My hand still rested on the scratched surface.  My eyes widened when I realized there were new foot prints.  They were considerably larger than mine and came from pointy toed shoes.  That’s when, from the corner of my eye, I saw a movement near my hand.

I jerked back around to the Ouija board.  The planchette moved.  The small, heart-shaped piece of wood was meant to glide across the board’s surface, with the light, unguided pressure from the fingertips of the participants.  It was supposed to reveal subconscious thoughts or clairvoyant messages from beyond.

As I watched in stunned silence, the planchette moved from letter to letter, with no one touching it.

Quickly I grabbed a pad and pencil from the desk.  I wrote the letters to which it pointed.  Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A.

Suddenly, I felt cool fingers touch my shoulder.  I jumped backward and screamed.

Ghost Station_017x

The abandoned subway station, by Rob Goldstein

***

The End

***

The Camel Walk* dance originated in the early 20th century.  Variations of it have been popular over the decades.  If you want to pick up Lulu’s dance steps there several are how-to videos.  Here’s one for a modern country version:

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there. He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes. 

Rob sent more “things” for Chapter 4 — Ectoplasm, Jung, and Orthophonic Victrola.  Be sure to come back next week to see where those take Lulu.

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

 

PS:  I can’t forget my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 30 — Meanwhile Back in Thistledown

Saturday, April 7, 2018

 

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown.  Things have taken a much more serious tone in recent episodes.  Our friends might resort to drastic measures as they try to fix the situation. 

Bob the hummingbird has something up his tiny sleeve (err rather wing), but he sees no way to accomplish what he needs to do without using the dark magic of the cave of the abyss. There is not enough magic in the colorless world where he followed Bedlam Thunder. 

The friends Bedlam has made in that murky place think the only answer to saving Thistledown from the reality of Bedlam’s horrific vision is to sever the link between the two worlds.  Bedlam’s seer instincts tell her that breaking the link would be disastrous for both worlds.  She also knows her friend Bob is there somewhere, but his whereabouts are unknown to her. 

With all that, it’s been quite a while since we paid a visit to the home of Bob and Bedlam — Thistledown.  The faeries there were in the midst of their weeks long Midsummer celebrations.  So we return to them now, as Bedlam looks back and describes what was happening in her home.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 30

Meanwhile Back in Thistledown

Be Still And Know

Image by Kirt Tisdale

Some people think it should have bothered me, hurt me, even scarred me, but I couldn’t see it that way.  Most of the Thistledown faeries are a positive, happy, generous lot.  Their joy multiplies more and more as it is shared.  They also live for parties.  That’s why it didn’t bother me to know that everyone went ahead with the Midsummer parties even though they had no idea where I was or what had happened to me.

The party Peaches Dragonfly gave was the grandest of them all.  Her cousin Pick Dragonfly made sure the liquid refreshments flowed, including his special agave juice.  (See Episode-9, Gone to the Dogs.)

Poppy Songbird did aerial acrobatics high above the stage.  As the Dragon’s Nest band played, her cousin Holly Songbird made a dramatic entrance through the beautiful arch that Carver Eastdoor created for the occasion.  Candy of all sorts exploded from the arch when Holly hit the high note of her opening song.  (See Episode-7 Doors and Doors.)

Then Skypainter Morning flew high above the stage.  He had finally perfected the moving image he wanted to use.  He tied the magic of the scrying pool to the images he cast against the clouds.  It was unlike anything that had ever been seen in Thistledown.  The partygoers gasped and shouted, cheering Skypainter on as he made the cloud painting more complex and realistic.  (See Episode-4 A Finder.)

Sunrise

Sunrise by Kirt Tisdale

 

He recruited Moon Shadow and Valley Hummer to help.  Moon played her flute, adding emotion to the moving paintings.  Valley summoned the huge flock of brightly colored hummingbirds.  Their flight was like an intricate dance to the music and echoed the movements of the paintings.

That’s when things started to go wrong.

The hummingbirds stopped their aerial dance.  For a moment they silently hovered in place.  The onlookers murmured to one another in puzzled, worried tones.  The hummingbirds began to chirp to each other.  Their voices became a raucous cacophony.  Abruptly all the hummingbirds flew away.

Then Skypainter’s wonderful images wavered as the clouds darkened.  The paintings rippled as if something might have dropped into the scrying pool, which was part of the magic that Sky used to project them.  Gradually the images transformed into something horrible.

Replacing the glorious paintings Sky had created in the clouds was the horrible vision which the very same scrying pool had inflicted upon me.  That vision had devastated me, and as a seer, I was somewhat trained for it.  The horror of it was too much for the faeries of Thistledown.  They cried and screamed.  Chaos ensued.

The Midsummer party fell into bedlam.

Red Smoke_ Wong Unsplash

Altered image via Unsplash

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Pick Dragonfly http://johnwhowell.com

Peaches Dragonfly https://apuginthekitchen.com 

Poppy Songbird https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Holly Songbird https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyWrV-dmm_oWHnc50YKSVnA

Carver Eastdoor https://nofacilities.com/

Skypainter Morning https://thewallgallery.com/

Moon Shadow https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com/

Valley Hummer https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

 

Tune in next weekend for Episode 31 — A Perversion of Phantoms.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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 & Hullaba Review

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hi ya’ll. Yes, you are at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Pull up a chair and get comfortable!

The Train_008

Art by Rob Goldstein

I’m working on the story for Chapter 3 of Hullaba Lulu.  Rob has already created a collection of wonderful images, and sent “three things” to drive the story. However, I’ve been dealing with “stuff” again for the past week (and weekend), and it kept me from writing.  So rather than give you a lower “quality” (not to mention rushed) episode I’m sharing a couple of things in stead.

Artist Rob Goldstein is collaborating with me for the new series, Hullaba Lulu. Rob shared some of his art for the “Lulu-verse” at his blog. There are new images, and some that you might not see here during the series.  Click here, it’s a fun post.

Magic table purple seated Gramps Valentino Lulu

Gramps, Valentino, and Lulu — by Rob Goldstein

Next… I’m late sharing this because I didn’t realize she had done it.  Dynamic author and translator, Olga Núñez Miret recently reviewed my current novel, “Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients 1.”  I’m so excited about her review that I had to share it right away.  Here’s Olga’s review as posted at Good Reads.

A fun and delicious book for readers with a sense of adventure who admire creativity I am a big fan of Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, as an author, a blogger, and I was lucky to discover her blog a few years back, and although I missed some of her early serials at the time of their initial conception, I have managed to catch up with them over time. I have also read her novel, Atonement, Tennessee and know that apart from an imagination that knows no bounds, and a love of period research and attention to detail. (You can check my review here.) She has a way with words and can create magical characters that readers get to care for and make them live through situations that never fail to surprise us and keep us on tenterhooks.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

As she explains in her description, she has been running a number of serials on her blog, pantser style. She asks her readers for things and/or ingredients, and she makes up a story that keeps developing as her imagination, and the things and ingredients, dictate. I am in awe at her creativity and I must recommend her blog (Teagan’s Books), as I know she is working on her next serial (and her process of creation is totally interactive).

Many of her readers (I included) kept telling her we would like to have the option of having her serials in book format, and eventually, she relented.  I have reviewed her first serial in book format, Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story (you can read my review here). Many of the things I said about the previous book can be applied to this one.

Young Lucy color blond

Young Lucille Ball

This is another light, fun, and fast book, with the same protagonist, Pip, a young woman, a flapper (as she keeps reminding herself and us, because being modern at the time was not an easy task), who, on this occasion, is sent to stay with her grandmother, Granny Phanny (she is a fabulous character, and although she would hate to be called a flapper, she is an utterly modern woman) in Savannah so she can learn how to cook. That helps introduce the ingredients part of the story, and the culinary theme adds a layer of interest to the story, although I would advise not to read the book when you’re very hungry, because although sometimes the ingredients don’t end up in a dish, they often do, and they all sound delicious.

Pip, who narrates the story in the first person, is recovering from a heartache and meets a cast of wonderful characters, from a family of Chinese restaurateurs, to a vet and his doctor wife, G-men, police officers, mobsters, and there is even a paranormal element in the story. Oh, and let’s not forget a collection of pets that will warm your hearts and make you laugh.

Pip’s language remains as peculiar as usual, and the author seamlessly includes the popular and fashionable expressions of the era in her book. I challenge readers not to end up using some of them, especially some of Pip’s favourites.

Studebaker blue 1920s 

I recommended readers of the previous serial to play a game and try and imagine in which direction they would send the story, or how they would use the three things at the beginning of each chapter. You can do the same here, and if you’re fond of cooking, I’m sure you will have fun exploring possible ways of using the ingredients, both to cook and to advance the story. And by the end of the book, you’ll be amazed at how the author has managed to create a cohesive story from such diverse elements.

I recommend this book to readers with a sense of fun and play who enjoy a fast and light mystery (cozy style. No explicit violence, although there is violence, no sex scenes) set in the Jazz Age (oh, don’t forget to follow the author’s blog if you enjoy that historical period as she shares a post on the subject every Wednesday), with charming characters and great food. And even if you don’t have a lot of time to read for long stretches at a time, as the serial was created to be read a chapter per week, it is very easy to follow the story and not get lost. So, there is no excuse!

Applesauce, Olga!  Wow, and thank you so very much!

Everyone, thanks for visiting.  Rob and I will be back next Wednesday for more of Hullaba Lulu.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

PS:  Now for more shameless self-promotion — the links to my 1920s books — the ones 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 29 — A Hummingbird

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Orange Feather Alexander Sinn Unsplash

Alexander Sinn, Unsplash

Welcome once again to the faery land of Thistledown.  At the end of the previous episode  an orange feather from Bob the humming bird drifted down to Fallow Blackmoon. Thanks to Jacquie Biggar for being the first reader to cause me to see what a symbol of hope that feather was. 

Today hope is not quite gone.  However, our friends might resort to drastic measures… 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Episode 24 – The Other Seer

“The family always said the copper battleax was magical.  I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it.  Except for how big it is.  And how old,” Stranglevine Starquencher told us.

 “Could you bring it here to the cave?” Fallow asked gently.  “I’d like to see how it reacts to the magic of this place.”

Episode 27 – A Feather

Bob made it to the tiny opening in the cave wall. He came out on the other side of the hill from where Bedlam and the scary faeries were at the cave opening.  He used his hummingbird magic to summon others of his kind. But they were all brown.

Episode 28 – Gray Wings

Last time Bedlam saw the bright orange feather that surely had belonged to Bob the Hummingbird, but she found no trace of the brave little guy.  Also, Fallow Blackmoon had grave news for Bedlam Thunder and it was related to her horrible vision.

“Bedlam, the rest of your burden is at least as great as mine.  And dire.  There is a connection between this world and ours.  Just as many of the folk of Thistledown have doubles, things that happen here can eventually bleed over and into Thistledown.” 

 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 29

A Hummingbird

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch_John Anster 1900s

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch, John Anster 1900s

At first light the next day most of the drum circle gathered again at the entrance to the cave.  Although, first light in the colorless world happened later in the morning than it did in Thistledown.  The sun was in the same position, but it seemed to take it longer to build up enough illumination for the break of day.

As that sun shone weakly on the dull world around me, Fallow Blackmoon smiled at the sky as if she beheld a bright day.  I supposed she had gotten used to the difference after so many years in that place.

The copper battleax glinted warmly in the wan sunlight.  Stranglevine Starquencher moved it as Fallow Blackmoon requested, while she examined it in different lights.

“This ax is not of this world,” Fallow stated.  “Like its twin in Thistledown, it was made there.”

Stranglevine seemed particularly surprised.  Clearly he had never considered that his family heirloom had come from anywhere else.  After a moment of conversation, Stranglevine hefted the great ax and carried it into the cave where they analyzed its reaction to the magical properties of the cave.

I followed rather reluctantly.  I didn’t like the cave any better than the black abyss where I experienced the prolonged fall into that colorless world.  While the copper ax didn’t seem to be influenced by the cave, I could feel the dark magic of the place like dirty oil against my skin.

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten

Der sogenannte Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten

“This cave is within the same mountain as the great scrying stone’s cavern where you visited me,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf told me.

I perceived that Razorleaf had more innate magic than anyone else native to that world.  His ability was second only to that of Fallow Blackmoon, who I had learned was from Thistledown.  Razorleaf and Fallow started talking in quiet voices.  They looked up at the endless seeming heights inside the mountain.  They appeared to come to an agreement of sorts.

“We think this ax may well be able to sever the connection between our world and yours, Bedlam,” Razorleaf told me, but included the group.

“But what effect would that have on all of you?  On your home?” I asked in dismay.  “And Fallow, you’d never be able to get home.  What if you changed your mind and wanted to go home?  Or even visit?”

“Don’t worry, Bedlam,” Fallow told me in a kind voice.  “I will not permit this until we have figured out how to get you back to Thistledown.”

I was appalled at the prospect and not just for Fallow’s sake.  It seemed wrong to me, in ways that I couldn’t describe.

“It’s not about me!” I cried, not knowing how to explain.  “It’s not about you either.  It’s…” I fumbled to a halt, not able to put my desperate feelings into words.

Razorleaf looked at me curiously.  Fallow looked at him, and then at me.  She took a step closer, her brows knitted in concentration.

“That’s coming from the seer in you, isn’t it?” she said speculatively.  “I sense your gift at work, but I can’t tell what message you’re getting.”

Face in water blue

“Maybe it needs some time to digest,” Razorleaf suggested.  “We can’t do anything with the ax until we figure out how to elevate it into the area from where you retrieved Bedlam as she was falling.  The upper part of the cave you called the abyss,” he told Fallow.

While we spoke the great copper battleax started to vibrate.  Stranglevine Starquencher grunted an exclamation of surprise.  Then the ax levitated.  As it rose to waist height, he grabbed onto the handle.  The ax continued to ascend though he tried to pull it back to the ground.

Drummer Soulfire and her cousin Rotten jumped up to help.  Stranglevine tried to motion them away.

“Be careful of the blade.  There’s nothing sharper!” he yelled.

Instead of touching the ax Drummer and Rotten grabbed onto Stranglevine.

“You’d better get that thing outside,” Razorleaf told them with the smirk that seemed to be part of his nature.

I failed to see any comedy in the situation.  Apparently even humor was dark in the colorless world.  Fallow snorted and agreed that they’d best get out of the cave.

However, I did see something surprising as they wrestled the big copper battleax back to the floor of the cave.  Amid the intricate engravings that decorated the ax was the image of a hummingbird.

Hummingbird orange in dark Patti Black Unsplash

Patti Black, Unsplash

 

***

Bob the hummingbird gazed at the others of his kind in dismay.  It wasn’t just their dull coloring that concerned him.  It was the scant amount of magic he sensed — in the hummers and everything else where he should have detected magic.

He cried out to the other hummingbirds and the hornless unicorns who came to his call.  He asked that they summon all of their kind.  Bob realized that they wouldn’t be able to accomplish very much with their faint enchantment, but anything was better than nothing.

Then Bob turned to go back inside the cave of the abyss.  He gathered his courage and steeled his resolve.  Using dark magic could end in death or worse.  However, he saw no alternative.  Bob would have to try and combine his hummingbird magic with the powers of the cave.

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Stranglevine Starquencher  https://nofacilities.com/

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/ 

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Rotten Soulfire  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Drummer Soulfire  https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/

Tune in next weekend for Episode 30 — A Perversion of Phantoms.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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 27 ― Hullaba Lulu 2

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Val and Lulu trumpet and Rolls

Art by Rob Goldstein

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  I’m happy to see you back for Chapter 2 of this new series.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties.  

Artist Rob Goldstein is collaborating with me, creating fabulous visuals and sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive this pantser story.  Some of the details also come from a song Rob’s grandmother sang to him called “Don’t Bring Lulu.”  

Don’t Bring Lulu

I was captivated when Rob wanted me to include a (potentially supernatural) Valentino character.  I loved his idea.  If you’ve been following me for a good while, then you know I like to make fictionalized versions of historic people.  Then, one of the “things” (the Bright Young Things) Rob sent for this episode showed me a wealth of such people I might include.  Yes, one of them has already become a mysterious character.  You’ll see in a moment.

The mystery elements begin here in Chapter 2, so pay close attention.  I won’t tell you what’s a clue and what’s a red herring.  I’m just wicked that way.  And now…  

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 2

Grand Central Station, Garter Flask, Bright Young Things

Lulu 5

Lulu, image by Rob Goldstein

 

Rose MacDonald sneezed delicately as soon as we stepped out of my grandfather’s speakeasy.  The “raid door” opened to the abandoned subway tunnel.  It was dusty from decades of disuse. 

Still feeling the effects of the hooch, I pondered sadly that the speakeasy was becoming rather like the tunnel.  I remembered when the joint was jumpin’ like Grand Central Station.  It wasn’t nearly as busy as it once was.  Gramps refused to do business with some of the more disreputable rum-runners.  Business started to fall off long about that time.

Rose put an elegantly embroidered handkerchief to her turned up nose and sneezed again, a decidedly unladylike noise.  The stitching formed a monogram, an R bracketed by two Ms.  It also matched her dress.  Rose was always coordinated.

By then my nose burned too.  I gave a big achoo! that echoed down the tunnel.

Rose Lulu - Small

Rose, image by Rob Goldstein

I closed the emergency exit of the speakeasy.  From the outside it blended into the walls of the subway tunnel.  You had to know exactly where it was if you were going to find it.

Also, it was dark when the red and blue lights from the strange train died.  I took a torch from an inconspicuous bracket Gramps had bolted to the wall.  A flip of the switch and we had enough light to see.

The cacophony, just moments before had made me think that train was about to crash right into the speakeasy.  It stopped several feet beyond the door and rested on the tracks where a train ought to be.  Except that no train should be in that part of the subway at all.  Nothing could get past the caved-in area.

Rose and Pearl watched the man who had come into the speakeasy in a blaze of red and blue lights (along with that train) as if mesmerized.  Rose ran her finger down the lapel of his tuxedo jacket in a flirtatious way.  He met her eyes with a smoldering gaze, but I had noticed that the expression in his eyes usually looked that way.

“Ya know… you’re even more handsome than Rudolph Valentino,” Rose began.  “So, what’s your name?  I bet you’re a great dancer.  You look like a real sharpshooter, a regular floorflusher.  Why don’t we go back inside?  There’s a darb Victrola for dance music.”

“Yeah, tell us your name,” Pearl added her voice.

“Valentino,” he stated simply.

Bushwa!” I exclaimed.  “Who are you really?”

“I.  Am.  Valentino,” he repeated with emphasis.  “I take it that you know someone similar.  That happens sometimes,” he added in a tone that suggested he had said the same thing a thousand times.

His statement befuddled me.  We tried to get more sense out of him, but that was all he’d say about his moniker. 

Valentino_close Hat

Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

Meanwhile Pearl and Rose clung to his elbows.  I admit that I would have done the same thing.  However, he didn’t have a third elbow, and I wasn’t going to cling to anybody’s knee.

“What kind of woman is she?” he muttered to my pals in a baffled tone.  “She smells like onions and horseradish, and there’s marinara sauce on her cheek,” he added.

The man who called himself Valentino didn’t sound repulsed or offended, simply curious.  He looked at me like an ornithologist who had found a new species of bird.

“Oh, she’s not as wild and woolly as she seems,” Rose said with a grin, and winked at me.  “Although she is the kind of smarty who breaks up every party.  Cheer up honey,” she told me.  “Sometimes you get so glum when you’re tipsy.”

Pearl reached out and gave my hand a squeeze, although I thought she might be reassuring herself more than me.  Then she introduced herself and Rose.  The man was gracious, but in return he formally repeated the single name, Valentino, as if he had no other.

“And that’s Hullaba Lulu,” Pearl introduced me with the hated nickname, causing me to blush.  “You should see her Charleston!  We’d bring her to any party.”

I started to say something clever, but a hiccup escaped my lips instead.  Then I heard the echo of footfalls farther up the tunnel.

“Margosha!” another man called out from the distance.

The new stranger was coming from the direction of the hatch that lead up to the street.

“Is that you Margosha?”

He seemed to squint.  The lighting was dim.  I thought nothing would be able to pry my friends loose from the Valentino guy.  However, when the other man caught up to us, I noticed that Rose and Pearl had moved away into the shadows.

“Hey do you lot know where the door to the speakeasy is?” he asked.  “I’m looking for― um, an old friend and I heard that she hangs out there.”

Val and Tom D

Valentino and Tom

Judging by his face I would have thought he was an uptown swell, but he had longer hair, and the style of his suit made me think he had spent time in India.  I thought he must be a cellar smeller, who had somehow learned about my grandfather’s speakeasy.  At any rate, he didn’t look like a revenuer, so his presence didn’t worry me.  Besides I was still pretty well zozzled.

“Margosha?  That means pearl in Russian,” Valentino murmured so softly that I barely heard.

The door to the speakeasy opened.  Unnoticed by anyone else, Gramps stepped out, closing the door softly behind him.  His eyes went to Rose and Pearl in the nearby shadows.  The cellar smeller walked up to Valentino and me.

“You!” Gramps exclaimed, though I wasn’t sure which of the men he meant.

I didn’t understand my grandfather’s reaction.  His posture made me think of a snake, coiled and ready to strike.  That made me uncomfortable so I started babbling.  I tend to do talk when I’m nervous.  Unfortunately my chatter changed the subject and I didn’t find out which “You” Gramps meant.

“So, who are you, mister?  And who is Margosha?” I turned to the new comer and asked.

Tom Driberg.  He’s the journalist who tells all about the ‘Bright Young Things,’ you know?” Rose explained obligingly.  “The swells who throw all the wild parties.”

“The ones I’m never invited to?” I inserted a rhetorical comment.

I watched Rose and Tom Driberg.  There was a challenge in her eyes when she looked at him.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  However, I thought I recognized the hungry expression on his face when he looked at her and Pearl.

Pearl Lulu Waves

Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Everybody said Pearl was a darned nice girl.  It was true ― at least if you asked me.  Yet at that moment she looked like a doe ready to spring away.  Pearl lifted her beaded dress revealing a garter flask.  She took a swig and almost forgot to pass the flask around.  I didn’t understand why she’d be upset.

“A hair of the dog,” Pearl explained.  “I’ve got a headache.  I really need to get home,” she added.

With an uneasy glance at Tom, Pearl started walking toward the subway hatch to the street.  She’d have a shortcut home that way.

Rose went after pearl to take care of her.  When I saw Tom Driberg, the journalist, follow them it didn’t sit well with me.  I turned back to Gramps.  I was surprised to see him and Valentino staring at each other wordlessly.

I cleared my throat, interrupting the silent tableau.

“I don’t trust that guy,” I announced.  “I’m going to make sure my pals are okay.”

Gramps_arm bent red

Gramps, by Rob Goldstein

“You should not go alone,” Valentino told me, abruptly breaking eye contact with my grandfather.  “I will escort you.  My automobile is up there.  We’ll make sure your friends are safe, then I can drive you back to your grandfather.”

Gramps looked none too pleased.  However, after a moment he nodded and went back inside his empty speakeasy.

We hurried after the others.  It was so dark I had already lost sight of them.  When we reached what I call the raid exit, Valentino went up the ladder first to push aside the heavy manhole cover.  However, it was already open.  We climbed up to the street.  I looked around for my friends.  In the distance I saw the two gals climbing the stairs to Pearl’s front door.

A sulfuric smell accompanied the strike of a match.  I turned to see Tom Driberg leaning nonchalantly against a Rolls-Royce.  Cigarette smoke curled above his head as he jotted something on a small notepad.  He looked at Valentino the same way he had looked at Rose and Pearl.

Without a word, Tom walked into the night.

***

The End

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls

Valentino, Lulu, and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

***

If you want to know more about the real Tom Driberg click here.  He’s an interesting figure and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him.  That’s what causes fictional him to be a fun addition to this cast.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes. 

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

 

PS:  Now for the shameless self-promotion — the links to my other 1920s books — the ones 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.