Hidebound Hump Day — Fiona Fights Back

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fiona Finch Thief costume full length

Fiona Finch as imagined by Rob Goldstein

Rob and I are together again!

Last year I was kicking around a serial idea with Rob Goldstein,  Who did the beautiful illustrations for Hullaba Lulu.  I envisioned a steampunk satire of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  My heroine is Fiona Finch, the Pink Pimpernel.  Her story is one of foppish frivolity, sarcasm, and a load of alliteration.  She’s a cutie with curls and dresses all and only in pink.  Secretly she’s still all pink, but she’s also so much more, just as was the Scarlet Pimpernel, but with steampunk gadgets galore — and still more pink.  Now you know Fiona.  That’s part of the background for this bit of nonsense. 

Recently, Staci Troilo was saying how life could be too bizarre for fiction.  I hope her trip to Bizarro World wasn’t as bad as mine — but she’s right.  Staci had the common sense to keep her personal strangeness out of her stories. Me on the other hand, I have about as much common sense as Lulu. 

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers that were used as cash

I swear I’m getting to the point. Bear with me.

I’ve had my own Bizarro World with an unbelievable comic book villain, Creepy Crying Guy, across the street. When I said “No,” he stood on my porch bawling. I’ll save you descriptions of his admission of trying to manipulate me and the disgusting leer that accompanied those words before he went back to bawling half a second later.  Oh, sorry… I guess I told you after all.  Yes, yes, I’m getting to the point.

Well thank heavens for good friends who could make me laugh about it.  This vignette was inspired by whimsical remarks from Renita and Rob.  Renita remarked that in her experience old ladies with machetes are enough to scare anybody.  Then Rob took her joke a step farther…  So I made characters from the Fiona-verse into alter egos for Rob and me.  Now, to the “point.”

Fiona Fights Back

The Pink Pimpernel Sees Red

Fiona Finch Test Shot 1

Fiona Finch as imagined by Rob Goldstein

A hansom cab clattered down a lane in Victorian Era San Francisco.  Fiona Finch sat in the light of her window.  The noise distracted her.  The pink ruffled sleeve of her gown fell against the machete as she fingered the hilt.  She went back to her task, intently turning the pages of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species.

“He’s not in here,” Fiona grumbled.

Straight black hair fell to cover his face as a man in black tailed tuxedo placed the tea tray on the table beside the single pink lace glove.  He silently raised an eyebrow, as any attentive butler might.

The “butler” was Fiona’s adopted brother, Steele.  However, he was no servant.  He simply enjoyed wearing the costume and the excuse it gave him to make snide remarks.  He also seemed to think buttling allowed him to boss her around.  A fact of which he openly reminded Fiona whenever she complained that he shouldn’t act like a butler.

“Really, Steele, don’t be such a prude.  Wearing gloves inside, in the summer, with no guests in the house?  Why no matter how darling they are, it’s absurd.  Besides, I couldn’t turn the pages,” Fiona defended.

Fiona picked up the teacup with her delicately gloved hand and used the silver spoon to stir it with the brazenly bare hand.

Steele, by Rob Goldstein

Steele, by Rob Goldstein

“I told you that I would thrash him the next time he comes to the door,” Steele reminded his sister.

“I don’t want you to batty-fang anyone, Steele.  Imagine the trouble that thrashing could cause.  Besides, he only comes when you are away.  Plus, he stands there blubbering like a baby when I reject him.  He’s sure to use that trick if the police inspectors come, and he’d make you the villain,” Fiona added, returning to Darwin’s controversial tome.

“I suppose your souvenir from our voyage to Madrid would cause less of a collie shangle?  I believe his species is human.  I doubt you’ll find anything useful in that book,” Steele told her.  “Although I do have an idea.”

She glanced at the ghoul who watched her from his own window on the other side of the street.

scary Joker face in window_Pasja Pixabay

Pasja at Pixaby

“What good does leering from his window do him?  Is he hoping for a glimpse of my cupid’s kettledrums?” Fiona complained.

Damfino,” Steele replied.

Steele picked up the crystal pot of red currant jam and moved toward the parlor door.

“What, pray tell, are you doing brother dear?” Fiona queried.  “Where are you going with the jam?  I wasn’t finished!”

A moment later Steele returned, carrying a long white nightgown.  It was covered with the crimson contents of the jam jar.

“At least you didn’t ruin my pink nightdress,” Fiona muttered.  “What are you on about now?”

“I know you favor pink, but white is so much more dramatic,” Steele began.  “Maybe our neighbor’s diligence in watching you should be rewarded with a good look at you in your nightie.”

“What?  Don’t be absurd!” Fiona replied aghast.

“Red currant jam, red as blood and running down the front of this prim white gown.  Imagine the ghoul’s face if you answered wearing this, and holding the machete!” Steele explained with a purely wicked grin.

The Machete_Fiona-Teagan 0

Fiona pranking the creep, as imagined by Rob Goldstein

“I’ve been waiting for you…” 

The end.

***

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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 and 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Images Copyright © 2019 and 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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.

 

An Extra (Special) Story — Trina Woke from a Dream

May 16, 2019  

Usually I only post twice a week, but this is a special occasion.  Recently, Rob Goldstein and I were sending emails back and forth, basically goofing around.  I sent him an image by artist Michael Whelan and and added a whimsical line.  And then another, and another.  Suddenly Rob said, “Let’s make this into a story.” 

One of the images I showed Rob is called Integral Trees.  You can see it by clicking this link to Mr. Whelan’s work.  The other paintings were Rimrunner (2011) and Erosion (1999).  You can search the website with those names to view them.

Rob created a special image for our story.  Since it began with his character, Trina, the story is in what I call his poetic format. 

Trina Woke from a Dream

Trina and the Moths-4

Trina with Madison and moths, by Rob Goldstein

The Shadow Boy was on his way to visit while she languished above
a labyrinth of verdant shrubs.

He saw a blond child levitating outside the window of the monorail. 

Shadow Boy was intrigued.

Was the blond child looking for his shadow?  Could he catch it with his arrow?

The Shadow Boy examined the boy for clues.

The “boy” had pixie ears and breasts.

This wasn’t his boy.

Trina waved at the Shadow Boy and motioned for him to join her.
The boy hesitated. Trina wondered why.  Perhaps because the sun was going down.

The Shadow Boy shouldn’t be afraid of the dark.  Besides there’s a streetlight. 

Trina close

Trina looked so lovely, I wanted you to see this close up of her.

She decided it made no difference.  She still had Madison, but wait, where had
Madison got to?

She was chasing a few moths drawn to streetlight.

Madison chasing moths? This was out of character.

“What’s wrong with you?” asked Trina.

“Nothing!” Madison scowled.

“You’re chasing moths.”

“They’re chasing me.  Look at these holes!”

It was true; Madison was full of holes.

The end.

***

Please visit Rob and his post of this story.  (Like many other bloggers, we are having issues with the “reblog button.”)  Trina Woke from a Dream.

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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 Rob Goldstein and Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Images copyright ©  2019 by Rob Goldstein

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

***

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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.

 

It’s almost here — an all new serial!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Crossroads with 3 blue guitar statues on a pole is a marker for Highways 61 and 49 in Mississippi

Electric guitars on a highway sign marks the crossroads where legend claims musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for the ability to play the blues. (Wikimedia)

It’s almost here!  Brother Love — an all new “interactive,” three things, pantser serial.  The story is driven by random things left by readers.

The idea for this story started nearly a year ago.   It is partly inspired by a Neil Diamond song that has always caught my imagination.  I didn’t have time to write a new serial back then, but it now it’s coming up! I enjoy Diamond’s description of how the song came to be in this video, preceding the song.

Many of you are familiar with my “three things” way of writing serials.  don’t know what the story is going to do until I look at the “things” supplied by readers — that’s how it’s “interactive.”

I can tell you that the setting is rural Mississippi in the late 1950s to early 60s.  I’m collaborating with blogger Dan Antion.  He sends me photos to fuel my imagination.  Dan and you readers send my random “things” that drive the story.   

Along with the song “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” another inspiration is the blues legend of the devil at the crossroads and Robert Johnson. 

Dan was kind enough to invite me to his fictional bar for a drink at his SoCS post last Saturday.  

I hope I’ve made you curious.  Comments are closed for this little teaser.

I’ll see you at the crossroads tomorrow!

And don’t forget!

Coming soon, another Roaring Twenties pantser tale, continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

***

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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 ©  2018 and 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays — 1 Million Years B-Lulu

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

LULU Arrival 2.

Lulu’s clumsiness sends the train to 1 million years BC. Art by Rob Goldstein

It’s finally time!  I’ve been promising you a short story with illustrations by Rob Goldstein.  Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino are joined by a couple of unexpected characters in this one episode story.  I call it “One Million Years B-Lulu.”  It’s a little riff on “One Million Years BC,” which featured Raquel Welsh.  Don’t ask me why that particular scenario popped into my head.  I’ve told you that I’m just not wired right. The three random things Rob gave me to drive the story are velociraptor, stone axe, and capacitors.

Rob is featuring the story as a guest post today at Sue Vincent‘s blog, so I hope you’ll click over and visit them.  I’m posting it here as well.  Without further ado…

All aboard!

One Million Years B-Lulu

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue

Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino in the control room of the diesel-punk train. Art by Rob Goldstein

Soft clicking noises took on a familiar rhythm.  I looked over at the blue-gold angel-bot as he worked at a control station of Valentino’s amazing train.  The bot started humming to match the beat of his clicks and whirrs.  The sound reminded me of a music box.

Most of the train’s angel-bots were gold.  This clockwork creature was the only blue hued one.  Of all the bots, he was the savviest to the workings of the mysterious train.  I had named him Moon, after the song “Cuban Moon,” because of the subtle Spanish accent of his deep voice.  That’s the tune he hummed.

I loved to dance, so I did a few steps of the Brazilian Samba to his humming.  One turn caused me to bump into a table.  Exotic, futuristic looking instruments wobbled dangerously.  Fortunately, nothing fell ― that time.  I admit that I’m known for my clumsiness.  They didn’t sing “Don’t Bring Lulu” when they talked about me for nothin’.

Back on The Train

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

“Lulu, how many times have I told you ― don’t touch anything,” Valentino complained as he walked into the control room.

I stopped dancing.  Moon gave me a sheepish look, as if he felt partly responsible.  Valentino raised one eyebrow suspiciously at the angel-bot’s reaction.

“Don’t mind him, Moon.  He’s just grumpy because those pointy-toed dog kennels hurt his feet,” I told my clockwork friend.  “Go ahead and hum.”

The enigmatic Valentino looked from me to the bot in surprise.

“You’ve taught him to hum?  I wasn’t aware that they could,” Valentino commented.

An odd device I hadn’t noticed sat on one of the train’s control tables.  It resembled an hourglass, but rather than sand, it contained a gooey glowing substance.  Fascinated, I extended one finger toward the slowly moving molten goo.

“Lulu, don’t touch anything,” Gramps spoke by rote as he strode into the room.

“Especially not the time delineator!” Valentino added.

Valentino Bots Green Metropolis 6

Valentino and the angel-bots. Art by Rob Goldstein

Startled, I jerked my finger back so hard that the feather in my headband wobbled and the fringe of my short skirt swayed.  I wasn’t expecting my grandfather.

“Ah!  Sir.  Good.  I have finished the adjustments to your pocket watch,” Moon called to Gramps from across the room.

The angel-bot extended his mechanical arm to twice its usual length to hand me the pocket watch, since I was closest to my grandfather.  I was in a playful mood, so I decided to toss it to Gramps, rather than walk around the control tables and across the room to hand the timepiece to him.

I drew back my arm to make the toss.  The watch went into the air, rotating as it flew.  When my arm came back down, I knocked over the goo-filled hourglass thingy Valentino called the time delineator.

The glass cracked.  In midair, a drop of glowing goo splashed against the engraved pocket-watch my grandfather cherished.  It had been a gift from my late grandmother.

Abruptly I felt like a heavy weight sat on my head.  My feet tingled like they were asleep.  My stomach was up where my throat was supposed to be.  Plus, I felt like I had sneezed ― but in reverse.

The pocket-watch slowed until time really did stand still.  The glow of the goo grew until it became spherical, surrounding the pocket-watch.  Abruptly, both disappeared in a sphere of sparks.

When I opened my eyes after the inverse sneeze, everything around me looked like a Slavador Dali painting.  Then the world went black.

***

Lulu train pink-green 1 Million B-Lulu

Lulu’s clumsiness sent the diesel-punk train to 1 million years BC. Art by Rob Goldstein

I’m not sure how much time passed, but as consciousness returned to my aching head, I realized that I was face down on the ground.  And I do mean ground.  It wasn’t the floor of the control room against my face.

Warm breath snuffled against my face, sniffing.  My nose wrinkled.  The sniffer had bad breath.  I cracked open one peeper for a discrete look, and found a human eye locked on mine.  He grunted and sniffed some more.  When his nose headed where it had no business going, I scrambled backward.

“Hey!  Watch it!” I exclaimed.  “I’m not some easy biscuit.  Mind your manners.”

The train sat all catawampus nearby.  Amid the enormous leaves of strange plants, it looked as out of place as a wallflower at a speakeasy.

I sprawled on rocky terrain with scraggly bushes and gnarled trees.  Behind me was the mouth of a cave.  Leaning curiously over me was the smelly, fur clad man who woke me with his sniffing.

I remembered the goo-filled hourglass falling.  I gulped.  Hard.

Exploring-With Valentino Lulu dinosaurs

Art by Rob Goldstein

A rapid rhythm of clicks and whirrs emanated from Moon, the angel-bot.  Valentino’s head was down.  He murmured in low worried tones as the angel-bot clicked.

Gramps stooped to pick up his sunglasses.  He blew the dust off them and tucked the spectacles into the breast pocket inside his jacket.  Reflexively he reached to the watch pocket of his vest.  He patted the empty pocket.

His pocket-watch was gone.

Bushwa!” he muttered, though he looked heartbroken.

I gasped as fire singed my eyebrows.  The caveman waved a flaming stick, jabbing it toward my bobbed hair.

“Yes, her hair is the color of fire,” Valentino spoke in placating tones that one might use with a frightened animal.

The smelly sniffer appeared to take Valentino’s word for it that the fiery hue was normal for my hair, however unusual it must have been to him.

“Lulu!” Gramps hissed in a cautionary way, and I knew he thought the caveman was dangerous.

Laying my hand against my chest, I spoke slowly.

“I’m Lulu.  Who are you?” I pointed to him as I asked.

“Loana.  Fair one,” his gravelly voice pronounced and reached toward my bubs.

Tumac be Lulu’s daddy-4

Lulu meets Tumac. Art by Rob Goldstein

“Hey!  Watch yourself.  I’m a nice girl,” I cautioned him as I jumped backward.

Valentino snorted and I shot him a glare.

“No,” I continued from three feet away.  “Lulu.  I’m Lu-lu.”

He nodded and clapped his hand against his chest.

“Tumac.  Tumac strong!  Tumac be Lulu’s daddy,” he added with a leer.

“Where did you learn that language,” Valentino raised an eyebrow and asked suspiciously.

“Nupondi,” Tumac replied.  “Nupondi look like you,” he added with a sweeping motion that indicated Valentino head to toe.

“Someone dressed like me?” Valentino asked, though Tumac clearly didn’t understand the words.

Gramps had a worried expression on his face.

“Nupondi come back when he smells grub.”

Tumac motioned toward a fire-pit where a large carcass of something roasted on a spit.  I didn’t know what it was, but the aroma made my stomach growl.  The cave man chortled at the sound.  He gave me a companionable shove toward the fire and I stumbled.  Tumac really was strong, that was no boast.

What's cookin -2 Valentino Bot Lulu Tumac Gramps

What’s Cookin’? by Rob Goldstein

Soon I held the biggest crispy drumstick I had ever seen.  Juice ran down my arm as I hungrily sunk my teeth into it.

“Where does she get her appetite?” Valentino asked my grandfather in a tone that combined revulsion and stunned admiration.

My grand father shrugged.  He had been more interested in poking around in the bushes, looking for his pocket-watch than eating.  However, when Tumac acted offended that he wouldn’t eat, Gramps finally sat down at the fire.

“It really isn’t bad,” Gramps commented and pointedly made a yummy sound to gratify Tumac.  “I wonder what it is.”

“V’locy.  Mama v’locy,” Tumac mumbled around a mouthful.  “Find eggs too.  Big breakfast at sunup.”

Near the entrance of a cave I spotted the clutch of eggs.  Each one was about the size of a pigskin football.  I couldn’t imagine what kind of chicken could lay eggs so big.

“V’locy?” Valentino repeated and his face blanched.  “Velociraptor?” he exclaimed.  “Lulu, leave those eggs alone.  Even a hatchling could be deadly.”

“Oh, don’t give me that phonus balonus!” I told him and inspected the eggs.

The bushes rustled.  Tumac sniffed the air.  Gramps quickly grabbed the burning stick the caveman had waved around earlier.  He held it defensively.

Gramps Gets the Watch-3

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

The caveman didn’t seem concerned.  He grunted and muttered “Nupondi.”

Gramps jabbed the flaming stick toward the bushes.

Horsefeathers!  Have a care or you’ll set the whole place on fire!” an unexpectedly familiar voice protested.

“Tom?” I exclaimed as he nonchalantly tucked something into his pocket.  “Tom Driberg!  You were on the lamb from those hooligans.  So, this is where you wound up?”

Tom had betrayed us all, particularly my pal Rose.  We weren’t the only ones he quatched.  It turned out he had been a spy for both the Americans and the Russians.

That small motion of his hand to his pocket didn’t escape my notice.  Gramps squinted.  He had seen it too.  Tom was being a little too smooth, even for Tom.  He gave a guilty glance at Gramps.  Tom looked like a man who knew he had been caught.

“Well, Lulu.  Aren’t you just the cat’s particulars,” Tom said, stepping toward me.

Suddenly, Tom grabbed me and a surprisingly sharp stone axe was pressed against my throat.

“Give me that pocket-watch, Driberg,” Gramps demanded.  “It’s meaningless to you.”

“Quite the contrary old man,” Tom replied with a smirk.  “There aren’t any capacitors here.  Your beloved watch isn’t special just because it came from your wife, you know.  It can be modified to work as a time delineator, and I can finally go home!”

Tom’s sentence ended with an oof!  Tumac snuck up behind him and grabbed both of us, lifting us off the ground.  I heard Tom make a strangled noise and he dropped the axe.  With a hefty toss, Tumac sent Tom and me tumbling.

I saw the pocket-watch fall.  In the same instant I heard a shrill cry from above.

“Your sheba has found you,” Tumac chortled at Tom.

Your Sheba Has Found You

Pterodactyl swoops & gets Tom as Gramps retrieves his pocket watch. Art by Rob Goldstein

Huge wings darkened the sky.  Dust and ashes from the fire-pit clouded the air as gusts buffeted us.  Gramps put on his sunglasses as if they were goggles.

Blinking, I gaped speechlessly.  A pterodactyl settled to the ground.

Sunlight glinted off the pocket-watch.  The dinosaur’s eyes darted to the watch.

“Sheba like shiny,” Tumac muttered to Tom.  “Maybe she take it, not you.”

“What?” I couldn’t help asking, even it that circumstance.

“The damn dyno.  I was there when she hatched.  She imprinted on me.  Thinks I’m her chick or something,” Tom said as he cowered behind Valentino.

“You realize it’s not a bird, don’t you?” Valentino told him, as if that mattered at such a time.

Abruptly, Gramps darted and grabbed his watch.  The pterodactyl screeched.  Her sharp beak jutted dangerously toward him.

The sun flashed off his spectacles.  The dinosaur tilted her head as Gramps spoke.

“There, there now.  You don’t want this.  It’s not good to eat,” my grandfather cajoled.

The pterodactyl took another huge step toward him.  Surprised, I realized she saw her reflection in his sunglasses.  I whispered the fact to Gramps.  He slowly removed the shades and held them toward her.

“Careful,” Valentino cautioned.  “She could take your entire arm if she grabs the spectacles.”

Then a fierce look glinted in Valentino’s eyes.  I had always thought he had a ruthless streak, hidden under all that smoldering brooding.

Valentino_close Hat

Valentino by Rob Goldstein

Valentino reached behind himself, where Tom cowered.  He grabbed the spy’s arm and shoved him into the open.

“This is what you really want, isn’t it,” Valentino called to the pterodactyl.

The dinosaur made a pained noise, followed by a series of croaks that sounded like a mother chastising her offspring.  Tom ran as fast as he could.

With a blast of air that knocked me to the ground, the pterodactyl flapped her wings and took flight.  In a moment she had Tom in her clutches.  She flew with him toward a rocky outcropping.

Tumac laughed so hard that he rolled on the ground.

I stood gobsmacked.

“She take Nupondi to nest.  She love Nupondi,” Tumac explained between chortles.  Nupondi not go hungry.  His sheba vomit breakfast for him.  Haha!  All over his head.”

***

Lulu Header 1-

Art by Rob Goldstein

In no time Moon had modified the pocket-watch to work as a time delineator for Valentino’s train.  Through a hand-held telescope, I saw Tom gingerly climbing down from the pterodactyl’s nest.  He was drenched in something, presumably regurgitated dinner, but seemed unharmed.  We bade a fond farewell to Tumac, our host.

When I walked past Tumac, he laughed, because he saw that I was hiding something behind my back.  I winked and hoped he knew to keep quiet.

The big Orthophonic Victrola in the train’s control room blared out “Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Good-bye,” and I knew we would be leaving in a moment.

“Are you alright, Lulu?” Gramps asked me.  “You look like something isn’t sitting well on your stomach.”

“Maybe some under-cooked dinosaur,” I replied weakly and mustered up a belch.

Delicately I put one hand to my lips, while the other was firmly behind my back.

“If not for that decidedly unladylike burp, I would go back and count all those velociraptor eggs,” Valentino told me with narrowed eyes as he climbed aboard the train.

“Well, I never…” I protested even though he hit the nail on the head.

Then I felt the egg move.  I twitched at the surprise, and nearly dropped it.  Valentino turned back at my abrupt movement.  I put my free hand to my stomach and groaned dramatically.  Clara Bow couldn’t have given a better performance.

A shining gold angel-bot leaned from the train.  It was Dynamite.

“All aboard!” Dynamite called.

I made sure Gramps and Valentino were both all the way inside the train before I let Dynamite help me aboard.  By then, the egg was practically dancing the Charleston.

The train’s Orthophonic Victrola always seemed to know more than it should be able to understand.  Not to mention that it had a mean disposition.  As the dinosaur egg lurched, the device started playing “Don’t Bring Lulu.”

Portrait of Lulu

Lulu back on the train, by Rob Goldstein

***

The end.

Update:  Rob has just finished a fabulous video of this story.  Do check it out and pay him a visit as well.  http://robertmgoldstein.com/

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

 

And don’t forget!

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Stay tuned, shieks and shebas!  

You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

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

Bijou front only 2

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

Images Copyright © 2019 by Rob Goldstein

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.

 

Coming Soon!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Back on The Train

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

Happy weekend, everyone!  I’m still settling in at my new digs in the Land of Enchantment, painting the walls, putting furniture together, and generally keeping every muscle in my body sore. 

Crystal the cat seems to have made the adjustment. A few nights I’ve heard her making a midnight romp, and this morning, she wanted to play with her collection of bouncy and fuzzy balls!  She also insists on approving any decorating.

Crystal n Robs Sunset

Crystal with one of Rob Goldstein’s images.

Coming Right Up

I’ve mentioned that San Francisco artist, poet, and activist, Rob Goldstein and I got back together with a short story for Lulu, Gramps, and the enigmatic Valentino.  I call it “One Million Years B-Lulu.”  It’s a little riff on the old movie “One Million Years BC.”

Rob has made terrific illustrations for it. He really got into the spirit of the story.  Rob will feature this short story at Sue Vincent‘s blog, but I’ll run it here as well. 

That’s Not All

Brother Love

Brother Love promo image

Brother Love collage by Teagan Geneviene

Hang on — that’s not all!  I’ve started work on a mini series with blogger Dan Antion.   The core of the story was inspired by a Neil Diamond song “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” along with the blues legend of the devil at the crossroads and Robert Johnson. 

If you will watch the video trailer, you will have some idea of the core components of the story.  It’s a pantser tale (spontaneously written), so I don’t know too much more about it yet.

Dan was kind enough to invite me to his fictional bar for a drink at his SoCS post this weekend.  I hope you’ll click over and share some conversation with us. 

Dan’s photos will help guide my pantser pen.  He’ll also give me some random “things” to drive the story.  (Most of you are familiar with my “three things” way of writing serials.) I can tell you that the setting is rural Mississippi in the late 1950s to early 60s.  My narrator is named Birdie Devovo.  Which brings me to your invitation… 

Come out to play!

It seems like a long time since I’ve been able to involve you, the reader, in my stories.  That actually makes a lot more work for me.  However, I love including you.  Dan will be giving me photos and two random things.  So I invite you to leave one random thing in the comments. That will make the total of three things. 

The first episode will post a week from today.  All three things will be from Dan on that chapter, but after that I will start including reader “things.” 

A rather old blues song has been running around in my head.  It helped me write the mystical prologue for the story, so I’ll go ahead and share it. Be sure to leave a random “thing” in the comments.  Happy weekend!

 

And don’t forget!

Coming up, another Roaring Twenties pantser tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

***

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

Bijou front only 2

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 ©  2018 and 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.

 

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

I’ve had my hands full trying to put my cottage in order, now that I’m feeling better from the ordeal of moving, not sleeping, and being as freaked out as anybody can be.  There was one other thing I worked on this week.  Here’s a hint.

Lulu in front of train's caboose with dinosaurs

An image for One Million Years B-Lulu. Art by Rob Goldstein

That said, I didn’t have a post for this weekend.  However, I did want to stop and wish you a happy weekend, from me, Lulu and all the crew of the #dieselpunk train!  You’re the bee’s knees!

Update! I forgot to link to Rob’s blog — it’s here.

And don’t forget!

Coming in Spring

Another Roaring Twenties Pantser Tale

Continuing the adventures of Pip and Granny, it’s…

Three Ingredients 2

A Ghost in the Kitchen!

Stay tuned, shieks and shebas!  

You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

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

Bijou front only 2

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 ©  2018 and 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.