Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 11.1

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Val Margosha getting on train All Abord

Rose and Valentino boarding the train back at the abandoned subway station.  Now Rose has left the train.  Valentino is gravely ill. Read on to find out what happens next!

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Summer is in full force and so is the diesel-punk train!  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas here at the station. 

You already know that this story is unplanned. I write it spontaneously as artist, illustrator, and “co-conspirator” Rob Goldstein sends new groups of “three things.”  However, that doesn’t mean that once I get a thing I don’t have to figure out how to evolve what exists of the plot to make it go with the thing.  (Did that make sense?)  This time it was taking me awhile to do that — get the characters, location, and the events that have happened so far — to mesh with the next thing.  So this episode doesn’t have a true thing.  I simply gave it a title.

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2

Valentino calls us to the station with his trumpet, by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Due to sabotage to the Tesla coil, Valentino’s train passed into a painting. Heroic efforts by the clockwork angel-bots brought everyone back onto the train.  However, they’re all still worried about Valentino.  Back at the Cotton Club he said that he didn’t have long to live.  Valentino’s health continues to diminish because of the damage to his connection with the train.

As the train traveled, Lulu caught a glimpse of mysterious and huge multicolored wings. 

Finally the train thudded into the sands of Egypt.  However, outside there were two Egypts and one of them was upside-down — people there were the opposite of what they were in our world. Rose spotted the opposite version of Tom Driberg there and she parted company with us to be with him.

The story picks up where Chapter 10.3 ended.  Now to Chapter 11.1.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 11.1

Papá

LuLu in Egypt 3 Valentino Gramps foreground

Valentino, Angel-bot, Lulu, Gramps and others, by Rob Goldstien

My hand was on the door to the “upside-down” Egypt.  I couldn’t just let Rose leave to be with Tom when he had caused so much trouble for her.  He willingly put her life in danger for the sake of his espionage. 

Yet when I saw the way that Tom looked at Rose I removed my hand from the door.  The angel-bot, Moon, had said people in that Egypt were the opposite of what they were in our world.  The expression on that Tom’s face was one of innocence and pure love.

“Señorita,” Moon began but he didn’t seem to know what to say.

“No one has ever looked at me like that,” I murmured.

“Señorita, are you unwell?” Moon asked.

I used the back of my hand to wipe my nose and sniffed, mumbling that I was fine.

Lulu hat reclining

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

Then I fell flat on my rump.

The train shifted dramatically to one side.  Only moments before, it had crashed into a sand dune.  I supposed it was not stable.  Neither was Valentino.  Abruptly I was worried about what harm the unexpected motion might have caused Valentino.  He was already deathly ill.

A fluttering sensation deep inside my ears caused me to shake my head.  It was the oddest feeling, and it wouldn’t stop.  The fluttering was like having a tiny bird caught inside my head.

It caused me to think of the large multicolored wings I glimpsed before.  Right after seeing those wings I had felt something thud against the top of the train.  I wondered if that impact led to its shift of position.  Did whatever it was hit the train?

My head started to buzz.  The lights flickered sharply, almost like the flash of a camera.

For an instant I saw a gorgeous woman wearing a long white gown.  Her black hair was like a smooth sheet of onyx.  In contrast to her elegance, I thought her little hat was funny.  Or maybe it was a crown, but it mostly looked like a tiny chair on top of her head.

Iset full black gown Lulu - Goddess-3 (1)

Mysterious for sure, but good or bad?  Rob Goldstein

Her eyes narrowed dangerously when I met her appraising gaze.  There was nothing funny about the look she gave me.

The lights flashed again and she vanished as quickly as she had appeared.  I shook my head again.  The fluttering sensation was gone.  After seeing that woman appear and disappear, I felt my head for a bump.  I didn’t remember hitting my head, and I hadn’t had a drink all day, but nobody could just pop into existence and then vanish like that.  I was sure I must have been seeing things.

Feeling disoriented, I struggled to my feet and looked outside.  The shift caused the train to tilt.  The ground was several feet below the door.  I wondered if I could jump that far without hurting myself.

I watched in unmoving astonishment as dozens of angel-bots swarmed out of the train.  It looked as though the clockwork attendants were trying to right the train. 

My foot caught on something and I fell again.  I saw Gramps headed toward me.

“Lulu, are you all right?” my grandfather asked.

Gramps effortlessly pulled me to my feet.  My grandfather’s speakeasy didn’t really need a bouncer when he was there.  He was still a strong man.  I wasn’t sure how I got my klutziness, but it didn’t come from him.  His big mustache was perfectly groomed and his bowtie was straight.  I doubted that he even stumbled when the train tilted.

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue

Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

“I should go check on Valentino,” I told him.

Clicking from the heels of Pearl’s oxfords preceded her.  Glittering earrings that skimmed her bare shoulders swung as she walked.  Pearl always wore earrings.  Sometimes I thought that must be the first thing she put on in the mornings.  To Pearl, the longer and more dramatic the earrings the better.  However, something had spilled down the front of her beaded gown and her fair hair was mussed.

“Wicky, Wacky, and Woo are with Valentino,” Pearl told me as she walked toward us.  “He was raving something, but his speech was slurred.  It sounded like he kept asking about something, ‘Is it’ whatever.  I asked him ‘Is what?’ but he moaned and passed out again.”

Horsefeathers.  I didn’t know he was delirious.  He’s gotten worse then,” I murmured.

Gramps nodded and looked at me gravely.

“Lulu, how will we get home?” Pearl suddenly wailed.

Pearl started crying and Gramps put a fatherly arm around her shoulder.  She grabbed my hand.

Pearl_Lulu 1

Pearl by Rob Goldstein

“I’m sorry Lulu.  I shouldn’t have said what I did,” Pearl told me with a quick glance at Gramps.

I could tell that she didn’t want me to let my grandfather know what she had said.  (Chapter 10.2)  Pearl had spoken with heated contempt about “the kind of people” I was from, as she phrased it.

I wanted to shout at Pearl, to point out that she only apologized for saying out loud what she was thinking.  That wasn’t an apology.  It wasn’t any better than a thief being sorry he got caught.  She hadn’t shown any regret for what she felt. 

However, I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t want to even look at her.  So instead I pretended interest in Moon’s busy tinkering.

Moon opened a narrow panel next to the door.  I didn’t know what the engineering bot was trying to achieve.  Moon appeared to know all the mysterious workings of Valentino’s train.  With a click and a pop, the exit door opened.

It looked like the angel-bots outside had managed to brace the train to prevent it shifting again.  Then one of them pointed toward the Great Pyramid in the distance.  Abruptly they stopped their work.  All the clockwork creatures moved toward the one who pointed.

Val Lulu long skirt Rolls

Art by Rob Goldstein

A cloud of sand billowed behind an automobile as is sped toward us. 

“This is extraordinary!” Moon exclaimed.

“What do you mean?” I asked the automaton.

“It’s Papá!” Moon cried.

***

The End

***

Horsefeathers!  Now what?  Pearl wants forgiveness, but has no remorse for thinking Lulu and Gramps are second class.  A strange woman flickered in for an instant, and she didn’t look too happy to see Lulu.  And what the Sam Hill did Moon mean by Papá? 

Be at the station next week to find out more. 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Real World Notes

Earrings.  Roaring Twenties fashion, including jewelry had a focus on movement.  The popularity of short haircuts resulted in the trend of long and dangling earrings. Earrings became a statement piece in their own right, rather than an afterthought.  Here’s an article with lovely pictures.

Did you notice the bit in this chapter about Pearl and those long earrings?  Keep an eye out next time for something related to those earrings. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  Next of the random “things” Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 is Violet Ray.  We’ll see where that takes this diesel-punk train and who else comes aboard! 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.3

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4th group

Avatars created by Rob Goldstein, added zaniness by Teagan

To all you Sheiks and Shebas in the USA, happy Independence Day!

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays. As you know, the illustrator and Sender of Things for this spontaneously written story is San Francisco artist, Rob Goldstein. (Click here for the entire collection of Rob’s videos.)

Rob let me play with some of his dolls/avarars to make a July Fourth image. Creating it helped me de-stress a little.  Valentino is looking a bit miffed as Tesla puts an arm around Lulu and a saluting angel-bot, as fireworks light the sky behind a Tesla tower.

Awhile back, Rob had an image idea with Valentino as an angel, but it wasn’t part of the story.  So I told him I didn’t mind if he had his own parallel part of what I call the Lulu-verse — the universe of all the things that make up Hullaba Lulu.  That’s been working for us.  We work together, Rob illustrating and me writing.  Yet sometimes we let things drift into other quadrants of the Lulu-verse.  Like the Hullaba Lulu Dreams post.  Rob’s latest video is like that too.

With today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu I’ve finally gotten to the other “things” for Chapter 10 of the series.  The action picks up where Chapter 10.2 stopped.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

With some instructions from angel-bot Moon, Lulu made music with the theremin. It wasn’t a cure for his malaise, but it helped temporarily bring Valentino back into tune with his train.   

The planchette from the Ouija board drew a triangle and wrote the words “secret chamber.”  Then the train thudded into the sand dunes of Egypt! 

It’s time for the rest of Chapter 10.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 10.3

Wave Frequency Machine, Hidden Door

Lulu Egypt Green Pyramids-test-1

Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

I gawked at the Great Pyramid in astonishment.  My eyes swept the barren landscape hoping for another glimpse of those multicolored wings ― and the creature to whom they belonged.  I couldn’t imagine what could have such wings.

After a moment I turned on my kitten heels and ran toward the nearest exit door of the train.  The door had a porthole window, but the Great Pyramid couldn’t be seen from that angle.  Rose stood at the door with one hand poised to open it, but she made no move to do so.

“We might finally be far enough away for me to be safe, but we’re in the middle of nowhere and in a desert no less!” Rose cried and banged her fist against the wall in frustration.

Margosha-rose_004x

Rose by Rob Goldstein

I don’t know what she must have hit, but a panel in the train’s wall slid open to reveal a hidden door.  It also had a window, but the view was of a completely different scene.  It was a busy archaeological dig.

The clank of automaton footfalls caused me to turn.  Moon rushed to catch up with me.  The blue-gold engineering-bot had stopped to pick up an odd-looking contraption.

Outside, a familiar face looked toward the train.  Rose saw him too and sighed wistfully.  It was Tom Driberg.  He was a journalist, so perhaps he was there to report on the discovery of some pharaoh’s tomb.  However, Tom was also a spy, so there was no telling what he might be doing.

“I guess I wouldn’t be that safe here after all, even in the back end of Egypt.  Because I can’t trust myself not to give in to Tom,” Rose murmured.  “You know Lulu, he just wasn’t the person he made himself out to be.  I thought I had taken up with a madcap reporter.  Gradually, before I fully realized what was happening, he pulled me into his world of espionage and deceit.  Even when I learned about it, he made it seem like wild fun.  I was up to my ears in it before I understood how bad it all was.  If only Tom had been the person he made me think he was.”

Val and Tom D

Valentino and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

I didn’t know what to say to comfort Rose.  I gave her shoulder a pat and asked if she’d like to go to the automat and get a gin rickey, but she gazed mutely out the window.  As my eyes followed hers I contemplated the contradiction between the scenes outside the two doors.  Tom Driberg was at an archaeology dig beyond the hidden door.  However, the view outside the main door was only desert sand, with the Great Pyramid in the distance.

“Moon?” I inquired of the automaton.  “Why are there two different Egypts outside?  Are both of them sideways?”

“Señorita, please do not open that door.  It is far too dangerous,” Moon said to Rose and gently touched her arm. 

“So, Lulu is right?” Rose asked, dropping her hand from the door.  “We went sideways again, like at Atlantic City?”

Pyramid Outside portal

Egypt Outside the Portal, by Teagan Geneviene

A series of clicks and whirs came from the angel-bot before he spoke.

“Apologies.  I don’t speak flapper as well as Dynamite.  That Egypt is not sideways.  You might say it was upside down or backwards,” Moon explained, pointing to the window of the main door.  “People and sometimes events are opposite to what they are in your world.  If you knew that man—Tom for a bad man, then out there, he may be a good one,” Moon added and changed the direction of his pointing finger to the portal in the door that was hidden until a moment before.

Rose’s hand went back to the door as she stared outside at Tom.  Moon seemed to guess her intention.  The automaton’s next words caused me to inhale sharply.

“However, there might well be a very bad version of you there as well,” Moon continued.  “She would likely be driven to illuminate any duplicates of herself if you encountered one another.  Here,” he said, holding the odd machine with one hand and adjusting knobs with the other.  “Allow me please, to check your frequency.”

When I asked Moon what he was about, he called the gizmo a wave frequency machine.  The metal box had a cone-shaped device that made a wee-woo-wee-woo sound as it swung back and forth when Moon held it near Rose.  After taking a reading from Rose, he pointed the machine to the window with the upside-down-backward Egypt.  It wee-wooed for a moment before beeping rapidly.

Rose Moon Wave Frequency

Moon checks Rose’s wave frequency

Moon pointed the cone-shaped part at a blank wall and it projected a moving image, just like a film in a theatre.  It showed a gravestone for Margosha Rose MacDonald.  My pal Rose gasped at the site of her own grave.

“All is well, Señorita.  The demise of your duplicate there has nothing to do with your own health.  In fact, it should be safe for you to go to that Egypt,” Moon stated.

“I wonder what your boss would say about that,” Rose began.  “But he’s in no condition to try and order me around.  Wait though.  If I go there, will I become the opposite of what I am now?”

“No, Señorita.  You will remain as you are,” Moon replied.

“What about me, Moon?” I asked the clockwork attendant.  “Is there an evil me out there?”

A series of clicks and whirs preceded Moon’s pronouncement.

“No, Señorita.  None of the upside-down worlds have duplicates of you or of Valentino,” he said, rendering me speechless.

 

Gramps inside train

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

I didn’t realize Gramps was standing behind us until he spoke.  I jumped halfway out of my skin.

“What about me, or my late wife, Priscilla?” Gramps asked the angel-bot.

Moon twisted knobs and pointed the cone-thing at my grandfather and at the window.  In a moment he projected the image of a large tombstone that bore the names of both my grandparents.  I didn’t see anything about Lauren, my mother.  I was silent, waiting to see if Gramps would ask about her, but he did not.

“My apologies Señor,” Moon began.  “Although it might be safe for you or Señorita MacDonald to go there, it would be unwise.  There could be problems should you encounter someone who thought you were dead.”

“And me?” I wanted to know.  “Are you saying that I never even existed on any of these upside-down worlds?”

“Señorita, I have no information on the potential consequences of you visiting one of these worlds,” Moon replied apologetically.  “I don’t believe Valentino would advise you to go.”

Rose started to open the door, but I caught her arm.  Did she mean to just rush out into an upside-down Egypt?  Then I saw the expression on her face when she looked at Tom.  It was something I wasn’t sure I still had.  Hope.

“I would be safe from the Russian spies and Tom Driberg would be a good man,” Rose whispered.  “Don’t let anyone come for me, Lulu!”

Morg-rose_019x

Rose goes to Tom in the “upside down Egypt,” by Rob Goldstein

Too quickly for any of us to stop her, Rose rushed out the door.  I turned to my grandfather.

“Lauren might be out there somewhere,” I began.  “A good version of Lauren.  Are you going?”

Gramps stood quietly for a moment, looking out the window.  We watched as Rose ran to Tom.  Deiberg seemed to recognize her.  He picked her up in a hug and swung her around.  Her expression was joyous.  Gramps swallowed hard and then turned away.

“No, Lulu.  What would I want with a world where you never existed?” he replied in a rough voice then he walked back down the corridor.

I wiped a tear from my eye and looked outside again.  Rose waltzed away with Tom.

Rose and Tom

Rose and Tom Driberg dance, by Rob Goldstein

A shadow fell over the train.  I glanced out the window at the real Egypt.  I barely caught a flash of multicolored wings.  Then I heard a soft thud, as if something landed on top of the train.

***

The End

***

Real World Notes

Archaeology in 1920s Egypt.  Video Digging Into the Past: Egyptian Excavations circa 1920 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wave Frequency Machine:  This “thing” came from the real world in a different way.  Actually it isn’t from the “real” world at all.  Rob put this video clip in a comment and a “thing” was born.  It’s from the vintage TV series, My Favorite Martian.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 — Sarcophagus, Remote Control, Violet Ray!  Right now, I have no idea where the seat of my pantser pants will fly with those things.  Horsefeathers… what the Sam Hill is violet ray? 

I hope to see you on our diesel-punk train again next week.  Thanks for visiting.  

You’re the caterpillar’s kimono! 

***

Now the requisite shameless self-promotion for 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.2

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bot on unicorn Rocking horse The Pyramid 4

Art by Rob Goldstein

I apologize and hope everyone finds this post…. I made a scheduling error…

Welcome everyone.  The diesel-punk train has arrived at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas!  Artist, Rob Goldstein  created a new video and more wonderful images for this episode. Check out his latest video, Am I Blue.   His post, Dance of the Bots features the video.  If you need a comprehensive review of this serial, Rob has a post with links to past chapters

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Due to sabotage to the Tesla coil, Valentino’s train passed into a painting. Heroic efforts by the clockwork angel-bots brought everyone back onto the train.  However, it is still inside some kind of vortex and Valentino’s health continues to diminish. 

This time

In this episode we learn more about what’s in Lulu’s head as she experiences her strange adventure on Valentino’s train.  Pearl has something on her mind as well.  This episode is nearly 2,000 words.  The story picks up where Chapter 10.1 ended.Now to Chapter 10.2.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 10.2

The Theremin

Train travel vortex blue corridor Flight to Egypt-9

Art by Rob Goldstein

The brandy Dynamite intended to help me go to sleep wasn’t as strong as any of the giggle water that flowed through my grandfather’s speakeasy.  It didn’t have much effect on me.  I pretended to fall asleep so that he and Ginger would leave and go about their business ― whatever that was for clockwork creatures.

Dynamite and the other angel-bots risked life and limb to get everyone back on the train, I thought.  Life?  Clockwork creatures?  They must be more than other machines.  Whatever the case, they deserve some time to do what they want, not look after me.

Everyone was worried about Valentino.  After his collapse while his automobile followed the train into the Pittura Metafisica, and the dramatic way the angel-bots got us back inside the train, his deteriorating physical condition couldn’t be kept quiet.  Moon had figured it out when he discovered that the Tesla coil had been sabotaged.  I had a hunch he had blabbed to the other clockwork attendants.

Valentino n Bots in dark room

Valentino with angle-bots, by Rob Goldstein

Humph… gossiping angel-bots.  They seem more human all the time.  They’re definitely not ordinary automatons, I thought.

I was feeling confused and conflicted.  Valentino had separate histories with my grandfather, and later with my mother.  The odd tension between the two men could be fierce, but I sensed something deeper too.

My friends, Rose and Pearl acted like smitten kittens when the handsome and mysterious man was around.  Horsefeathers!  So had that journalist who turned out to be a spy, Tom Driberg.  It seemed the sheik attracted everyone.  Though I couldn’t admit it, not even to myself, I may have carried a torch for Valentino too.

“Speak of the devil and he doth appear,” I muttered as Pearl stepped from her sleeper car and into the corridor.

Morg-rose_009x

Rose and Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Although Pearl was no devil.  Everybody said she was a darned nice girl.  Her red eyes and nose told me she had been crying.  I thought her crush on Valentino must have been more intense than I realized, but that wasn’t it.

“Hey!  Do you want to go down to the automat for bloody marys?” I asked with a grin and a wink.

It was my nature to put cheering up my friends ahead of the need I felt to be alone.  So I tried to hide my own confusion and sadness.

“Lulu, how can you stand this?  I’ve never been through anything as horrible as this trip.  Everything about this train and the places we’ve been is… upside down,” Pearl said and her tears began go flow.  “It’s terrifying!  And Rose is the worst part of it!  For years, I thought she was my friend, and it turns out she was some kind of spy with Tom Driberg.  She’s from a good family.  I thought she was swell, but she was just using me the whole time, so she could hide.”

I was stunned by Pearl’s vehemence.  I couldn’t think of what to say.  While I searched for words, she looked at me as if my lack of response betrayed her as much as she felt Rose had.

“Rose had big things to hide from,” I began, uncertain of what I felt myself.  “She mislead us about her past, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a friend.”

“You wouldn’t understand.  How could you, with the kind of people you come from?” Pearl continued on a frustrated sob.  “I know life is different for you, and I don’t hold it against you.  But I love my family and I want to go back to them. I need to get back before everyone thinks I’ve run off with a bunch of…” Pearl glanced at me and paused.  “I just want to go home!”

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers, by Rob Goldstein

Pearl turned back to her rooms and slammed the door behind her.  What she said about the kind of people I come from made an empty spot in my stomach.  Maybe Rose wasn’t the only friend who wasn’t what she had seemed.  I wondered if a cheeseburger would help.

Maybe Pearl was right about Rose.  She wasn’t who she let us think, but did that change the person she was?  Maybe what Pearl said about me had just been a poor choice of words, but I started to wonder if either of my friends were the people they made themselves out to be.

Feeling even more despondent than before, I wandered the corridors of the train.  My thoughts briefly went to Tom and my mother, Lauren.  Both of them, although not together, used that tilt-a-whirl to run away, back at the amusement park.  I said good riddance to both of them, but I couldn’t help wondering where they might have landed.  The only thing that seemed certain was that due to the properties of the strange ride, they wouldn’t have gone to the same place.

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls

Valentino, Lulu, and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

I kept walking, trying to get my thoughts to fall into some semblance of order.

A soft light emanated from the control room of the train.  It was dark except for illumination from the various strange devices.  As the comfort of the gentle glows beckoned me, I promised myself to make sure I didn’t bump into anything else.  The last thing I wanted was a repeat of the Tesla coil incident.  I walked into the room stiffly, trying to be careful.

My eyes swept the room to make sure I was alone.  A single tear sneaked onto my cheek.  Then another fell.  Abruptly, rivers of tears ran down my face.  I was sad to think Valentino would die, but I hardly knew him.  So, I didn’t understand my uncontrollable grief.  I felt that hope abandoned me just as my mother had.

A quiet click drew my attention to the large golden control angel.  The Ouija board that was part of the navigation system was attached to the statue.  The board started to exude a thin fog of ectoplasm.  I bent closer to look at it.  Some of my tears dripped onto the Ouija board.

Lulu Valentino in the control room

The train’s control system including angel statue and Ouija board. Art by Rob Goldstein

The soft click came again.  I looked up and saw the stationary angel statue staring me right in the eyes.  So, it had looked at me that other time!  I took a breath intending to tell it off when the heart-shaped planchette from the Ouija suddenly jumped off the board and shot right past my nose!

The planchette had a small hole to hold a pencil that could be used for automatic writing.  The heart-shaped piece of wood flew over to the Orthophonic Victrola.  (Chapter 4.)  The Victrola had been connected to an odd looking device, which had an antenna at either end.

I straightened my arms at my sides and clinched my fists, so that I wouldn’t touch the thing.  I heard another click from the control angel statue.  Her eyes were opened very wide.  Until the moment before, I hadn’t thought she was completely immobile.  For all I knew, she might up and walk across the room, but her only movement was in her eyes.

She repeatedly turned her eyes from me to the device.

I gingerly stretched one hand closer to an antenna.  She blinked.  I drew my hand back.  She blinked twice.  I took a deep breath and reached with both hands ― a single hard blink.

Control room The Angel_0322-

The control room of Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

I moved my hands near the antennae.  The device began to whine and moan like a ghost.  The sound was amplified by the Orthophonic Victrolla and the loudspeaker sent it throughout the train.  I jerked back and the sound stopped.

The sound of rapid metal footsteps preceded Moon’s arrival.  The clockwork engineer bounced on his toes excitedly.  I started blabbing that I hadn’t touched anything, that the angel told me to do it.

“No, Miss!  This is wonderful.  Do it again!” Moon cried in answer to my defensive babble.  “None of the angel-bots have been able to make the theremin work.  It doesn’t seem to respond to clockwork creatures.”

“The what?” I asked skeptically.

“Valentino is deteriorating quite rapidly,” Moon explained in his subtly Spanish accent.  “The theremin should stabilize his condition, but none of us could cause it to make music.  Please, Miss.  Put your hands out again.”

I did as Moon asked, but the hellish sound started again, so I drew back.  He made motions over the machine, but it had no effect.  I tried to copy his movements.

The Angel -Ship-Dark

Angel control system, Art by Rob Goldstein

“The antennae sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and the control oscillators,” he began explaining in techno-babble. “With one hand you control the frequency, and the volume with the other.  The electric signals from the theremin are amplified by the Orthophonic Victrola and sent throughout the train by the loudspeaker.”

“And this will help Valentino?” I asked, perplexed.

“It is unlikely to heal him, but it is my theory that the right frequencies from the theremin will stabilize him, hopefully long enough for healing to be found,” Moon told me.

“Just as the instruments of the train have to be attuned to one another, so does Valentino have to be attuned to the train.  That balance was sabotaged, as you know,” the blue-gold angel-bot continued.  “Yes, keep moving your hands like that.  The vibrations are pleasing so I think you are using the correct frequency.”

Bots w Huge angel blue Bots Get Down

Art by Rob Goldstein

What at first sounded like ghostly moaning, under Moon’s direction became more musical.  Although it was still an eerie sound.  Several of the clockwork attendants quietly gathered in the control room.  The odd music seemed to please them, but in a soothing, almost mesmerizing way.

An indigo colored light suffused the area.  A collective sigh came from the angel-bots.

The calm was broken when the trumpet levitated from the place where it rested.  It blew a single sustained note, an A.

“You may stop now, Miss.  The harmonic spectrum is in balance,” Moon explained, though it didn’t make a lick of sense to me.  “That should help Valentino… at least temporarily.”

He picked up the Tesla coil to examine it and I cringed, remembering how wild the lightning from it could become.  Moon still bore the scorch marks.  A series of clicks came from the clockwork engineer.  The sound reminded me of someone saying “tut tut.”

Portal Valentino_Entering ND-2

Valentino out of tune, by Rob Goldstein

“Do you know how to fix him permanently?” I asked and hated the pleading tone of my voice.

Moon shook his head and looked down sadly.

“The adjustments the theremine will not hold.  I will have to ask you to repeat the process from time to time.  Is that agreeable to you?” he asked and I nodded mutely.

The planchette started scratching where it had landed by the theremin.  Moon quickly got a sheet of paper and slid it under the pencil of the heart-shaped tool.  It zigzagged and looped across the paper.  Abruptly it stopped.  I looked at the product of the automatic writing.

“It drew a big triangle and wrote secret chamber?” I read aloud.

Bot Valentino Lulu inside train windows Flight to Egypt-4

Art by Rob Goldstein

Suddenly it felt as though the floor dropped out from under me.  There was a heavy thud and a hiss similar to tires spraying gravel.

“I don’t think that was a triangle,” Moon stated as he gazed out the large windows of the control room.

The train had stopped.  The clockwork attendants were quick to make sure all the mechanisms of the of the train were in place.

At first, I thought the scene beyond the window was nothingness.  Then I realized it was sand… an endless ocean of sand.

With a whoosh, the sky darkened.  I gazed at multicolored wings in flight before they quickly vanished.

My eyes followed the direction of the wings.  Squinting, in the distance I saw it.  The Great Pyramid.

Sphinx Tesla Tower

Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene

***

The End

***

Bushwa!  Lulu is afraid Valentino is going to die.  Well, he said he would if he’s separated from the train.  Will there be time to save him?  Tune in again next week!

Real World Notes

The Theremin.  Originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone or thereminophone, a theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The remaining things Rob sent to drive Chapter 10 are Wave Frequency Machine and Hidden Door.  Your guess is as good as mine for what I’ll do with those things. 

I hope to see you will be at the station again next week to catch the diesel-punk train.

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

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.1

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lulu Valentino chaos outside train Arrival 1

Lulu & Valentino see chaos outside the train when it passes into a Pittura Metafisica, by Rob Goldstein

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays, Sheiks and Shebas!  I’m happy to see you here at the station for this diesel-punk, pantser story.  Artist, Rob Goldstein  created a new video that serves as a visual recap for the series up to this point.  Rob’s post, Hullaba Lulu: The Music Goes Round talks about what he did.  If you want a more comprehensive review, he generously made a post with links to all the past chapters

(Click here for Rob’s entire collection of videos.)

This time I didn’t even make it to the first of the three things Rob sent for our tenth chapter… but I’m still calling this episode Chapter 10.1.  It wasn’t an official “thing” but as I was writing, I realized that I needed an electromagnet. So that’s my title for this segment.  The action picks up where Chapter 9.3 stopped.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Valentino told Gramps and Lulu that he is connected to the train and can’t be separated from it.  Worse, he said he doesn’t have long to live.

“I have kept the knowledge to myself, because you did not share it,” Moon began.  “But I know that your connection to the train has deteriorated.  I think the damage to the Tesla coil slowly eroded as your condition became worse.” 

Cotton Club Valentino on Car

Valentino reclining atop his Rolls-Royce outside the Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino’s train was out of control and headed straight for the Cotton Club.  However, instead of crashing into the nightclub, the train traveled into a Pittura Metafisica mural on the outside wall of the club. That created a strange vortex, pulling the Rolls-Royce and all the angel-bots into the painting along with the train.

Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet? 

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 10.1

Electromagnet

Rocking horse bot pulled after train The Pyramid 1

Things being pulled behind the train as it passes into a Pittura Metafisica

As the train went into the Pittura Metafisica of the bizarre Egyptian scene, I was mortified.  Valentino couldn’t be physically far away from the train.  Worse he said he didn’t have long to live.  So, I had to think that any separation at all would be more than he could take.

Yet I didn’t have time to focus on that thought because as the train charged into the painting it pulled the Rolls-Royce, the clockwork angel-bots, and a few nearby objects into the painting with it.

Colors whirled outside the vehicle’s windows.  Valentino grew pale and his hands shook.  He was telling Gramps something about “vortex” but I could barely hear them over the noise Rose and Pearl made. 

General vortex Flight to Egypt-5

Vortex, by Rob Goldstein

Giving a girlish scream wasn’t something I was likely to do, not after what Valentino said about dying back at the Cotton Club.  That weighed too heavily on my mind for me to have half a thought about being pulled inside a painting. 

Besides, it all happened so fast, there wasn’t time to divide one thought from the other.  My pals had not been at the table.  They didn’t know about Valentino.  There hadn’t been time to tell them, but I figured that wasn’t mine to tell anyway.  I didn’t know whether or not Valentino meant it to be a secret.

Our immediate peril became clear.  Outside, two angel-bots seemed to lose their hold on the vehicle.  When Ginger cried out I knew one of those bots was Dynamite.  By his blueish coloring the other bot had to be Moon. 

I gasped in consternation as they tumbled away from the Rolls.  Then I realized that they let go of the Rolls deliberately in a rash attempt to reach the train.  As Dynamite hurtled forward he grabbed hold of the railing on the train.  He caught Moon’s arm and the two of them gradually climbed onto the train and hurried inside.

Bot Valentino Lulu inside train windows Flight to Egypt-4

Train entering Pittura Metafisica

Soon all the angel-bots had made a chain, in much the same way that people would make a human chain to rescue a skater who fell through the ice.  Although I had only seen that done in pictures.  Clumsy as I was, that was one calamity that had never befallen me.  But then, I had never been ice skating.

Dynamite and Moon emerged from the train and wheeled out a machine about the size of a Victrola cabinet.  It was topped with a cylinder and a lot of wires, and the cabinet had a bunch of knobs and even more wires.  Valentino muttered the word electromagnet.

Moon twisted the knobs.  I heard a loud hum.  The automobile surged forward, connecting itself to the train.  The angel-bots gathered to make sure it was firmly attached.  Then they helped Pearl, Rose, Gramps, and me get on the train.

Briefly I wondered why the angel-bots weren’t stuck to the electromagnet.  I supposed they really were made from gold, rather than from some fake metal.  Before I could be astonished by that fact, a question from Pearl caused me to whirl away from the machine and the bots.

“Where is Valentino?  Is he still in the Rolls?” Pearl asked.

Valentino Bots Green Metropolis 6

Valentino with Angel-bots, by Rob Goldstein

There was commotion around the automobile.  Valentino had collapsed.  So many of the angel-bots surrounded him that I couldn’t tell whether he was even conscious.

I tried to follow the clockwork figures who carried Valentino, but there were so many that they blocked the corridor.  I could see my grandfather’s hat.  He was taller than the others.  I was relieved that Gramps was with him.

Suddenly Dynamite and Ginger were beside me.

“Moon is quite skilled.  He can’t cure Valentino, but I know he will help,” Dynamite said in a comforting southern drawl.

“You should get some rest,” Ginger added.

I hadn’t noticed we were right outside my sleeper car.  Ginger opened my door and motioned me inside.  She plumped the pillows on my bed.  Next thing I knew, Dynamite handed me a snifter of brandy.

Lulu towel Bots Metropolis 4

Angel-bots looking after Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

I stood motionless, gazing in fascination at the chaos that fled by my window.  Wildly shifting scenes rushed past. 

Then, strangest of all I saw a vast multicolored wing.  Whatever it was must have been flying directly above the train. 

***

The End

***

Holly Hannah! I’m glad everyone is back on the train.  But applesauce!  Lulu has no idea whether Valentino is okay, but I’m glad it looks like Gramps is with him.  I wonder what the Sam Hill has “vast multicolored” wings?  Tune in again next week to see if the “things” answer any of those questions!

Real World Notes

Westinghouse surgical electromagnet 1915

Westinghouse surgical electromagnet 1915

Ectromagnet. A device in which a magnetic field is produced by an electric current.  William Sturgeon invented the electromagnet in 1825.  Sturgeon’s device came a mere five years after a Danish scientist discovered that electricity emitted magnetic waves. Sturgeon harnessed this idea and conclusively demonstrated that the stronger the electric current, the stronger the magnetic force.

His first electromagnet was a horseshoe-shaped piece of iron wrapped with a loosely wound coil. When a current was passed through the coil the electromagnet became magnetized, and when the current was stopped, the coil was demagnetized. It could lift nine pounds with a seven-ounce piece of iron wrapped with wires through which the current of a single cell battery was sent.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things Rob sent to drive Chapter 10 are The Theremin, Wave Frequency Machine and Hidden Door.  Your guess is as good as mine for what I’ll do with those things. 

I hope to see you will be at the station again next week to catch the diesel-punk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the berries!

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for 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.

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 9.3

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Featured Image -- 23201

Lulu and Valentino dance in a Pittura Metafisica, by Rob Goldstein

Hey there, Sheiks and Shebas! Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays. You already know I’m being a pantser as I write this story — flying by the seat of my pants, not planning anything.  All the details, major and minor are triggered by the sets of things from Rob Goldstein,  who creates the gorgeous images and videos for this series. (Click here for Rob’s entire collection of videos.)

Today I’m featuring music from the Jazz Age. There are videos for songs mentioned in this chapter from YouTube as well as some from Rob. I’m giving you those music breaks since this episode is about 2,000 words in length. That will help you save your place if you don’t have time.  If you don’t like long posts — you’ve been warned.

With today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu I’ve finally gotten to the third “thing” for Chapter 9 of the series.  The action picks up where Chapter 9.2 stopped.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Everyone but Lulu and the rose-gold angel-bot, Ginger had already left the train to go to the Cotton Club.  To make up time, they took Valentino’s Rolls-Royce. Unfortunately, Lulu doesn’t know how to drive! 

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2

Valentino and the trumpet, by Rob Goldstein

This time

Valentino makes a dire revelation.

Now to Chapter 9.3.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet? 

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 9.3

Star of David

Lulu bending Valentino car Cotton Club

The runaway Rolls-Royce ploughed down the street sign for 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue.  That slowed the automobile.  On the outer wall of the building I saw a big mural that had pyramids, a sphinx, and a strange tower.  I had only been to the Cotton Club a few times.  I didn’t remember any murals on the outside, but the posters on the sidewalk looked familiar.

The Rolls-Royce bounced up over the curb and rolled to a stop right in front of the door to the Cotton Club.

Boom-boom had managed to bring the fortuneteller booth that housed the automaton, Sipsing.  He and another angel-bot used a hand dolly to wheel the booth.  I wondered at Boom-boom’s fascination with the gypsy automaton.  It was not nearly as advanced as the angel-bots and it couldn’t communicate the way they did.  Maybe it was like a pet to him.

Cotton Club-Egyptian outside The Flight to Egypt-12

Cotton Club with Pittura Metafisica, by Rob Goldstein

Ginger and I got out of the vehicle.  I bent over to inspect Rolls.  A bit of steam trickled out from under the hood, but I figured it would be okay.

A group of angel-bots ran out and hustled us into the club.  As the door opened I heard the song “I Wanna Be Loved by You,” and knew that it must be Dynamite singing.  He carried a torch for Ginger.

The rose-gold angel-bot walked into the club just as he sang Boop-boop-de-boop!  Applause erupted from the audience when they saw Ginger.  With so many bots in the crowd, the clapping sounded like hundreds of little cymbals.  I gave Ginger a little push to get her up onto the stage with Dynamite.

Bot on stage Val Lulu Cotton Club-9

Dynamite at The Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

I had a glimpse of Rose and Pearl headed backstage.  I figured they would sing or dance, or both.  Those Shebas loved the spotlight.  My eyes found Gramps and Valentino at a table, so I joined them.  Gramps commented on the mural I noticed outside when I arrived.  My grandfather asked if Valentino painted it.  The enigmatic man nodded.

Earlier when I wondered if the Cotton Club might be like the strange version of Atlantic City, I was right.  I was pretty sure it was “sideways” too.  I had never seen a more elegant, sophisticated group of people at a night club.  Their clothes were extraordinary.  Those weren’t just glad rags, they were ecstatic!  Wild and wonderful colors and designs, they didn’t conform to any convention or norm of fashion I had ever seen.

Valentino_close Hat

Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

A woman at the table next to ours wore an exquisite Star of David pendant.  It was made from some rare and precious metal that was unknown to me, except that the angel-bot I named Moon had the same metallic blue finish.  In the center of the star was a sapphire as big as an eyeball.

When I looked at Valentino, I saw the woman’s Star of David reflected in the depths of his dark eyes.

Dynamite and Ginger left the stage.  They were followed by Pearl and Rose.  I took a sharp breath when I heard the first chord of the music.  I hated that song!  I slouched down in my chair and tried to pretend that I didn’t exist as Rose took the first part.

 

“You can bring Pearl, she’s a darned nice girl,” Rose sang and pointed to her friend.  “But don’t bring Lulu.”

I slid farther down in my chair.

“You can bring Rose with her turned up nose.  But don’t bring Lulu!” Pearl sang and they both pointed to me.

In utter mortification, my eyes wildly searched for the exit.  Gramps laughed at the antics of my pals.  Valentino smiled.

“Lulu, are you well?” he asked me in a puzzled voice.

My eyes and nose were the only thing above the tabletop, I had sunk down so far.  I realized there was only one way around the embarrassing scene.  Like the man said, “If you can’t lick ’em, jine ’em.”

Lulu n bots onstage

With a motion to angel-bots Wicky, Wacky, and Woo I went to the stage and we sang “Back in Nagasaki.”  When I belted out the words, “Hot ginger and dynamite,” the angel-bots in the audience got so excited that some of them jumped up onto the table tops.

As I went onstage, I saw Pearl and Rose move onto the dance-floor with a couple of swell looking Oliver Twists.  Those four were such great dancers that I almost forgot the song while I watched them.  However, I lost track of my pals while I sang.  When my number was over, I went back to the table with Gramps and Valentino.  The evening was beginning to wind down anyway.

“I haven’t seen you leave that train of yours without the trumpet,” Gramps commented to Valentino.  “I don’t pretend to understand the many mysteries of the train, but it seems like you can use the trumpet to make the train come to you.”

The pained look on the enigmatic man’s face suggested my grandfather hit a nerve.  Valentino gazed down at the brightly polished horn.  He swallowed hard.  His eyes were haunted as he looked from Gramps to me.

Gramps Valentino contorl room lightning

Gramps and Valentino, Tesla machine on the left

“I’m not able to go more than a short distance from the train,” Valentino began in a rough voice, but stopped to clear his throat.  “Lately I can’t leave the train at all unless I have some aspect of it with me.  The trumpet, the Rolls-Royce, the Ouija board, and other things are all aspects of the train.”

“When your daughter, Lauren traveled with me I underestimated her,” Valentino began with a regretful look at Gramps.  “There was another passenger, the most brilliant man I’ve ever met.  His name was Nikola Tesla.  Your daughter mesmerized him.”

Both men turned their eyes briefly to me.  Maybe they thought I would be defensive.  I didn’t know how my grandfather might feel about something negative being said about my mother, but I already understood what kind of person she was.

Bots and People Cotton Club-5-22--3

Inside the Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

“Wait a minute,” I objected.  “I’ve heard of Tesla.  He was too smart to be undone by a choice bit of calico.  Lauren couldn’t have been smarter than him.”

“No,” Valentino continued.  “However, Tesla was fragile in a way.  He also had phobias that Lauren used to her advantage.  I’ve never seen anyone get so upset at the touch of human hair.  Or the sight of a woman’s earrings…  It’s no wonder Nikola liked the angel-bots.”

“Lauren dissected an angel-bot to take the part that gives them intuition.  She used that plus alcohol and drugs to mesmerize Tesla.  Then she used the knowledge she pulled from him, along with the angel-bot’s mind…  I think she meant to take over the train and failed.  But in her attempt, she altered my connection to the train.  That’s why I can’t leave the train without having an aspect of it with me.  Now that glitch in my affinity with the train has grown,” Valentino stated, but paused and stared down at the trumpet.

La Garçonne-ectoplasm

Lauren on the train, by Rob Goldstein

“As my affinity with the train deteriorates, so do I,” Valentino explained.  “I haven’t much longer to live.”

Applause for the jazz band interrupted that horrible revelation.  My grandfather was speaking quietly to Valentino.  Both their voices had serious tones.  I was too stunned by what Valentino divulged to hear what they said.  I was speechless.  I couldn’t even look at either of them.  I stared blindly at that trumpet and desperately fought tears.

The crowd had thinned.  A group was gathered around the fortuneteller booth.  The familiar words of the automaton cut into my fugue.  Dazed, I turned to watch.

“Sipsing the Gypsy King knows all, sees all.  What would you divine?” it asked.

Question after question was posed.  The automaton dealt tarot cards in response.  Sometimes he made a mechanical remark about the cards.  Other times he remained silent.  Though I stared, I wasn’t paying attention until I realized that Sipsing’s audience had quieted to worried sounding murmurs.

Valentino abruptly stalked to the group.  His long legs took him across the room in a few strides.  His expression reminded me of the way he looked when he pulled me away from that Pittura Metafisica he’d painted.

Gilded Tarot Chariot.jpg

The Gilded Tarot, The Chariot

“Sipsing!” Valentino commanded the automaton.  “What is wrong?  What do you divine?”

The fortuneteller dealt a single tarot card ― the Chariot

Valentino went pale.

Just then Moon, the engineering-bot burst into the club.  His blue-gold finish was easily recognizable.  I saw several scorch marks marred the shine.

“You were to remain with the train,” Valentino challenged the angel-bot.

Moon was so distraught that could barely form a sentence.  His clockwork mechanisms clicked and whirred erratically.

“It’s the Tesla coil,” the engineering-bot blurted out.  “It’s shooting lightning randomly, haphazardly!”

In his excitement, Moon’s Cuban accent more pronounced than it was when I met him.  However, that wasn’t what took me aback.  Just before I left the train, I had nearly knocked the Tesla machine off its shelf.  I caught it, but when I put it back, I wasn’t sure if I set it down exactly the way it had been.

Valentino looked at me and I tried to act casually, but I couldn’t meet his eyes.

“I noticed the Tesla coil was turned backward.  Naturally that wouldn’t do any harm,” Moon added.

Bless the blue-gold bot, he gave me a quick reassuring glance.  I relaxed and looked Valentino on the eyes, and then raised my eyebrows inquiringly.

“But that made me examine the device,” Moon continued.  “I found that it had been changed, sabotaged.  It appears the initial sabotage was done quite some time ago.”

Moon paused awkwardly, looking down at his feet.  I placed my hand on his arm and urged him to continue.  He looked at Valentino.

“I have kept the knowledge to myself, because you did not share it,” Moon began.  “But I know that your connection to the train has deteriorated.  I think the damage to the Tesla coil slowly eroded as your condition became worse.”

Valentino cleared his throat uncomfortably.  I gradually became aware of a noise outside the club.

“Surely that didn’t cause you to leave the train,” Valentino stated.

“It’s the train!” Moon cried.  “The Tesla coil triggered the train.  Neither the control angel nor I could get it in check.  It will break free any moment.”

At that moment the trumpet spun around on the table.  Of its own accord the horn blared out the notes that had been sensuous when Valentino played them ― and it played the notes backward.

I thought Valentino’s eyes would pop out of his head.  That vein in his throat started throbbing.  The ground trembled.  The roar of the train filled the room.  I knew it must be headed right for the Cotton Club.

Everyone ran outside.  I saw that Pittura Metafisica of pyramids and a sphinx that Valentino painted on the wall at some past date.  My eye was drawn to the sphinx because oddly, it wore a Star of David as an earring ― and the earring was glowing.  Abruptly I realized the odd tower was a Tesla tower.  The picture came to life and lightning bolts shot from the tower as the train bore down upon us.  The pyramid in the painting started to glow.

Sphinx Tesla Tower

Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Valentino played the trumpet furiously, but it had no effect on the rapidly approaching train.

It was in sight by then and looming large.  Strangely it was the caboose that headed toward us.  The train was going backward.

Valentino yelled something about the Rolls Royce.  Gramps made sure Pearl, Rose, and I got into the car.  Some angel-bots squeezed into the car too.  We were packed like sardines.

It looked like my grandfather meant to give up his seat.  He would be left behind to whatever disaster headed our way.  Then Ginger got in and pulled Gramps inside to sit in her lap.  Any angel-bots that couldn’t fit inside the vehicle held onto the outside.

Somebody pressed the starter switch and Valentino hit the accelerator.  The Rolls shot out of the way just as the caboose rolled past.  I cringed and threw up my hands reflexively because I was sure the train would crash into the wall of the Cotton Club.

However, it went into the Pittura Metafisica.  I don’t mean it hit the mural, I mean it went into it!

Since Valentino said he could not be separated from the train, I was horrified.  He said he didn’t have long to live.  The train vanished into the painting, Valentino would surely die right away!

Wake of train travel red photo Flight to Egypt-8

Image by Rob Goldstein

***

The End

***

Bushwa!  Lulu is afraid Valentino is going to die.  Well, he said he would if he’s separated from the train.  Will there be time to save him?  Tune in again next week!

Real World Notes

The Cotton Club.   It was the place to be for music in the 1920s. The club’s beginning is a bit dubious with gangsters and such.  In 1920, Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, opened the Club Deluxe on 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue in the center of Harlem. Owney Madden, a white gangster, took over operations in 1923, and renamed the venue the Cotton Club. However, it was legendary for featuring black entertainers.

Val Lulu inside club Lurking Lauren (1)

Art by Rob Goldstein

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there, and terrific blog posts too. 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things Rob sent to drive Chapter 10 promise to be a big challenge for me — Wave Frequency Machine, The Theremin, and The Oscillation Overthruster!  Right now, I have no idea where the seat of my pantser pants will fly with those things.  Wish me luck!  I hope to see you on our diesel-punk train again next week.

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

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for 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.

 

Book Talk Gets Magical with Kev and Teagan

This post is already live at KC Books & Music.  I’m also posting it here so that it will be in my library too.  I hope you’ll click over and visit Kev, my host.

Book Talk Gets Magical with Kev and Teagan

Today I’m here with another Book Talk with Kev at KC Books and Music.  I’ve done some joint posts (click here), such as vignettes featuring my characters combined with recipes from Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.  So when Kev and I discussed me doing some “Book Talks” I got the idea to do something similar — but with his music!

I know that lately I’ve focused on my 1920s serial stories , The Three Things Serial and (coming up this spring)  I’m getting ready for the take-off of the second one, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I.  However, my Atonement, Tennessee “universe” seemed the best fit for Kev’s music.  When I asked Kev to pick something, he suggested his compelling and lovely song, Magical

Kev, would you say a few words about your song here?

I would love to Teagan, thank you. Magical is a love song/ballad where the artist expresses how his world has changed as if by magic since his lover came into his life. It is a song about the essence of falling in love. The original song was written many years ago. Last year, I thought I should do something with my song, Magical since I’ve finally started to have some of the songs I’ve written over the years recorded and released. I changed some of the lyrics to bring them up-to-date, but the music remains the same. It’s a mellow arpeggio played upon a classical guitar to keep the ‘magical’ feeling or mood, if you will.

No wonder I liked the song!

Kev and I both agreed it would be fun if I used something from the point of view of Lilith the calico cat.  Kev’s Magical is how I imagine Gwydion’s magic working on Ralda Lawton if everything had been well… right.  However, in quirky Atonement, Tennessee magic is rarely gentle.  So (as with most things in my fictional town) the magic Lilith witnesses Gwydion perform does not go as planned.  My the snippet does not go in the lovely way of Kev’s song, but it’s definitely magical.  From my work in progress, Atonement in Bloom, take a look at some of the magic Lilith saw.  The scene is followed by a trailer I made for the book-to-be.

***

feline-calico_xs_3280429

Lilith watched in fascination.  She could feel the magic in the air, even though the men didn’t appear to be doing much of anything.  She could particularly feel Gwydion’s power.  It made her skin tingle and the fur at the back of her head ruffled.

Gwydion used a stick to scratch at the ground at the foot of a giant old oak tree.  He dropped seeds there and deftly covered them.

Fine powder glittered in the moonlight and settled on the fresh dirt where the seeds were buried.  Gwydion stepped aside allowing the moonlight to touch the seeded ground.  Sprouts appeared immediately.  Before Lilith’s watching gaze they quickly grew into mature plants — small but ethereal blossoms of white and pink meadow sweet along with branches of the broom shrub, heavily laden with yellow flowers.

The unnaturally strong scent of the blossoms was powered by Gwydion’s fae magic.  The flowers ran vine-like and entwined with the ancient oak as it started to surge and pulse.purple-shooting-star

The huge and ancient oak had a split in its center that looked like a gaping maw.  The tree shuddered and groaned.  Two limbs, each thick as an adult human’s thigh, writhed and twisted.  As the limbs twined together and merged, they took on an undeniable resemblance to the form of a woman.  The branches became crossed legs, an arched back, and arms outstretched.  The head was held back and the placement of the oak’s bark created an agonized expression on the face.

Lilith crouched down fearfully, but was mesmerized by the horrible scene.  She was unable to turn away.

***

So there you have it… Kev’s Magical, and how it might go as a musical component to my story. Thank you Kev, for hosting me for this Book Talk.  Even if I could resist a pun, I’d still have to say it was magical.    

Mega hugs everyone!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.