Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 26.1

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cover Copper Alchemist Woman n Trousers

Welcome to Hidebound Hump Day.  Back in 2015 he three things” for this chapter were from Donna Parker at Yadadarcyyada.  Her writing is uniquely wonderful as she shares her thoughts on a variety of things.

Aside from the random things, Donna’s inventive blog name inspired an important part of this chapter.  Be sure to visit her blog and look around, read some posts.  (Bet-ya can’t stop at one.)  I think you’ll be glad you did.

There it is, my chuckaboos! The port’s sonar has detected the approach of the steampunk submarine.  It’s rising to the surface now, and we’re ready for another chapter of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 24  Copper was safely ensconced in a compartment beneath the “bridge” (desk) of Cornelis Drebbel’s submarine.  But the alchemist and the woman in trousers were quite intoxicated by the farts from the Green Fairy, aka Absinthe, who helps power the submarine.  Cornelis opened the hatch and he and Felicity hung out from the opening for some air to clear their befuddled heads.

Chapter 25  Cornelis remarked about about “other realities.”  Dash my wig, but that has me worried!  Absinthe, the Green Fairy used his own magic to create a map that showed Calvin Hixon’s location on a starry map. Or at least that’s what everyone seemed to think. 

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

26.1 — Ginger Beer and Cast Iron Finial

pagoda finial wikimedia

Finial from a pagoda in Sankeien, Yokohama. Wikimedia

Cornelis Drebbel’s submarine traveled quite smoothly, I was relieved to note.  After having been inebriated by the vapors of Absinthe the startled Green Fairy, I was feeling a bit fishy about the gills.  So I had worried about travel on — or rather under water.

To my astonishment, the tiny skunk-like fairy led me to a bottle of ginger beer.  With a sharp pop, Cornelis suddenly appeared at my elbow.

“Where did you run off to?” I asked, referring to the fact that a moment before the alchemist wasn’t there.

“Good idea, Absinthe,” he told the fluttering fairy, but ignored my question.  “Do try and drink it, Felicity.  Ginger beer works wonders when one is not up to dick.  It will help settle your stomach.”

Cornelis absently tossed what looked like a cast iron finial.  I raised my eyebrows, silently prompting him for an answer.

“I went to get this,” he said, giving the ornament another toss.

Drebbel stamp

Cornelis Drebbel stamp, Wikimedia

I tried to look at the thing, but Cornelis gave it a spin when he threw it.  Several strands of iron reached up and twisted to come together at the tip making an open teardrop shape.  Those twisted strips combined with the spin Cornelis gave his throw, made the shape seem to shift in an odd way as it went up and down with his tosses.  I thought my stomach would lose its contents.

Absinthe glided down for a closer look at the finial.  Then the Green Fairy gave a series of discontent sounding grunts at Cornelis.  Apparently he didn’t like the finial to be tossed around.

“Oh, Absinthe.  Don’t get testy,” the alchemist told the fairy with as his mouth twisted in a derisive way.  “No harm will come to it.  Besides, the tossing helps charge it.”

“Why did you need a bedpost finial?” I wanted to know, despite another nauseous lurch from my stomach.

“This is no ordinary piece of cast iron,” Cornelis explained.  “At least it is not any more.  Once it crowned one of the posts of my bed.  You see, many of my ideas come to me as I sleep.  For some reason this particular finial gradually took on unexpected properties, although the other three did not,” the Dutchman said with a shrug.  “I thought we might use it to help the submarine over the shallow places.”

The Green Fairy sniffed delicately at the finial, or whatever it was.  Then he fluttered back to the ginger beer and chirped at me.  As I took the proffered bottle, I gave the Dutchman a contemptuous look.

1877 ginger beer sellers london wikimedia

Ginger beer vendor, London 1877, Wikimedia

“Have you no shame, Cornelis?  You could at least pretend to have a hangover,” I complained.

“I don’t get bottle aches.  As I have no real stomach, I don’t tend to digestive upsets of any kind,” the alchemist explained merrily.  “But as you know, my skull does exist in this world.  So I can get miserable headaches, but rarely hangovers.”

“And head colds!” Copper chimed in, and giggled over the magical results of Cornelis sneezing when he and I were afflicted with that ailment.

The little skunk-like fairy snuffled and grunted in a way that sounded a lot like chuckling.  I gathered that he had also witnessed the alchemist under the influence of a head cold.

Copper

Copper was giggling so hard it was difficult to understand her words, but the fairy seemed to know what she said.  The only words I could pick out from the jumble of chortles were frogs and pancakes.

“You don’t act as though you have any sort of headache now,” I said, unwilling to laugh at the memory that so amused Copper, as I was feeling a bit put upon.

Cornelis chuckled. 

“I developed a tolerance to Absinthe’s frightened flatulence.  When he and I first met, I startled him many times.  One begins to get used to the effect,” he said.

As I sipped the ginger beer I gave Cornelis an arch look.  I wondered if he may have deliberately “startled” Absinthe on more than one occasion, to cause him to produce those potent poots.  The Green Fairy wrinkled up his pointed nose and made a grumbling sound at Cornelis that led me to believe my assumption was correct.

A pinging sound interrupted the conversation.  It came from that multi-armed machine.  Its limbs shifted.  The arms that were capped with blue and green gems lifted and spun, while the arms adorned with warm colored jewels lowered unmoving.

“We’ve come to a shallow area,” Cornelis commented, moving toward the device.  “Umm…” he pondered.  “The water is deeper than I expected.  We should be able to navigate it without much assistance.  However, if any of them should look, we will be easily spotted,” he added.  “Absinthe, have we caught up with any of those three groups of ack ruffians yet?”

The Green Fairy fluttered to one of the two perpetual motion machines.  The glass dome filled with green fog.  After a moment the haze cleared.  Within the glass, a blurry figure lurched and bobbed.  When it came into focus I saw that it was the hydrofoil! 

I saw the big chimpanzee jumping around and the sorry jade of a woman who commanded that small group.  I tried hard to get a look at her face, but the image was too small.  She again wore rain gear, so I couldn’t even make out her figure to help me ascertain her identity.

Forlanini hydrofoil

Alexander Graham Bell’s HD-4 hydrofoil, 1919

The Dutchman looked uncertain. 

“Absinthe, perhaps we should slow down.  We don’t want to get too close to them,” Cornelis advised.

Absinthe chirped then made a tut-tut sound.  That worried me.  Surely we hadn’t…

“What!  They’re right behind us?  Do you mean to say we’ve gone under the hydrofoil and gotten ahead of them without even knowing they were there?” Cornelis exclaimed.

The Green Fairy gave an indignant and shrill warning.

***

Real World Notes

Hydrofoil.  Way back in Chapter 4, Alexander Graham Bell was mentioned and his hydrofoil came into this story.  However, the “Real World Note” was very brief.  So I’ll elaborate. 

Concepts for such a craft were developed as early as 1899.  Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini began work on hydrofoils in 1898 and used a “ladder” foil system. Forlanini obtained patents in Britain and the United States for his ideas and designs.

Around 1906, Alexander Graham Bell began to sketch concepts of a hydrofoil boat.  With his chief engineer Casey Baldwin, Bell began hydrofoil experiments in 1908.  Baldwin studied the work of the Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini and began testing models based on those designs, which led to the development of hydrofoil watercraft.  During Bell’s world tour of 1910–1911, Bell and Baldwin met with Forlanini in Italy, where they rode in his hydrofoil boat over Lake Maggiore.  Baldwin described it as being as smooth as flying.

Victorian girls whisper_Hotel Perrin

Victorian Vernacular

Call it 8 Bells:  The Victorian version of “It’s 5 O’clock somewhere.”  Since it was bad form in nautical circles to have a drink before high noon (or 8 Bells), one might “Call it eight bells” if they went for a drink before that hour.  “I know it’s early but I fancy a drink at that bar.  Call it 8 Bells.”

Catafalque:  A hat with a tall plume, especially if the feathers were black.  Such hats rose to their greatest height in 1897.  They were sometimes removed to the laps of the wearers when in the theater. 

Donkey’s breakfast:  A man’s straw hat. 

Fishy about the gills:  The appearance of recent drunkenness, which produced a pull-down of the corners of the mouth and the squareness of the lower cheeks or gills, suggesting the gills in fish.

Jamiest bits of jam:  Absolutely perfect young females.

***

Good heavens… has Cornelis startled the Green Fairy into another potent poot?  It’s no time to get arfarfan’arf, what with the that group of ack ruffians on the hydrofoil so near!

Next time, the “See what happens when Backgammon adds to the story.  

I’ll be looking for you at the submarine port this weekend for Straightlaced Saturay!  

***

Now some shameless self-promotion. 

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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

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USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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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 © 2015 and 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.

 

Hidebound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 25

Wednesday, January 2, 2019happy new year Teagans Books cats planeHappy New Year, my chuckaboos!   It’s a new year, and appropriately enough our heroes have a new mode of transportation.  We are no longer on the road locomotive.  The #Steampunk train is now a submarine! 

No matter how we’re traveling, I’m happy to share the journey with you.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for sticking with me throughout 2018 — from the last episodes of the faery serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, to short stories of the Pip-verse for Jazz Age Wednesdays, to a completely different 1920s serial Hullaba Lulu with artist Rob Goldstein, to the launch of Atonement in Bloom, to reruns of this steampunk serial. You, each one of you, made it a wondrous year for me.

Cornelis Drebbel inside sub _001

Rob Goldstein’s vision of Cornelis Drebbel in his submarine

The best part of writing with random things sent by readers was that I used it to promote others.  Back in 2015 when I wrote this chapter, I had temporarily run out of things, so I didn’t have anyone to publicize.  I decided to take the things from Atonement, Tennessee.

The port’s sonar has detected the approach of the steampunk submarine.  It’s rising to the surface now, and we’re ready for another chapter of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 21  A word had been written by the rogue magic that resulted when Copper accidentally added a second harmonic tuner to the magic worked by the alchemist.  It wasn’t something anyone would want to wash away, because it was never part of the laundry.  As I said, that was only Alastair’s wit, a joke.  It was a magically provided clue, resulting from the alchemist’s spell.

In large glowing green script I read the word aloud. 

“Daddy.”

Chapter 23 Through one of his “tricks” the alchemist saw a dozen villains rapidly approaching the family estate of the Wongs.  Alastair’s ancestral connection to Cornelis made him as eager to defend the alchemist as he was to protect his home.  Alastair and Victoria used the road locomotive to rush back home while our trio waited to board Cornelis Drebbel’s submarine.

Chapter 24  Copper was safely ensconced in a compartment beneath the “bridge” (desk) of Cornelis Drebbel’s submarine.  But the alchemist and the woman in trousers were quite intoxicated by the farts from the Green Fairy, aka Absinthe, who helps power the submarine.  Cornelis opened the hatch and he and Felicity hung out from the opening for some air while he gave clearing their heads a magical assist with the harmonic tuner.

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

25 — Home, Neighbors, Mimosa

mimosa blossom

Wikimedia Commons

It was no accident, I thought to myself, that the Green Fairy looked like a tiny green skunk, albeit one with gossamer wings. 

Much like a frightened skunk could spray a noxious odor from special anal glands, Absinthe produced a vapor that was the equivalent of highly concentrated absinthe liquor; an already potent potable in its pure form.  That such a petite personage could produce so powerful a poot was positively— Oh my, what a lot of P words, I thought.  Perhaps I’m not fully sober.  I’m glad I kept that ramble to myself.

“Felicity,” Cornelis began raising one bushy blonde eyebrow.  “You did say that out loud my chuckaboo,” he added and I cleared my throat, looking around suspiciously.

Where was that little green skunk?  I’d hate to sit on him and start the whole drunken business over again.  I hazarded another look at the Dutchman.

Green fairy skunk

“No.  Whatever that was, you didn’t say it aloud that time,” he told me with a smirk.  “Do try and make yourself at home,” he told me, making a general motion, as if to include the entire submarine.  “I’ll see if I can coax out the Green Fairy for a proper introduction.  He has a finely tuned appreciation for formality.  Why don’t you let Copper know that it’s safe to come out?”

Cornelis left the room, or whatever I was supposed to call the compartments inside a submarine.  Was it a ship or a boat? 

I turned to the beautiful desk.  I supposed it might be called the bridge since we were on a ship… or boat.  A small groan escaped my lips at my excessive indecision.  Yes, I was still a little tipsy, even after the head-clearing effect of the harmonic tuner, which Cornelis had rung right next to our heads.  I hoped I wouldn’t have a hangover.  Oh heck, now I was having at it with H words.

Oh yes, the desk — that’s where Copper is,” I muttered foggily.

The center area, where a chair might go, had a roll-down cover.  It was tightly closed with the girl inside, to protect her from the potently intoxicating vapors. 

I squatted down and knocked on the cover.  Copper lifted the door and looked out curiously.

Copper

“The air has cleared now, Copper,” I assured her.  “You can come back out.”

I scooted backward to give her more room to crawl out from the desk.  Then I lost my squatted balance, and fell backward on my bottom.  The room still spinning a little.

“Are you all right, Felicity?” Copper asked, giving me a quizzical look.

Her expression made me want to laugh.  Though I tried to maintain a serious face I burst out in giggles.  Copper joined in and we plopped down on the floor in a helpless giggling heap.  A movement caused me to look upward.  It took me a moment to focus.  I blinked.  A green creature, about as long as my hand, hovered over our heads.  It looked like a tiny bright green skunk with gossamer wings — Absinthe, the Green Fairy.

The smile froze on my face.  I daren’t frighten the Green Fairy again.  Through the clinched teeth of my now forced smile I cautioned Copper, trying to motion upward with just my eyes.  Fortunately she followed my gaze.

“Gently now Copper,” I began.  “We don’t want to disturb the neighbors,” I said meaningfully, as I tilted my head toward the fairy.green skunk palm

“Oh there you are!” Copper cried with enthusiasm as she turned to look up at the skunk-like creature.

His bushy tail curled over his back, much like a squirrel’s would.  Green butterfly wings shimmered like a faceted peridot as they fluttered, bringing the fairy close to the girl.

“Copper!” I whispered the warning.

“Don’t worry, Felicity.  It’s just Absinthe.  Isn’t he pretty?” she asked and I nodded mutely, otherwise still as a statue.

The little fairy seemed to be aware that he’d been complimented, and he chirped at Copper.

“Absinthe, this is my friend Felicity.  She and Cornelis are helping me find Daddy.  You’re friends with Cornelis aren’t you?” Copper told the creature introduced me to the creature in quite a grownup way.

She nodded when it chirped as if in reply.  I watched in fascination.  Copper seemed like a little girl at play, having a tea party for her imaginary friends — except for the fact that it was all real.

 

Copper held out her arm and the Green Fairy fluttered down and perched there, chirping and snuffling contentedly.

 

“I wish you could have met my other friends, Mr. Wong and Victoria,” she told the tiny creature.  “But something was wrong at their house and they had to go back home.  I’ve been afraid for them ever since they left.  There were some really bad people chasing us, and I think those people took Daddy too.  So now I’m afraid they might hurt Victoria and Alastair.  I wish I could see them and know they’re okay,” she said in a voice so sad that I thought my heart would break — and then I hiccupped.

The little fairy watched Copper intently as she spoke.  When she paused he chirped once and abruptly fluttered up toward the desk. 

On either side of the desktop sat what I recognized for variations of Cornelis Drebbel’s perpetual motion clock.  No doubt both were alchemically enhanced in some way.

 

 

Absinthe went directly to the clock on the right and hovered before it.  He looked at Copper and chirped.  She hurried over to the desk.  I followed very cautiously.  I was still concerned about startling the fairy.  It wasn’t that my balance was still unsteady, or that I was tipsy from the absinthe vapors.  Really it wasn’t…

A dozen small knobs protruded from the base of the first perpetual motion clock.  Lightning fast, the fairy’s dainty paws touched and twisted the knobs.  The glass dome covering the clock became clouded by green fog. 

The clock then chimed the quarter hour.  The vapor beneath the glass cleared.  I could see a three dimensional image of the Wong family’s pavilion as if I looked from the air high above the estate.

The fairy turned another knob and the view drew in closer to the carefully designed and manicured grounds.  Several kinds of ornamental trees decorated the area. 

The fairy brought the view even closer and I saw the ground was littered with bodies.  At first I feared the entire family and staff were all dead.  However, I realized there were subtle movements.  The people were merely unconscious.  Then I saw that the fallen were not the Wongs at all, but the intruders!

I saw the small woman, Victoria beneath a flowering tree.  She knelt over a man, deftly tying his hands behind his back before he could regain consciousness.  She straightened her back, as if she was about to rise, but she stilled.

Asian girl kimono red Pixabay free

Pixabay

As if in slow motion a mimosa blossom floated gently down from the tree’s branches.  As I watched the delicate flower’s descent one of the intruders crept up behind tiny Victoria.  She never looked up.  The man was behind her, ready to strike. 

As the falling blossom grazed the tip of a blade of grass, Victoria sprang to her feet, twisted while on the toes of one foot and squarely planted a hard kick into the villain’s midsection.  By the time the blossom had settled into the grass, the tiny woman was tying up the intruder.

“Wow…!” Copper said on a sigh with a grateful look at the Green Fairy.

Then the image faded away and the clock went back to its usual, though unique appearance.

“I believe Victoria and Alastair and everyone at the pavilion are fine,” I told Copper, and I was as relieved as she.

The tiny Green Fairy fluttered over the desk, or bridge or whatever.  I hiccupped again.  I looked uneasily at Absinthe, but the involuntary noise didn’t seem to concern him.  He moved to the contraption that had originally caused me to make the comment and motion that had startled the fairy, eliciting his intoxicating emanation, which inebriated Cornelis and me.  Especially me.

Albert Maignan's "Green Muse" 1895

Albert Maignan’s “Green Muse” 1895

Where was I?  Oh yes… Absinthe fluttered to that multi-limbed brass contrivance.  Each arm ended with a walnut sized faceted gemstone.  Just as before, the device gyrated and whirred so much that it was difficult to count its arms, but I thought there were seven, each capped with a different colored gem.  The base of the device was brightly lit and it caused the gemstones to cast a rainbow effect as the arms spun.

The rainbow lights filled the inside of the submarine.  Cornelis had closed the hatch and climbed down the ladder.  He made over the lights, praising Absinthe, no doubt intending to soothe the creature before I could startle him again. 

However, Absinthe didn’t pay any mind to the Dutchman or to me.  He darted from the multi-armed contrivance to the first perpetual motion clock and then to the second one on the other side of the desk.  His tiny paws adjusted crystal knobs and other apparatus so fast his motions were a blur.

The rainbow lights that filled the room became blotchy.  Gradually, they took form.  After a moment I realized the lights had transformed into a map that filled the room.  It was a duplicate of Alastair Wong’s map, which Cornilis had used the harmonic tuner to magically enhance. However, it didn’t have as many dots as the map that resulted back when the alchemist’s spell went awry and the mangle went rogue, magically producing the word “Daddy.”

Absinthe’s map had one dot that sparkled particularly brightly.  I thought the mark might streak away like a shooting star, but it remained stationary.  Then three other smaller dots appeared; each in a different place on the map.  Those dots crawled about like fireflies, but they all moved toward the crystalline bright star.

“Which one are we?” Copper asked, meaning the dots.

james-seddon-Couple Blue Lights 1238544-unsplash.jpg

James Seddon, Unsplash

The Green Fairy’s snuffling sound changed to something that sounded very much like “Tut, tut.”  His tail twitched in an irritated way as he fluttered across the map.  A shimmering blue area that I expected represented water flashed once.  A small, shimmering copper sphere suddenly appeared in the blue.  Cornelis chuckled.

“It’s a copper dot to show where Copper is,” he explained.  “Well done Absinthe.”

Copper looked from the floating ball that represented her and then back at the first dot.  She gasped as comprehension showed on her face.  She reached toward the first radiantly glowing dot, but it was far over her head.  Absinthe chirped happily and darted down to the girl.

“Daddy,” I murmured.  “So that’s where Calvin Hixon is?  But he’s away from all three of the groups who were chasing us.  Although I suppose that doesn’t necessarily mean that he is not under duress of some kind,” I speculated.

While I spoke Cornelis strolled about the map-filled room, looking intently at the magical cartography and all the moving parts.  I noticed that our copper sphere was farthest away from the star that apparently represented Calvin Hixon.

The alchemist seemed to be tracing all the waterways. 

“Is it possible for this submarine to travel to the spot where Hixon is?” I asked.

His mouth twisted, but Cornelis put a knuckle to his lips and knitted his brows in thought.  He tilted his head to one side and looked at the Green Fairy.

Reconstruction of Drebbel’s submarine, Wikipedia

“No,” he said as if he had been distracted.  “There are places that are not nearly deep enough for this submarine,” he commented and Absinthe hissed as if scolding Cornelis.  “But with a little shifting of ‘the in to the out’…  Tucking a bit from this reality into the next…  Together Absinthe and I should be able to make it work,” he said.

The Green Fairy appeared to be happy with that pronouncement and he fluttered down to alight on the alchemist’s shoulder.  I felt very uneasy.

“What do you mean by shifting of ‘the in to the out’ Cornelis Drebbel?  And other realities!  I don’t like the sound of that.  You know full well how often your tricks go awry,” I warned him.

To my surprise, Absinthe grunted and chirped in a way that sounded like he actually agreed with me.  Cornelis tilted his head to look at the tiny fairy in surprise.

“Why Felicity!  Absinthe, you too?  You wound me,” Cornelis said in his most melodramatic voice.  “What could possibly go wrong?”

All I could manage to do was shake my head.  I sank back to the floor and dropped my forehead against my knees with a groan.

***

This episode didn’t include anything I wanted to use as “Real World Notes.”  So here are some more Victorian slang terms.

Victorian Vernacular

Bitch the pot:  Pour the tea.

Boiled owl:  Drunk.  “I can’t remember anything about last night.  I got absolutely boiled owled.”

Dash my wig:  Exclamation of dismay.  “Dash my wig!  Nothing good will come of that.”

Dirty puzzle:  A promiscuous woman.  “I dirty-puzzled around when I was in university, but who didn’t?”

***

Well, dash my wig!  That bit about other realities has me worried.  Will Cornelis finally get that extremely dangerous spell to work perfectly?  Does that bother anyone else as much as it does me?  What if something startles the Green Fairy into another inebriating absinthe-super-charged fart?  Will they make it to Copper’s daddy before their foes find him?  Then again, is Calvin Hixon, in fact, really at the indicated star on the map…? 

Be at the port again next time when this the steampunk submarine continues on Straightlaced Saturday.  Next time, the “three things” were from Donna Parker at Yadadarcyyada.  See what happens when Ginger Beer, Cast Iron Finial, and Backgammon enter the story. 

I’ll be looking for you at the port on Saturday.  

Mega hugs! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion. 

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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

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Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

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 

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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 © 2015 and 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 19 ― Pip & Artie Meet Again – Part 3

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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

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

Pip and Artie Meet Again

Part 3 — Conclusion

1920s Dance Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess Durrusehvar, circa 1920

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

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

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

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

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

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

(See more about Cinnamon Bun here.)

“Mona!” I cried and ran outside.

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

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

“Artie?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Cat got your tongue?” Mona asked.

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

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

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

He nodded and Mona grinned.

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

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

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

The End

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

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Clara Bow 1

Clara Bow as Mona the Movie Star

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

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

Pip and Artie Meet Again

Part 2

Train woman porters packages

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

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

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

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

1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

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

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

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

Artie gave her a toothy grin. 

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

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

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

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

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

Sirens blared.

1920s Police car

***

End Part 2

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

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

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

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

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

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

Pip and Artie Meet Again At New Year’s

Part 1

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

Artie Formal Dress

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

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

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

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

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

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

Next time, he would be better prepared…

***

2018 Pip New Year

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

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

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

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

1920s Illustration of Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Meet Miss Olive here.)

studebaker1920_2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End Part 1

***

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

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

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

Flapper Happy New Year champagne red

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 16 ― Champagne Tidbit from Murder at the Bijou

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Update:  I have no idea how WordPress managed to post a duplicate of this… I regret any confusion this caused — particularly if you receive my posts via e-mail. The battle of the WP gremlins continues.  Now on with the good stuff.

Flapper Happy New Year champagne red

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  Many of you celebrated Christmas this week.  Now, here we are at the end of 2017.  Making it through another year is a real sockdollager — no kidding, it’s a big deal.  So, I want to toast all of you sheiks and shebas for visiting me throughout this year.

Writing Process

This blog is my sanctuary, and I mean it to be a safe place for everyone else too.  That’s why I don’t blog about politics, religion, or emotionally charged current events — that includes the recent headlines about sexual harassment.   (I am definitely a blog-tater.)  …Although once in a while I come close.  However, I in no way invite discussion of these things. 

So I’m just sayin’…  You see, someone criticized me because, in one of these 1920s stories, I wrote that Pip’s father told her the board room was no place for a girl.  While some of Pips tales are laced with fantasy, they are in a real world setting.  A fundamental thread is Pip coping with being a young woman in a changing era.  So I make no apologies for writing about the world my heroine had to claw her way through.  Denying that the wrongs of the past existed is an insult to the forerunners who had even more obstacles than the still huge ones women have today.  Okay. I’m stepping down off my Julia Sugarbaker soap box now.  As I said, I do not want comments about these things.  Thanks for letting me vent that.  Now, back to the point.

1920s Cosmo_writing_Find the Woman_Arthur Roche

At New Year’s I always think of champagne.  So this time I’m sharing a chapter from Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  Okay… so it’s not exactly about champagne, but it does mention it. 

As most of you know, I used “things” or ingredients sent by the readers of this blog to guide every chapter of the novels about Pip and company.  The ingredients for this bit were Salmon, Beef Drippings, and Dandelion & Burdock. 

Even though this episode comes from late in the story, I don’t think there is anything that qualifies as a spoiler here. (If you haven’t read the novel, and you are sensitive to spoilers, maybe you should skip it anyway…)

Now, I’ll just get a wiggle on and ankle back to the 1920s!

Wish you all you wish-moon-New Year

Champagne Tidbit — Murder at the Bijou

Rather than the bun she often wore, Granny Phanny had rolled and tucked her long hair into a style that at first glance looked a lot like a bob.  The wide legged black crepe trousers and white tuxedo jacket fit her perfectly.  She looked every inch the modern woman; and… younger too.  Eunice’s Uniformshad done a great job.  I straightened my own waiters’ uniform and Granny smiled.

The telephone rang and Granny hurried to answer it.  I knew she was still more than a little bit worried about Moses Myrick.  There was a tightness around her eyes that had not been there before the marshal was shot.

“Yes, Doc. Is that you?” I could hear the concern in her voice as she spoke into the receiver.  The ear piece was pressed tightly against her head.  Then she exhaled and her shoulders relaxed.  “You don’t really think so?  Considering the way she’s been acting I’m surprised,” she said but paused to listen.  “Yes Doc.  We’ll keep an eye out,” Granny said and hung up the telephone.

“Doctor Veronica says that parrot flew the coop.  Darnedest thing I’ve ever heard.  That nasty bird nearly took my finger off when I tried to pry her away from Moses.  But Veronica said she let herself out the window a few minutes ago.  The last time she saw Cracker, the parrot was headed in this direction,” Granny said shaking her head in wonder at the bird’s unpredictable behavior.  “I find it hard to believe that she’d suddenly give up her equally sudden devotion to Moses.  Be a dear and keep an eye out for Cracker just the same.”

Baby New Year clock-hands

I murmured my promise.  I found the parrot’s antics unexpected, but when I thought about it, we should probably expect the unexpected from Cracker.  However I didn’t give it that much thought because the aroma of the huge beef roast Granny had been cooking all day wafted to my nostrils.  My stomach gave a loud growl.  Granny chuckled and told me to go get a snack – but to take off the white jacket first.  Just then Hank Hertz walked in eating a yeast roll that was sopping with beef drippings.  It was a good thing he had removed his jacket, else Granny might have skinned him when a big drop of au jus went down his chest. 

I barely recognized Hank, and it wasn’t because of the partial amnesia I’d experienced since my unknown attacker had left me in a root cellar at the Queen of Clubs Herb Farm out at Wetson’s Mill.  No, Granny had told Hank that if he was going to participate in the night’s “catering event” he’d have to let her treat his hair with henna.  Now his hair was bright red, and he had a little red mustache too.

Granny said she was concerned about Hank’s safety, since too many people knew he was quickly on the scene after the villains had ambushed Marshal Moses Myrick and his men.  I’m sure that was true; Granny wouldn’t put anybody in harm’s way.  But I suspected that she planned to carryout Myrick’s original “sting” plan, with or without the injured marshal’s help.  So that was another reason for disguising Savannah’s youngest police officer.

Hank scratched at the mustache.  I quipped that I’d always wondered if those things itched.  He nodded and spoke quietly.  “I feel ridiculous with this red hair,” he confided.  “But Miss Phanny says it will fade away with washing.”

I thought Granny might have exaggerated about the “fading away” part of the henna, but I didn’t want to make Hank feel any more uncomfortable than he already was.  I gently poked his ribs with my elbow.  “I think it looks rather dashing,” I reassured him and he stood a little straighter.

New Year Man in moon baby

My grandmother took Hank’s elbow and led us both to the kitchen.  She fixed snack plates for the three of us with roast beef, rolls, and candied carrots.  I gave a wistful glance at the za’atar she’d so carefully prepared, but I knew she was worried about having enough, so I didn’t say anything.

She glanced at the clock and took out a fourth plate and sat it on the green and white gingham tablecloth.  Then she turned to one of several tubs of ice that contained cobalt blue bottles with attached cork flip tops, and pulled out a few bottles.

“What is this anyway?” I asked and sniffed the liquid that reminded me of sarsaparilla. 

I had been wondering what was inside the bottles, because I had heard Granny tell her client that he’d have to supply any alcohol, being as it was illegal.  I had not met the rich man who was hosting the reception Granny had agreed to cater.  But I overheard part of their telephone conversation — whether I wanted to or not.  He was one of those people who felt they had to shout into the telephone since he was talking to someone across town.  He sounded nice enough, but there was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way, despite the fact I had never even seen him.

Hank Hertz took a swig from the blue bottle.  “Umm.  It’s dandelion and burdock,” he said to my unspoken question.  “Dr. Veronica gave me some before.  She said it was kind of medicinal.”

“It’s also mildly alcoholic,” Granny interjected.  “Not enough to cause trouble for me, but that seemed to mollify tonight’s host.  He was… well… irritated that I wouldn’t bring any champagne because of the prohibition.  He was being pretty hard headed about that,” she said with a slightly annoyed twist to her mouth.  Granny didn’t like anybody trying to boss her around.

1920s Illustration of Party

The putter of an engine sent me to the kitchen window.  I pushed back the eyelet curtain and saw Alastair Wong pull his delivery truck up beside the cottage.  Alastair had offered to help. He said he expected a slow night at his restaurant, and besides there was plenty of family to help there.  I saw that he had even temporarily covered his pride and joy slogan, “You’re always right with Wong’s” with a sign proclaiming Granny’s Goodies.  My grandmother quickly fixed the fourth plate with a snack for Alastair.

Moments later Hank and Alastair loaded the heavy galvanized steel tubs, filled with ice and cobalt blue bottles of dandelion and burdockonto the delivery truck.  Then they covered them with a tarp to help keep the ice from melting as fast.

I was surprised to see Cinnamon Bun, the Flemish Giant rabbit, thump up the back porch stairs.  He had been hiding from all the activity.  As usual, Granny went gaga over the oversized bunny and praised him for coming out to be sociable.  Cinnamon liked getting his ears stroked, but he sat up on his haunches as if looking for something in the distance.

A blur of brilliant color streaked down from the sky and Cracker the parrot alighted next to the rabbit.  She nibbled at his fur and cooed, “Good bird… good bird.”

My amazement at the bond between bird and bunny had no end.  My grandmother and I watched the two in fascination.  Then she got back to business.

“Sweet-pea,” she spoke to me.  “Would you get that poached salmon?  Just wrap it up tight.  I won’t plate it until after we get there.”

“Exactly where is this shindig anyway,” I asked.  I knew it was at one of the fanciest homes in Savannah, but I didn’t know much more than that.  I wondered if I had known more before I was attacked and drugged.

1920s Illustration New Years Eve party

“Umm… what was that address?” Granny Phanny said half to herself.  “Oh.  It’s at 420 Kingston Lane.”

Immediately Cracker flew into the air, making circles around Granny and me.  The parrot squawked excitedly, “Fourandtwenty, Fourandtwenty! Dainty dish to set before the king!  Dainty dish!” she repeated as she alighted on my shoulder and pulled my hair with her beak.  “Dainty dish. Fourandtwenty!

Cinnamon Bun sat up on his haunches inquiringly at the bird’s outburst.  He made a snorting sound that drew my eyes to him.  Then I noticed a small rectangle on the porch next to the rabbit.  I stooped to retrieve it.

Another playing card, I thought.  I knew I needed to turn it over, but I was afraid to look.  Cracker must have brought it with her, and dropped it when she started grooming the bunny.  But where had the parrot gotten the card?  Did she pick it up at the Vale residence?  Or did she find it somewhere along the way?  What if she didn’t bring the card at all?  What if an anonymous person had left it there on the porch as another warning?

I was shivering, though it was not cold.  I felt Granny step closer.  She was looking over my shoulder at the card.  Cautionary words were written across the back of the card in a familiar hand.

“Be ready!”

My hands were shaking so badly that I almost dropped the card.  Reluctantly I turned over the rectangle to reveal the sinister looking Joker on the face of the playing card.  Cracker fluttered off my shoulder and landed on the porch banister. 

Jokerswild!” the parrot shrieked and shook her foot.

I had a hazy memory of Cracker making that motion before.  I remembered thinking it seemed disdainful.  Whoever the Joker was, Cracker did not like him… or maybe her.  I reminded myself to think like a modern woman.  The villain might just as well be a woman as a man.

Turning the card face down once again I repeated the words “Be ready!” and felt the pit of my stomach freeze.

The End

***

 You are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas for dropping by!  Here’s wishing everything is Jake in your 2018.

1920s New Year Card

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Goodbye Mean Old Monkey — Happy New Year

 

1920s-couple-n-monkey-charleston

1920s Couple & Monkey doing the Charleston

Happy New Year everyone!  I didn’t have this video/greeting finished in time to add it to my regular weekly post.  However, the Year of the Monkey wreaked such havoc that I had to celebrate its passing.

 

My post on Friday, wasn’t a proper New Year’s greeting.  So I’m doing the traditional recap of the year and plans for the next one.  However, sly old fox that I am, I wanted to do it in video form.

Many of you have already commented on my post for this weekend. You have my heartfelt thanks for visiting me.  Anyhow, I’ve disabled comments on this one, so Is Your Writing Beastly? can remain featured.  Kindly leave comments there, if you haven’t already. I love hearing from you.

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2017.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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