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 10.2

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.

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