The Challenging Handful (Part One)

(blurb)

A new kind of warfare dawns in the early years of the twentieth century, planned and perpetrated by a mysterious individual known only as the Challenger.  Rumor has it this challenger could fit in the palm of your hand.

This won’t do for the residents of Minimil, a city in a barn that has a reputation to keep up.  Filled with shoulder angels and devils, fairies, enchanted toys, Lilliputians, and every other kind of small magical creature, they can’t simply stand by and watch as the name of the tiny is smeared.

So they send out an elite team including a gingerbread soldier haunted by battlefield visions of the nutcracker and mouse king, a tiny automaton built by Leonardo da Vinci, and a ghost of a not-really-notable Christmas past to investigate in this novella inspired by Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

(reading time: 52 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 3 hours, 6 minutes)

handfultitle

The midnight oil had burned, so light poured into his windows and prevented sleep. His peanut brittle curtains were not up to the task of keeping it out, only managing to dye it amber. Still he guessed it was morning, as he heard the bonsai dryads begin to go about their work, pruning and watering the thousand miniature trees that turned Minimil into a land. Continue reading

Snakewaist: Wild Rideshare (Part Two)

back to part one

(reading time: 1 hour, 1 minute)

Crash into a Tree

Yeah can I get two of the…” The woman’s voice stalled as she scanned the menu even though she’d already been in line for ten minutes. Chef Ricky was grinding his teeth and sweating a puddle into his sneakers. He couldn’t, on his life, recall why he thought applying to run the Groadster for a week was a good idea. Every item sold was at a loss, and all the cameras that were supposed to follow him were gone after the first two days. “…churros.”

Would you like them with vanilla sauce, chocolate, or my special dark cherry syrup?”

Plain.” He whipped around to take them out of the warmer before she could spot his seething rage. For five years he’d been a god of syrup, formulating ones with less sugar and more flavor. He could turn Amerenas into ambrosia, mangosteens into manna from heaven, and papaya into a god-damned panacea, but she wanted it plain. The same way she kept her graying hair plain. Her expression vacant. Her shriveling toes in sandals. A street eater. Not the kind of customer he ever wanted, but the only ones the world wanted to give him… and he only got them at a loss. Continue reading

Snakewaist: Wild Rideshare (Part One)

Join the modern fairies Chaxium and Ladyspiller as they use their transforming magical mecha-snake to intervene in the human world, this time roped into the latest manifestation of the Wild Hunt, where ghosts have possessed autonomous cars.

This is part of a novella series, so I recommend starting with the first.

(reading time: 1 hour, 29 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 30 minutes)

Snakewaist:

Wild Rideshare

by

Blaine Arcade

There’s an Opening

So that was how we defeated the deadly demon of Gougecoin! And with that I guess it’s time to wrap up this post. For the fairies who skipped right to the end to see what we wanted, here’s the notes for the test: Chaxium and Ladyspiller Beezgalore are the feisty frontier pilots of the ferrier Snakewaist! We’re on the roam, helping fairies far and wide with any threats out of the ordinary.

Snakewaist is an ambidextrous arm, and we’re happy to join up with any fairanquin that’s righteously motivated! As far as assisting us, which you should totally do if you enjoy these posts, we are always in need of food, beverages, toiletries, clothes, and ferrier supplies. We can be reached by any North American continental hypnotized bug capable of withstanding Canadian cold.

I happen to be partial to ranch baked potato eyes, cave water taffy, and wildest rice. My partner Chaxium likes sherbet spread, peach pit marzipan, and drowned cranberries. Just send any care packages to magical frequency pisces-malachite-7-9-4. Thank you all in advance, and I’ll post again when there’s something new going on! (Hint: we’re totally in the middle of something right now, so be ready.)

Regards and thanks, Ladyspiller Beezgalore

There, how does that look?” Ladyspiller asked, handing her girlfriend Chaxium the showing glass so she could read over the draft of the post. They were both seated on the exterior snout of Snakewaist: their lizard-legged but serpent-shaped fairy war machine. The machine itself was coiled cozily on the soft passenger side seat of an abandoned human vehicle. Abandoned, yet it drove along an empty road just fine, its air conditioning blasting on the four-bladed wings of the fairies. Continue reading

Snakewaist: The Demon of Gougecoin (Part Two)

(reading time: 1 hour, 32 minutes)

The Knight and the Thief

After leaving Twarly behind their journey took several days. Snakewaist could not travel along interstates because of the danger of being seen, so they opted instead for the most forested route and a few old fairy tunnels that were magical enough to move out of the way of any cables and pipes bumblers tried to install.

There were several family trees on the way, but neither of them particularly felt like making diplomatic stops yet. If they succeeded in stopping the electric demon they would have something to show for their travels, and would be much less embarrassed to ask for lodging. Continue reading

Snakewaist: The Demon of Gougecoin (Part One)

Join the modern fairies Chaxium and Ladyspiller as they use their transforming magic mecha-snake to intervene in the madness of the human world, this time doing battle with digital dragons and a thief stealing electricity to power his crypto-hoard.

This is the second in a series of novellas, so if you’re interested I’d recommend starting with the first.

(reading time: 1 hour, 9 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 41 minutes)

Snakewaist:

The Demon of Gougecoin

by

Blaine Arcade

Onthinice

Kunk kunk. Nobody answered the door, so to the back of the line with Pollywig. The next fairy up guessed that she just hadn’t been forceful enough. KUNK KUNK! He succeeded in bruising his knuckles, but not in opening it, so Taxido had to cede his place. If the other nine failed again he could have another turn at it. Next was Bellirub, and she had bragged after every attempt that she had a way with stubborn magical things. Her knock was practically melodious: katunk kunk katunkituktuk.

“I think I heard something move behind it,” she insisted, but that was met with good-natured booing and hissing. It was time for the owners to give it another shot; they stepped up together.

“Do it as a couple!” somebody shouted from the back. “It’ll be twice as powerful.” The rest of the party agreed and cheered them on until their hands locked together and the blades of their transparent wings overlapped. They looked at each other encouragingly, both a little surprised and elated to see the happiness sparkling in the other’s eyes. They’d come a long way in a few short months. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part Two)

(Part One)

(reading time: 1 hour, 20 minutes)

Barf! Barf, barf, barf!” Clandestiny cursed into the channel. “What do we do?”

I don’t know; I wasn’t expecting this,” Drupe admitted. “Quick, under there!” The fairanquin tiptoed across the sidewalk and threw itself under a wood-slatted bench at the edge of Piston City’s one tiny park. Its limbs retracted as much as possible. The sun had been down for several hours, and most of the bumblers were asleep in their beds, but not the crowd gathered around Wallup Tower. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part One)

(blurb)

Fairies exist, and they’re surprisingly tech-savvy, with their own magical internet, smartphones, and even giant transforming mech suits that can combine into powerful warriors… about the size of a short man.

Chaxium is just your average sour loner fairy, enjoying workouts and long conversations with her none-the-wiser human best friend online, but when a disgusting tycoon with an anti-environment agenda runs for office, she has no choice but to team up and use her family heirloom, the transforming snake machine Snakewaist, to put a stop to his plans.

(reading time: 1 hour, 2 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 22 minutes)

Snakewaist

by

Blaine Arcade

Exercise

Inbox:

(NEW)(Ladyspiller): Hey, how’s my favor…

(NEW)(Podcrown): Chaxium, we really need…

(NEW)(Podcrown): This is urgent Chaxium,…

(OLD)(Leafshroud): Has Podcrown told you…

(OLD)(Podcrown): You haven’t gotten bac…

(OLD)(Podcrown): We have an offer for yo…

A bubble, tiny and blue, rose out of Chaxium’s pants pocket. It kept pace with her brisk walk as it rose to her face and popped in front of her eyes. She ignored it. Another bubble squeezed out and popped on the other side of her face. It was just going to keep going like that until she checked it or changed her settings. Chaxium stopped. There were others walking behind her, so she had to move over to the railing to let them pass. Continue reading

Justice Backers: The Lichen Calls (Finale)

(reading time: 1 hour)

Monkey Girl Diary #494

(transcribed from video log)

Hello backers.  I have much to say about.  Yesterday was the day I did something about the depression.  I asked for help.

The Bay was very quiet; it was like this since the tar sands.  We train and eat in silence.  Alpha Dog mumbled about the Lichen and Pawn and Transplant and Drill Baby.  I have seen people do the dying before, but not like Baby.  I knew that Pawn have some darkness inside him, but I did not think he would ever let it go.  Maybe a little escaped every time his body broke.  I cannot say if the same thing would happen to me.  I just want them to be alright.  I want all of this to go away, but the world is calling for their blood. Continue reading

Justice Backers: The Lichen Calls (Part Three)

(reading time: 56 minutes)

JordanJaded’s Top Ten Weirdest Justice Backer Moments

(jordanjaded.blogstack.com)

With all this Drill Baby and Lichen drama going on, everybody’s been asking their favorite blogger (and when they don’t answer they ask me) what they think the Justice Backers should do in this situation.  I’ve always been pro-backer myself, but more as a sideshow and fuel for my writing than legitimate sociological experiment.  Everyone’s having a field day posting their listicles and things, but I haven’t seen this one go up yet so I’m going to try and squeeze it in there.  I didn’t bother to do a poll or anything since most of you are here for my opinion anyway.  This is just a list of what I think are some of the top conversation pieces that have come up because of the backers in the last few years.  I owe this coverage to them; without their shenanigans I never would’ve had anything to write about when I started this site three years ago.  Now I get like two million unique visitors a day!  These aren’t in any particular order except for number one, so let’s start the ride!  Starting with… Continue reading