M-A-C (5): ‘Possum King’
Collection Date: (REDACTED), 1993
Collection location: (REDACTED), Virginia
Collection Report: A teenage prank instigated the incident, in which the MAC was stolen from a large barn deep in the woods out past (REDACTED).
The item is a desiccated ‘opossum king’ like the myths of the ‘rat king’, where many animals in a tight space wind up starving to death with knotted tails glued together by excrement. In this case nine opossums are joined, but arranged somewhat artfully as a stiff wreath. Continue reading
M-A-C (4): ‘Seat D6’
Collection Date: (REDACTED), 1978
Collection location: (REDACTED), California
Collection Report: The initial incident occurred during a midnight showing of (REDACTED), when a young woman saw a different film than the one she purchased a ticket for.
This film starred one Harthrup Templeton, a person who does not exist in any publicly available records. Her confusion did not interrupt the showing, as the false movie she witnessed had an identical runtime to the one seen by those around her. It also had matching emotional beats, causing her to laugh at the same time as the other patrons; the same goes for gasping in awe. Continue reading
M-A-C (3): ‘Rebirth Dunker’
Collection Date: March 13th, 1982
Collection location: (REDACTED), Iowa
Collection Report: Luckily the MAC was discovered just before what would have been a disastrous installation at a county fair. It is a combination item: wooden dunk tank, collapsing seat, target on metal lever, and a weighted ball. All sections must be present and used in conjunction for the anomalous effect.
During a ‘test dunk’, the nephew of (REDACTED) threw the ball and submerged his uncle completely in normal water taken from their well. When the 56 year old man emerged he displayed several unusual symptoms:
total amnesia including loss of language (thought full capacity returned by the next day), infantile crying, bloating, softening of the skin, general and extreme weakness, and recession of the teeth into the gums. Continue reading
M-A-C (2): ‘fishy boot’
Collection Date: November 27th, 2000
Collection Location: (REDACTED), Mississippi
Collection Report: Initial instances of the MAC are likely not recorded. MAC is a left gray snakeskin laced boot with bluish trim that has a habit of being fished out of bodies of water by anglers.
When thrown back the boot seems capable of transporting to completely separate and disconnected bodies of water, but remains in the state of Mississippi. One angler reported catching the boot three times in a row even after moving significantly upstream. Continue reading
M-A-C (1): ‘brainy baseball’
Collection Date: August 3rd, 1975
Collection Location: (REDACTED), Arizona
Collection Report: A children’s baseball game was interrupted by the strange behavior of the ball used. Whenever thrown it veered unnaturally out of the way of the bat and into the catcher’s mitt.
The crowd gathered around it, which quickly devolved into destructive behavior. A volunteered handyman’s saw was used to cut the ball in half, resulting in a small puddle of amber leather-scented fluid.
The baseball’s interior was brain matter molded, or grown, into a spherical shape. After the splitting no other signs of life or intelligence were observed. One of our collectors was in attendance and, having worked as a high school science teacher, offered to take it in ‘for testing’. The game resumed with a spare ball. Continue reading
(back to part one)
(reading time: 47 minutes)
Sneak the Applause
Little Wars was underway, and both Forward Commander Snaps and Lord Ludmenti were missing it. The Challenging Applause that they had worked so hard to assemble, and actually assembled at the last second, was now fully deployed upon the battle board, inspiring and commanding Zoukas’s volunteered myrmidons against Tarkower’s crystallized shards of wit and their pocket Atlases.
They’d had precious little time for recovery after their scuffle with the Wonderland expectoration. Felicity was promptly refilled with flower petals to replace missing wads of cotton and sewn back up. Hans accepted no treatment for his loss of quills, and Momotaro shrugged off the bruises in his fruity flesh. Root Beer and Nero had partaken of the ‘drink me’ concoction and returned to their normal proportions. Continue reading
(back to part one)
(reading time: 1 hour, 3 minutes)
Scatter the Applause
It wasn’t hard for her two lieutenants to guess where the Olympian went directly from under Formaldeheidi’s dress, as within the hour the entire country knew the situation. Minimil was put on lockdown. All traffic in and out that was not Foraging and Reconnaissance was ceased. The main overhead lantern was given special oil so it burned with a reddish alarm flame. All citizens were encouraged to get doubly indoors and pack their most essential belongings should they need to evacuate.
Their escape route was not mentioned however, so many of the citizens assumed they would be alright. Minimil was a country of refugees where not many were born who were not myrmidons, and all the ones who were came from Queen Zoukas alone. Confidence was not placed in parents, or even in the goddess, but in Forward Commander Snaps and Lord Gumbonero Ludmenti of the twin handfuls, of the freshly announced Challenging Applause. Continue reading
(back to part one)
(reading time: 26 minutes)
Sort the Handful
“The queen knighted me thanks to all the assistance I offered Dr. Dolittle in his work. It was I who taught him the marmoset language.” Gumbonero and Snaps could’ve guessed this, given they were speaking to a golden marmoset in Bonsai Park. He’d descended from his little tree house eagerly at first knock on its trunk. “What most people don’t know is that he taught me English in turn.”
“Would we have much use for someone who speaks marmoset on the game board?” the gingerbread man asked his companion. Continue reading
The small have their own country, and it fits in a barn! The place is called Minimil, and it is home to Lilliputians, Shakespearian fairies, and the angels and devils of the shoulder that help you make all your decisions. The peril of Little Wars, in which they must fight in the stead of humans in chess-like battles, is at their doorstep. Two veterans of covert teams must now, regrettably, join forces to draft a new group who will defend the sovereignty of the small.
This is the third in a trilogy of novellas, so to get caught up please check out The Challenging Handful and The Left Challenging Handful.
(reading time: 34 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 50 minutes)
Snatch the Handful
The laborers refused to look him in the eye. That was a tall order for them, as they were all myrmidons, and thus had no eyelids. They had to quickly turn their heads away whenever they sensed the saccharine gaze of Herschel Pflaumen Snaps. One particularly creative one even put her antennae between her eye and his, pretending she couldn’t quite see him.
It offended the gingerbread soldier, as he was sure to have their attention anywhere but the safety of the city Minimil. Were this the wilderness, he a lost baked good perhaps dropped from the basket of Little Red Riding Hood while she skipped too enthusiastically, and they a roving band of ant-people with no hill to call home, they would have no trouble swarming and devouring his every last morsel. Continue reading
If you don’t know me, I’m Blaine Arcade, a speculative fiction writing hobbyist, and I write lots of out-there science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, and some horror. All of my stories are available here and free to read, so please check them out if you’re interested. Happy reading!
Cardiac Zack’s Healthy Human Shack
Holden Geats makes his scratch snapping pictures of abandoned places, and he’s heard of a new one: a kid-centric educational play place about the human body. A quick bribe and he’s in, only the singing and dancing animatronics populating the place didn’t exactly get the ‘abandoned’ memo…
Many know the tale of Frankenstein, but few remember its alternate title ‘The Modern Prometheus’. Long before its penning someone else was called the ‘Prometheus of modern times’, and it was none other than the American founding father Benjamin Franklin. This tale supposes that he was the one to engage in the doctor’s dread experiments, and success came through his most famous effort with the key and the kite… Continue reading