Challenging Applause (finale)

(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

Challenging Applause (part three)

(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

Challenging Applause (part two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 26 minutes)

Sort the Handful

Sir Chee-chee

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

Challenging Applause (part one)

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)

Challenging Applause

by

Blaine Arcade

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

Chat-your-own-Adventure #3: Signature in Soot

Author’s Note: This story was written live on stream with the audience bidding tokens (earned while watching) to determine the path of the story.  The underlined phrases in the choice of three were the winning pathways.  Stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade if you’d ever like to participate in our interactive fiction.

Jack London Style                        H.G. Wells Style                         Dr. Seuss Style

The winter weather was perfectly lovely, but my ensemble that evening did not interact well with the bite in the air. I had no jacket or overcoat, my boots were nearly worn through, and the only thing capable of generating any warmth was my scarf. I was forced to wrap it around my head to protect my ears, nose, and lips from freezing, but the snowflakes landed on it incessantly, melting under the touch of my breath and flowing down into the scarf’s folds where its icy touch assailed my cheeks. Continue reading