The Left Challenging Handful (Finale)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 56 minutes)

Burn the Handful

The parliament building, which housed the Shoulders of Government, was made out of an old trunk and kept in the highest residential area of the barn: the hayloft. It was fed with several elevators of varying construction as well as by trained birds and their riders. Many of the birds were reassigned as security that day, and so the lip of the loft was covered with the saddled feathery creatures, their beaks making the line look like a living fence of spikes. Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Part Three)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 53 minutes)

Knead the Handful

Forty Myrmidons marched across the walls of Minimil after a hard day’s work. Marching sideways was possible for them, as long as they stayed on all fours, thanks to the clasping hooks on the wrists and ankles of their exoskeletons. Their progress would’ve been extremely slow if not for the divot network.

It was invisible from a distance, which in Minimil was anything greater than two meters. Up close it could be seen as nothing more than even rows of gouge marks in the old wood of the barn walls. Their purpose was to provide footholds to any and all arthropod citizens capable of wall-crawling, the most numerous of which were the Myrmidons. Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (Part Two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 37 minutes)

Spread the Handful

The innkeeper thought she rose plenty early to start preparing breakfast for her handful of guests, but when she stepped down from her quarters into the tavern she found it transformed by makeshift houseplants, created by an even earlier bird.

Delicious was roaming about, watering them with single droplets, using a can lifted from the dead garden’s piled tools. She hummed a tune all the while, but by the time she made a complete lap the gnome couldn’t help but sing a verse.

-I long to see the girl I left behind meee!” When she stopped to breathe she noticed Miss Marood. “Oh, I’m sorry! Did I wake you?” Continue reading

The Left Challenging Handful (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.  Minimil doesn’t yet know it, but it is under attack from an elite team of scoundrels in its gutters, threatened into service by an unknown entity.  They will sabotage the tiny government, to keep their heads and achieve their wildest dreams.
This is the second in a trilogy, though each novella tells its own whole story.  To get caught up please check out the original: The Challenging Handful.

(reading time: 36 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 3 hours, 2 minutes)

The Left Challenging Handful

by

Blaine Arcade

Pinch the Handful

Typically a man of his stature would have no trouble moving through tight spaces. At only fifteen centimeters tall there were several carved conch shells among the furniture in his palace that were positively roomy, but this welcome, if that’s what it was, was far from that.

He was squeezed front and back by musty wood, the only way to orient himself being the various splinters poking the capitals on the map of his body. The predicament was made all the tighter by the finery he rarely took off: a crown of fused amber glass, shoulder pads of the same, a layered cape of blue and white like ocean waves lapping at the sand, and the decorated saber sheath on his hip. Continue reading

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