Friday, June 15, 2012

"Gnit-wit Gnipper and the Perilous Plague" by T.J. Lantz (Short Story)

Genre:  Young Adult Fantasy

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  No matter how hard she tries life never seems to go quite right for Gnipper Tallhat, an eight-year-old Gnome determined to receive the recognition her intelligence deserves. This time, however, she's got it all figured out. Finally, her father will have to be proud of her accomplishments...provided he manages to live through them.


After eight years of life Gnipper Tallhat was noticing a disturbing pattern beginning to form. No matter where she went disaster seemed to follow her around like a lemming off a sharp cliff. These occurrences weren’t the simple kind of disasters that most eight year olds brought with them, like skinned knees, broken dishes or a stray ball flying through the bedroom window. No, when it came to personal catastrophe Gnipper was a child prodigy. It was to the point where most of the creatures around the island tried desperately to avoid contact with her, and those that couldn’t spent their time regretting that circumstance.

Gnipper could always figure out how these things happened, a hereditary benefit of being the daughter of one of the world’s truly great scientists, Professor Gnorbert Tallhat. The problem she struggled with was the why. Regardless of how much thought she put into it, Gnipper was never exactly sure why these things happened to her. Some people around the island assumed she was just born unlucky, while others claimed she tried too hard. Those were the nice people; usually the lucky few that had managed to avoid losing a roof or a beloved family pet1 to one of Gnipper’s experiments. The majority of people, however, held a much less polite viewpoint of the youngster. That opinion might have been summed up best by Gnipper’s first governess, a wrinkled old hag that smelled like a combination of mothballs and butterscotch. She quit after three hours, screaming that the little girl was crazier than a leprechaun that lost his rainbow. Gnipper wasn’t sure why her teacher was so upset. She was positive the old lady’s eyebrows would grow back eventually, after all that was what eyebrows tended to do.

Buy this story on Amazon and stop by T.J. Lantz's blog.


  1. Alain, thanks so much for featuring Gnipper!

  2. I just noticed that the formatting was wacky for your excerpt. Should be fixed now!

  3. Hi, I found this sample on #samplesunday, and I included the link to this page on my blog post where I post interesting f/sf/h/hist samples from #samplesunday.

    Just a FYI.