A Handful of Dirt is the sixth chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. It may be found .
Annie and Kat are walking through an obscure hallway of Gunnerkrigg Court. Kat reveals her childhood crush on James Eglamore, only amplified now that she's learned he's a big, manly dragon slayer. Just as Annie wonders where they're going, Kat opens a giant door, revealing a large outdoor nature-scape, a grassy hill with a cherry tree on top, apparently inside the room. Kat takes Annie to the tree and they start eating cherries, which apparently have just bloomed and taste real enough. Kat says that the room is called an "artificial habitat" and everything, from the humidity to the wind speed is controlled electronically. They climb up into the tree and begin playfully throwing cherries at each other (this is perhaps the first time Annie has smiled out of happiness in the comic). Kat accidentally falls off the tree while trying to catch a cherry in her mouth, but is unharmed.
Annie jumps off after her and is shocked to find her legs are asleep. Suddenly, a man (the Caretaker) appears and demands to know what the two students are doing in the room. The two girls, still giddy, only laugh and Annie jokes that he caught them "red-handed".
It is during this laughing that Annie starts to cry. (The Caretaker, put off by this crying, awkwardly leaves.) Annie cries for her mother, for the first time since she died. Kat reveals that she's never lost a loved one, and wasn't sure if she could cope as well as Annie had. She asks Annie where her dad is, and Annie replies she doesn't know.
Annie's father, Anthony Carver, worked as a surgeon in Good Hope Hospital, where Annie lived while her mother was sick. After the events of Chapter 3, Annie had tried to call him, to say she hadn't been hurt. The hospital said that her father didn't work there anymore, and didn't know how to contact him.
Kat is livid at this information, but Annie believes he had his reasons for leaving. Annie ponders if her father simply didn't want anything to do with her anymore, but Kat doesn't believe this to be true, and places a comforting arm around her shoulder.
The chapter ends as the two talk about their legs being asleep.
Characters introduced in this chapter
- A few readers have wondered whether Annie and Kat are in fact kissing in the fifth panel of Tom has stated this is definitely not so. , but
- Batman, Hellboy and Agent Fox Mulder appear as Kat's action figures in the chapter's bonus page.
|Gunnerkrigg Court Chapters|
The Shadow and the Robot • Schoolyard Myths • Reynardine • Not Very Scary • Two Strange Girls • A Handful of Dirt • Of New and Old • Broken Glass and Other Things • Questions and Answers • Doctor Disaster Versus the Creepy Space Aliens from Outer Space • Dobranoc, Gamma• Mainly Involves Robots • A Week for Kat • The Fangs of Summertime
Loup's Trick • Dealing With HER • New Contract • Perspective • The Goose Bone • Moving • She Gave Us An Ocean • Down That Road • The Thousand Eyes
Behind It All • Find Yourself • The Mind Cage
|Extra Comics||Bonus Pages • City Face (comic) • Annie in the Forest • Traveller • Coyote! • Zim Grim|