Episode Art: Bo Kaier Music by: "Fire in the Blood" sung by Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris
Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books. Such a lot the gods gave to me – to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken…
If you get ill after eating or touching something that didn’t make anyone else sick, you may be allergic to it. Especially if there’s a rash. Allergies are caused by your body rejecting substances it doesn’t like. There is no treatment but to avoid those substances. Fortunately, only a few types of allergies can kill you. Nut allergies, for instance. Bee stings. But I imagine most people with fatal allergies to common things have died by now.
I am allergic to wool, soy, peanuts, and pollen. Only my peanut allergy can kill me.
It’s not a proper dream. It’s impatient, fired with urgency. It arrives without warning, veering suddenly out of the night.
You’re kneeling on the bridge. It’s late afternoon. Clouds mass low in the sky, seagulls wheel over the bridge spans, humidity hangs thick in the air. Cars speed by on either side of you, the whoosh of
their passage filling your ears.
Please stop taking my half & half.
Let’s get this out of the way: I know you’re there. Don’t think I’m unaware of the scrabbling sounds, the walls creaking from your bulk, the way my razor in the morning is never exactly where I left it last night. Richard always said it was the building settling—as if a building, however old, could take apples out of the fruit crisper—but he was as wrong about that as he was about a lot of things beyond the scope of this note. And since he moved out I feel you’ve gotten bolder.
When I drew nigh the nameless city I knew it was accursed. I was traveling in a parched and terrible valley under the moon, and afar I saw it protruding uncannily above the sands as parts of a corpse may protrude from an ill-made grave. Fear spoke from the age-worn stones of this hoary survivor of the deluge, this great-grandmother of the eldest pyramid; and a viewless aura repelled me and bade me retreat from antique and sinister secrets that no man should see, and no man else had ever dared to see.
"A powerful reading and good example of how a story can be transformed when told out loud and told out loud well.
The Drabblecast is an award-winning, illustrated, listener-supported audio fiction magazine, released as a free to download, weekly podcast. It features short stories at the far side of weird, including science fiction, horror, fantasy, and everything in between. It is hosted and produced by Norm Sherman. The Drabblecast is open to submissions and is a paying market.
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