Episode Art: Bo KaierRead by: Norm, Sean Sorrentino, Nathan Lee
The chair first appeared on a Thursday afternoon on the sidewalk in front of the Dollar Bank and Trust on Lancaster Street in Pulaski, Kansas. Nobody saw how it got there. At least, no reliable eyewitnesses have ever come forward, so we are unable to pinpoint the exact moment of its arrival. Customers began to ask the tellers about it shortly after lunch.
“When I first met Jason he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the studio, surrounded by burning candles. The air smelled like flowers and a sort of a fog hung in the room and I’m thinking- this dude is a little off…”
This podcast begins with a content warning, beware the “f-bomb.” Norm takes the occasion of Thanksgiving to politely thank civilization and his listeners. The feature is a faux documentary from Josh Roundtree, a contributor to “Realms of Fantasy.” Its subject is a record called “Gifting Bliss” from fantasy musician Jason Avery, whose band “Broken” has a magical healing power to listeners. The reading includes fake commercial breaks and Norm’s hysterical imitations of several sub-standard bands and clueless musicians. Lastly, Norm reads the feedback for the recent Halloween story, “The Box Born Wraith.”
“John,” Marla whispered, trying to keep the irritation out of her voice, “turn on the light. There’s a pin in the bed.”
“What?” Her husband rolled over in the dark, and she felt his elbow bump into her leg.
“John, there’s a needle. In the bed. With your baby. Turn on the light.” Her words were firm. John got up and turned on the light, looking at her unsteadily.
Captain Confederation was annoyed when he got off the elevator and it showed. It would have been so simple and logical for him to land on the roof of the Superhero Administration Centre, or in the ample grounds surrounding it, but these alternatives were no longer open to him. Last month Transport Canada had proposed a regulation requiring superheroes to take off and land from helipads unless actually fighting crime, and for some inexplicable reason the Department of Superhero Affairs had gone along with it.
Nate had expected the first serial killer. In fact the first thing he’d said to Kelly once their Ford rolled to a stop on the shoulder was, “This is serial killer country. We’re finished.” She made scaredy-cat eyes and drew a finger across her throat. “Finished,” he enunciated. She’d heard his bake before, something to the effect that certain places settled and then maybe recultivated to feel remote–the Wisconsin Northwoods, for example, or parts of Appalachia or, in this case, Tornado Alley–were stuffed silly with the dumped spent corpses that were the nuggets of serial killers’ labor. The type needed space to operate. So each tree in the Northwoods doubled as a headstone, each stalk of corn out here a memorial, and to hike cross-country through such territory was to traipse condemned through the densest kind of cemetery.
See, I was comin’ back from a round-up at Deacon’s Bluff – I catch rattlesnakes and milk them for their venom back in my apartment – you’d be surprised how much money there is in that. Anyway, I had a
young diamondback tied up in my gunnysack on the front seat of my pickup – really, it’s a laundry bag with a drawstring and a catch clip – anyway, I was drivin’ by McLaughlin Park on my way home, when damn
if that sucker didn’t just poke his head right out of the sack to look around! I lost control of the truck tryin’ to get him back in, and I swerved across the playground.
"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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