Once, at the beginning, you asked why you were brought here. This is what I told you: your parents made a deal. I would rid them of their plague of rats, and they would pay me. I cleared the town of pests, easily done, and returned for my payment. They laughed at me and tried to send me away with less than they promised. Money is not important. Deals are.
The theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is fairy tale child abduction. In David is Six, David cannot wait to be seven. In his desperation, he strikes a bargain with a fairy that appears to him as a talking toad and is taken to the fairy queen. The Best Boy, The Brightest Boy picks up where the Pied Piper of Hamlin left off, following the children and the Piper into his kingdom under the mountain where after a series of cruel games and tests, only one boy remains alive. He becomes the Piper’s apprentice. In Broken, a father stumbles upon a fairy in the act of exchanging his disabled child for her own enchanted brood. A heart-breaking decision follows.
The episode opens with a Drabble by John Medaille, a veteran of Podcastle, the Dunesteef, and the “Three-Lobed Burning Eye.” It discusses the depredations and terror experienced by survivors of a post-apocalyptic elevator failure. Next, continuing the theme of apocalyptic landscapes, Samantha Henderson also a veteran of numerous podcasts as well as “Realms of Fantasy” contributes her story, “Starry Night.” Evoking Van Gough’s famous painting, her story describes the consequences of a celestial event that illuminated, and then blinded, the renaissance village of Monte Verde. Surreal tragedy follows. After the story, reader feedback from the Double-Header, “Hush and Hark” and “Meta Science Fiction,” describes how disturbing and or amusing the audience found the stories. Listeners rated Trifecta 5 as middle-of-the-road.