Episode Art: Bo Kaier Music by: "Fire in the Blood" sung by Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris
Strange Stories, By Strange Authors, for Strange Listeners
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…
John was born with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, and he often wondered why. But as a boy, it was simply wonderful to have those abilities. He could lift his father’s tractor overhead before he learned to read. He could outrace a galloping horse. He couldn’t be cut or bruised or burned. He could fly…
If you listened to Clown Eggs and thought, “I need more stories like THAT,” you are in for a treat. This week, we listen to Jay Lake’s “Over the Walls of Eden”-stick around at the end and hear a discussion of the story.
“Why do you remember the books?” he finally asks.
She smiles again. “O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere, Till pride and worse ambition threw me down…”
My boss, Danny, liked to brag that El Corazon was the best Tex-Mex restaurant just off the Vegas Strip. “Because of you, Bescha,” he’d say to me. “You keep the customers happy. You keep me out of trouble.”
I won’t say which part of my job was harder. I kept an eye on the help-wanted ads, in case something better came along.
Author Jay Lake knew about the devil and he knew about the clowns. When his story, Clown Eggs, first appeared on the Drabblecast, listeners said things like “This might be, hands-down, the weirdest story I’ve ever heard on [The Drabblecast]. I think I’m going to have nightmares forever. Can I send my therapy bills to you guys?” (Thanks, Talia)
In other words, people loved it.
Since then, the Drabblecast has produced three other outpourings from Jay’s singular vision of the world (or a world – or some worlds, but hopefully not our own). In fact, Jay’s last professional sale was “The Goat Cutter,” Drabblecast 321, the story from last April about the Devil in Texas. You remember that story- you can’t forget it, even though you’ve tried.
Jay lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 1, 2014. In tribute to Jay, we’re kicking off Drabbleclassics with several weeks of Jay Lake’s stories.
And now: Episode 115, Clown Eggs, first published May 25th, 2009.
The spring tide rolled across Momus Beach, tossing the flaccid corpses of clowns like so many torn balloons. Weathered to a dispirited pallor, they twisted in the foamy surf with the eternally surprised expressions of the dead..
The Drabble describes either an apocalyptic event, or a simple machine. The feature introduces us to old “bull” clown Uncle Swarmy. It’s not just another day at the beach. Learn more about the clown life cycle than you’re comfortable with!
1. The Tree
And so it came to pass, in the years past reckoning, when I served as a scribe in the court of the king, that there stood the last and only tree.
It is not known how this came to be the only tree. For a time there were disputing theories; it could hardly have happened by chance. As for me, I favor a hypothesis rooted in the fallacy of infinite halves. For in the strange world where we lived, it was once widely known that if you cross half a distance every day, forever and ever, you shall never reach your destination. Thus, if you consume half the riches of the world, every day, forever and ever, you shall always have some riches left. This truth was a fallacy. It is not possible to cut down half a tree.
"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.
© 2007 - 2011 The Drabblecast. Narrated and Produced by Norm Sherman and released under a creative commons license