•  Feature:  Unreliable Witness  by  Jo Walton
  •  Drabble:  Missing Things  by  Ben Kapitz
  •  Genre:  Drabbleclassics  Drama  Sci-Fi

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…

In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.

Originally published in Strange Horizons, January 2001.
Episode Art:  Kathleen Beckett
Read by:  Delianne Forget

Twabble:  “Even they don't fully understand the butterfly effect, yet they seem to love flapping those delicate and deadly wings. ”  by  TroyStJames

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Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
Warning:  Graphic violence and gore

Cover for Drabblecast episode 92, Synesthesia, by Tom MorgantiThey called  it “Synesthesia.”  It’s when the senses got mixed up and you started to hear colors or taste sounds…

Norm begins this with a warning concerning graphic violence and gore. We return to one of the Drabblecast’s favorite topics, the Zombie Apocalypse. The theme receives a fresh airing, which is just as well, as it was starting to smell. Sal Lemerond, veteran of the horror webzine “Necrotic Tissue,” posits the connection between drug addicts and zombies, in a 100-word drabble. Norm chimes in with a tasty public service announcement about the nutritional value of your brain on drugs. In the feature story, J. Alan Pierce – whose work has appeared in Kaleidotrope, as well as twice on the Drabblecast (#18 “The One that Got Away” and #31 “Beekeepers”) – takes us through a zombie plague via the eyes of an early victim. The condition first manifests as Synthesesia, the scientific name for the ability to taste colors, smell sounds, and other bizarre sensory hallucinations.  The story culminates in a family dispute and a choice betrayal.

A Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Tom Morganti

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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Cover for Drabblecast 76, Apologies All Around, by Bo Kaier“Pardon, Winston Sinclair, I am not here to sell you something. I am not here to buy something. Winston Sinclair, sir, I am here to apologize…”

Jeff Soesbe, graduate of The Viable Paradise Workshop, gives us a tender feature about a family of the future, and a unique robot with a special purpose. In Drabble News, Norm Sherman makes all the men jealous with the tale of a sexual powerhouse: a prolific, philandering Guinea Pig! Norm tells us more about the Mega-Beast Death-Match. Feedback is for Episode #70 “Reality Bites!” and Episode #71 “Perfect Down Further.”

DrabbleNews: Romeo guinea pig causes baby boom
Originally published in Flash Fiction Online, February 2008.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

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Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 43, Jelly Park, by Rodolfo Arredondo“I’m not sure I belong here.”
“Then where do you belong?”
The others stopped chewing and looked at me expectantly.
What am I?…

As Norm detailed his Christmas plans, the common theme of this episode became apparent:  that “Home” is not a place, but rather a choice. Before getting there, though, the Drabble News tracked through a pile of extremely rare rhinoceros dung…  or rather, four piles, collected by conservationists and auctioned on E-bay to raise money for preservation of the species. Norm speculates on the market timing of such a gift. Next, Norm reflects on the meaning of the holidays, from the point of view of various people, animals, and legendary monsters. The week’s Drabble, “Choosing Home” by noteworthy community member Josh Hugo, offers a story of love conquering danger. The feature story, “Jelly Park,” (consistently voted among listener favorites), is a deliciously absurd tale of a down-on-her-luck, unemployed secretary who discovers a strange welcome from the easily overlooked community of double-decker bus drivers. The episode’s author, published twice by McMillan Press, helped sing the charminly twisted story’s celebrations. Co-narrator, Dermot Glennon, also contributed Episode #29, “Code Brown.” Feedback for Episode #37, “Luna Springs,” is bittersweet and poignant. Norm and the staff close with a rousing rendition of the Jelly Park Celebration Song, showing off multiple voices and characters, ranging from scat-singing to lunatic opera.

Originally published in Riot Angel #4, July 2005.
Episode Art:  Rodolfo Arredondo
Music by:   Norm Sherman

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 129, Annabelle's Alphabet, by Bess GutensteinAnnabelle’s mother closed her eyes. “Get it sharp,” she said. “Very sharp, so it doesn’t hurt much. I’ll boil some water.”

Somewhere in the house, far from the green places she’d known, baby Annabelle lay on her stomach and cried…

Originally published in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, October 2001.
Episode Art:  Bess Gutenstein
Music by:   Gringo Motel, Devin Anderson, Marco Esu, Sara Ayers, Palestrina, Chopin, The Brothers Femme, and Norm Sherman

Twabble:  “Cthulhu was buried in his wool suit, seaweed and supplications in his breast pockets. Mourners left behind their sons. ”  by  F5iver

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Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 36, Warm Regression, by Mary MatticeThere were always bright rings on the doorbell and smiling faces carrying covered dishes. There was always a peck on the cheek for us kids when grandma came, and always a strong handshake from grandpa. His big warm hands always convinced us that he was as strong as he was wise. All of them would pile in, cherry red cheeks and warm mittens. They would brush off all the snow from outside and remind us how cold it was where we lived. It was true, we lived in one of the coldest parts of the country, and there was always a blizzard on Christmas Eve.

A Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  Mary Mattice

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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast episode 285, Doubleheader XIII, by Matt WasielaSamuel sat on the balcony, enjoying the fading light of day. When the ventilator pushed air into his lungs, he savored the salt brine from the sea.  He pretended that he had control over breath, but it was much a fantasy as adjusting his wheelchair….





Read full story…

"Locked In" was originally published in Apex Digest (#9). "The Clockwork Chickadee" was originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine (June, 2008).
Episode Art:  Matt Wasiela
Read by:  Ray Sizemore

Twabble:  “Odd laws are on the books because someone tried it once. So if you're going to fling piranhas, keep your pants on, please. ”  by  Varda

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