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.

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

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Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 192, Rangifer Volans, by Bo KaierIn early December, Brad Miro walked into the office of his partner, Dr. John Estes, and said, “I’ve got our next target. It’s perfect. The public is going to love it.”

John closed his eyes. “I haven’t even finished writing the paper about the Mongolian death worm yet”

This Christmas Special episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm’s Lovecraft inspired take on “The Night Before Christmas”. The theme this week is a creepy yet festive take on Christmas. The feature lets us see the career of a successful crypto-zoologist. As we see Dr John Estes just recovering from discovering the Mongolian death worm when his partner wants to catch a flying reindeer. Norm discusses how it’s better not to believe, like in Santa… or the Mayans.

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A Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier
Poem:  'Twas the Night (mp3)  by  Norm Sherman

Twabble:  “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, and it became suddenly clear why I was the single teenager sporting a fluffy white beard. ”  by  CLP

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Warning:  Several Instances of the F-Bomb

Cover for Drabblecast episode 91, Gifting Bliss, by Kelly MacAvaney“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.”

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Originally published in Can't Buy Me Faded Love (Wheatland Press), May 2008.
Episode Art:  Kelly MacAvaney

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Friday, October 31st, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 87, Box Born Wraith, by David Flett“I don’t want to die in the dark!”
“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Norm spends this episode doing his very best cheesy Vincent Price styled horror show host (Note: not a Vincent Price imitation, but an imitation of a really bad Vincent Price imitator), complete with an interminable string of puns about “ghouls” and “ghosts.” As this year’s Halloween treat, Norm selects a truly terrifying story from frequently heard contributor Kevin David Anderson, also seen in Dark Animus, and numerous other publications which include the word “Dark” in their titles.  In “The Box Born Wraith,” an unexpected encounter between a condemned mobster and a tribe of hungry ghouls changes both the captive and the captors. Finally, still in character, Norm urges listeners to face the horrors of the voting booth in November’s election.

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This story is a Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  David Flett

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 232, Valentine's Day with the Gods, by Jerel Dye

The first ‘Go to Hell!’
The Angels did say
To certain poor bastards
On Valentine’s Day;

‘Go to Hell!
We do our job well!
It ain’t who you are
It’s what you can sell…’

On Valentine’s Day,
The World demands Love
With a milk-chocolate fist
In a red tin-foil glove.

Romance is featured in this episode of the Drabblecast. In the drabble, falling in love with a werewolf causes problems for a vampire. In the feature, on Valentine’s Day a freshly engaged couple stops at a tavern for dinner. They are seated among a collection of deities representing various traditions and religions who lead them to question their relationship, as well as the meaning of love and marriage at all among the horrors of the cosmos.

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A Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Jerel Dye

Twabble:  “As I leaned in to kiss her moist, pink lips, I received a small electric shock! It must have been static from my PC monitor. ”  by  loyaleagle

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 228, A Fairy Tale of Oakland, by Bo KaierIn some parts of the world — Austria, Croatia, Hungary — they still remember. They understand. You can’t have something bright without having something dark to balance it. If you’ve got St. Nicholas, you also need the Krampus…

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with Norm’s reflections on the holidays, Santa Claus, and the origins of flying reindeer. In the drabble, the mayhem of a large family’s holiday dinner leads to a darkly humorous tragedy. In the feature, an unsavory petty criminal has a chance encounter with a dying old man who confides that years ago Santa bestowed upon him a miracle, a wish, to teach the true meaning of Christmas. Unfortunately, as they both learn, it comes with a catch..

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A Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

Twabble:  “The sky grew dark and Quetzalcoatl beat leather wings against the sky. We were wrong about Y2K, but right about maYan2K. ”  by  Steven D. Lidster

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Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 221, Year of the Rabbit, by Richard K. GreenIt used to be that the sun would go down and the streetlamps would come on and make pools of this wet, yellow light. No matter where you stood, you could see the lights on somewhere. You could run from streetlamp to streetlamp and you could look down the streets and you’d never drown in the dark…

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Originally published by Chizine, April 2012.
Episode Art:  Richard K. Green
Read by:  Norm Sherman and Kimi Alexander

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