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Drabblecast 459 – 7099 Brecksville Road, Independence, Ohio

Drabblecast cover by Tristan TolhurstNorm is cryptic this week in terms of offering information on the featured story, “7099 Brecksville Road, Independence Ohio,” by JR Hamentaschen. He will say that that’s the story, and that’s the author. And to listen with headphones on.

And also, check out our episode sponsor this week, pixel-pulp video game Mothmen 1966! Available on steam, switch, xbox, and playstation now!

 

There were three toilet stalls in the men’s room at the Sunoco Gas Station at 7099 Brecksville Road in Independence, Ohio. One of them was occupied.
If you were, say, washing your hands and looking at the stalls for whatever reason, a mistaken glance, perhaps, you’d see in the space below the door a man’s feet, his black work boots and dark blue Wrangler jeans. (This was one of those bathrooms that had a distressing amount of clearance room between the stall doors and the floor.) The man’s feet flexed a bit, not staying stationary, but not in any unusual way; just in the usual fashion of a man using the toilet, shifting in the usual way a man does as he distributes his weight.

 

 

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Drabblecast 458 – Plans for Expansion

Cover by Zuzanna Kwiecien Plans for ExpansionThe Drabblecast is molting!

Norm shares some exciting news in the intro this week, Drabblecast has launched a Patreon, and a new quarterly magazine, “The Tentaculum.”  Also, welcome new Managing Editor Cameron Howard!

Finally, we close out HP Lovecraft “Month” with an original story by Aliya Whitely called, “Plans for Expansion.”

Stones contain stories.
The deep and worn stones of this castle have tales within them of such strange and horrible occurrences, events too awful to be spoken of, but I will try, this very night, to tell you, to warn you, of what they have witnessed. Beware what awaits you within. Prepare yourself: your sanity is at risk.

Drabblecast 457 – When the Sun Hits

Drabblecast cover by Skeet Scienski for When the Sun HitsThis week’s show brings you an original commissioned HP Lovecraft mythos story by Nick Mamatas called “When the Sun Hits.”  Afterwards, Nick talks about the story in an Author’s Note and Norm gives everyone an existential crises in a Drabble News presentation on The Boltzmann Brain.

When the brain is liberated from the body, only to be imprisoned in a steely new home, one interesting side effect of the process is that all the structures previously dedicated to vision, coordination, the autonomic nervous system, motor control, first atrophy, and then generalize. Perhaps it is an artifact of the nanotech-rich protein fluids in which the brain floats, or the peculiar nth-dimensional folding the Mi-Go use to fit a humanoid brain into their canisters…

Drabblecast 456 – In My Brain in My Body

Cover for In My Brain In My Body Drabblecast by Bo KaierShark week on Drabblecast has never been so unnerving!  Enjoy an original Drabblecast story this week from Evie Mae Barber about what lurks even deeper in the depths…

The great white looked like he was having a good time, swimming upside down, bone-white belly above water, teeth gnashing playfully. Like a puppy dreams of finally catching a squirrel.
Just off the verdant coast, boaters came to see him play. Some reached out as he swam by, trying to stroke his luminous stomach, but he was out of reach.

-get them out-

I warned them to be careful. Something wasn’t quite right; the shark was clearly distressed. Nothing too strange—I’d seen this before—but I had to come out with my crew just to see if it might be research-worthy. Even a byline on a derelict local news site would be nice at this point. Hell, a quote would do fine.

i cant get them out-

Another boat rolled up. One of the boaters said it was tonic immobility—playing dead. “Might think we’re predators. We may want to back off…”

Drabblecast 455 – How Lovely Are Your Branches

Bo Kaier Drabblecast Christmas Cover Tim Pratt SantaNorm closes out the year and existence as we know it, due to the phenomena known as “The Continuation,” with the Drabblecast annual holiday Tim Pratt story, an original commission called “How Lovely Are Your Branches.” Enjoy!

Somebody was murdering people, but the killer’s name wasn’t showing up on my naughty list. That got me curious, so I poked around. There was nothing left at the crime scenes but dollops of sap and scattered pine needles, which felt less like sloppiness and more like a signature. I was in New York trying to track down the killer, but first, I needed a drink.

Play

Drabblecast 454 – The Doom That Came to Sarnath

Cover for The Doom That Came to Sarnath by Shane Bevin

The Drabblecast kicks off H.P. Lovecraft Month with the grandfather of Weird Fiction’s cautionary dark fantasy, “The Doom That Came to Sarnath.”

There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream and out of which no stream flows. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath, but Sarnath stands there no more.

It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the grey stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold…

Drabblecast 453 – Trifecta: Modern Fairy Tales

Drabblecast cover by Cynthia Bottomley for the Modern Fairy Tale Trifecta

The Drabblecast brings you three original stories this week (Modern Fairytales, if you will) from authors Alice Gauntley, Matthew Sanborn Smith, and Kevin D. Anderson.

Enjoy!

Our birthday was the first of March, and for two weeks beforehand it was all Caleb could talk about—cake, presents, and, most importantly, whom to invite. He would chatter about it as we did his homework, as we played his video games, as he went to sleep and I watched over him. Mom had him try different kinds of cakes, and even let me eat some and asked which one I liked best. I liked the carrot cake, but Caleb liked chocolate, so that’s the one she scheduled the kitchen to make fresh for the morning of the party…

Drabblecast 452- Watch Anya Blume

Drabblecast cover for Watch Anya Blume by artist H. Lee Messina

We’re getting back to nature this week on the Drabblecast, with Michael Piel’s original story, “Watch Anya Blume.”  Enjoy!

Anya Blume showered, slept, and showered again. Yes, she thought, she was beginning to feel human. Exhausted, sure, but human. She popped five Advil and closed the medicine cabinet. There, at the bottom of the mirror in sharpie, were the words: I will be my best self…

 

Drabblecast 451 – How to Get Back to the Forest

Cindy Fan cover for How to Get Back to the ForestWarning: some explicit language.

Join us this week for a little Camp Dystopia! The Drabblecast brings you a story about growing up the hard way by Sofia Samatar, called “How to Get Back to the Forest.” Enjoy!

Episode Sponsor- “You Know It’s True” by J.R. Hamantaschen

 

“You have to puke it up,” said Cee. “You have to get down there and puke it up. I mean down past where you can feel it, you know?”

 

Drabblecast 450 – A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Cover for Drabblecast Episode A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Bo KaierEpisode Sponsor: You Know It’s True by J.R. Hamantaschen

This week on the Drabblecast, we bring you a classic story by Flannery O’Conner about simpler times and a summer family vacation gone awry.  Enjoy!

Warning: This story is being presented in it’s original form and contains an instance of outdated cultural language.

“Now look here, Bailey,” she said, “see here, read this,” and she stood with one hand on her thin hip and the other rattling the newspaper at his bald head. “Here this fellow that calls himself The Misfit is aloose from the Federal Pen and headed toward Florida and you read here what it says he did to these people. Just you read it. I wouldn’t take my children in any direction with a criminal like that aloose in it. I couldn’t answer to my conscience if I did…”

Drabblecast 449 – The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One)

Dinosaurs gone awry on this week’s Drabblecast!  We bring you an original story by John Wiswell called The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One), enjoy!

Episode Sponsor: J.R. Hamentaschen’s horror anthology, “You Know It’s True” Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Dinosaurs don’t want to kill you; they just don’t care that you’re there. More people have been sat on by brontosauruses than have been eaten by all the theropods combined. Since I joined security on the archipelago, 82% of dinosaur-related human casualties were from tourists who got too close during mating season. And the four times I’ve seen a deinonychus attack someone, they’ve always left them uneaten. Why? For the same reason bears and sharks tend to leave victims alive: because humans taste like shit…

Drabblecast 448 – Stay

Drabblecast Cover for Stay by Shane BevinThis week’s episode is brought to you by J.R. Hamentaschen’s fourth horror fiction anthology “You Know It’s True.” Grab a copy for kindle or otherwise, here!

For our story this week, take a trip with us to the Fourteenth Floor, where you are every guest.  We bring you “Stay,” by Davian Aw.

You were every guest on the fourteenth floor: none of you alike, a host of strangers across ages and ethnicities, genders and histories, but I knew it was you from the look on your face, and your eyes–your eyes were always the same.

“Stay,” you’d say, a plea steeped in sadness, sometimes desperation, anger, loneliness, or lust…

Drabblecast 447 – Echoes

Carly Heath Drabblecast cover for EchoesThe Drabblecast is on the scene this week, with an original story by Gail Ann Gibbs, read by Starla Hutchton, that reminds us that it’s ok to be a little weird. Or maybe even, SUPER weird…

I like the way Richard smells. The next time a psychiatrist asks me what makes me happy, I’ll say it’s the way Richard smells when he’s on the job.

Karen tilted her head down so Richard wouldn’t see her smile, which would be inappropriate here. He was standing next to her, rummaging through her tool kit.

“I could have sworn I brought the small sieve.” He pulled one out and waved it. “Thanks, don’t let me forget it’s yours.” He headed back to the crime scene in the kitchen, and Karen turned back to her own dead body, here in the dining room…

Drabblecast 446 – The Wichita Drive

Gino Moretto Drabblecast Cover for The Wichita DriveWeird things are afoot in the west this week on the Drabblecast!   Enjoy an original,  previously unpublished story about snails of the plains gone awry by Joshua Bush called “The Witchita Drive.”  Yeehaw!

They were down in a gully watering the cattle when Billy came thundering down the ridgeline on his sorrel mare, waving his hat and hollering like he just seen the whole Comanche nation bearing down on them.

“Mr. Lee!” he cried. “Mr. Lee!”

Harry Lee — the top hand on the drive — trotted up to meet him, keeping his palomino well in hand so as not to disturb the herd any further. The younger cowboy was good in the saddle, but he was greener than spring horse pucky, and had half as much sense…

Drabblecast 445 – Love Is the Plan the Plan Is Death

Anike Kirsten cover for Drabblecast Love Is The Plan The Plan Is DeathDrabblecast wraps up Women & Aliens month with a gritty and intense story by James Tiptree Jr., aka Alice B. Sheldon.  Hope you’re hungry!

Remembering—

Do you hear, my little red? Hold me softly. The cold grows.

I remember:

—I am hugely black and hopeful, I bounce on six legs along the mountains in the new warm! . . . Sing the changer, Sing the stranger! Will the changes change forever? . . . All my hums have words now. Another change!

Drabblecast 444 – The Hands of Heroes

Drabblecast cover by Maren Gagne for The Hands of HeroesWhat makes a hero?  The Drabbecast brings you an original commissioned story by Cat Rambo this week called “The Hands of Heroes.”

The thing is, I was never a hero. The first wave of aliens taught me that. The war with them – my older brothers became heroes there, one died in the stand-off at Ucer-25, and we never did discover what happened to the other. My parents celebrated them both, burned scarlet and gold candles that made the house smell like flaming trees and sulphur, every weekend without fail…

 

Drabblecast 443 – The Day I Didn’t Get A Pet Nebula

Mary Mattice Cover for Drabblecast The Day I Didn't Get A Pet Nebula

Who says Drabblecast doesn’t do Young Adult Fiction?

This week we launch Women & Aliens Month with a fresh, original Drabblecast commission by Effie Seiberg.

We’re grateful to be able to bring you this story this week!

On the day I turned nine I didn’t get a pet nebula.

I’d really really wanted one, just like the one Shelly had. And I’d been talking about it FOR-EVER, so Mom could have the time to save up for the one in the pawn shop. I’m not usually patient, but this was important…

Drabblecast 442 – The Secret of Theta Pi

Cover for Drabblecast The Secret of Theta Pi by Bo KaierSea creatures and sorority sisters on this week’s Drabblecast! We bring you an original tale by Stephanie Gray called, “The Secret of Theta Pi.” Enjoy!

We travel back to Tandy’s Cove in a caravan of three, Cindy Q’s Miata leading, followed by the rented van, dirty white with the windows rolled up, and Beneeta G’s little blue hatchback bringing up the rear. Twelve hours on the road would be stressful in the best of times, yet in these days of turmoil there is an easy peace between us…

Drabblecast 441 – Trifecta: Strange Futures

Drabblecast cover for Trifecta: The Future by Thomas MortonThis week on the Drabblecast– three stories about Strange Futures. We bring you Drabblecast originals, “Department of Invention” by R.L. Thull, “The One’s Who Won’t Be” by Martin Munks, and “Cannabilism in the Inhuman Age” by Jaye Viner.

Closing Music by 19 Action News

Saul broke down in an unusual way for a robot. Saul ‘died,’ is the more apt term, but I hate to put a human descriptor to a machine. They already get enough of those…

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