The apartment was a bustle of twenty other people more extroverted and festive than himself, all dressed in the requisite hideous holiday sweaters, drinking bourbon punch and rum punch and some sort of strange vegan eggnog, flirting and joking and ranting and, in one case, openly making out against a wall underneath a dangling branch of mistletoe…
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This year’s Drabblecast Christmas Special brings you another original commissioned holiday story from the master of Christmas weirdness himself: Tim Pratt.
Happy Holidays Weirdo’s!
I was in a grubby little bar down in Florida, sitting on a stool beside a plastic palm tree decorated with Christmas lights, when I heard a cough, and smelled cold ashes. I folded up my list and tucked it into my pocket. Without looking around, I said, “Ruprecht. Long time.” A very long time, actually, but I’ve always been good with names…
We are inside a holding cell containing CLAY ORTS, a tech programmer, a small cubicle-style structure. He’s with CAMPBELL DOYLE, a man with a salesman voice. There is a momentary piece of ambiance as both sit in silence. Campbell takes a deep breathe. It’s the calm before the storm.
In this Relaunch Prelaunch episode, you’ll hear excerpts from Drabblecast resident Cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth’s past adventures, and also about how you can help fund his next adventure by helping us reach our 45K Kickstarter stretch goal!
Join cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth as he treks across the Gobi desert in search of a mythical acid-spitting, lightning sh*tting annelid.
This original series was created by Norm Sherman for the Drabblecast. Keep your eyes and ears open as Connor Choadsworth will be returning for an all new adventure very soon!
For now, the Mongolian Deathworm—the deadliest worm in all of Mongolia.
It is subject to a number of extraordinary claims by Mongolian locals. Such as the ability of the worm to spew forth sulfuric acid that upon contact will turn anything it touches yellow. It kills humans. And it’s purported ability to kill at a distance by means of electric discharge… through its anus…
This series was originally serialized across five Drabblecast Episodes:
- Drabblecast #131 – Storms Comes A’ Callin’
- Drabblecast #132 – Double Header IV
- Drabblecast #134 – Bone Sigh
- Drabblecast #142 – The Golden Age of Fire Escapes (Part 1)
- Drabblecast #143 – The Golden Age of Fire Escapes (Part 2)
Now you can enjoy the complete nature documentary series right here!
In Search of the Mongolian Deathworm
Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes comics, screenplays, and TV shows. Her novels include The Shining Girls, Broken Monsters and Zoo City.
Unathi was singing karaoke when the creature attacked Tokyo. Or rather, she was about to sing karaoke. Was, in fact, about to be the very first person in Shibuya’s Big Echo to break in the newly uploaded Britney hip-hop remix of the Spice Girls’ ‘Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want)’.
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.
You couldn’t describe a rath. You couldn’t even look at one for more than a few seconds before you started getting a migraine aura. Rovers were just blots of shadow. The breeder was massive, armored, and had no recognizable features, save for its hideous, drooling, ragged edged maw. Irizarry didn’t know if it had eyes, or even needed them…
Izrael Irizarry stepped through a bright-scarred airlock onto Kadath Station, lurching a little as he adjusted to station gravity. On his shoulder, Mongoose extended her neck, her barbels flaring, flicked her tongue out to taste the air, and colored a question. Another few steps, and he smelled what Mongoose smelled, the sharp stink of toves, ammoniac and bitter…
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…
Rick takes the money the Mayor of Corkscrew has wired him and flies to Florida, feeling his oats, full of hope. He’s met at the airport by one of Mayor Delameter’s staff and driven to his hotel, the old but clean and dry Swamp Hotel in downtown Corkscrew. The next morning he’s out at the edge of town where Main Street runs along the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and he’s surveying the marching battalions of Gecarcoidea natalis—little, red, forest-dwelling crabs about the size of your palm that are migrating, as they do each year—though not usually in such numbers—through the town, back to the swamp to breed . . . and taking their sweet time doing it. .
This romantic comedy begins where all low-budget ’50s creature-features ended: The mutant insects born of atom-bomb radiation (or invaders from space, or monsters from the sea, or fifty-foot women) have at last been defeated and our small-town hero, with girlfriend Janie or June or Betty at his side, must now face the rest of his life. Didn’t we wonder what his life would be like after the final credits rolled? After you save the world, what’s left? You can marry the Professor’s daughter, sure. You can sell the rights to your story. Be on national talk shows. Hold onto fame a little longer. But then what?
Just as we were all getting back into the mainland domestic groove, somebody started in with dragons and crop blights from across the North Sea. We all knew who it was. A turncoat Norwegian monk named Naddod had been big medicine on the dragon-and-blight circuit for the last decade or so, and was known to bring heavy ordnance for whoever could lay out some silver. Scuttlebutt had it that Naddod was operating out of a monastery on Lindisfarne, whose people we’d troubled on a pillage-and-consternation tour through Northumbria after Corn Harvesting Month last fall. Now bitter winds were screaming in from the west, searing the land and ripping the grass from the soil. Salmon were turning up spattered with sores, and grasshoppers clung to the wheat in rapacious buzzing bunches.
Looking away from the light that showed the Charles Dexter Ward was no longer entirely dead was as hard as opening a rusted zipper. But Cynthia did it, and didn’t let herself look back She pulled Hester a little further down the corridor and said, “Now we really need to know how she killed him. And whether it’ll work a second time…”
My new occupant is larger than Carson was. I was made for her, within a certain tolerance for the inevitable changes in human specifications that come with age, changes in health, and abundance or scarcity…
This episode of the Drabblecast is all about Mechs, aside from the beat poetry that it begins and ends with. The drabble is a snapshot of a new Mexican-American war. In the feature, after being commandeered by its partner’s murderer, a mech suit ponders the meaning of ownership and freedom, while applying creative problem solving to defy its unwanted occupant.
I take time-lapse photographs of an orange. The result is always the same.
First I remove the previous orange from the spike in front of the black
velvet backdrop and replace it with a new orange. I set an incandescent
spotlight out of frame as a light source…
Episode Sponsor: You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen
The first sign was the chief engineers frowning and going into huddles at odd moments. And then Black Alice began to feel it herself, the way Vinnie was… she didn’t have a word for it because she’d never felt anything like it before. She
would have said balky, but that couldn’t be right. It couldn’t. But she was more and more sure that Vinnie was less responsive somehow, that when she obeyed the captain’s orders, it was with a delay…
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