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.
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.
“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.”
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.
On this episode of the Drabblecast, a dark tale from favorite author Eugie Foster. A troubled youth, a view in to his chaotic mind, and deeply effected life. Shake hands with the wiggly people!
Achtromagk shuddered, lost in nightmare images: crimson lightning dotting a wasteland, twilight despair and feeble railings, isolation in a mewling throng. It thrashed and twisted but could not escape, could not stop the unwanted vistas in its mind.
It was silent. And soft. And dark…
Next up in Lovecraft month, a heart-warming tale of an extra-dimensional Lovecraftian horror (an ‘oh so huggable’ one) by Drabblecast favorite Eugie Foster.
Tompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”
This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?
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…
This week, we listen to Jay Lake’s “Over the Walls of Eden.”
If you listened to Clown Eggs and thought, “I need more stories like THAT,” you are in for a treat. Stick around at the end and hear a brief discussion of the story the author.
“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…”
Drabbleclassics 2 – Over the Walls of Eden (133)
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!
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