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Category: Drama Page 3 of 7

Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Cover for Drabblecast episode 294, Partial Inventory, by John DebergeThe air conditioning only worked when the speedometer crept past 70 MPH which the lumbering GMC van (on loan from a friend of a friend who took pity on the family and their situation) rarely did. November in the South is hardly hot, but thirteen hours in any vehicle with nearly a half dozen relatives and mismatched belongings, each one trying to both curl and crowd themselves into their claimed seats had left the air warm and slick and smelling faintly of musk.

 

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Drabblecast 289 – The Cold Equations

Cover for Drabblecast episode 289, The Cold Equations, by Rodolfo ArredondoHe was not alone.

There was nothing to indicate the fact but the white hand of the tiny gauge on the board before him. The control room was empty but for himself; there was no sound other than the murmur of the drives — but the white hand had moved. It had been on zero when the little ship was launched from the Stardust; now, an hour later, it had crept up. There was something in the supply closet across the room, it was saying, some kind of a body that radiated heat…

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Drabblecast 285 – Doubleheader XIII

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….

 

 

 

 

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Drabblecast 279 – The Country Doctor

Cover for Drabblecast episode 279, The Country Doctor, by Roo VandegriftGardner was drowning, and strangers were laying hands on the bones of my forebears. I felt obligated to see that liberties weren’t taken with my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and other good, God-fearing ladies, so I put the business on auto pilot and made the drive as if on auto pilot myself.

Drabblecast 278 – The End of the World as We Know It

Cover for Drabblecast episode 278, The End of the World as We Know It, by Adam S. DoyleBetween 1347 and 1450 AD, bubonic plague overran Europe, killing some 75 million people. The plague, dubbed the Black Death because of the black pustules that erupted on the skin of the afflicted, was caused by a bacterium now known as Yersinia pestis. The Europeans of the day, lacking access to microscopes or knowledge of disease vectors, attributed their misfortune to an angry God. Flagellants roamed the land, hoping to appease His wrath. “They died by the hundreds, both day and night,” Agnolo di Tura tells us. “I buried my five children with my own hands . . . so many died that all believed it was the end of the world.”

Today, the population of Europe is about 729 million…

Drabblecast 274 – Amid the Words of War

Cover for Drabblecast episode 274, Amid the Words of War, by Alyssa SuzumuraEvery few day-cycles, it receives hate-scented lace in anonymous packages. It opens the bland plastic envelope to pull one out, holding the delicate fragment between two forelimbs. Contemplating it before folding it again to put away in a drawer. Four drawers filled so far; the fifth is halfway there.

“Traitor,” say some of the smells, rotting fruit and acid. “Betrayer. Turncoat. One who eats their own young.” Others are simply soaked in emotion: hate and anger, and underneath the odor of fear. It lets the thoughts, the smells, the tastes fill it, set its own thoughts in motion. Then it goes downstairs and sits with the other whores, who make room uneasily for it.

Drabblecast 268 – I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee

Cover for Drabblecast episode 268, I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee, by Steve Santiago Whatever you do, don’t call me Ishmael.

Don’t call me anything at all. Give me my pint of piss-poor ale and leave me be in this yellowed corner where men relieve themselves when they are too lazy to make three extra stumbling steps to the streets of Nantucket. I am done. Finished. Come to this hole to die—and if you insist on speaking to me, I’ll find a deeper hole than this dying excuse of a whaling town can offer…

Drabblecast B-Sides 19 – How the Moon Got Its Cousin

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 19, How the Moon Got Its Cousin, by Brian WalkerOnce upon a time, O my Best Beloved, when the world was one world with one moon and the stars did scintillate and sparkle in the sky, astronomers discovered a Beast of a Meteor flying through the vast black toward the Sun.

The scientists of the world realized that the Beast, in a veraciously voracious manner, would devour the hot yellow sun, and they did talk and squawk and look through long telescopes to watchwhat that Beast was doing. They crunched their magic numbers and they scribbled their special notes, and they filled their study rooms with piles of scritch-scratch paper…

Drabblecast 265 – Pop Quiz

Cover for Drabblecast episode 265, Pop Quiz, by David Flett

“By the Earth-Stypei Treaty of The Twenty-third Local Year of Our Interaction, as amended, suspected Stypean sympathizers may be detained by duly empowered authorities only so long as the unbreachable sovereignty of the Stypean body-host is not violated, and only for the purpose of deportation upon confirmation of Stypean inhabitance. Tests to determine inhabitance are only permissible if they do not breach body-host sovereignty in any fashion. The breaching of a body-host as well as the deportation of a non-Stypean body host to Stypean space shall constitute an act of war and a resumption of hostilities between the two worlds”

Drabblecast 261 – The People of Sand and Slag

Cover for Drabblecast 261, The People of Sand and Slag, by John Deberge“Hostile movement! Well inside the perimeter! Well inside!” I stripped off my Immersive Response goggles as adrenaline surged through me. The virtual cityscape I’d been about to raze disappeared, replaced by our monitoring room’s many views of SesCo’s mining operations. On one screen, the red phosphorescent tracery of an intruder skated across a terrain map, a hot blip like blood spattering its way toward Pit 8.

Drabblecast 258 – Brown Dust

Cover for Drabblecast episode 258, Brown Dust, by Amber Carky“Adao, no.”  Teo, the older boy’s second-in-command, lays a staying hand on his master’s arm.  “The stories I told you about this one… they’re true.”
“True?”  Adao casts a skeptic’s eye over Santos.  Can those flimsy ribs cage anything as fugitive as truth?

Drabblecast 257 – Judgement Passed

Cover for Drabblecast episode 257, Judgement Passed, by Jerel DyeWe stared up at the sunlit peaks, each thinking our own thoughts.  I thought about Dessica.  We’d waited two months after landing to name it, but the decision was unanimous.  Hot, dry, with dust storms that could blow for weeks at a time– if ever there was a Hell, that place had to be it.  But eight of us had stayed there for two years, exploring and collecting data; the first interstellar expedition at work.  And then we had packed up and come back– at an empty Earth.  Not a soul left anywhere….

Drabblecast 249 – Jimmy’s Roadside Cafe

Cover for Drabblecast episode 249, Jimmy's Roadside Cafe, by Roo VandegriftThis episode of the Drabblecast presents Jimmy’s Roadside Cafe by Ramsey Shehadeh. It’s a tale about running a shanty café off I-95, in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden America. Jimmy cobbles together the shanty between the guardrails of the highway, where he assists passersby. Scavenged goods, hard truths, or a place to rest, Jimmy’s kindness becomes an uplifting oasis in a ravaged world.

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Drabblecast 243 – The Other Lila

Cover for Drabblecast episode 243, The Other Lila, by Richard K. GreenI step out of a porter booth in the overheated Los Angeles station and reach up to peel off my winter coat. That’s when I realize something’s wrong with my hand — it feels numb and prickly, and the fingers aren’t quite responding the way they’re supposed to. Weird. I don’t recall circulatory problems being listed among the possible side effects…

This episode of The Drabblecast explores the meaning of identity. In the drabble, two friends swap bodies after being struck by lightning, but is anyone paying attention? In the feature, having an extra finger after a teleporter accident turns out to be the least of Lila’s worries; she now must contend with an entirely additional Lila.

Drabblecast 242 – Transfer of Ownership

Cover for Drabblecast episode 242, Transfer of Ownership, by Jonathan SimsMy 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.

Drabblecast 241 – The Dead

Cover for Drabblecast 241, The Dead, by John DebergeThree boy zombies in matching red jackets bussed our table, bringing water, lighting candles, brushing away the crumbs between courses.  Their eyes were dark, attentive, lifeless…

This episode of The Drabblecast is all about zombies. In the drabble, a post-outbreak actor is almost too talented for his own good. In the feature, a job interview leads Donald to contemplate the horrors of an economic zombie apocalypse: What happens to the living when the dead become a more valuable, more efficient substitute for both industrial and private uses?

Drabblecast 240 – Trifecta XXI

Cover for Drabblecast episode 240, Trifecta XXI, by Gino MorettoWe bought our first yarn baby at a garage sale. The ends of its arms were frayed and its eye buttons dangled loose on bare threads.

This theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is family unties: Nontraditional homes and family situations. In the drabble, the enterprising resident of a haunted house fools its ghosts into performing everyday domestic tasks. In Divorce in the House of Flies, a young boy has to deal with his parents’ divorce at the same time he has to deal with their transformation into human-shaped masses of tiny insects. In Wendigo Bake Sale, residents of a small town overcome their initial terror of a pair of wendigo participating in the school bake sale, only to be frightened anew when the wendigo reveal they are supporting the school because their child attends. In Knit, after losing their first yarn baby during her rebellious teen years in a tragic unraveling accident, a couple tries vainly to reconstruct her from the scraps of yarn, stuffing, and buttons left behind.

Drabblecast 235 – Unreliable Witness

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.

Drabblecast 230 – Bears Discover Fire

Cover for Drabblecast episode 230, Bears Discover Fire, by Matt WasielaThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Bears Discover Fire,” by Terry Bisson. We examine and interpret humanity through anthropomorphism.

When bears discover fire, stop hibernating, and begin populating highway medians in the southern US, people notice. Their changing behavior highlights how other families react to changes in their own lives with varying degrees of acceptance and grace.

Story Excerpt:

We stayed on the path.  The light seemed to drip down from the canopy of the woods like rain.  The going was easy, especially if we didn’t try to look at the path but let our feet find their own way.
Then through the trees I saw their fire…

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Drabblecast 226 – The Heroics of Interior Design

Cover for Drabblecast episode 226, The Heroics of Interior Design, by Skeet ScienskiI can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. I can’t lift a car. I can’t climb slick surfaces with my bare hands or breath underwater or stop time. All I can do is change blue things to yellow. I didn’t bother to buy a cape or a spandex suit like the others. I just bought a blouse and some slacks and went into interior design…

This episode of the Drabblecast explores the idea of being happy with yourself as a unique individual. In the drabble, the titular imaginary runner is invented as part of a game to pass time in the car, but meets a tragic end. In the feature, a woman with a minor Gift (turning blue things yellow) in a world of high-powered superheroes struggles to find a niche.

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