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Category: Horror Page 1 of 10

Drabblecast 413 – The Rats in the Walls

Cover for Drabblecast episode The Rats In The Walls by Bo KaierKicking off this year’s H.P. Lovecraft month with a classic from the man himself. It’s not your mind playing tricks it’s The Rats in the Walls!

On July 16, 1923, I moved into Exham Priory after the last workman had finished his labours.

The restoration had been a stupendous task, for little had remained of the deserted pile but a shell-like ruin; yet because it had been the home of several of my ancestors, I let no expense deter me.

The place had not been inhabited for a century since a tragedy of intensely hideous, (though largely unexplained) nature had struck down the master, five of his children, and several servants; finally driving forth under a cloud of suspicion and terror their illegitimate third son— my lineal progenitor, who had been taken in as their own. The final survivor of the cursed line…

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Drabblecast B-Sides 76 – Sad, Dark Thing

Drabblecast cover for Sad, Dark Thing by Bo Kaier

Drabblecast Exclusive Premium Content.

Aimless. A short, simple word. It means “without aim”, where “aim” derives from the notion of calculation with a view to action. Lacking purpose or direction, therefore, without a considered goal.

People mainly use the word in a blunt, softened fashion. They walk “aimlessly” down the street, unsure whether to have a coffee or check out the new magazines in the bookstore or maybe sit on that bench and watch the world go by…

Drabblecast 410 – Go Between

Cover for Drabblecast Episode Go Between by Bo KaierOn this week’s Drabblecast, Norm and NPR’s Chioke I’Anson bring you stories about the voices in your head, including “Go Between” by acclaimed writer China Mieville.

“Go Between” tells the tale of a man who, for several years, has been receiving strange instructions to deliver seemingly random items from location to location. Agonizing over effect his deliveries, he considers stopping, unsure whether the deliveries  support a malignant cause or aid a good one.

Story Excerpt:

“Something was in the bread. Morley was cutting, and on the fourth strike of the knife, the metal broke.

Behind him, his friends talked over their food. Morley pried the dough apart and touched something smooth. He had marked it with a scratch. Morley could see the thing’s colour, a drab charcoal. He frowned. It had been a long time since this had happened…”

China Tom Miéville is a British urban fantasy fiction author, essayist, comic book writer, socialist political activist and literary critic. He often describes his work as weird fiction and is allied to the loosely associated movement of writers called New Weird.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 75 – The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between

Cover for Drabblecast The 500 Days of Ms. Between by Thomas N. Perkins IVFor this bit of Drabblecast Member Premium Content, we bring you “The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between” by Joshua Alan Doetsch.

Joshua Alan Doetsch is a “sentient word virus spreading across the collective unconscious through the vector of human language.” His writings include novels, short fiction, and video games (including Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey).

Click here to become a Drabblecast B-Sides Premium Content Member with access to extra stories like this each month!

Warning: story contains violence and references to suicide.

Story Excerpt:

Can’t feel my legs. So I slither along the ground, toward the audient window, humming that song. I hear the wet-velcro rip of the thousand hands rending flesh. I see her through the window. That mocking grin.

The first thing Ms. Between said to me was, “I’m a mad woman with a lab.” The second thing she said was that I could leave at any time with no obligation. The third thing was that there could be no questions—questions would cause her and her offer to evaporate. I believed absolutely in that, so she handed me the murder weapon.

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Drabblecast Director’s Cut – The Box Born Wraith

Drabblecast Director's Cut The Box Born Wraith by David Flett“Just Lookin’ for Chocolate.”

Norm and author Kevin Anderson discuss the horror genre, the origins of Cryptkeeper Norm, and of course, the hit story “The Box-Born Wraith” featured as Drabblecast episode 87 back in 2008 and published as our second official Halloween Special.

“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Another Drabblecast Director’s Cut bringing more detail and author insights to a fan favorite episode.

Drabblecast 406 – Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse

Drabblecast cover for Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse by Leonardo d'AlmeidaToday The Drabblecast brings you an original story commissioned by Karen Heuler: “Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse.”

Karen Heuler wrote her first novel when she was eleven, and she’s been worshiping books at the altar ever since.

Story Excerpt:

In times such as these, with the world shaken to its core, it is all too easy to give up on routine cosmetic care. Yet a fresh look in a war zone can do so much to uplift those suffering and dying right in front of your eyes. Consider it a humanitarian obligation that you owe to those around you, no matter the particular effects of the zone of destruction you find yourself in…

Enjoy the show (the full story is printed below the player)!

Drabblecast 406 – Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse

 

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Drabblecast B-Sides 73 – That Only A Mother

Drabblecast cover for That Only A Mother by Bo KaierThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode features Judith Merril’s story “That Only A Mother”

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

 

Story Excerpt:

Margaret reached over to the other side of the bed where Hank should have been. Her hand patted the empty pillow, and then she came altogether awake, wondering that the old habit should remain after so many months. She tried to curl up, cat-style, to hoard her own warmth, found she couldn’t do it any more, and climbed out of bed with a pleased awareness of her increasingly clumsy bulkiness.

Drabblecast 401 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 2

Drabblecast 401 cover by Tristan TollhurstWomen and Aliens Month continues with Part 2 of “We Who Stole The Dream” by James Tiptree Jr., aka Alice Bradley Sheldon.

If you have not heard part one, you can find that here.

Sadism, slavery, power and oppression… are we ever truly innocent? Or is there the potential of cruelty in all of us?

You be the judge.

 Story Excerpt:

An alarm shrieked and cut off, all colors vanished, the very structure of space throbbed wildly—as, by a million-to-one chance, the three most massive nearby moons occulted one another in line with the tiny extra energies of the cruiser and its detonating missile, in such a way that for one micromicrominim the Dream stood at a seminull point with the planetary mass. In that fleeting instant she flung out her tau-field, folded the normal dimensions around her, and shot like a squeezed pip into the discontinuity of being which was tau.

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Drabblecast 400 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 1

Drabblecast 400 cover by Tristan TollhurstThe Drabblecast launches its 8th Annual Women and Aliens Month with Part 1 of “We Who Stole the Dream” by James Tiptree Jr.

This is a dark, dystopian tale about sadism and slavery, and the potential for cruelty in all of us. Published postmortem in the 1990 compilation “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever,” this story was originally written in 1978. True to the times, Tiptree was wrestling with sexism and feminism in much the same vein as Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. These issues are all still relevant, and still topical forty years later.

Story Excerpt:

The children could survive only twelve minims in the sealed containers.

Jilshat pushed the heavy cargo loader as fast as she dared through the darkness, praying that she would not attract the attention of the Terran guard under the floodlights ahead. The last time she passed he had roused and looked at her with his frightening pale alien eyes. Then, her truck had carried only fermenting-containers full of amlat fruit.

Now, curled in one of the containers, lay hidden her only-born, her son Jemnal.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 72 – Looking for a Key

Drabblecast B-Sides Looking for a Key by Bo KaierThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode features S. L. Bickley’s story “Looking for a Key”

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

 

Story Excerpt:

My lover is a used bookstore, and when I have money we play a game. He closes me inside him and won’t let me out till I find a certain book. And I do not know what it is or where it is, and so I have to touch every part of his insides to find it. And I wander him all over and touch his spines with my dry fingertips – slide the books from his worn-smooth wooden shelves and riffle his pages. I like the deckled edges best. Sometimes I will find an uncut page and when that happens I will turn my back so his clerk doesn’t see me and slit it with my pocketknife that I keep for only that purpose. That excites him, I think, more than most things I do, and often it means I have found my key.

Drabblecast 399 – Trifecta: We Don’t Talk Any More

Bo Kaier cover for Drabblecast Trifecta We Don't Talk AnymoreThis week the Drabblecast presents a Trifecta Special: “We Don’t Talk Any More.”

“One in Four Adults”

by Catherine Schaff-Stump

Cath Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and adults, from humor to horror. She is the author of the Klaereon Scroll series, the most recent of which is The Pawn of Isis, coming in March, 2019. She lives and works in Iowa, teaching English to non-native speakers.

Story Excerpt:

She placed the pan on the burner. “Lycanthropy?”
 
He wasn’t joking. “You know there are genetic indicators.”
 
“First of all, just because Peter Stumpf is the most famous werewolf in the werewolf books, and you’re related, I don’t think that means you’re going to become a werewolf.  He had an enchanted belt, right? That’s not a genetic indicator.”

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Drabblecast B-Sides 71 – The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens

Bo Kaier cover for Drabblecast The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens

This Drabblecast B-Sides episode features “The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens” by Douglas Warrick.

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

Story Excerpt:

So you want to know about the man who has been killing kittens.

There’s a little congress of dead men in bad suits at the bottom of the reservoir. Some are handcuffed to steering wheels and float upside-down from shattered windshields, and others have their ankles chained to old cinder blocks. Some, their murderers evidently keen on homage, even have their feet sealed in buckets full of cement. They bicker and gossip and lie to one another. Blank-eyed and bloated and secretive are the dead men in their underwater garden.

The Man Who Had Been Killing Kittens

Drabblecast 396 – Trifecta: Losses & Sacrifices

Cover for Losses and Sacrifices Trifecta by Cesar ValtierraThis week the Drabblecast brings you three stories about shipwrecks, murder, and Nazis. It’s a Losses and Sacrifices Trifecta!

“Seven Losses of Na Re”

by Rose Lemberg

This is a brooding look back on things taken, things lost, and things always remembered.

Rose Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their fiction and poetry have appeared in Lightspeed‘s Queer Destroy Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny, and many other venues. Rose’s work has been a finalist for the Nebula Crawford, and other awards. Their novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press. You can find more of their work on their Patreon: patreon.com/roselemberg

Story Excerpt:

My life is described by the music of mute violins. When my
parents married, my great-grandfather, may the earth be as a
feather, ascended the special-guests podium, cradling the old
fiddle to his chest. “And now the zeide will play the wedding
melody,” they said. “A special blessing,” they said, a sgule, a
royal blessing. But the bow fell from his fingers.

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Drabblecast 394 – Dirty Santa

Cover for Tim Pratt's Dirty Santa by Emily CannonMerry Christmas strangers! The Drabblecast has something rather wicked fixed up for you this holiday season! We present to you a festive tale from fan-favorite Tim Pratt! It’s called “Dirty Santa.”

It’s a story that takes us on a journey with one awkward, balding, twenty-something to a Christmas party where he meets a mysterious stranger carrying a mystical and dangerous gift. This is a white elephant he’ll probably never forget.

‘Tis the season of giving, right folks? Yes, the season of learning how to genuinely thank people for upping your supply of socks and underwear. It’s a season of family and friends and maybe learning the difference between the two. Whether you’re opening up presents or opening up old wounds (thanks Kate) we’re reminded this is the time of year to be mindful of what you wish for. You just might get it.

Story Excerpt:

 

Kieran wallflowered. 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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Drabblecast B-Sides 70 – Saint Darwin’s Spirituals

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 70 by Bo Kaier A Saint Darwin’s SpiritualThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode brings you “St. Darwin’s Spirituals,” a new tale from D.K. Thompsons’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series. You can check out our previous installments Heart of Clay, A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters, and Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Who Do Not Believe.

One women’s quest for the truth will take her down the darkest of alleys and the most sinister of delights.

Story Excerpt:

Despite my profession, I have never considered myself to be a holy man. Curious about all things supernatural, certainly—ever since I first lowered Darwin’s goggles over my wide-eyes and could see for myself the world I’d been blind to. When I saw the ghosts that day as a boy, I believed. But belief does not equate holiness. Even the demons believe.

No, I am not a holy man. But I have always prided myself on being a practical spiritualist.

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

So enjoy:

Drabblecast B-Sides 70 – Saint Darwin’s Spirituals

Drabblecast 392 – Single Parent

Drabblecast cover for Single Parent by Kirsty GreenwoodThe Drabblecast brings you “Single Parent” by Sarah Gailey.

Sarah Gailey is a Hugo Award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, and a regular contributor for Tor.com and Barnes & Noble.

Single Parent follows one father’s journey to face the monsters in his son’s closet and some demons of his own. It was originally produced for Cast of Wonders in 2017.

Story Excerpt:

The monster in my son’s closet is so fucking scary.

Here’s how it happened: Jack screamed in the middle of the night and I came running because I’m his dad and that’s what dads are for. He’s been doing that for a month – screaming like someone’s in his room murdering him with a screwdriver. And even though there’s never, not even once been anyone murdering him, I couldn’t just let him scream his little head off all night. If I didn’t come running, his mom would have risen from the grave just to come and slap me upside the head.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 69 – Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 69 by Bo Kaier Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)This Drabblecast B-Sides episode features another from D.K. Thompson Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series, which includes Heart of Clay and A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters. This one is called “Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe.”

This fantastical story follows two sinister individuals and their brush with the divine.

Story Excerpt:

Despite my profession, I have never considered myself to be a holy man. Curious about all things supernatural, certainly—ever since I first lowered Darwin’s goggles over my wide-eyes and could see for myself the world I’d been blind to. When I saw the ghosts that day as a boy, I believed. But belief does not equate holiness. Even the demons believe.

No, I am not a holy man. But I have always prided myself on being a practical spiritualist.

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

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Drabblecast 391 – Day of The Dog

Drabblecast cover for Day of the Dog by ToekenToday, The Drabblecast brings you “Day of the Dog” by Aliya Whiteley.

We’ve still got a few bones to pick with our dog-eat-dog micro theme. So if you enjoy last week’s tail, here’s another one to sniff you nose at (and, yes, a few more incollarable puns).

Aliya Whiteley is a writer of dark tales in science fiction and fantasy, and was the winner of the Drabblecast People’s Choice award for Jelly Park! She has also been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson, BSFA, and British Fantasy Society Awards.

Story Excerpt:

The afternoon the mayor plugged in the world’s largest air-freshener I was in a bar with Petie, drinking orbitals. An orbital is a wheat beer with a dash of blackcurrant. It’s a slow drink. It gives the world a sepia tint, like everything that’s happening actually happened long ago, back in the good old days before everything got so complicated.

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Drabblecast 390 – I Will Remain

Drabblecast cover for I Will Remain by Aaron SiddallToday the Drabblecast brings you “I Will Remain” by David Steffen. It’s a show for all our weird listeners out there that are dog people…maybe literally.

Yes, it’s a ruff day in paradise. (Oh yeah, we’re barking up the dog pun tree.) We think you’ll thank us when you hear what we’ve unleashed.

The author of today’s feature lives in Minnesota with his two dogs. He owns and maintains Diabolical Plots, which has been publishing nonfiction and fiction for a decade. Their Submission Grinder is a free-to-use web tool that helps writers find new markets for their work, find per-market submission response data, and track their submissions.

Story Excerpt:

I am not insane. I wondered, at first, whether I was simply a dog dreaming he was a man, but if that were true I wouldn’t understand English or recall the sights of London. These things are too real to be mere fancies. I know many things a dog shouldn’t. Fragmented memories of life as a man mingle with recollections of my canine existence.

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Drabblecast 389 – Night of the Living POTUS

Cover for Drabblecast episode Night of the Living POTUS by Tristan TolhurstThe Drabblecast presents “Night of the Living POTUS” by Adam-Troy Castro.

Every President Elect has “the briefing.” You know the one. The President opens a binder and learns the awful truths of the world. They all have to learn the same lesson.

This is the story of one President who learns the horrifying truth and must fight to save humanity. And Democracy itself.

And don’t forget the Drabblecast Reborn Preorder Store, as mentioned by Norm, is up and selling some cool Drabblecast merch.

Story Excerpt:

All Presidents have the same lesson to learn, and they all learn it early on the first full morning of their respective Administrations.

At that point they have already taken their Oaths, already declared their principles to the nation, already enjoyed the first round of celebrations, already settled in to what they imagine will be an Administration marked by great words and historic deeds.

End.

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