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Drabblecast Fan Picks: To Whatever

Drabblecast Fan Picks: To Whatever

Drabblecast Fan Zimmerman goes over his first Drabblecast love, remembering his trip through the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, in this Drabblecast Relaunch Prelaunch fan pick. The smallness we feel in big places; the conversations we have with ourselves.

The real lesson of life is to laugh. “Because life, no matter how dark, when read as a comedy, is filled with impossible laughter.”

 

Drabblecast Fan Pick: Followed

Drabblecast Fan Picks Followed cover artThe Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter campaign continues! Today, Fan Picks: Followed, by Will McIntosh as chosen and introduced by Drabblecast fan Boo Yeah. Hear her thoughts on an unsettling story about living with the consequences of our actions…

This story originally aired in 2011.

Story Excerpt:

She came wandering down the sidewalk like any other corpse, her herky-jerky walk unmistakable among the fluid strides of the living.  She was six or seven, Southeast Asian, maybe Indian, her ragged clothes caked in dried mud. Pedestrians cut a wide berth around her without noticing her at all…

So enjoy this Fan Pick:

Drabblecast Fan Picks: Followed

Drabblecast 386 – Garen and The Hound

Drabblecast cover for Garen and The Hound by Susie OhThis week the Drabblecast presents an originally commissioned story: “Garen and the Hound” by Jeremiah Tolbert.

It is a story about the dream world and the relentless pursuit of something dark and sinister.

This story is part of our Lovecraft Month, a celebration of all things H.P. and Old Ones.

Story Excerpt:

The veils of madness parted, and Garen the Undreaming found himself once again lucid. His body ached from ears to toes. He jogged, the sun on his left shoulder, and a bitter wind blew at his back that his heavy coats of fur could not fully abate. Where was he? How did he get here? Questions he was not unfamiliar with asking himself.

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Drabblecast 384 – The Cats of Ulthar

Cover for Drabblecast The Cats of Ulthar by Bo KaierWe begin our month-long celebration of H.P. Lovecraft with a dramatic reading of “The Cats of Ulthar.”

Lovecraft Month is our yearly celebration of H.P. and his sprawling mythos. All this month you’ll enjoy some awesome original stories commissioned just for Drabblecast listeners. We’re excited to be featuring works by three of our favorite authors, Rachael K. Jones, Jeremiah Tolbert, and Frank Key.

The Cats of Ulthar is one of Lovecraft’s shorter pieces. It was originally written in 1920.

Story Excerpt:

It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.

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Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs

Cover for Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs by Bo KaierWomen and Aliens Month slithers forward with this week’s story: “Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs” by Lauren Beukes.

Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes comics, screenplays, and TV shows. Her novels include The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters and Zoo City.

Story Excerpt:

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)’.

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Drabblecast 379 – Water Spots

Drabblecast cover art for Water Spots, art by Lissa QuonThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Water Spots,” by Rebecca Gomezrueda, a troubling tale of murk, darkness, and the complexity of the human experience. Is it something in the water?

Story Excerpt:

“They found your brother…”

Her mother leaves the sentence unfinished, and she wants to tell her not to go on. He can be anywhere, in the water, in the fire, and in the end there’s little difference between burnt bones and waterlogged bones.

“Did you hear me? I said they found your brother.”

“Mhm.” So she’d have his bones. What did she want with them?

“Water Spots” is printed in full below the player. Enjoy!

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Drabblecast B-Sides 66 – Heart of Clay (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Drabblecast Cover by Bo Kaier for Heart of ClayThe Drabblecast brings you “Heart of Clay,” part of D.K. Thompson’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series.

D.K. Thompson was the host and co-editor of PodCastle, a fantasy fiction podcast, for five years, and has narrated audiobooks by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey, among others.

Story Excerpt:

Awareness terrified the golem, but the burning paper in his mouth and the word written on it gave him comfort. It filled him with wonder and fear, knowledge and life. Saint Darwin had fashioned the paper from a certain bush on an Egyptian mountainside that was impervious to fire. When the golem’s life dissipated, the flames would sputter out but the mystical paper would never be consumed.

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

Drabblecast 376 – A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Drabblecast cover for A Last Kiss For Lazarus Winters by Bo KaierThis episode of the Drabblecast brings you “A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters,” another story in D.K. Thompson’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series.

D.K. Thompson was the host and co-editor of PodCastle, a fantasy fiction podcast, for five years, and has narrated audiobooks by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey, among others.

Story Excerpt:

I was born again on New Year’s Eve, full of broken promises, and slick and sticky with two kinds of blood. One of them was a ghost’s. That didn’t surprise me, though. I’ve seen my share of ghost blood.

I’d spent most of my life working with spirits and principalities — tracking ghosts, and making demands of them. That’s what people hired me for. But I wasn’t one of Darwin’s spiritualists, though I’d read his Origin of the Spirits and wore the goggles he’d fashioned. No, the spiritualists aided the spirits, providing a bridge between the living and the dead to help care for them. Me? I took all of Charlie Darwin’s studies and tools, and crossed those bridges to make certain demands of ghosts. I was a spiritual extortionist.

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Drabblecast 371 – Old Dead Futures

Cover for Drabblecast episode Old Dead Futures by Oskar KunikThere are two things I love, and one is the tiny grey owl outside my window. He is not afraid of me. He hoots and hops to my windowsill so I can stroke his downy head and feed him worms I’ve saved in my pocket.

It is hard to get the worms from my pocket, the way my left arm jerks up behind me and my right hand shakes. Often fat mister owl gets a half a worm, but he doesn’t mind. Mother minds picking the half-worms from my pockets, but I see how she looks at me when I calm my tremoring hand long enough to pat mister owl; I see how she loves me then.

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Drabblecast 370 – The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth

Cover for The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth by Carly LynThe Drabblecast presents: “The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth” by Caroline M. Yoachim.

This is a new take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fish tale, replete with all the Lovecraftian lore you should expect from The Drabblecast!

 

Story Excerpt:

Tomiko knelt at the table, across from her father, carefully holding her back rigid and straight as they ate their breakfast. She hoped the formal posture would make him take her arguments seriously, but he barely looked at her as he ate mix of rice and nattō, fermented soybeans that gave off a pungent smell and overpowered even the constant fishy odor of her father’s skin.

Enjoy (full story is printed below the player):

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Drabblecast 369 – In The Walls

Cover for Drabblecast, In The Walls, by Hannah HollowayThe deadliest things in war are not bullets and guns, but hunger and desperation.
I’m hungry.

Penny gets the bed tonight, I’m on watch, Erik is out looting for food and supplies. If he were white, he tells us seriously, the press would say he was scavenging. But for him, it’s looting.

Not that there’s a press anymore. The newspaper we stuffed inside our makeshift mattress were all from three weeks ago. Then the newspaper company was bombed. That was a week after the Internet service provider was bombed. And while we missed the Internet, no one missed Comcast.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 63 – Doorstepping

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode Doorstepping by Bo KaierThere was a buzz at the door. Mike Jansen sighed. Just when you got yourself settled after a long day working on the cheese counter; just when you were looking forward to some quality TV; the door had to go. He’d been standing up all day. His feet were killing him. He nestled down into the settee, deciding to ignore the buzz. He turned up the TV a little.

Buzz. Buzz. Bleedin’ buzz.

The caller was a persistent fellow and no mistake.

Drabblecast 368 – Restless in R’lyeh

Drabblecast cover for Restless in R'lyeh by Greg CravensDear Doctor Saperstein,

I’m a 44-year-old librarian from Kansas and a loyal reader of askdoctorsaperstein.com. Last night, after a relaxing day spent gardening, binge-watching “America’s Got Talent,” and organizing my snowglobe collection, I had a nightmare. A hideous octopus-headed monster performed a ukulele solo on “America’s Got Talent,” then killed and ate Howard Stern. Afterwards, Heidi Klum chanted tunelessly in a harsh alien language (possibly German). When I woke up, I was filled with unspeakable dread and all the snow in my snowglobes was whirling around as if someone had shaken each one. What could it mean?

–Worried in Wichita

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Drabbleclassics 24 – Cinderlands (176)

Cover for Drabblecast 176, Cinderlands, by Chelsea RaganDexter crouched beneath the toxic fruit trees in his grassless back yard, turning over black earth with the spade he’d taken from the old man, and every shovelful revealed worse things:
clumps of cinders and the dust of ashes; rusting nails, practically dripping tetanus; wickedly-curved shards of brown glass; bullets of various sizes, crusted with dirt; and a foot or so down, fragments of black-stone statuary…

Drabbleclassics 23 – Synesthesia (92)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 92, Synesthesia, by Tom MorgantiThey called  it “Synesthesia.”  It’s when the senses got mixed up and you started to hear colors or taste sounds…

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.

Drabblecast 367 – The Whisperer in Darkness pt. 2

Cover for The Whisperer in Darkness pt. 2 by P. Emerson WilliamsThen, apparently crossing my incoherent note and reaching me Saturday afternoon, September 8th, came that curiously different and calming letter neatly typed on a new machine; that strange letter of reassurance and invitation which must have marked so prodigious a transition in the whole nightmare drama of the lonely hills. Again I will quote from memory – seeking for special reasons to preserve as much of the flavour of the style as I can.  

To say that the letter relieved me would be only fair, yet beneath my relief lay a substratum of uneasiness. If Akeley had been sane in his terror, was he now sane in his deliverance? 

 

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Drabblecast 366 – The Whisperer in Darkness pt. 1

Cover for The Whisperer in Darkness pt. 1 by P. Emerson WilliamsBear in mind closely that I did not see any actual visual horror at the end. To say that a mental shock was the cause of what I inferred – that last straw which sent me racing out of the lonely Akeley farmhouse and through the wild domed hills of Vermont in a commandeered motor at night – is to ignore the plainest facts of my final experience. Notwithstanding the deep things I saw and heard, and the admitted vividness the impression produced on me by these things, I cannot prove even now whether I was right or wrong in my hideous inference. For after all Akeley’s disappearance establishes nothing. People found nothing amiss in his house despite the bullet-marks on the outside and inside. It was just as though he had walked out casually for a ramble in the hills and failed to return. 

 

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Drabblecast 363 – The Totals

Cover for Drabblecast episode The Totals by Bo KaierClutch has killed somebody recently.

This goes without saying.

For as long as Clutch can remember, he has always killed somebody “recently.” If not within the last few hours, then certainly within the last few days. He may have gone as long as a couple of weeks without, from time to time, when circumstances conspired against him. But never as long as a month, no, not for living memory.

 

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Drabblecast 359 – Trifecta: Unnatural Growth

Cover for Drabblecast Unnatural Growth Trifecta, by Declan KeaneMy twin brother had been a dry-eyed baby, and he grew into a dry-eyed boy.

“Yaakov, why don’t you ever cry?” I asked him the day we buried my uncle’s family.

He shrugged. “Maybe you carry all the tears for both of us, Anna.”

I thought he might be right. In the past month I had cried again and again. I had wept through the night of hiding in the root cellar among the onions and potatoes and jars of pickled vegetables, my face buried in our mother’s skirt. We emerged in the morning to discover the Cossacks had burned down the barn with all of our animals trapped inside. I cried again for the goats. We didn’t even know yet that our cousins down the road had suffered the same fate. Our two older siblings took their turns calming me, but I took the most comfort from Yaakov’s stoic face.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 60 – The Great VüDü Linux Teen Zombie Massacree

Drabblecast Zombie Massacree by Aaron SiddallBob and I attracted a pack of zombies when we stopped to fuel up at the Texaco in Buffalo Springs. I hoped we’d lost them, but hope was all I had. Bob said they were the fresh remains of a high school football team who’d been drowned and de-souled by water daemons at a lakeside party.

Young, strong corpses have the speed and stamina to run down a deer. Until the sun and wind finally turned their flesh to stinky jerky, they’d be dangerous enough to make a vampire shit bats. And fresh zombies are persistent as porn site pop-up ads. If they take a shine to the smell of your blood, they might track you for days, stopping only if live meat falls right in their laps.

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