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.
Category: Strange Page 2 of 7
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.”
See, I was comin’ back from a round-up at Deacon’s Bluff – I catch rattlesnakes and milk them for their venom back in my apartment – you’d be surprised how much money there is in that. Anyway, I had a
young diamondback tied up in my gunnysack on the front seat of my pickup – really, it’s a laundry bag with a drawstring and a catch clip – anyway, I was drivin’ by McLaughlin Park on my way home, when damn
if that sucker didn’t just poke his head right out of the sack to look around! I lost control of the truck tryin’ to get him back in, and I swerved across the playground.
Fair warning; I’m in a mood today, folks.
We’ve got a mayor whose only talent seems to be showing up at luncheons and waving at the cameras.
Eighty bucks I had to pay yesterday for not wearing my seatbelt. Show me the seatbelts on a school bus.
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.
The day she left we forgot to take out the trash. At five-thirty in the morning, I heard the city trucks lumbering down the street with their mechanical, prehensile arms and remembered that we had forgotten to take out the trash. I didn’t care though. I knew that in a few hours I would help load the last of her boxes into the truck, and she would leave. Everything was expanding without me, and I felt like the room was growing until I was lost in and filled with its great, grey nothing.
“Pardon?” I gestured. “Could you say that again?”
Miss Sanderson reached out and tapped the translation device on the table, then picked it up and fiddled with its settings. She was the ugliest female of her species I’d ever seen– obscenely symmetrical features, pale hair and complexion, long limbs–and yet forever twirling a finger in her hair like she was trying to proposition me.
“Bert!” the voice yelled as the sheriff jerked awake.
“Gol Dang!” said the lawman. The Waco newspaper slid off his lap onto the floor.
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!
The magician’s table was covered by a sheet of plywood, four feet square, completely wrapped up in aluminum foil. Sugar magic was messy magic, and the foil made for easier cleanup. Scattered across the aluminum were misshapen chunks of candy, the seeds from which the carnival would grow. And grow it did.
If you could shrink tiny, and drop down your own throat
Like the tiniest of captains on the tiniest of boats
I bet you’d be shocked at the things that you saw
In the dark and the damp of your damp and dark maw.
Your body’s a marvel, it’s one of a kind
Which is why countless scary small things live inside!
They can’t live in houses, as most of us do
So they climb inside people– like me and like you!
Do you hear the band playing– that merry old song?
While the horns play the chorus and the crowd sings along?
Down Main Street they march, that gay promenade
Which float is your favorite in the Parasite Parade?
Yes, I understand my rights as a resident extraterrestrial. No, that won’t be necessary.
Of course. Ask me anything. I only wish to see justice done.
It grieves me to say so, but I concur. There’s no doubt about who murdered Lord Ash.
Thomas takes his lunch outside the shelter, on one of the park benches that look out over the interstate and down all the way to the containment pond. He has wondered whether a passerby seeing him from the highway would know whether he worked at the shelter or was one of its clients. He has had this thought most days that he has sat here. Today, though, his attention has been arrested by a small patch of gooselike objects floating out on the containment pond. If they are geese, it will be the first time he has seen a living thing on that pond.
All the young Kirks in Riverside Public High School are assigned to the same Homeroom class. They sit together in the back corner on the far side from the door. They speak only to each other.
The young Kirk on the Moon goes to school with no one. Each of the colonists has a job and he or she is responsible only to the duties of that job. The others call him Fisher instead of James since he spends his days knee deep in the trout pond, allowing the fish to glide between his legs. When the fish become completely inured to his presence, he thrusts his hands into the water and grasps one around the belly. It fights and Fisher holds on. He is supposed to take it out of the water, to throw it into the white bucket by the shore, but Fisher never does. He lets the fish go and when he comes home, with nothing to show for it, his mother expresses her irrevocable disappointment and sends him to bed.
There were always bright rings on the doorbell and smiling faces carrying covered dishes. There was always a peck on the cheek for us kids when grandma came, and always a strong handshake from grandpa. His big warm hands always convinced us that he was as strong as he was wise. All of them would pile in, cherry red cheeks and warm mittens. They would brush off all the snow from outside and remind us how cold it was where we lived. It was true, we lived in one of the coldest parts of the country, and there was always a blizzard on Christmas Eve.
Life on the moon sucks. Dad got home early from the air factory today and I wasn’t done cleaning the dishes from breakfast so he broke my breakfast bowl over my head. Guess I’ll have to eat out of his bowl tomorrow.
Dad says he’s gonna have to get a new job. Not that he told me. He told Melinda, the girl he’s been bringing home lately. They drank the last of his screech — that’s this nasty rum like they used to make back on Earth — then started poking each other on the bottom bunk while I sat on the top. Dad caught me peaking and near took my eye out when he threw his boot. Melinda calmed him down at least, and they got back to poking at each other.
While sipping my tea in the morning, I find a small, only two inches long, naked female corpse on the bottom of the cup. Her white skin fades int the white porcelain, tiny gobs of tea leafs cover her round breasts. I immediately slap the cup down, and snick across to the phone to call the police. I forget all about checking if she’s really dead. Of course, how could I give her a mouth to mouth resuscitation, if not? Her body is about the size of a match-stick.
The squid is a solipsistic psychopathic God with a lust for submarine hull and a mandate from Ronald Reagan branded on its hunting tentacles. It sweeps east from Iceland in the cold under the
thermocline, alone in the dark, solitary lord of a solitary place.
After she lost interest in the green eggs—yes, green chicken eggs (taste the same, look dyed, so what’s the point?)—my neighbor Johanna started raising black chickens. Yes, black ones. They’re popular in China for reasons ranging from nutrition to superstition, and she’d gotten three hens and a rooster from a guy in Chinatown—in exchange for the last two green-egg chickens she had.
“Green is good now in China,” he said. “Helps make a man’s pole longer.”
“Right,” she told him. “Don’t need to kill rhinoceros and go to jail for long pole anymore.”