The ghost in my attic is Margaret, but she lets me call her Margie. She was seventy-six years old when she died, and now that she’s a ghost she sits in her rocking chair day and night, holding a tiny baby in her arms. The baby rarely moves and almost never cries. His name is Gavin, and he is thin and wrinkly and covered in fine brown hair. Funny looking, as preemies often are, but sweet nonetheless. Margie keeps him wrapped in a blanket of cobwebs, which I think is disgusting. I’ve always hated spiders.
Just as we were all getting back into the mainland domestic groove, somebody started in with dragons and crop blights from across the North Sea. We all knew who it was. A turncoat Norwegian monk named Naddod had been big medicine on the dragon-and-blight circuit for the last decade or so, and was known to bring heavy ordnance for whoever could lay out some silver. Scuttlebutt had it that Naddod was operating out of a monastery on Lindisfarne, whose people we’d troubled on a pillage-and-consternation tour through Northumbria after Corn Harvesting Month last fall. Now bitter winds were screaming in from the west, searing the land and ripping the grass from the soil. Salmon were turning up spattered with sores, and grasshoppers clung to the wheat in rapacious buzzing bunches.
The six of them meet for the first time in front of the sagging clapboard house where Everett Montrose was born. All are tired, with hollows under their eyes from driving or riding buses for days. Even so, they greet each other with shy, relieved smiles. Few words are said; most seem unsure of how to speak to each other. There are some handshakes, even a quick hug or two, but these interactions are awkward and all soon turn their attention to their reason for coming here. They all carry with them small pieces of Everett Montrose, and all instinctively touch the fragments as they look to the house.
This episode of the Drabblecast opens with an announcement that the Kickstarter goal for Norm’s new CD has been reached. The theme of the trifecta is Southern justice. In Whit Carlson’s Trespasser, chronic bellyacher Whit Carlson makes a complaint to the sheriff about a clown fishing on his property. In The Six Pieces of Everett Montrose, six strangers meet in front of the house where Everett Montrose was born and where his brother still lives. Each has been compelled to return the bone fragment he or she has found. In Boll Weevil, a man drives home through a plague of boll weevils to face the end of the world. Whether they are a bioweapon, a biblical plague, or aliens, the boll weevils have survived the winter and started breeding wildly, injecting their babies into people with each bite. After containment and quarantine have failed to stop them, a scorched earth policy is about to be enacted. The episode concludes with a bit by Hearty White reading a poetry submission rejection letter.
The episode begins with a DrabbleNews segment on blow-up weaponry (it’s Nerf or Nothing!). Next, a drabble from Kelley Zanfardino. on What follows is a doubleheader from Hugo nominated, cognitive psychologist, author Lawrence M. Schoen (with author’s notes), as read by Phil Rossi. In A Fool’s Death we follow a man as he attempts a mime assisted death, jumping into a volcano. In Pidgin we witness the intense frustration arising from a culture clash as an alien tries to buy fruit from a hardware store.
We see it happen: the great machines of the merfolk coming up over the shore, rampaging through the city with devastating effect. We watch a robotic mermaid hammer her fist into an apartment block, the dust cloud from the explosion engulfing the nearby camera. It’s quick, sudden, a surprise that’s ruined by the later repetition of the footage…
Harvey retreated to the library and spent some thirty or fourty minutes in wondering whether it would be possible to compile a history, for us in elementary schools, in which there should be no prominent mentions of battles, massacres, murderous intrigues, and violent deaths…
Norm thanks listeners who voted in the recent election, before punishing non-voters by busting out an unexpected freestyle rap explaining the American Electoral College system, entitled “Electoral Homies.” Keeping with the civic governance theme comes a feature story from 19th-Century author “Saki,” the pen name for Hector Hugh Monroe. In it, the National Council for Peace attempts unsuccessfully to limit and channel the aggressive instincts of playful young boys. Lastly, Norm reviews the overwhelming reader feedback response to Episode #84, “Floating Over Time.”
The Tehtix move so damn fast – scientists can’t ever keep up… and populations never know what hit them…
In a mind-bending tale of parasitic worms, intelligent wasps and a symbiotic virus, author J. Alan Pierce describes an unusual alien invasion that preserves its victims forever. The story connects themes of dreams and communication. Mr. Pierce had previously written Episode #18, “The One that Got Away.” Finally, Drabble News recounts the story of an alleged alien virus, arising from a meteor falling in Andes. A real-life story of contamination in the same region as the feature story co-incidence or premonition? Feedback #34, “The Suit,” rounded out the episode.