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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

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…

Drabblecast 269 – Bright Lights

Cover for Drabblecast episode 269, Bright Lights, by Bo KaierThe water fountains are low. The lockers are empty. The summer air is warm but there are people in the classrooms. People are talking, are moving. A female emerges from the nearest classroom. She is fully grown. She has dyed hair and competing odors and all of her teeth. Showing her teeth, she asks, “Are you the teacher?”

“YES. YES, I AM.”

She wants to believe those words. What she sees isn’t what she expects, but this woman believes in authority. She wants to get along with others. Showing her teeth, she says, “My son is thrilled to get into your class. He loves the outdoors and doing outdoor things . . . fishing and all that. . . .”

“GOOD.”

“You’ll do the field trip Thursday, right? To the woods?” She waits a moment and then says, “I can take some of the kids, if you need an extra car.”

“I DON’T NEED A CAR.”

“But I’d like to come along. I mean, I’ve heard such good things about you. My friend Rita . . .” She stops talking, trying to find a reason for her nervousness.

“I MUST GO AND TEACH YOUR SON.”

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 259 – The Last of the O-Forms

Cover for Drabblecast episode 259, The Last of the O-Forms, by Jacob Wayne BrynerAt the sack’s bottom, beneath an empty donut box, he found the beef jerky. It tasted mostly of pepper, but underneath it had a tingly, metallic flavor he tried not to think about. Who knew what it might have been made from? He doubted there were any original-form cows, the o-cows, left to slaughter…

Drabblecast 238 – From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7

Cover for Drabblecast episode 238, The Lost Diary of TreeFrog7, by Caroline ParkinsonTranslating… Appendix 820 of The Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. This series of audio files was created by TreeFrog7. It has been automatically translated into text

In this episode of the Drabblecast, heavily pregnant jungle explorer TreeFrog7 keeps a recorded diary of data she and her husband are collecting for the Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. As they close in on a legendary mature CPU plant (MCPU), a wild version of cultivated CPU plants used as personal computers, they encounter numerous jungle creatures including an enormous flightless moth protecting the plant. Despite its attacks, the explorers do not want to kill the moth in case the MCPU needs it to survive. While treed by the moth in the MCPU, TreeFrog7 gives birth to their daughter while her husband downloads the MCPU’s data. Close enough to see the MCPU’s monitor, they watch a rapidly shifting display of locations and symbols. TreeFrog7 realizes the images are getting closer to their own location and represent another explorer’s collected data. Finally, the scene fades and the monitor shows only two eyes. The diary ends with an entry by an unknown voice that implies the explorers have themselves been collected. In the drabble, a teenage boy fails to convince an uninterested, gum-snapping girl that he understands her feelings of otherness and isolation.

Drabblecast 231 – Trifecta XX

Cover for Drabblecast episode 231, Trifec ta XX, by Brent HolmesThe 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.

Drabblecast 227 – The Star

Cover for Drabblecast episode 227, The Star, by Adam S. DoyleIt is three thousand light years to the Vatican. Once, I believed that space could have no power over faith, just as I believed that the heavens declared the glory of God’s handiwork. Now I have seen that handiwork, and my faith is sorely troubled. I stare at the crucifix that hangs on the cabin wall above the Mark VI Computer, and for the first time in my life I wonder if it is no more than an empty symbol.

This episode of the Drabblecast concerns creation and destruction. In the drabble, creation after creation questions its creator’s role in its existence before wandering off into cyberspace. In the feature, a Jesuit priest, also an astrophysicist, aboard a space exploration vessel struggles with a crisis of faith. While investigating the remains of a planetary system destroyed when its sun went supernova, the crew unexpectedly discovers one planet that was distant enough to survive the explosion. There, they find an enormous vault containing the complete records of an advanced civilization that, realizing years ahead of time that their sun was going to explode, hoped to preserve their history and culture for someone to find so that their existence and destruction would not be in vain.

Drabblecast 217 – Followed

Cover for Drabblecast episode 217, Followed, by John DebergeThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Followed” by Will McIntosh.

Norm also starts to ponder the nature of the undead. We conclude In Search of the Brain-Eating Nandi Bear serial featuring cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth.

Following that is our feature story by Will McIntosh, author of Soft Apocalypse and the upcoming Hitchers.

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…

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Drabblecast 207 – Pinion

Cover for Drabblecast episode 207, Pinion, by Bo KaierThe witness was beautiful, in a way that was almost hard to look at. His face was abstract and fashionable, all eyes and angles, with a luminous innocence too perfect to be entirely sincere…

Drabblecast 190 – The Wheel

Cover for Drabblecast episode 190, The Wheel, by Josh Hugo“I’ll tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow, Davie. In the orning the priest will come here to see your box. It’ll be still there because nobody dares to touch it…”

This episode of Drabblecast deals with fear and rationality. The feature takes us to a world where fear of knowledge and how it can be used for evil prevents humanity from progressing.

Drabblecast 176 – Cinderlands

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…

Drabblecast 166 – Jubilee

Cover for Drabblecast episode 166, Jubilee, by Sean AzzapardiThousands of fish — dead, dying, or flopping in the shallows — littered the shore. A dozen people in their nightgowns, pajamas, or hastily-thrown-on street clothes moved along the shore, bending, exclaiming, whistling, laughing. Some had flashlights, but most worked by moonlight, scooping up flounder, blue crab, and shrimp. This was a jubilee, as I remembered them, a pre-dawn beach-party to celebrate the mysterious bounty of the bay…

Tim Pratt Week

Drabblecast 158 – Dr. Diablo Goes Through the Motions

Cover for Drabblecast episode 158, Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions, by Skeet ScienskiOverlord always goes on like this when all he really has to do is slap down a dossier with “This Guy Needs His Ass Handed to Him” stamped on the cover. I’m just cutting to the chase.

Drabblecast 156 – Going to the Chapel

Cover for Drabblecast episode 156, Going to the Chapel, by Jan DennisonAmilee Jo Baker’s day of wedded bliss was the biggest scandal the congregation of Millton County’s First Brotherhood Baptist Church had endured since Ginger Lynn married that Liebowitz boy from the Army, bless her heart…

Drabblecast 154 – Family Values

Cover for Drabblecast episode 154, Family Values, by Chelsea RaganAlthough she was tired, Wu was careful not to show it. Her pregnancies were progressing nicely. The eldest foetus, Hoo, was about to be born, and she was getting too big for parties, but the Senate elections were only months away and her visible pregnancy gave her an advantage she could not afford to waste…

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