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Drabbleclassics 26 – Unreliable Witness (235)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…

In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.

Drabblecast 374 – Jump I’ll Catch You

Drabblecast Cover for Jump and I'll Catch You by Bo KaierAnton drew his legs up underneath him. The car seat was huge and puffy, and the leather made a breathy creak when he moved. It sounded like it was sighing.

‘How much longer?’ he said.

For a while, nobody answered. He thought maybe they hadn’t heard him, but then his mother said, ‘We’ll be there soon.’

There meant the place where our new friends lived. When people talked about them, you could hear something extra in the words. Like they were names: Our New Friends. Anton was trying to look forward to it, because it was good to make new friends, but he sometimes got nervous when there were a lot of new things, different things, to take in. But his mother said they all had to get used to things being different now, so he was trying. He was trying hard.

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Drabblecast 361 – Time to Say Goodnight

Drabblecast Cover for Time to Say Goodnight by Jessica Welks“Then Duck left Mr. Tomkin’s farm and went to swim in Glacier Lake, just like he’d always wanted.” Mommy looked up from the last page, but Clara wasn’t sleeping.

“And then what did Duck do?” Clara asked.

“That’s all there is.”

“Duck died?” Mommy had explained about dying on the way home from visiting Grandpa. Clara didn’t really understand, but it made
her sad.

“No sweetie, Duck didn’t die, this is just the end of the story.”

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Drabbleclassics 17 – Apologies All Around (76)

Cover for Drabblecast 76, Apologies All Around, by Bo Kaier“Pardon, Winston Sinclair, I am not here to sell you something. I am not here to buy something. Winston Sinclair, sir, I am here to apologize…”

Jeff Soesbe, graduate of The Viable Paradise Workshop, gives us a tender feature about a family of the future, and a unique robot with a special purpose. In Drabble News, Norm Sherman makes all the men jealous with the tale of a sexual powerhouse: a prolific, philandering Guinea Pig! Norm tells us more about the Mega-Beast Death-Match. Feedback is for Episode #70 “Reality Bites!” and Episode #71 “Perfect Down Further.”

Drabbleclassics 10 – The Wiggly People (68)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 68, The Wiggly People, by Bo KaierUncle Karl shouts when he’s mad, and sometimes he smacks Mama.  That always makes the sharp things hurt me and the wiggly people come out…

On this episode of the Drabblecast, a dark tale from favorite author Eugie Foster. A troubled youth, a view in to his chaotic mind, and deeply effected life. Shake hands with the wiggly people!

Drabbleclassics 8 – The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk (214)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 214, The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk, by David FlettAchtromagk 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.

Drabbleclassics 4 – Annabelle’s Alphabet (129)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 129, Annabelle's Alphabet, by Bess GutensteinAnnabelle’s mother closed her eyes. “Get it sharp,” she said. “Very sharp, so it doesn’t hurt much. I’ll boil some water.”

Somewhere in the house, far from the green places she’d known, baby Annabelle lay on her stomach and cried…

Drabbleclassics 2 – Over the Walls of Eden (133)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 133, Over the Walls of Eden, by Bo Kaier

This week, we listen to Jay Lake’s “Over the Walls of Eden.”

If you listened to Clown Eggs and thought, “I need more stories like THAT,” you are in for a treat.  Stick around at the end and hear a brief discussion of the story the author.

Story Excerpt:

“Why do you remember the books?” he finally asks.
She smiles again. “O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere, Till pride and worse ambition threw me down…”

Enjoy!

Drabbleclassics 2 – Over the Walls of Eden (133)

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Drabbleclassics 1 – Clown Eggs (115)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 115, Clown Eggs, by Bo KaierAuthor 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!

Drabblecast 286 – Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse

Cover for Drabblecast episode 286, Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse, by David KrummenacherFather Leggett stood on the sidewalk and looked up at the three narrow stories of gray brick that was 207 East Charlton Street. Compared to the other edifices on Lafayette Square—the Colonial Dames fountain, the Low house, the Turner mansion, the cathedral of course—this house was decidedly ordinary, a reminder that even Savannah had buildings that did only what they needed to do, and nothing more.
He looked again at the note the secretary at St. John the Baptist had left on his desk. This note read:
OCONNORS
MARY
PRIEST?
CHICKEN!

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Drabblecast 284 – Turning Point

Cover for Drabblecast episode 284, Turning Point, by Neil GoogePlease, mister, could I have a cracker for my oontatherium?”

Not exactly the words you would expect at an instant when history changes course and the universe can never again be what it was. The die is cast; In this sign conquer; It is not fit that you should sit here any longer; We hold these truths to be self-evident; The Italian navigator has landed in the New World; Dear God, the thing works!–no man with any imagination can recall those, or others like them, and not have a coldness run along his spine. But as for what little Mierna first said to us, on that island half a thousand light-years from home . . .

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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 267 – Postapocalypsemas

Cover for Drabblecast episode 267, Postapocalypsemas, by Mary MatticeSandeer smelled her.

It was just a whiff, a few molecules of something familiar and therefore sweet, wafting on a late afternoon breeze that otherwise carried only the usual: formaldehyde, benzene, dioxin, chromium, and miscellaneous particulate matter both organic and non-. (Once, there had been the smell of roasting chestnuts and crackling logs and simmering spiced cider, but in recent cycles only less pleasant things burned.) There, represented by an air sample just barely statistically significant, was the scent of Sophie.

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 258 – Brown Dust

Cover for Drabblecast episode 258, Brown Dust, by Amber Carky“Adao, no.”  Teo, the older boy’s second-in-command, lays a staying hand on his master’s arm.  “The stories I told you about this one… they’re true.”
“True?”  Adao casts a skeptic’s eye over Santos.  Can those flimsy ribs cage anything as fugitive as truth?

Drabblecast 252 – The Elder Thing and the Puddle People

Cover for Drabblecast episode 252, The Elder Thing and the Puddle People, by Matt WasielaUpon the coming of the rain and the and the reawakening of the Krr’at race, the Elder Thing returned to us and squealed Its sky-splitting squeal and waded in among us. It came with the green feet that had eyes and mouths, and with the yellow, rubbery outerskin, and with the lace and the glitter — oh, the horrible, horrible glitter…

This episode of the Drabblecast continues H.P. Lovecraft Tribute Month, specifically focusing on the frequent appearance of cults in Lovecraft’s work. In the drabble, cult meetings aren’t always all about sacrifices and secret rites. In the feature, what starts out as an innocent encounter between a little girl and her imaginary friends takes an ominous turn when the “puddle people” turn out to be real creatures who worship her as their capricious god. When a rebel revolts against the the cult to save her daughter from being sacrificed, how will their deity react?

Drabblecast 245 – A Nice Jewish Golem

Cover for Drabblecast episode 245, A Nice Jewish Golem, by Tom Morganti“Mrs. Levine, it is hard enough for someone to find the right person to love in the world, even with all the people in it. For Yeshua, it is almost impossible. Would you have him fall in love with a human girl and pine for her until his heart broke and we would have to erase
the letter that gives him life? Reduce him back to a lifeless thing?”

This episode of the Drabblecast is about adoption. In the drabble, a grieving father performs terrible experiments with the comfort food brought by well-intentioned neighbors. In the feature, a fawning mother grapples with conflicting fears for her son, a golem, when he falls in love with a non-Jewish construct. Despite her distress, she must ask: In a world where options for love are severely limited, what role does faith play?

Drabblecast 240 – Trifecta XXI

Cover for Drabblecast episode 240, Trifecta XXI, by Gino MorettoWe bought our first yarn baby at a garage sale. The ends of its arms were frayed and its eye buttons dangled loose on bare threads.

This theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is family unties: Nontraditional homes and family situations. In the drabble, the enterprising resident of a haunted house fools its ghosts into performing everyday domestic tasks. In Divorce in the House of Flies, a young boy has to deal with his parents’ divorce at the same time he has to deal with their transformation into human-shaped masses of tiny insects. In Wendigo Bake Sale, residents of a small town overcome their initial terror of a pair of wendigo participating in the school bake sale, only to be frightened anew when the wendigo reveal they are supporting the school because their child attends. In Knit, after losing their first yarn baby during her rebellious teen years in a tragic unraveling accident, a couple tries vainly to reconstruct her from the scraps of yarn, stuffing, and buttons left behind.

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 237 – Test Drive

Cover for Drabblecast episode 237, Test Drive, by Mary MatticeIt was my turn to wear the mask, but my egg-sister Linney wouldn’t give it up. She’d been wearing the mask all morning, set on Smile, and it was a test day, too. Everyone thought she was so pleased and relaxed and Earthy…

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with the announcement of the 2011 People’s Choice Awards winners: Best Episode Art (Jerel Dye, Hokkaido Green, episode 208), Best Drabble (Lab Rats by Nicholas J Carter, episode 229), and Best Story (The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk by Eugie Foster, episode 214). In the feature, alien egg-sisters Linney and Mirana are competing for an assignment on Earth. On test day, they are evaluated on their abilities to blend into human society. Despite a disappointing start, Mirana pulls ahead of Linney during a trip to the mall where they meet, and she charms, a human teenage boy.

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