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Drabblecast 397 – Fruit and Words

Cover for Fruit and Words Trifecta by Mary MatticeThis week The Drabblecast presents “Fruit and Words” by Aimee Bender; a story about words and their meanings.

Aimee Bender is an American novelist and short story writer, known for her surreal plots and characters. Bender’s works have been published in GQ, Harper’s, Opium Magazine, and several anthologies. She has also been heard on This American Life.

Story Excerpt:

So there we were, Steve and I, smack in the middle of the same fight we’d had a million times before, a fight I knew so well I could graph it. We were halfway down the second slope of resignation, the place where we usually went to different rooms and despaired quietly on our own, and right at the moment that I thought, for the first time in seven years, that maybe things were just not going to work out after all, that was the moment he suggested we drive to Vegas right then and tie the knot.

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Drabblecast 263 – Betty Flesh and the Meat Man

Cover for Drabblecast episode 263, Betty Flesh and the Meat Man, by Bo Kaier“Your suitor’s here!” Ma Flesh hurried into the back room of the butcher’s shop. “Are you presentable?”

Betty waited there amongst the swinging, marbled yellow cow carcasses. The wooden butcher’s table was smooth under her fingertips, and solid as the earth. Knives glinted from the walls, each reflecting a tiny, seated Betty and the thin figure of Ma Flesh standing over her.

“Sit up straight,” Ma snapped. “And don’t scratch. It could lead to tragedy. I mean it.”

“I won’t.” Betty didn’t dare ask why Ma was so against scratching. Her head itched but she didn’t lift her hand. Ma had cut off Betty’s hair to stop her from being so floaty. She hoped the suitor liked short hair. If he was blind, he’d like it, she thought. She could lay her head in his lap and he could tell her mood by the bumps on her skull. He could stroke behind her ears, let his fingers drift up to her crown, slide down her neck–

“It isn’t Saturday.” Ma rapped on Betty’s head with the back of her shining metal hook. “No going floaty today, girl.”

Drabblecast 243 – The Other Lila

Cover for Drabblecast episode 243, The Other Lila, by Richard K. GreenI step out of a porter booth in the overheated Los Angeles station and reach up to peel off my winter coat. That’s when I realize something’s wrong with my hand — it feels numb and prickly, and the fingers aren’t quite responding the way they’re supposed to. Weird. I don’t recall circulatory problems being listed among the possible side effects…

This episode of The Drabblecast explores the meaning of identity. In the drabble, two friends swap bodies after being struck by lightning, but is anyone paying attention? In the feature, having an extra finger after a teleporter accident turns out to be the least of Lila’s worries; she now must contend with an entirely additional Lila.

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 233 – A Blade of Love

Cover for Drabblecast episode 233, A Blade of Love, by K. MartinezAllan Thermoose’s wife is in love with a blade of grass. It’s the 375th blade directly even with the crack in the third slab of sidewalk east of the mailbox. The blade gets full sun all day, and Allan, a stickler for lawn maintenance, is careful to water it, along with all the others, for approximately thirty minutes per day, moving the sprinkler three times to ensure even water distribution. He occasionally counts the residual droplets left on the tufts of grass fifteen minutes after he shuts off the water. If he’s not happy with the results, he repeats the process until he’s positive his lawn has had enough to drink.

This episode of the Drabblecast is concerned with strange love. In the drabble, a mother’s last thoughts are for her son as the mower’s blades cut her down but pass over him. In the feature, Allan Thermoose’s wife falls in love with a blade of grass. Her behavior increasingly unconventional includes: standing outside staring at the lawn, forbidding Allan to cut that blade, sleeping outside on the lawn, and dressing up for the blade. It soon becomes clear that action must be taken.

Drabblecast 226 – The Heroics of Interior Design

Cover for Drabblecast episode 226, The Heroics of Interior Design, by Skeet ScienskiI can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. I can’t lift a car. I can’t climb slick surfaces with my bare hands or breath underwater or stop time. All I can do is change blue things to yellow. I didn’t bother to buy a cape or a spandex suit like the others. I just bought a blouse and some slacks and went into interior design…

This episode of the Drabblecast explores the idea of being happy with yourself as a unique individual. In the drabble, the titular imaginary runner is invented as part of a game to pass time in the car, but meets a tragic end. In the feature, a woman with a minor Gift (turning blue things yellow) in a world of high-powered superheroes struggles to find a niche.

Drabblecast 209 – Babyhead

Cover for Drabblecast episode 209, Babyhead, by Johan LindroosCynthia couldn’t explain what she’d just seen in the vegetable patch.

She didn’t want to look again. She considered going back into the house, crawling back into bed with Mikey, and putting it down as a beer-inspired dream.

But that pinkish dome with the fuzzy down had felt soft under her fingers, and there had been the smell of manufactured newness, like a dusting of talcum powder wafting up to her nostrils, as she had pulled the coarse outer leaves of the cabbage apart…

Tales of parental love gone awry in this week’s unsettling Drabblecast.

Drabblecast 198 – Love in the Pneumatic Tube Era

Cover for Drabblecast episode 198, Love in the Pneumatic Tube Era, by Matt WasielaWe discover old scrolls that we wrote to each other in high school, back in the Early Pneumatic Tube Era. That was back when a PT message took five minutes to get across the city.

We shake our heads. Now you can send a living butterfly to Dubai in ten seconds…

This Valentine’s Day episode of the Drabblecast’s theme is centered on odd love. Norm rattles off a staggering set of fart/love puns, and waxes on about the travails of staying together in the digital age. In the drabble, we experience love through a fighter’s eyes. In the feature story, two soul mates seperated by great distance negotiate an alternate, steampunk (tube punk?) future. In addittion the Drabblecast 2010 People’s Choice nominations are announced.

Drabblecast 193 – Scales

Cover for Drabblecast episode 193, Scales, by Adam S. DoyleOne day when a surge of dying summer heat roiled through the waterways, spoiling my fishing, I punted home to find Mama running down the grassy swell towards my docking-place. Hope died in her face when she saw my punt empty and I knew then what had happened…

Drabblecast 189 – Doubleheader VIII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 189, DoubleHeader 8, by Tania HendersonThey needed a virgin to make a bargain with the sea monster who hunted the waters off their coast, and they were not willing to sacrifice their daughters…

With the theme this week being about freedom, this episode of Drabblecast sees Norm musing about the irony of song about freedom written by a man name Key… it could be a trap. Mermaids of the Old West centers on the mistreatment of captured Mermaids. In Darkness we learn what makes a sacrifice worthy.

Special thanks to Salim Fahdley and Jan Dennison for lending voices and artistic help.

Drabblecast 180 – Something Borrowed, Something Doomed

Cover for Drabblecast episode 180, Something Borrowed Something Blue, by Bo KaierWhile the rest a’ the country had turned away from the biorevolution, we Best Virginians had become magicians. We had learned how to use the tiniest creatures to change the world in the biggest, most beautiful ways…

Drabblecast 160 – Trifecta XII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 160, Trifecta 7, by Bo KaierAn apocalyptic trio of stories on this week’s Drabblecast featuring works by authors G.A. Semones, Douglas Warrick, and M. Thomas.

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 130 – Trifecta IX

Cover for Drabblecast Episode 130, Trifecta 9, by Bo KaierTrifecta 9, dinosaurs, love, monsters, everything you need. Featuring works by Bruce Holland Rogers, Steve Calvert and Bruce Boston.

Drabblecast 122 – The Fallen and the Muse of the Street

Art needed, volunteer!Angels, fallen or otherwise, weren’t known for their appreciation of human art…

On this episode of the Drabblecast, a Gaiman’esque tale of the urban supernatural from fan favorite Tim Pratt. How will a pair of fallen angels behave on a visit to New Orleans?

Drabblecast 117 – Curse of the Alien’s Wife

Cover for Drabblecast episode 117, The Curse of the Alien's Wife, by Bo KaierNow that his supernal caress has become the familiar sanctum of her nights, she fears that no mere human partner could ever satisfy her again…

This episode starts with Norm announcing the return of the Nigerian Scam Spam contest, now with a tight $100 prize! The Drabble concerns a Martian trying to deal with erratic human behavior. The Feature, preceded by a content warning from Norm (sexy times ahoy), concerns an alien and his human bride. The couple is vexed by the tribulation of their strange marriage, their poor finances, and privately, the bride suffers fears of public reprisal.

Drabblecast 114 – Arms and the Man

Cover for Drabblecast episode 114, Arms and the Man, by Alyssa SuzumuraIn this episode of the Drabblecast, we present “Arms and the Man” by Mary Turzillo. It’s a story of a divorced woman, burned out to love, who finds hope with a change of phylum. It’s –truly squidlicious!

Norm Sherman also presents a Drabble News segment on the Hubble space telescope, topping it off with the now infamous bbardle on satellites and how best to pimp them.

Story Excerpt:

Courtney had never considered squid love before.  She was an accountant for a Chicago restaurant chain, and not really looking.  After a bitter, acrimonious divorce, Courtney was burned out on romance…

Our Drabble is “Happy Endings” by Michael Young. The popular girls ignore this typical geek—that is until a very atypical bomb throws unusual wrinkles.

Enjoy the show!

Drabblecast #114 – Arms and the Man

Drabblecast 107 – The Alchemical Automaton Blues

Cover for Drabblecast episode 107, The Alchemical Automaton Blues, by Josh Hugo“How often does it do that?”  the faun asked.
“Most of the time.  The poor thing’s totally neglected.  They never speak to it or interact with it– except for when the kids are throwing rocks at it…”

This episode of the Drabblecast begins with a Drabble News story about an employee finding a Brazilian wandering spider in the bananas at a Whole Foods in Oklahoma. In the Drabble, a little girl plays hide and seek with her friend, Rex. T-Rex. In the feature story, The Alchemical Automaton Blues, the good intentions of a kind-hearted couple concerned for the welfare of their ogre neighbor’s badly neglected and constantly crying guard golem have unexpected and disheartening consequences for the creature in question.

Drabblecast 105 – Doubleheader 2

Cover for Drabblecast episode 105, DoubleHeader 2, Kelly MartinezShe’d been hunting full-grown pies for four years now.  The little hand-held fruit pies were for kids– the preservatives made them slow and stupid– but pies in the wild, they were the true treasure, they had formed the culture of her people…

This episode of the Drabblecast features two pie-themed stories set in one fantasy world. In The Blueberry Pie, successfully slaying the titular food item stands as the first rite of passage for a child wishing to officially join the tribe of the pie hunters. One young pie hunter cannot ignore the allure of hunting a crusted, culinary legend. In The Last of the Pie Hunters, a peaceful gardener gives care and compassion to a battered warrior in the war between the pie hunters and the cake eaters.

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