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Drabblecast Director’s Cut – The Box Born Wraith

Drabblecast Director's Cut The Box Born Wraith by David Flett“Just Lookin’ for Chocolate.”

Norm and author Kevin Anderson discuss the horror genre, the origins of Cryptkeeper Norm, and of course, the hit story “The Box-Born Wraith” featured as Drabblecast episode 87 back in 2008 and published as our second official Halloween Special.

“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Another Drabblecast Director’s Cut bringing more detail and author insights to a fan favorite episode.

Drabbleclassics 19 – So You’re Going to Die (149)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 149, So You're Going to Die, by Abbie HiltonThe energy and personality of a person can get stuck before it evaporates from our world. Wood is a fair dumping ground. Something about its pore size and how cellulose vibrates. A person can get himself pasted inside the wall or the floorboards. The body and brain quit, but the rest of the bastard lingers, and that’s the weird quantum trickery that for thousands of years people have called a ghost…

Drabbleclassics 11 – The Box Born Wraith (87)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 87, Box Born Wraith, by David Flett“I don’t want to die in the dark!”
“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Norm spends this episode doing his very best cheesy Vincent Price styled horror show host (Note: not a Vincent Price imitation, but an imitation of a really bad Vincent Price imitator), complete with an interminable string of puns about “ghouls” and “ghosts.” As this year’s Halloween treat, Norm selects a truly terrifying story from frequently heard contributor Kevin David Anderson, also seen in Dark Animus, and numerous other publications which include the word “Dark” in their titles.  In “The Box Born Wraith,” an unexpected encounter between a condemned mobster and a tribe of hungry ghouls changes both the captive and the captors. Finally, still in character, Norm urges listeners to face the horrors of the voting booth in November’s election.

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 242 – Transfer of Ownership

Cover for Drabblecast episode 242, Transfer of Ownership, by Jonathan SimsMy new occupant is larger than Carson was. I was made for her, within a certain tolerance for the inevitable changes in human specifications that come with age, changes in health, and abundance or scarcity…

This episode of the Drabblecast is all about Mechs, aside from the beat poetry that it begins and ends with. The drabble is a snapshot of a new Mexican-American war. In the feature, after being commandeered by its partner’s murderer, a mech suit ponders the meaning of ownership and freedom, while applying creative problem solving to defy its unwanted occupant.

Drabblecast 239 – Killing the Morrow

Cover for Drabblecast episode 239, Killing the Morrow, by John DeBergeYou know, I’ve heard my share of disembodied voices.  I’m accustomed to their fickle, sometimes bizarre demands.  But tonight’s voice is different, clear as gin and utterly compelling.  I must listen…

This episode of the Drabblecast concerns time and inter-dimensional travel. In the drabble, a being hurriedly fleeing its own dimension accidentally merges with a pizza jockey but still cannot escape its pursuers. In the feature, Killing the Morrow, voices from a ruined future attempt to flee to our present, commandeering a workforce to construct bathtub chambers where they can grow physical bodies and ready cities from which to rule. Is this the end of mankind as we know it, or can a second faction of future-dwellers subvert this implosive invasion?

Drabblecast B-Sides 16 – Winning Streak

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 16, Winning Streak, by Mary MatticeSeven security gargoyles stare at me from atop the elaborate sandstone columns lining the casino’s walls. Their sharp eyes and oversized talons flex ever so slightly in anticipation of snatching up cheaters like unsuspecting prey… The pit boss watches me too, now, and for good reason. I’m an Ittari after all, a shapeshifter, just as they’d identified me with the DNA scan when I’d entered this fine establishment…

Drabblecast 236 – When You Visit the Magoebaskloof Hotel Be Certain Not to Miss the Samango Monkeys

Cover for Drabblecast episode 236, When You Visit the Magoebaskloof Hotel Be Certain Not to Miss the Samango Monkeys., by Kelly MacAvaneyIn the place where I was born, stones had been used to mark boundaries for four hundred years. We harrowed stones up in fields, turned them up in roadcuts. We built the foundations of houses from stones, dug around and between them. We made stone walls, and our greatest poet wrote poems about those walls and their lichen-speckled granite. The gift of glaciers, and the wry joke of farmers. “She’ll grow a ton and a half an acre, between the stones.” The people who lived there before mine made tools of them, made weights and currency.

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with a Drabblenews story about the resurrection of an ancient human vaginal yeast once used to make a fermented drink fittingly dubbed “vag yeast moonshine” by Norm. In the drabble, while Shouting Cloud has correctly read the signs predicting the return of the Sky Father, there isn’t only one – and they are armed and dangerous. The feature explores the need to adapt to new environments. Humans have fled a ruined Earth to find themselves on a planet where they can’t digest the plants or communicate with the oddly amiable natives, and their preserved supplies are dwindling. While reflecting on memories from a visit to Africa on Earth and desperate to discover some clue about how to survive, a xenobiologist risks exhuming the corpse of a juvenile native for dissection even though one of her colleagues was brutally slaughtered for doing so. When she is discovered by a group of natives, she is sure she will be murdered as well, only to find herself forced into nursing from one of them. As she drinks its milk, she realizes that the intelligent natives, after dissecting rather than slaughtering her colleague to learn about human biology and digestion, have likely theorized that the microscopic flora in their milk may allow humans to finally be able to digest the alien crops on their planet.

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 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 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 169 – The Reenactment

Cover for Drabblecast episode 169, The Reenactment, by Bo KaierFor fourteen years the North Piscataway High School History Department, under my stewardship, has honored the tradition of Duel Day, our annual reenactment of the famous, deadly confrontation of 1804, between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. And for all fourteen of those reenactments, I, Robert Stanley, have taken the role of noble Hamilton, and Paul Vasouvian from the math department has filled the boots of the scurrilous Burr…

Drabblecast 161 – Higher than Usual

Cover for Drabblecast episode 161, Higher Than Usual, by Bo Kaier“We’ve got one of them,” he told me gleefully.
“One of what?” I asked, bewildered.
“One of them,” he said, as if that explained it. “Cheeky sod from Accounts came upstairs and tried to get a coffee out of our vending machine. Can you believe it? Out of OUR vending machine!”

Nothing cheekier than a pandemic of murderous intent..

Drabblecast 149 – So You’re Going to Die

Cover for Drabblecast episode 149, So You're Going to Die, by Abbie HiltonThe energy and personality of a person can get stuck before it evaporates from our world. Wood is a fair dumping ground. Something about its pore size and how cellulose vibrates. A person can get himself pasted inside the wall or the floorboards. The body and brain quit, but the rest of the bastard lingers, and that’s the weird quantum trickery that for thousands of years people have called a ghost…

Drabblecast 134 – Bone Sigh

Cover for Drabblecast episode 134, Bone Sigh, by Bo KaierThis week The Drabblecast brings you “Bone Sigh,” by legendary author Tim Pratt!

But first we bring you the continuing adventures of cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth: In Search of the Mongolian Death Worm: Part Three.

Tim Pratt has written multiple stories for the Drabblecast and this one is quite horrific.

Story Excerpt:

I put the tenderizer down on the white formica table and look at my bonsai scar. It is like a flower, a jellyfish, a pinwheel of raised flesh, yellow bruises, subcutaneous hemorrhaging…

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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 111 – Frequent Flier Miles

Cover for Drabblecast episode 111, Frequent Flyer Miles, by Josh HugoHe folds his barely eaten burrito away in its paper wrapper and regards me seriously with his warm, friendly eyes. “I have a *lot* of frequent flier miles. I’d be more than happy to share them.”
I understand that we’re not talking about the kind of miles the airlines give you. This has nothing to do with credit card rewards…

The ex-husband of the feature story’s titular frequent flier once told her that the key to not being found is to keep moving. It’s been years since her ex kidnapped their daughter, and our protagonist is determined to stay on the move, from one airport to the next. She meets a curious fellow searcher who refers to himself as the wandering Jew.

Also included is a Bbardle, Radioactive Runaways, written by Norm Sherman for Eric Peters’ birthday, a gift made possible by the donation of his wife Janette.

Drabblecast 106 – Boiled Black Broth and Cornets

Cover for Drabblecast episode 106, Boiled Black Broth and Cornets, by Nettie Pinney“From fortress-building to cornet-playing, you never cease to amaze me, Beckie.”  I replied, dumping my weekend luggage in a corner of the grm brickish vestibule…

In this episode’s Drabble, reading a spy thriller helps pass the time while an assassin waits for his target to return home. The feature story, Boiled Black Broth and Cornets, concerns a bizarrely convoluted plot by the narrator’s good friend to learn how to build a fortress, make mind-controlling soups, and play the cornet for the overall purpose of abducting and training an octet of musicians to put on a jazz concert.

Drabblecast 100 – Trifecta VI

Cover for Drabblecast 100, Trifecta VI, by Bo KaierThe 100th episode of the Drabblecast opens with Norm thanking donors, contributors, and listeners for its success and growth. Norm announces the opening of nominations for the second annual Drabblecast People’s Choice Awards, now including a category for drabbles as well as feature stories. In Cork Ringtone and the Break Dancing Pig, a desperate, Jesus-costumed liquor store robbery, which may be wholly unnecessary when a loan shark experiences an alien-induced vision of god. In Gerri’s Sounds, the events occurring in a torture chamber are experienced in disturbing detail by its sounds alone. In Cupid, Playing, new love is cut short by a deranged cherub.

Drabblecast 87 – The Box Born Wraith

Cover for Drabblecast episode 87, Box Born Wraith, by David Flett“I don’t want to die in the dark!”
“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Norm spends this episode doing his very best cheesy Vincent Price styled horror show host (Note: not a Vincent Price imitation, but an imitation of a really bad Vincent Price imitator), complete with an interminable string of puns about “ghouls” and “ghosts.” As this year’s Halloween treat, Norm selects a truly terrifying story from frequently heard contributor Kevin David Anderson, also seen in Dark Animus, and numerous other publications which include the word “Dark” in their titles.  In “The Box Born Wraith,” an unexpected encounter between a condemned mobster and a tribe of hungry ghouls changes both the captive and the captors. Finally, still in character, Norm urges listeners to face the horrors of the voting booth in November’s election.

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