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Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Belonging Kind

The Drabblecast Fan Picks - The Belonging Kind As the Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter campaign continues, we bring you another Fan Pick: The Belonging Kind.  Drabblecast fan Kyle Sellers introduces this eerie story about how hard fitting in can be sometimes…

It might have been in Club Justine, or Jimbo’s, or Sad Jack’s, or the Rafters; Coretti could never be sure where he’d first seen her. At any time, she might have been in any one of those bars. She swam through the submarine half-life of bottles and glassware and the slow swirl of cigarette smoke… she moved through her natural element, one bar after another.

Now, Coretti remembered their first meeting as if he saw it through the wrong end of a powerful telescope, small and clear and very far away.

Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely

Cover art for Director's Cut: Charlie the Purple GiraffeAs a part of the Relaunch Prelaunch we revisit a listener favorite with special insight from the author, David D. Levine. Enjoy the “Director’s Cut: Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely.”

Our feature originally aired in Episode # 113 way back in 2009. It is a unique tale set inside a televised cartoon world. Our main character, Charlie the purple giraffe, has a disturbing and profound view of his world, one not shared by his best friend Jerry the orange squirrel.  Floating question marks, colored word balloons, it may not be as light, airy, and humorous as appears at first blush.

Stick around or skip ahead to minute 22:00 for Part 2 of the episode, with Special Commentary and conversation with David and Norm.

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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.

Drabbleclassics 25 – Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely (113)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 113, Charlie the Purple Giraffe, by Josh HugoA change came over Charlie then, like a cloud passing in front of the sun.  He placed his hands flat in his lap, straightened his neck, and took a deep breath.  “Us,” he said at last.  “They read us.”

A delightful Drabble evokes a sage summation of the style from Norm: the mark of a good drabble is the rolling of the eyes and sounds of chuckling. The feature is a unique tale set inside a televised cartoon world. Our main character, Charlie the purple giraffe, has a disturbing and profound view of his world, one not shared by his best friend Jerry the orange squirrel. Floating question marks, colored word balloons, it may not be as light, airy, and humorous as appears at first blush.

Drabbleclassics 23 – Synesthesia (92)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 92, Synesthesia, by Tom MorgantiThey called  it “Synesthesia.”  It’s when the senses got mixed up and you started to hear colors or taste sounds…

Norm begins this with a warning concerning graphic violence and gore. We return to one of the Drabblecast’s favorite topics, the Zombie Apocalypse. The theme receives a fresh airing, which is just as well, as it was starting to smell. Sal Lemerond, veteran of the horror webzine “Necrotic Tissue,” posits the connection between drug addicts and zombies, in a 100-word drabble. Norm chimes in with a tasty public service announcement about the nutritional value of your brain on drugs. In the feature story, J. Alan Pierce – whose work has appeared in Kaleidotrope, as well as twice on the Drabblecast (#18 “The One that Got Away” and #31 “Beekeepers”) – takes us through a zombie plague via the eyes of an early victim. The condition first manifests as Synthesesia, the scientific name for the ability to taste colors, smell sounds, and other bizarre sensory hallucinations.  The story culminates in a family dispute and a choice betrayal.

Drabbleclassics 7 – The Store of the Worlds (188)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 188, The Store of the Worlds, by LizTompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”

This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?

Drabblecast 268 – I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee

Cover for Drabblecast episode 268, I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee, by Steve Santiago Whatever you do, don’t call me Ishmael.

Don’t call me anything at all. Give me my pint of piss-poor ale and leave me be in this yellowed corner where men relieve themselves when they are too lazy to make three extra stumbling steps to the streets of Nantucket. I am done. Finished. Come to this hole to die—and if you insist on speaking to me, I’ll find a deeper hole than this dying excuse of a whaling town can offer…

Drabblecast 264 – The Belonging Kind

Cover for Drabblecast Episode 264, The Belonging Kind, by Kathleen BeckettIt might have been in Club Justine, or Jimbo’s, or Sad Jack’s, or the Rafters; Coretti could never be sure where he’d first seen her. At any time, she might have been in any one of those bars. She swam through the submarine half-life of bottles and glassware and the slow swirl of cigarette smoke… she moved through her natural element, one bar after another.

Now, Coretti remembered their first meeting as if he saw it through the wrong end of a powerful telescope, small and clear and very far away.

Drabblecast 248 – The Cockroach Hat

Cover for Drabblecast episode 248, Cockroach Hat, by Greg Cravens“What I don’t like about it,” said Cliffe, “is that is it’s just a metaphor instead of something real.”

“What if it was real?” I (Sam) asked. “What if it was me and I actually turned into a cockroach someday?”

This episode of the Drabblecast is all about crazy relationships. In the drabble, it’s apparent that finding Mr. Right is difficult no matter who (or what) you are. In the feature, Sam wakes up one day to discover he has been transformed into a giant cockroach. He spends the rest of his day on a surreal quest, not only to return to his normal self, but also to save his girlfriend from threats both mundane and extraordinary, with the hope a new start together.

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 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 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 235 – Unreliable Witness

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 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 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 211 – At the End of the Hall

Cover for Drabblecast episode 211, At the End of the Hall, by Michael HoskinsMy earliest fear, the one I remember anyways, was of great pulp magazine robots with hot water heater bodies and vacuum tube eyes. My brother forbade me to touch his precious magazines, so I wouldn’t. I’d stare and stare at the covers through; hourglassed damsels in diaphanous gowns draped over thick slab altars, and the robots, always the robots with their cylindrical torsos and pincer claws for hands….

In Search of the Brain-Eating Nandi Bear Part III

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 188 – The Store of the Worlds

Cover for Drabblecast episode 188, The Store of the Worlds, by LizTompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”

This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?

Drabblecast 183 – Angel of the Ordinary

Cover for Drabblecast episode 183, Angel of the Ordinary, by Dominick Rabrun“They will come on bicycles and by balloon, they will arrive in mailboxes and packages of cake batter. They will come like fleas on the dogs and like giants over the moon. The dull shall be turned into nothing by the coming of the angels…”

Norm presents this week’s Drabblecast in the form of a sermon, allowing us to bask in the glory of weird. The feature story, read by Hearty White, reveals unto us proper preparation for the coming Angels of Discrimination, scourges of the ordinary. Will you be ready?

Drabblecast 113 – Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely

Cover art for Drabblecast episode 113, Charlie the Purple GiraffeThis episode brings you Charlie the Purple Giraffe, by David D. Levine.

It is a unique tale set inside a televised cartoon world. Our main character, Charlie the purple giraffe, has a disturbing and profound view of his world, one not shared by his best friend Jerry the orange squirrel.  Floating question marks, colored word balloons, it may not be as light, airy, and humorous as appears at first blush.

Read More

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