Drabblecast Covers Collage 2018 01

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Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Jelly Park

Cover for Drabblecast Director's Cut of Aliya Whitely's Jelly Park by Rodolfo Arredondo

“It’s about getting on the bus…” Norm and author Aliya Whiteley talk double decker busses, double decker tacos, embracing weirdness for what it is and reinventing yourself. They also get into the in’s and out’s of the first ever Drabblecast People’s Choice Award Winner for “Best Story” back in 2007, for this “Director’s Cut: Jelly Park.”

We go over little ditty’s like this:

Keep your sponge cake, fling your flan
Stick your donuts, cream and jam
Leave your custard in its can
Give us all some jelly

In a trifle, from a mold
Rabbit shaped or ice cream coned
Nothing better, so I’m told
Then a lovely Jelly…

But we digress.

Story Excerpt:

“I’m not sure I belong here.”
“Then where do you belong?”
The others stopped chewing and looked at me expectantly.
What am I?…

Co-narrator, Dermot Glennon, also contributed to Episode #29, “Code Brown.”

Enjoy!

Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Jelly Park

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 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 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 14 – Jelly Park (43)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 43, Jelly Park, by Rodolfo Arredondo“I’m not sure I belong here.”
“Then where do you belong?”
The others stopped chewing and looked at me expectantly.
What am I?…

As Norm detailed his Christmas plans, the common theme of this episode became apparent:  that “Home” is not a place, but rather a choice. Before getting there, though, the Drabble News tracked through a pile of extremely rare rhinoceros dung…  or rather, four piles, collected by conservationists and auctioned on E-bay to raise money for preservation of the species. Norm speculates on the market timing of such a gift. Next, Norm reflects on the meaning of the holidays, from the point of view of various people, animals, and legendary monsters. The week’s Drabble, “Choosing Home” by noteworthy community member Josh Hugo, offers a story of love conquering danger. The feature story, “Jelly Park,” (consistently voted among listener favorites), is a deliciously absurd tale of a down-on-her-luck, unemployed secretary who discovers a strange welcome from the easily overlooked community of double-decker bus drivers. The episode’s author, published twice by McMillan Press, helped sing the charminly twisted story’s celebrations. Co-narrator, Dermot Glennon, also contributed Episode #29, “Code Brown.” Feedback for Episode #37, “Luna Springs,” is bittersweet and poignant. Norm and the staff close with a rousing rendition of the Jelly Park Celebration Song, showing off multiple voices and characters, ranging from scat-singing to lunatic opera.

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…

Drabblecast B-Sides 36 – Warm Regression

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 36, Warm Regression, by Mary MatticeThere were always bright rings on the doorbell and smiling faces carrying covered dishes. There was always a peck on the cheek for us kids when grandma came, and always a strong handshake from grandpa. His big warm hands always convinced us that he was as strong as he was wise. All of them would pile in, cherry red cheeks and warm mittens. They would brush off all the snow from outside and remind us how cold it was where we lived. It was true, we lived in one of the coldest parts of the country, and there was always a blizzard on Christmas Eve.

Drabblecast 285 – Doubleheader XIII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 285, Doubleheader XIII, by Matt WasielaSamuel sat on the balcony, enjoying the fading light of day. When the ventilator pushed air into his lungs, he savored the salt brine from the sea.  He pretended that he had control over breath, but it was much a fantasy as adjusting his wheelchair….

 

 

 

 

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Drabblecast 266 – Little Grace of the House of Death

Cover for Drabblecast episode 266, Little Grace of the House of Death, by Caroline ParkinsonThe niece of King Death had not yet chosen a name.  She was the only daughter and youngest child of Death’s sister, Merciful Grace, and everyone still called her by her baby name, Little Grace…

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 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 250 – Trifecta XXII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 250, Trifecta 22, by Liz PenniesMy name is… John.

I am…

I have a wife and a daughter. They are visiting me today. Their names– Alice. And Anna.

I can see, sort of. Everything is blurry. I am submerged in a coffin, a clear coffin with green water. There’s a tube in my mouth so that I can breathe, machine-like.

My legs are transparent. I see veins and arteries, thin muscles that look like spiderwebs bundled together. The doctors say my memory will be fuzzy. It’s supposed to come back quickly.

I am…

The theme of this Drabblecast Trifecta is “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” In Faithful Servant, a long-suffering butler’s poorly timed fit of temper is nearly the end of him. In Selfless, a man with an incurable illness goes to great lengths to ensure his wife and daughter enjoy a normal, happy life. In Prophecy Negotiations, a fateful farm boy learns that if you want to rise to a new station, it pays not to accept the first offer.

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 244 – Doubleheader XI

It had rolled and tumbled, whatever it was, gelatinous and tentacled, from lake to canal to stream.

People watched from the shore, following it with opera glasses and sea telescopes. Some thought it was a squid, others an octopus, others still just a glob of fatty flesh from some aquatic animal long torn apart and rotten. It was milky and translucent with tiny red hooks lining the each of its sixteen flacid arms. Deep blue bruises speckled the skin, wrinkling in like spots on a tomato. It had no visible eyes…

This double header features two “postcard stories” by Will Ludwigsen. In Nora’s Thing, sickly Nora’s sister and friends bring her to a mysterious creature they hope has healing powers. In Endless Encore, a sinister puppet show occurs nightly for its audience of one.

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 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.

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 230 – Bears Discover Fire

Cover for Drabblecast episode 230, Bears Discover Fire, by Matt WasielaThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Bears Discover Fire,” by Terry Bisson. We examine and interpret humanity through anthropomorphism.

When bears discover fire, stop hibernating, and begin populating highway medians in the southern US, people notice. Their changing behavior highlights how other families react to changes in their own lives with varying degrees of acceptance and grace.

Story Excerpt:

We stayed on the path.  The light seemed to drip down from the canopy of the woods like rain.  The going was easy, especially if we didn’t try to look at the path but let our feet find their own way.
Then through the trees I saw their fire…

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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 205 – Trifecta XVI

Cover for Drabblecast episode 205, Trifecta 216, by Georgia Warley CummingsA Trifecta is comprised of three similarly themed stories selected by The Drabblecast’s editors. Now for some raucous scary fun!

Love means never letting go. And biting..

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