Two years ago it must’ve been. Me and Manny and a couple of the other boys — Carlos and T-Bone — met up at the last Dairy Queen outside of Lompoc.
Manny was going on at me about that shortcut I liked, Route Nine.
“I’m telling you that place is God-awful weird, Joe.”
You must know, Doctor, that I did not choose to seek psychiatric help. I have no faith that I shall exit this room a healed man; I know now that I have been destined for the asylum since childhood. No mere conversation with you can steer me clear of that fate. That said, let us proceed with this court-compelled farce before my mad prattle provokes your crabbiness further..
The shadow lingered at Sarah’s window, balanced on air, certain to fly away the next step I took. Another moment and it would be gone. Another moments and I would call the police, report my daughter missing, and spend the rest of my life convincing myself I’d imagined it…
This episode of the Drabblecast opens an announcement introducing the Drabblecast Archive CDs, featuring episodes 1-79 in a 3 disc set. In the drabble, a sleep-addled God himself cannot (or will not) provide a reason for why the world ended. The feature story, Sarah’s Window, explores the familiar theme of children leaving our world for one of fantasy, with the twist of a distraught parent serving as protagonist. A single father tries to convince a trespassing, morally ambiguous shadow creature to return his apparently kidnapped daughter, Sarah, amid its assertions that it is innocent of wrongdoing since “not all lost things are stolen.” An otherworldly realm seduces with magical delights.
Norm opens the episode with the “Top 10 List” of the most badass animals of 2008, each mentioned in the listener and news forums (winner: the “colossal squid,” of course). This episode’s Drabble, by Shane Shennen (who also contributed a Drabble to Episode #93), explores the villainous joys of building a robot army. Norm segues into the moody feature story by Samantha Henderson. Samantha was featured recently with her fantasy “Starry Night” (Episode #89), which coincidentally also involves crystals. In this story, a young member of the underground Lemurian species ponders his relationship to a human race captivated by their unearthly gemstones. Feedback for “Gifting Bliss” (Episode #91) was highly positive.
Leonard returned to his home circle garrulous about his Russian strike experiences, but oppressively reticent about certain dark mysteries, which he alluded to under the resounding title of Siberian Magic…
Norm details numerous urban legends about revolting items found in fast food as an introduction to this week’s Drabble, a terrifying story about moldy fast food, circular breathing, and ghosts. The feature story showcases the work of 19th-Century author “Saki,” the pen name for Hector Hugh Monroe, heard earlier in Episode #19, “Sredni Vashtar.” Saki describes an encounter with Siberian magic, which Norm acts out using a dazzling variety of male and female caricature voices. An unreliable travelogue inspires skeptical table turning and an elaborate drawing-room prank. Feedback for Episode #40, “Marbles,” shows the depth of discussion among the listener forums. Finally, Norm announces the year’s “People’s Choice” Drabblecast poll, soliciting votes for the listeners’ favorites. He reminds us that the First Annual Nigerian Scam Spam contest is still accepting entries.