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Drabblecast 388 – Skullpocket: Part 2

Drabblecast cover Skullpocket Part 2 by Bo Kaier and Ellis DuneganThe Drabblecast completes its triumphant return with the conclusion of this two-part Halloween special: “Skullpocket: Part 2” by Nathan Ballingrud!

In this riveting finale we learn the origins of the Orchid Girl, the mystery behind Skull Pocket Fair, and the horrible truth behind the Extinction Event. A freak show awaits you indeed!

Story Excerpt:

But everything changed when Wormcake and his friends entered the room. The Orchid Girl sat a bit straighter, as if she had heard or felt something peculiar. She stood on her feet and looked out at the crowd. Almost immediately her gaze fell upon the ghoul children, as though she could sense them through some preternatural ability, and then, children, the most amazing thing happened. The thing that changed the ghouls’ lives, her own life, and the lives of everyone in Hob’s Landing forever afterward.

Her face opened along the red lines and bloomed in bright, glorious petals of white and purple and green. Her body was only a disguise, you see. She was a gorgeous flower masquerading as a human being.

Nathan Ballingrund is a Shirley Jackson Award winning author of horror and dark fiction. Part One of his tale was published last week so give that a listen if you haven’t.

We’re also happy to announce that the Drabblecast Reborn Preorder Store is now up and running. We’ve got a whole bunch of cool schwag up there to check out. So if you wanted to get your hands on some of our exclusive Kickstarter items and you weren’t able to back us, or you wanna beef up your support, this is the place.

And now the chilling conclusion (the full story is printed below the player or after the jump):

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Drabblecast 387 – Skullpocket: Part 1

Drabblecast cover Skullpocket Part 1 by Bo Kaier and Ellis DuneganThe Drabblecast is finally reborn with this special two-part Halloween story: “Skullpocket” by Nathan Ballingrud!

It’s been a long year and a half(ish), folks. Death just isn’t what it used to be. Frankly it’s boring. Everyone screaming and crying at each other, the incessant heat, obsessive social media addicts—it gets old, ya know? Can’t we just stop wallowing and enjoy a good story? So we rang the bell of our ratty old safety coffin (cause those are still a thing, right?) and you actually dug us up!

Now this old corpse has some new stories just for you. First up is Nathan Ballingrud’s “Skullpocket” told in two parts. Nathan Ballingrund is a Shirley Jackson Award winning author of horror and dark fiction. It’s a sinister tale about Mr. Wormcake and one terrible game…

Story Excerpt:

Jonathan Wormcake, the Eminent Corpse of Hob’s Landing, greets me at the door himself. Normally one of his several servants would perform this minor duty, and I can only assume it’s my role as a priest in the Church of the Maggot that affords me this special attention. I certainly don’t believe it has anything to do with our first encounter, fifty years ago this very day. I’d be surprised if he remembers that at all.

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Drabblecast Fan Pick: Followed

Drabblecast Fan Picks Followed cover artThe Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter campaign continues! Today, Fan Picks: Followed, by Will McIntosh as chosen and introduced by Drabblecast fan Boo Yeah. Hear her thoughts on an unsettling story about living with the consequences of our actions…

This story originally aired in 2011.

Story Excerpt:

She came wandering down the sidewalk like any other corpse, her herky-jerky walk unmistakable among the fluid strides of the living.  She was six or seven, Southeast Asian, maybe Indian, her ragged clothes caked in dried mud. Pedestrians cut a wide berth around her without noticing her at all…

So enjoy this Fan Pick:

Drabblecast Fan Picks: Followed

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.

Drabblecast B-Sides 60 – The Great VüDü Linux Teen Zombie Massacree

Drabblecast Zombie Massacree by Aaron SiddallBob and I attracted a pack of zombies when we stopped to fuel up at the Texaco in Buffalo Springs. I hoped we’d lost them, but hope was all I had. Bob said they were the fresh remains of a high school football team who’d been drowned and de-souled by water daemons at a lakeside party.

Young, strong corpses have the speed and stamina to run down a deer. Until the sun and wind finally turned their flesh to stinky jerky, they’d be dangerous enough to make a vampire shit bats. And fresh zombies are persistent as porn site pop-up ads. If they take a shine to the smell of your blood, they might track you for days, stopping only if live meat falls right in their laps.

Drabblecast 350 – Trifecta XXX: Something Fishy

Cover for Drabblecast episode 350, Something Fishy Trifecta, by Bo KaierIzam’s fingers moved on their own. They found his sunken chest. And counted his ribs.

His father would have slapped his hand away. A stupid habit of a stupid boy. A stupid starving boy who counted his ribs when he was hungry even though it only made him hungrier. Izam knew it was stupid
but he could not help it. He was so hungry.

The ocean was silent. The boat was still, the fishing line as motionless as ever. The last rays of sun sparkled on the waves. There would be no fish today. No food. Izam’s fingers brushed his chest and began counting his ribs again. No food for another day.

The line tugged. The rod tore from his hand.

 

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Drabblecast 347 – Why I Hate Zombie Unicorns

Drabblecast episode 347, Why I Hate Zombie Unicorns, by David FlettThe good news is, zombie unicorns almost never bite. The bad news is, even a tiny scratch from a zombie unicorn horn will turn you into a zombie. Mom discovered that by accident.

 

 

 

 

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Drabblecast 333 – After the Cure

Cover for Drabblecast episode 333, After the Cure, by Soren JamesI was shot with the cure in the dark. Later, someone would tell me it was a Tuesday, but before the tranq dart I didn’t know such a thing existed. It was either day or night, hungry or sated, alive or dead.

Then there was the cure and I was hauled to the Sanitation Center to be processed: our identities to be confirmed, and if forgotten, to be assigned a name, a registration number, date of birth, address.

Drabblecast B-Sides 39 – Becca at the End of the World

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides 39, Becca at the End of the World, by Forrest WarnerI nestle the video camera on its makeshift tripod, carefully centering my daughter’s image. She tucks her hair behind her ear and gives a strained smile. She is sixteen, and that hair is long and golden–kissed light brown and straight; she has the gangly grace only teenagers have, that sleek gazelle form. She is wearing khaki shorts and a striped tank top, and the bite mark on her arm is already putrefying.

Drabblecast 255 – The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward pt. 2

Cover for Drabblecast episode 255, The Wreck of the Dexter Ward pt. 2, by Bo KaierLooking away from the light that showed the Charles Dexter Ward was no longer entirely dead was as hard as opening a rusted zipper. But Cynthia did it, and didn’t let herself look back She pulled Hester a little further down the corridor and said, “Now we really need to know how she killed him. And whether it’ll work a second time…”

Drabblecast 254 – The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward pt. 1

Cover for Drabblecast 254, The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, by Bo KaierSix weeks into her involuntary tenure on Faraday Station, Cynthia Feuerwerker needed a job. She could no longer afford to be choosy about it, either; her oxygen tax was due, and you didn’t have to be a medical doctor to understand the difficulties inherent in trying to breathe vacuum.

You didn’t have to be, but Cynthia was one. Or had been, until the allegations of malpractice and unlicensed experimentation began to catch up with her. As they had done, here at Faraday, six weeks ago…

Drabblecast 241 – The Dead

Cover for Drabblecast 241, The Dead, by John DebergeThree boy zombies in matching red jackets bussed our table, bringing water, lighting candles, brushing away the crumbs between courses.  Their eyes were dark, attentive, lifeless…

This episode of The Drabblecast is all about zombies. In the drabble, a post-outbreak actor is almost too talented for his own good. In the feature, a job interview leads Donald to contemplate the horrors of an economic zombie apocalypse: What happens to the living when the dead become a more valuable, more efficient substitute for both industrial and private uses?

Drabblecast 217 – Followed

Cover for Drabblecast episode 217, Followed, by John DebergeThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Followed” by Will McIntosh.

Norm also starts to ponder the nature of the undead. We conclude In Search of the Brain-Eating Nandi Bear serial featuring cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth.

Following that is our feature story by Will McIntosh, author of Soft Apocalypse and the upcoming Hitchers.

Story Excerpt:

She came wandering down the sidewalk like any other corpse, her herky-jerky walk unmistakable among the fluid strides of the living.  She was six or seven, Southeast Asian, maybe Indian, her ragged clothes caked in dried mud. Pedestrians cut a wide berth around her without noticing her at all…

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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..

Drabblecast 199 – In the Octopus’s Garden

Cover for Drabblecast episode 199, In the Octopus's Garden, by Bill HalliarI woke to this new darkness, swirling about me. A phrase sticking in my mind — “Lazarus Syndrome.” What happened to people when they had died, but, for some reason, some lack of death’s completion — some unfinished business — had rejoined the living.

In this episode of the Drabblecast, with a theme ‘Control,’ Norm speculates on zombies as dependents. In the drabble, we visit the zombie apocolypse. In the feature story, the consciousness of a slain man forms a being out of his remains, and the sea life around the. What is the nature of this entity, what is its place, and ultimately, what is its sinister purpose?

Drabblecast B-Sides 13 – Snuggle the Dead

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 13, Snuggle the Dead, by Arron CambridgeThe doctor, who insists that I cite him as “Dr. Franz,” has a habit of holding his hand over his mouth as he giggles. He wears a white lab coat like a scientist from the movies, but this is an affectation. Everyone at Snuggle Club wears the coats, the same way Walmart ‘partners’ wear blue shirts…

Drabblecast 194 – A Distant Sound of Hammers

Cover for Drabblecast episode 194, A Distant Sound of Hammers, by Broken CyborgThe horn blares and the red light floods down over the Cragmer’s Slaughter House sign and thirty feet below me the gates part wide like a huge and starving mouth. Then pours forth the herd…

Drabblecast 185 – Horror World 2025: Part II

Cover for Drabblecast episode 185, Horrorworld 2025 part 2, by Bo KaierKyle lifted another lightsaber. “Want one? They’re not as random or clumsy as a flamethrower.”
“Sh*t. The geek is strong in this one. Sure, Jedi me.”
Kyle tossed it to her with a grin. Hang on Grandpa. We’re coming…

Norm starts this week’s Drabblecast starts with a bbardle about Phantom Claus, to get us in the Halloween spirit. The two part Horror World 2025 is concluded. We rejoin Ben to see if he is any closer to rescuing his grandfather from bedeviled robo-zombies.

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 116 – It’s All in the Knowing

Cover for Drabblecast 116, It's All in the Knowing, by Bo KaierKelly Lester, a soft-spoken, unassuming young girl, with lovely sparkling green eyes and a smile that seemed fresh-born each time she used it. I fell in love with her the day she started here, and I convinced myself she’d never have anything to do with me the day after.

Of course, I was not all-knowing at the time…

This episode of the Drabblecast begins with a Drabblenews segment on mind-controlled zombie fire ants in Texas. The drabble is yet another end-of-the world story (geez guys, lighten up!) about a man from Omaha, Nebraska toasting to his emanate demise as he’s missing a scheduled IRS audit, …so really, is it that bad? The feature introduces us to a young man who knows everything. Not a smart ass – a man who literally everything. Does he use it for love or profit? And is there such a thing as knowing too much?

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