PodCastle 583: The Resurrectionist

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for waking the dead and disturbing their dreams.


The Resurrectionist

by J.P. Sullivan

“Yes, I can bring your wife back from the dead,” I told the farmer, who had reasonable doubts about my abilities. “Just realize that it might not be what she wants.”

“She wants to see her children again,” he said. He’d told me his name, but I’d forgotten it.  Honestly, it’s better that way. He had a smith’s build, muscle on muscle, more beard than chin. I could tell at a glance he’d never had a crooked thought in his life. People like that are awfully hard to negotiate with. Thankfully, I have flat rates.

“She signed the consent form?” The local chapel smelled like soot and incense. They hadn’t cremated her. That triples the fee and gives me a dreadful headache besides.

“I know I’m asking for a miracle,” the farmer said. “You can really do it for ten crowns sovereign?”

It’s not a miracle, I might have said. It’s a clever utilization of certain natural laws, an inversion of a subtle current and a trick played on God. Miracles assume His blessing, this process having none of it. But you start throwing around a word like ‘resurrection,’ and people get all kinds of ideas. “Did you bring the form, or not?”

He produced it. And there it was, in hill-country chicken scratch, her name on the appropriate lines. There’s a correct way of doing everything. Why should reanimation be any different?

I said the words, laid the hooks and lines and rock salt circles. Not all of that’s important, but the ceremony is part of the service. Like a funeral, it’s for the living.

The church was empty of clergy. They couldn’t have run off too long ago; one of the fires was still lit. Every rider on the hill looked like a foreign raid, with the war on. For all I knew, they hid from me.

“I don’t like this,” said the farmer.

“Don’t worry,” I said, hands at the dead woman’s brow. “I don’t like it either.”

Then I was in the elsewhere. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 582: Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic

Show Notes

Rated: PG-13, for harsh memories not one’s own.


Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic

by José Pablo Iriarte

Cleaning up graffiti was an everyday job for Sergio, pero esto . . . Could you even call this graffiti? Graffiti normally was spray-painted. Wait — that wasn’t true. Indoor graffiti typically was done in permanent marker. Or gouged into wooden surfaces with pocket knives or keys, so the only way to remove some gang symbol or racist slur or throbbing penis was by sanding it down.

Come to think of it, if anybody was an expert, he was.

And he’d never heard of mosaic graffiti.

But there it was, on the side of the Westchester Building. Marbles, reading glasses, fichas de Monopolio, a key, all cemented onto the crumbling old plaster, maybe eight feet across. Only when he took a step back could he see it formed the shape of a woman and her two kids, carrying suitcases away from a house while a grim police officer stood by with his arms crossed. Probably not the image the tenant behind that wall — AAAfordable Lending, Inc. — would want to be associated with. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 581: Fathoms Deep and Fathoms Cold

Show Notes

Rated R, for lustful magic.

Note: Merc recently changed their name, so while the podcast lists an old name, they are now going by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, the name credited on the website.


Fathoms Deep and Fathoms Cold

By Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

Tage lights a cigarette and watches the man in the scarlet fedora come nearer. Hat like that’s hard to miss. This one’s his contact. His heartbeat gets quick. The docks are loud, briny, thick with bodies. Storms scrape the horizon, kick up sharp winds. He can’t show desperation. It’ll get him killed or left stranded. Same difference.

“Afternoon.” The man tips his hat. Long black duster hangs about a too-thin frame, but he don’t look weak. Dual revolvers rest on his hips. “I hear tell you’re looking for passage.”

Tage grunts, shifts his weight for better balance. He didn’t expect another wizard. The twisty, rusted aura ‘round the man is too fucked to be purely one Clan. It puts his guard up, fast. “Depends whereto.”

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 580: I Am Not I — Part 2

Show Notes

Rated: R, for human parts sundered and sold.


I Am Not I

by G. V. Anderson

[Note: This is part 2 of a two-part novelette. Please visit last week’s post to read part 1.]

“You don’t look well, Miss Strohm-Waxxog.”

I shook the bees from my jacket; they’d got cosy in my pockets and inside the lining. “I’m quite well, I assure you,” I said. I didn’t feel well. The walls and furniture around me seemed to move although I stood still, and small noises crashed in my ears.

The honey man had come to fetch Madame hunting, as promised. The days were turning colder, the sun hardly breaking through the early-morning mist. “The perfect conditions. They’ll be sluggish,” said the honey man.

But faced with the sobering light of day and the reality of chasing down real, living Saps, Madame refused. The honey man insisted on a partner, so I found myself stepping out into Tanners Row in her place, keeping pace with the only Varian who’d ever made me feel truly uneasy. At least he wore his veil so I didn’t have to look at his awful face. (Continue Reading…)