PodCastle 439: That Seriously Obnoxious Time I Was Stuck at Witch Rimelda’s One Hundredth Birthday Party

by Tina Connolly

read by Gina Freeman

First appeared in TOR.com.

So, reason number 572 why living with a wicked witch sucks? Sometimes it’s a gorgeous summer Saturday, and instead of getting a well-deserved break from Sarmine’s weird witchy chores like dusting the dried newts, you end up as an unpaid babysitter for a party full of little witches.

I set out the plates and forks for the birthday cake while surveying the swimming pool full of witch-kids. From up here they looked like any small children having fun—laughing and splashing and squealing and biting. Except, if you got close enough, you could hear them threatening to turn each other into frogs.

Around me, Witch Sarmine and all her nasty witch friends hovered around the pool like we were the first course at this birthday party. In a way, I suppose we were.

Rated PG.

Picture of Author Tina ConnollyTina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. The newest Seriously novel, Seriously Shifted, releases November first. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her stories have appeared on all Escape Artists podcasts, and are now collected in “On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories” from Fairwood Press. She co-hosts at Escape Pod, narrates stories at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pseudopod, and right here on Podcastle, and you can find her at tinaconnolly.com.

Picture of Narrator Gina FreemanGina Freeman is a writer, comedian and bioethicist based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, local group, Virgo supercluster, observable universe, unobservable universe. She loves science and art, and especially when the two collide. She also loves her work, which allows her to think scientifically while dreaming science fictionally. She writes plays for myriad festivals, contributes to a monthly feminist podcast and radio program, runs a weekly writers room, and writes jokes for a local late-night comedy variety talk show. Find her online at ginafreeman.com.

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PodCastle 438: Defy The Grey Kings

by Jason Fischer

read by Wilson Fowlie

First appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #180.

There are many ways to kill an elephant. When that mountain bears down on you, shaking the earth and screaming for your blood, show no fear.

Only without fear will you see the truth. They are quick, even draped in chain and iron, but you are quicker by a whisker. They fight like devils, but it only takes three people who know what they are doing to bring an elephant down.

They are afraid of you.

All elephants can die.

Rated R, for frequent and bloody violence.

Picture of Author Jason FischerJason Fischer is a writer who lives near Adelaide, South Australia. He has a passion for godawful puns and is known to sing karaoke until the small hours.

He has won an Aurealis Award (for this very story!) and the Writers of the Future Contest, and he has been shortlisted got other awards such as the Ditmars and the Australian Shadows. He is the author of dozens of short stories. His first collection “Everything is a Graveyard” is available from various vendors.

His YA zombie apocalypse novel “Quiver” is now available via http://www.tamsynwebb.com/.

Picture of Narrator Wilson FowlieWilson Fowlie has been reading stories out loud since the age of 4, and credits any talent he has in this area to his parents, who are both excellent at reading aloud. He has been narrating stories for more people than his own family since late 2008 and has narrated for PodCastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, as well as StarShipSofa, Protecting Project Pulp, Crime City Central, Tales To Terrify, Beam Me Up, Cast Macabre, Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine and the Journey Into… podcast. In real life he’s a web developer and also the director of a community show chorus called The Maple Leaf Singers.

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PodCastle Miniature 91: Love Letters on the Nightmare Sea

by Rachael K. Jones

read by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali

First published in Flash Fiction Online.

I thought the tendriled horrors were angels when we woke at sea that disastrous night and saw them falling on the waters. Now, Suneeti, on this abandoned island, they are radiant in the setting sun, their translucence licked gold by dusk.

Click here to continue reading.

Rated PG-13.

Picture of Rachael K. JonesRachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages, an addiction to running, and a couple degrees. Now she writes speculative fiction in Athens, Georgia, where she lives with her husband. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many venues, including Shimmer, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Flash Fiction Online, Fireside Magazine Accessing the Future, Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Crossed Genres, Diabolical Plots, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, The Drabblecast, and  Daily Science Fiction. She is an editor, a SFWA member, and a secret android. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.

Picture of Khaalidah Muhammed-AliKhaalidah Muhammad-Ali  is our Assistant Editor here at PodCastle. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of twenty-five years and three children. By day she works as a breast oncology nurse. At all other times she juggles, none too successfully, writing, reading, gaming and gardening. She has self-published one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman, has published a story at Escape Pod, and has a story in the An Alphabet of Embers anthology. Of her alter ego, K from the planet Vega, it is rumored that she owns a time machine and knows the secret to long youth. You can catch her posts at her website, www.khaalidah.com, and you can follow her on twitter, @khaalidah.

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PodCastle 437: The Cruelest Team Will Win

by Mike Allen

read by Setsu Uzume

First printed in the anthology CORVIDAE, edited by Rhonda Parrish (World Weaver Press, July 2015).

A spider with a leg span wider than my outstretched hand squeezed out from the space behind the light switch, and spread its wings.

I froze, my finger still on the toggle. Behind me the dust-draped ceiling fan hummed to life, the light bulb beneath it flicking on to paint the monster with my shadow.

The marks on its body formed a single staring eye above a screaming mouth. Two more false eyes glared red across its dragonfly wings. Another hideous little soul turned demonic, yearning to grow into something far worse.

Rated PG-13.

Picture of Author Mike AllenMike Allen edits the acclaimed anthology series Clockwork Phoenix and the long-running magazine Mythic Delirium. His books include post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel The Black Fire Concerto, steampunk western The Sky-Riders (co-written with MG novelist Paul Dellinger), career-spanning poetry collection Hungry Constellations, and short fiction collections Unseaming and The Spider Tapestries. His poetry has won the Rhysling Award three times, and his fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia, with his wife Anita and two quirky cats. You can find him online at his website http://descentintolight.com or on Twitter @mythicdelirium.

Picture of Setsu UzumeSetsu Uzume spent her formative years in and out of dojos. She also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. She is a member of Codex and SFWA. While she has dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck. Find her on Twitter @KatanaPen, or her website katanapen.wordpress.com.


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