PodCastle Miniature 015: The Voices of Snakes

By Karina Sumner-Smith
Read by Rachel Swirsky

At last the viper stirred, woken by his brethrens’ twisting and whispering. Rising, he said slowly, softly, “Yes, beautiful. Let us see the sun.”

He was the oldest, the largest and the cruelest, and from the very first day the mere sound of his voice had made her feel cold. Once he had tormented her, taunted her with words far crueler than the grass snake could ever utter; her ears and the line of her jaw, the curves of her shrunken breasts, still bore the scarred marks of his teeth and the memory of his venom.

She had endured decades of his abuse — decades thinking that she deserved such treatment — and then fought back in the bloody decades that followed. He was immune from her great weapon, but she’d found he had no escape from her temper, her teeth or her claws. They had a truce now, their enmity tempered by centuries together. Beautiful, he still called her, and she allowed him the entertainment of this tired mockery.

Rated PG. Contains serpents and Greek mythology.

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8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Amaster said,

    October 13, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

    Interesting story, I don’t know where the Greek mythology comes into play, but it was good, anyhow.

  2. 2

    David Barr Kirtley : Blog : Free Fiction from Alpha Workshop Writers said,

    October 14, 2008 @ 1:39 am

    […] story “The Voices of the Snakes” is now available as a free audio program over at Podcastle. The story, told from the point of view of Medusa as she converses with her head of snakes, is […]

  3. 3

    A. Prins said,

    October 14, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    The incorporation of Medusa caught me off-guard–in a good way! Very imaginative to show her as conversing with her own serpentine curses. An excellent addition to the PodCastle archives.

  4. 4

    scatterbrain said,

    October 15, 2008 @ 5:35 pm

    Meh. What the hell was the point of that? Hmph!

  5. 5

    PK said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 5:13 pm


  6. 6

    Divya said,

    October 26, 2008 @ 7:07 am

    Interesting take on Medusa. Makes you think – the people you consider monsters probably have their own burdens to bear. Perhaps the ones we consider heroes are so, because others let them be so.

  7. 7

    Mari Mitchell said,

    October 31, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

    Although the language was descriptive and graceful, I found the story to not have any sort of real impact on me.

  8. 8

    Rajesh said,

    June 4, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

    Why doesn’t itunes show up entries older than episode 18? Something wrong with the RSS?

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