PodCastle 045: The Annals of Eelin-Ok

by Jeffrey Ford.
Read by Rajan Khanna.

…there is only one way to truly understand the nature of the Twilmish, and that is to meet one of them. So here, I will relate for you the biography of an individual of their kind. All of what follows will have taken place on the evening of a perfect summer day after you had left the beach, and will occupy the time between tides–from when you had sat down to dinner and five hours later when you laid your head upon the pillow to sleep. There seemed to you to be barely enough time to eat your chicken and potatoes, sneak your carrots to the dog beneath the table, clean up, watch your favorite tv show, draw a picture of a pirate with an eye patch and a parrot upon her shoulder, brush your teeth and kiss your parents goodnight. To understand the Twilmish, though, is to understand that in a mere moment, all can be saved or lost, an ingenious idea can be born, a kingdom can fall, love can grow, and life can discover its meaning.

Rated PG. Contains fae and sandcastles.

  del.icio.us this!

18 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    New Jeffrey Ford story podcast at Podcastle : RajanKhanna.com said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 8:54 am

    […] just found out (from the author no less) that my reading of Jeffrey Ford’s excellent The Annals of Eelin-Ok is up at Podcastle. This was a particularly hard reading for me because I was sick around the time I was reading it and […]

  2. 2

    Pitmonkey said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    Great story and a nice reading. I can’t wait for my son and I to build our next sand castle, though none of mine have ever been as nice as the one presented here.

  3. 3

    Drea said,

    March 25, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

    What a pretty story! I think you saved the best for last in Fairy Month 🙂

  4. 4

    Vance M. said,

    March 26, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

    What an enchanting tale. The reading and the story were perfectly done. You did indeed save the best for last. PodCastle just keeps getting better and better.

  5. 5

    PaulthePotter said,

    March 27, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one (as well as all the other elfisms this month). I liked the classic elf elements, like time distortion and the specialization of elf species and all that. But..
    What I really liked was I could just picture the parent making this story up for his or her kid after a long day at the beach building sand castles. The sweet elements from a child’s life made this elf story very unique.

  6. 6

    MrM said,

    March 27, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

    Wow, I just loved this story.
    The charming description of the short, yet full life of this wonderful creature left me with a huge smile on my face. I listened to all the Podcasle stories until today, and this one was the best (and the only one that made me post a comment 🙂 ). Absolutely enchanting story!

    Keep up the good work! 😀

  7. 7

    Rick said,

    March 27, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

    What a wonderful story, so heartwrenchingly bitter sweet. There are few stories which make me stop and take stock of my own life. This one did just that. I can only hope to live as full an existance as Eelin-Ok had in an afternoon and evening. Simply enchanting.

  8. 8

    Bingorage said,

    March 28, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    “A full and satisfied life.” Perhaps for Eelin-Ok; but by the time this piece had ended, my mind was a stew of rescue fantasies and what-ifs.
    Well done.
    Very engaging.

  9. 9

    Gia said,

    March 28, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    The introduction could have been shorter. The information was good, but it could have been condensed, incorporated into Eelin-ok’s story or omitted all together. I really didn’t need to know that Twilmishes make patches of cold air or that they like blue glass.

    As for the actual story, I loved it. Eelin-ok’s little life was charming. There were some sad parts at the end, but they were still charming and I really felt them.
    As far as the characters go, I liked the little family. There was barely any dialogue, but I still knew exactly why Eelin-ok loved them.
    I wouldn’t mind having that life.

    I think that this might very well be my favorite PodCastle episode.

  10. 10

    scatterbrain said,

    March 29, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

    Although I’ve disliked the rest of elf month, this was a brilliant and wonderfully written story; I particularly enjoyed its fatalistic notions toward the end which made sure the story didn’t go all gooey and happy the way I hate it.

  11. 11

    L33tminion said,

    March 29, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

    I’m sort of surprised that of the four stories so far in “elf month”, only one is about elves (the cheesy satire). Okay, so there were the immigrant nature spirits, some of whom were elf-like, and the shapeshifting mongrel fey were also elf-like in some ways.

    But the creatures in this story are practically anti-elves. If you want to name essential traits of the elf myth, long life is right up there with pointy ears, and the Twilmish live for about five hours. Sure, that’s extended in their perception to a passable lifetime, but the protagonist of this story is well aware of the approach of not just death, but apocalypse. (And the introduction pretty much explicitly states that despite the fantasy setting, Twilmish don’t have any sort of afterlife.) The philosophical issues faced by this story’s protagonist are basically the opposite of those faced by mythical elves.

    Was that intended? Was this story included for the sake of contrast?

    Anyways, I loved this story. Beauty, happiness, love, meaning, and perseverance in the face of inevitable death… consequently a much more human story than any one actually about elves.

    (I do wonder if the introduction could have been dropped or shortened, though, it added nothing to the story itself. Although perhaps some of that context was necessary for the story proper to not be too confusing.)

  12. 12

    Benjamin said,

    March 30, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    Nice story and a good reading, but how was the narrator, in the introduction able to translate Eelin-Oks journal from Twilmish?
    Who spent enough time with a Twilmish to learn their language?
    The rest of the story was believable, but that just ruined if for me.

  13. 13

    Tim said,

    April 1, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    I’ve listened to almost every podcastle (and escape pod) podcast, and this story is definitely in my top three all time. Although I don’t consider myself to be a very emotional guy, I found this story to be very touching and heartfelt. The concept itself was unique and I found the ideas about the progression of time to be almost as engaging as the emotional aspects. The reading (as always with podcastle) was also top notch. Fantastic story all around.

  14. 14

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    April 14, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    Poignant piece. One of PC’s best so far. Thanks!

  15. 15

    Show Not Tell | The Mossy Skull said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    […] Jeffrey Ford. But if you feel so inclined, you might could get a similar effect if you read the two stories side by […]

  16. 16

    Travis said,

    May 6, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

    This was a nice story… although many of the details seemed to not quite add-up. If Eelin-Ok did not understand the language of the giants, as he claimed, then how did he know the name of his castle or that an item he’d found said “root beer?” If he lives in “Twilmish time,” then how can he interact with creatures that live in real time, such as the crabs, rats and birds?
    Still, fantasy requires suspension of disbelief in general, so these questions didn’t keep me from enjoying the story, and listening to it several times. Thanks!

  17. 17

    “The Dreaming Wind” at Podcastle : RajanKhanna.com said,

    May 27, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    […] a podcast of Jeffrey Ford’s “The Dreaming Wind” when I was really supposed to record “The Annals of Eelin-Ok”, which I later recorded and which appeared on Podcastle. Paul Tevis was the official reader for “The Dreaming Wind”, but since it was already recorded, […]

  18. 18

    Short Story Podcast Reviews: October 2012 | Fyrefly's Book Blog said,

    May 3, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

    […] and maybe leaning a little heavily on the descriptive rather than plot, but magical all the same. Listen to it | Read […]

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI


PodCastle is powered by WordPress with theme Greenery

Site design by JustinBrooke Design