PC050: Komodo

by Tim Pratt.
Read by Cat Rambo.

I hadn’t cultivated a new lover in many months — the last one had fulfilled all my wishes and, as he’d requested, was now living happily at the bottom of a local river, slowly decaying into the bottom-mud and learning the languages of fish and pollution. In another hundred years or so, if the river didn’t dry up entirely, he might become a minor river god. Kasan had appeared just in time. I had certain things to accomplish over the course of the next month, and the energy that came with a new lover could serve well to fuel those endeavors.

“Want to come upstairs for a while, Kasan?” I asked. I’m beautiful. I’m desirable. I know how to sense when a potential partner is interested. I can say these things with no particular pride, because such powers require relatively small magics to achieve. People seldom say no to me. I never compel anyone to make love to me — such mental domination is possible, but it’s also essentially rape, and cannot be condoned. I entice my lovers with beauty, and bring them back again and again by giving them the best sex they’ve ever had. There’s no magic to that, just years of experience and sensitivity to the needs of my lovers. I am good at what I do. Sex is my vocation and my devotion.

Rated R. Contains sexy sorceresses (explicit).

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13 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Jennifer said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

    This turned out to be a pretty interesting tale. I liked it. I liked the twists of it and how her power also worked to help her lovers make transformations. And how maybe she’ll transform this time as well.

  2. 2

    scatterbrain said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

    Pratt excells yet again; how he writes so fluidlly, so naturally with curves and edges and conflicts, is something I envy deeply.

  3. 3

    phignewton said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 10:38 pm

    …having access to health care is one of the basic things that make us human, the best the animal world can rely on when they get sick issa helpfull carnivore willing to chase you down in your weakened state and eat you. One hopes the female protaganist in this story will learn her lesson and perhaps develope a more substancial support structure.. spending ones existance preying on trans-humans and fending off attackers is no way to live.

  4. 4

    carrie said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    I really liked this one. I liked the hint of an entire, diverse world of magic, magicians, and desired results of magic, living within our usual world. The building inspector was a good way to allude to that.

    I also liked the main character. Her characterization was so good that I managed not to shudder when she said “lover,” over and over.

  5. 5

    Bingorage said,

    May 5, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

    Intriguing character and story. The visual imagery of the nest building filled with real dolls is particularly striking. She ends this saga with her integrity intact, but she is still young. A few more decades and there could be abandoned pizza delivery cars piled up in front of her door.

  6. 6

    Travis said,

    May 6, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

    Great story! It was so refreshing to have the main character be a symbiote rather then a complete parasite. I am so used to the latter that I kept expecting the protagonist to be a magic-vampire, remorselessly feeding off her victims like so much fodder, and kept being pleasantly surprised by her having a conscience. I got the impression that the character of Kasan was supposed to be naive and ignorant but Cat Rambo’s reading portayed him as more of a spoiled brat. Of course, that may have been entirely intentional, but I found it hard to believe the main character (whose name I am not using because I don’t know how to spell it) would have been able to tollerate someone so obnoxious, for however long it would take to teach him to be human, just because he was “cute.” Otherwise, the reading was wonderful as well.

  7. 7

    Erica said,

    May 10, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    I agree with much of what Travis said. I, too, found myself surprised by her benevolence. Because of the way Kasan was read, I had a hard time believing that this was a character the sorceress would be willing to commit to as much as she seems to by the end. I enjoyed the story, though — I’m pretty new to PodCastle, and it was nice to hear something that had a fairly intricate plot and yet was easy to follow.

  8. 8

    Katy said,

    May 11, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

    I really enjoyed this; like Carrie, I enjoyed the integration of magic and mundane. The only thing was, I found it hard to fully believe that the protagonist, as such a powerful magician, did not even have the faintest idea of the true identity of Kasan… But a small gripe.

  9. 9

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    I think it’s not so much that she tolerated him, as that she saw him as a penance for her earlier shortsightedness. Sometimes, to better ourselves, we have to subject ourselves to people whom we would otherwise avoid. If we spend our lives hiding or dodging from situations or relationships that push or pull against us, how are we ever to grow?

  10. 10

    PodCastle knocks two out of the park in rapid succession. « i can bend minds with my spoon said,

    May 22, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

    […] first is Komodo, an urban fantasy bit about a benevolent sorceress and an unexpected twist of […]

  11. 11

    RajeshGoli.com » Fiction and me said,

    May 23, 2009 @ 3:37 am

    […] with racism of a very different sort etc. On the fantasy side stories such as Dragon Hunt and Komodo were very entertaining. Do give them a try sometime. Categories: Reason Tags: fiction, podcast […]

  12. 12

    Meandering Starre » An improving 4 mile run said,

    June 13, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

    […] ~70% Nutrition: 1 Gu pack before, half a bottle of Gatorade after, water during Entertainment: PodCastle 50: Komodo (enjoyed it, nice distraction) & […]

  13. 13

    Gwen said,

    August 17, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

    A lot of times, I don’t like sex scenes in fantasy or sci-fi because they’re usually so poorly written. This story, however, felt well-integrated, and was thoroughly enjoyable.

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