Archive for August, 2009

PC Miniature 37: Hall of Mirrors

By Bruce Holland Rogers.
Read by Barry Deutsch.

One afternoon during his lunch hour, Emory wasn’t feeling particularly hungry. It was the monthly free-admission day at the art museum, so instead of getting a sandwich he went in to look at paintings. “This one,” he said to himself, “makes me think of flying, except that the blue is not right for the sky. It is more of a painting about sorrow, I think. Of flying through sorrow.”

Emory was in the habit of mumbling his thoughts aloud, but usually he was so quiet, his words so indistinct, that no one knew what he was saying. This time, however, a woman who stood near him said, “Interesting. Then what do you make of the companion piece?”

He looked at her as she stood waiting, an earnest expression on her face. He nearly apologized, nearly told her that he knew nothing about art. But then he glanced at the second painting and the words were out of his mouth, clearly and distinctly this time. “All that whiteness makes me think of hospitals. The jagged line there, the bucket that is tipped over but isn’t spilling a drop — it must be the psychiatric ward of the hospital. The yellow corners, the dead flies make sure that I know not to take comfort in the whiteness. Fear of insanity. That’s what I see.”

Rated PG. for reflected nihilism.

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PC067: Kissing Frogs

by Jaye Lawrence.
Read by Phoebe Harris.

We met near a pond, of course.

“I loved your ad,” I said after we’d finished our introductions. Sharon, meet Jerry. Frog, meet human. ”But I have to admit I wasn’t expecting an actual amphibian.

Rated PG. for narratives that play with the Grimm.

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EA Metacast, Aug 2009

A few announcements. The full text is on the forum. Please visit that link to comment, as well. Thanks!

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PC066: One Paper Airplane Graffito Love Note

By Will McIntosh.
Read by Christopher Reynaga.

A paper airplane drifted high in the sky above the field. I nearly crashed my bicycle, straining to follow its path as it circled above the treetops at the far edge. It held the wind beautifully. Pausing, it hovered over the field just as a sea bird holds its position above crashing waves.

I slowed to a stop, feeling for the ground with one foot, afraid to take my eye off the craft lest I lose it in the clouds. Neck craned, eyes to the sky, I let the bicycle drop. I tracked the paper’s elegant flight, running this way and that like a boy as it slowly, slowly lost altitude.

As it made its final pass, it gained speed, careening across the field. I loped after it as it tumbled end-over-end and lay still.

I plucked it from the grass.

It was folded in a distinct design–squat and wide, with a hinged belly. It was covered in writing.

Rated PG. for surrealism appearing through several fractured narratives.

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PodCastle Bonus Material: Fantasy Magazine Micro-Fiction Winners

By Kelly Stiles, Caren Gussoff, and Lane Bowen.
Read by Marguerite Croft.
Presented in partnership with Fantasy Magazine.

PodCastle is proud to present these three excellent micro-fiction stories in conjunction with Fantasy Magazine. These stories won their recent contest for ten sentence fiction. You can read text versions of them, along with the other seven finalists, at Fantasy Magazine.

We hope PodCastle listeners will enjoy these stories and consider heading over to Fantasy Magazine for more excellent fiction!

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PC065: Foam on the Water

By Cat Rambo.
Read by C. G. Furst.

“What’s that?” Ivory said.

We stared down through the darkness. There was no one else around; it was off-season and our waiter had deserted us before the sun had set.

Trevor stood, glancing at me. “I’m going to check it out.”

“Could be a crocodile. You never know what you’ll find in Thailand.” Ivory didn’t move but her voice was unalarmed. “Feel free, boys. I’ll be right here.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” He grinned at her, flashing perfect white teeth.

“Left behind in an LA hotel room,” she said.

So Trevor and I went together with cautious steps. There was a steep grade to the side of the river, and thorny vines tore at us as we half-fell down it before encountering the sticky grasp of red clay mud threatening to pull our Tevas off.

She lay naked on the riverbank like a fallen swan. Her bare flesh white as snow, her hair midnight black. Her feet were thin and fragile as newly pedicured mourning doves, not a smudge or callus except for the mud that covered her.

Rated R. Contains non-vanilla adult sex.

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PC064: Castor On Troubled Waters

By Rhys Hughes.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

“You won’t believe what has just happened to me!”

“Tell us,” they replied.

“Very well,” he said slowly, “but I need a drink to settle my nerves first. You don’t mind if I take a sip of your beer? That’s better. And yours as well? Sure, a massive gulp isn’t the same as a sip, but listen carefully: I was kidnapped! I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s true nonetheless. Shortly after I left you, while walking along the esplanade, I noticed a strange vessel anchored offshore, an old fashioned galleon. Then a boat was lowered from it and began rowing closer and I soon realised there was something unusual about it.”

“How unusual?” asked Paddy.

Castor lowered his voice to a whisper. “It was crewed by men dressed like pirates…”

Rated PG. Contains blasted lies, and more blasted pirates.

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