Archive for January, 2010

PodCastle Minature 46: Debris

Show Notes

Rated R: For Skulls, Sweet and Otherwise, and Days of the Dead


by Kiini Ibura Salaam

It is legend how my mother kept my grandmother’s eye sockets clean with the pure white feather of a cockatoo. She often sent me to the forests to pick marigolds to stack high around Grandmother’s skull. Grandmother loved the smell of the marigolds. She told me so every time I entered the house with an armful of fragrant weeds.

After my grandmother’s head had been sitting in the altar room for a month, my mother realized my grandmother was dying, not because of her missing body, but because she was bored. Mother brought Grandmother into the living room and positioned her right in front of the window. There Grandmother sat happily for a week until Dad caught her promising her skull to an epileptic candy vendor.

PodCastle 88: Another End of the Empire

Show Notes

Rated PG for superseded oracles, despots past their expiration dates and probability witches.

Another End of the Empire

by Tim Pratt

“I am here,” Mogrash said. “Give me the bad news.”

“A child dwells in the village of Misery Chin, in the mountain
provinces to the east. If allowed to grow to manhood, he will take
over your empire, overthrow your ways and means, and send you from the halls of your palace forever.”

Mogrash relaxed. This was, at least, not an immediate threat‚ not like the pronouncement of metastasized bone cancer she’d given his grandfather. He sighed. “So I’m expected to send my Fell Rangers to the mountains, raze the village, leave no stone upon a stone, enslave the women, and kill all the younglings to stop this dire prophecy from coming to pass.”

“It’s what your father would have done.”

“Yes, but I’m more modern than he was. Besides, we’ve seen this happen a thousand times‚ the attempt to stop the prophecy will make it come to pass, won’t it?”

PodCastle 87: Narrative of a Beast’s Life

Show Notes

Rated PG: Contains the Enslavement of Magical Creatures

Narrative of a Beast’s Life

by Cat Rambo

We were taken to a market in a city. None of us had ever seen such a place before and there were sights and sounds and smells such as I had never witnessed. The buildings were made of clay brick, laid together so snugly that no mortar or cement was necessary. Some buildings were built on top of each other, and stairs meant for no Centaur led up and down the outside.

Here we were sold, each to separate masters. Mine fastened me in a coffle with other beings: a Sphinx of that city that had committed murder, two Djinni, and a snake-headed woman. Oxen drew the cart to which we were shackled, and chained on it was a Dragon, not a large one, but some eight feet in length. A small herd of goats marched behind us in turn, intended for the Dragon’s sustenance.

PodCastle 86: Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains Love, Ghosts, and San Francisco

Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts

by Ben Francisco

Before I can even ring, Uncle Gilberto opens the door and gives me a big hug and a kiss that smells of gin and menthol cigarettes.  His dog, Ganymede, barks and snuggles his head between my legs.  The cat eyes me suspiciously from the next room.  From behind me, someone helps me slip off my jacket.  I look over my shoulder, but nobody’s there.  “Who’s that?” I ask my uncle.

“That’s Daniel,” he says.

“Hey, Daniel,” I say.  “Been a while.”

Gilberto shakes a finger at the air behind me.  “No, you cannot also take his shirt!  I told you to behave.”  Uncle Gil throws both hands into the air.  “Dios mío, what have I done?  Bringing my innocent nephew into a house with twenty-seven horny ghosts. Qué barbaridad. You tell me right away if any of them try anything, me entiendes, James?”