Rated R for language.
The Rugged Track
by Liz Argall
Once upon a time there was a plucky young woman called Princess Bite. She loved to roller-skate, and Roller Derby was her community.
Her mother, Lady Push Comes to Shove, had felt her daughter jamming from inside the womb.
“I had to keep the sounds of whistles away from you,” Lady Shove would say as she helped Princess Bite into her aqua and purple quads. “The slightest peep and you were off, bouncing around my insides like the joyous devil you are. The only way I could get you to be quiet was to zoom around the track.”
Princess Bite learned to skate as she learned how to walk. Lady Push Comes to Shove and Princess Bite would hurtle around the track so fast it felt like flying. Princess Bite and Lady Shove skated together every day until Lady Shove’s illness made it too difficult and painful.
Princess Bite loved everything about Roller Derby. She even loved cleaning up after a game, sweeping the floor with a broom twice her size, coiling cables and emptying endless garbage cans. Princess Bite loved the spectacle, the makeup, the glitter and ferocity. She loved crashing into people and trying to keep her feet when they crashed into her. She loved watching the teams train and playing with the other kids of roller mums.
About the Author
Liz Argall often writes speculative fiction and interstitial work that explore spaces between genres. She is especially fond of gritty urban fantasy, thought provoking science fiction and fantastical literary fiction.
About the Narrator
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.