PodCastle 420: The Bee Tamer’s Final Performance

by Aidan Doyle

read by Amanda Fitzwater

A PodCastle original!

After my attempt to escape the circus fleet fails, the clowns imprison me in the hold of the asylum ship, along with the other performers who believe they aren’t real.

My legs are shackled and I sit next to a slug juggler and a fortune caller. The slug juggler’s hands move in an unceasing blur as he keeps half a dozen painted sea slugs spinning in a swirl of impossible reds and midnight sea blues.

The fortune caller looks at me with her mist-filled crystal ball eyes. “When you are ready, I will call your fortune.”

Before I have a chance to reply, I hear the low hum of bees. Black boots appear on the ladder leading to the deck.

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Rated PG-13.

Aidan Doyle is an Australian writer and computer programmer. He has visited more than 90 countries and his experiences include teaching English in Japan, interviewing ninjas in Bolivia, and going ten-pin bowling in North Korea. His stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and Fireside.

Amanda (AJ) Fitzwater is a dragon zipped precariously into a human meat suit from Christchurch, New Zealand. A graduate of Clarion 2014, her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres Magazines, and other venues of repute. She won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2015 for Best New Talent. She has performed spells and incantations across all the Escape Artists podcasts.