PodCastle 436: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Elements


“Gaps of Joy, and a Knot for Love” by S. B. Divya.

Read by Nadia Niaz.

Prakash’s wife lay on a mattress as old as their marriage and as sunken as her cheeks. Devi’s hair was gray like the threadbare curtains, her body swollen and sweaty with betrayal, consuming itself in an immunological civil war. The doctor had shrugged in apology and prescribed pain medicine. “Nothing else we can do,” he’d said and left.

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“Green Girl” by Erica Ruppert.

Read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.

Sharp spring came, and with it mud. Cold early rains turned the still-frosty soil to a rich black paste, something that clung to your boots and spoiled the rugs. Clea didn’t care that it did. After the deprivations of winter, a little mud was good for the soul. But she was surprised to find it all over the sheets.

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“Dragon Fancy” by Leigh Wallace.

Read by Kim Rogers.

There are dragons everywhere!

I’ve never been to a dragon fanciers show before. I get my badge and table assignment and push my contestant, in her covered baby carriage, down the center aisle. I try to see everything at once. Did you know pygmy squiggles, with their curly fringe, come in hot pink? Me neither! And I’ve never seen a wyrmicorn before. There’s one with a glowing horn! I love dragons. I love every kind of dragon.

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“The Seventh Year” by Alexandra Balasa.

Read by Graeme Dunlop.

I long to be free, I long to live large,

I make my coin raiding boat and barge,

Take what I want, do as I please,

I fear no Keeper of the Seas!

 So say the men who foolishly rove

Into the depths of Casiphea’s Cove

 – From ‘Seafarer’s Blight,’ a pirate’s song of unknown origin

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Rated PG-13, for some language.

About the Authors

Alexandra Balasa

Alexandra Balasa is an author.

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Leigh Wallace

Leigh Wallace is an Ottawa writer, artist and narrator who works for the Canadian federal government. Her fiction is available in Tesseracts 19, PodCastle and Urban Fantasist. Her art can be found at Tea Princess Chronicles and in the Sunvault anthology, and she’s narrated previously for Glittership. She is a graduate of the 2013 Viable Paradise workshop.

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Erica Ruppert

Erica Ruppert writes speculative fiction and poetry from her home in northern New Jersey. Her work has appeared in Nonbinary ReviewAnotherRealmWeirdbook, and PodCastle, among others. She is, very slowly, working on her first novel.

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S.B. Divya

S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. Her novella ‘Runtime,’ is a Nebula Award finalist, and her short stories have been published at various magazines including Apex, Uncanny, and Tor.com. She co-edits Escape Pod with Mur Lafferty. Find her on Twitter @divyastweets or at www.eff-words.com.

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About the Narrators

Kim Rogers

Kim Rogers is an EMC actress who can be found at Music Theatre International where she has the pleasure of assisting theatres with all of their licensing needs. She has recently workshopped musicals at Lincoln Center and for the BMI Workshop. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn and can be heard at the top of every episode of the Kaleidocast, available on iTunes and SoundCloud.

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Nadia Niaz

Nadia Niaz is a writer, academic, creative writing teacher, language nerd and editor who is mostly from Melbourne but still a little bit from lots of other places. When she’s not working with words, she’s usually dancing.

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Graeme Dunlop

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Graeme Dunlop is a Software Solution Architect. Despite his somewhat mixed accent, he was born in Australia. He loves the spoken word and believes it has the ability to lift the printed word above and beyond cold words on a page. He and Barry J. Northern founded Cast of Wonders in 2011 and can be found narrating or hosting the occasional episode, or working on projects behind the scenes. He is co-editor and co-host of PodCastle and has read stories for all of Escape Artists podcasts.

Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Amanda, and crazy boy dog, Jake.

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Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and three children. By day she works as a breast oncology nurse. At all other times she juggles, none too successfully, writing, reading, gaming, and gardening. She has written one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman available on Amazon. She has also been published in or has stories upcoming in Escape Pod, Diabolical Plots, and FIYAH. Khaalidah also co-edits podcastle.org where she is on a mission to encourage more women to submit fantasy stories. Of her alter ego, K from the planet Vega, it is rumored that she owns a time machine and knows the secret to long youth. She can be found online at http://khaalidah.com and on Twitter at @khaalidah.

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