Author Archive

PodCastle 562: Cooking Creole

Show Notes

Rated R.

Cooking Creole

by A. M. Dellamonica

At seventeen, it was music. Guitar.

Then, at twenty-four: speechmaking. Rabble-rousing, his mother had called it. Binding a group of listeners — big, small, middling — with his voice. Inspiring the local grocery clerk to dump her useless husband. Selling roses in boxes on lonely street-corners. Swaying a strike vote at a fish packing plant on the East Coast.

Stupid, dangerous skill. What had he been thinking? (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 561: Baby Teeth

Show Notes

Rated R.

Baby Teeth

By Lina Rather

Laura watched from the window while Mama took the salt packets they’d pocketed from a Speedway and sprinkled a circle around the house to hide them from the monster. She tore the top of each one off with her teeth and spread it as far as she could, then dropped the white paper scraps on the ground. Laura had stuffed her pockets with packets, so she knew Mama had enough to walk around the whole perimeter of the property. Not that it was much—the next mobile home sat just ten yards away.

When she came back inside, she swept her hands together to brush off the salt and sat next to Laura at the table. “Okay, honey, show me again.”

Laura opened her mouth. She’d been probing the sore spots (one in front, on the bottom, and one on the top right) and now her mouth tasted tinny. Mama touched her swollen gums.

“These just fell out today?” (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 560: Suddenwall

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


By Sara Saab

In the amnesty-city of Vannat, Aln Panette has let guilt go.

The city of Vannat is a strict and inscrutable rulemaster, so Panette doesn’t question the rules. She lives a plain, clean life. Keeps her recollections as free of the war as she can.

Panette figures she has earned an indulgence or two for her decade as a soldier. Memories of Odarr Harvei are one indulgence. Harvei’s smile of fifteen years ago flashing in the light of the war caravan’s lanterns, her easy company, their mild one-upmanship. The unbroken sky above them.

Other small indulgences Panette allows herself:

Leading the stallions at Vannat’s racecourse stables through their daily exercises.

A now-and-then treat of salted fish in tart molasses that reminds her painfully of Camillon, her home.

And in this city of unremarkable languages passed naturally from parent to child, not a drop of magic in the syllables, not the barest trace of rebellion or fury, Panette indulges in the knowledge that — at least in Vannat — the killing has stopped. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 559: Dying Lessons

Dying Lessons

By Troy L. Wiggins

I learned how to bend light from my mother. Nights after I came home from math and Spanish tutoring were spent in our backyard, deep in the trees where no one would catch me learning the basics of refraction, drilling the slight movements that would keep me from moving too much air, or creating too large a shadow and revealing myself.

“This is a last line of defense,” she would say, telling me over and over again like I wasn’t listening, which I usually wasn’t because I’d rather be in the house playing Final Fantasy or something. Mama didn’t care and would talk right through my distraction. “The number one thing to do in any situation is figure out a way to calm things down before you have to blink out.” (Continue Reading…)