Archive for Miniatures

PodCastle Miniature 90: How to Survive in Room 105

by T. Jane Berry

read by Jen R. Albert

This is a PodCastle Original!

Principal Freezarro announced that you’re substitute teaching in my kindergarten class for the next few weeks. I’m so excited! I’ve seen your work with the Vindicators, and just to let you know, I think it’s ridiculous that you were sentenced to six months of community service over the bridge incident. Who expects you to save the city from an army of wood chipper-earthworm hybrids and not take out a few historic landmarks? As we say in room 105, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” And please, please don’t let them get upset.

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Rated G.

T. Jane Berry has held various jobs, including IT manager, political blogger, bakery owner, and a disastrous two weeks as line worker in a razor blade factory. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror from the outskirts of Seattle with considerably fewer on-the-job injuries. Her fiction has appeared in Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix. You can find her on Twitter @tjaneberry.

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PodCastle Miniature 89: Lapis Lazuli

by Tania Fordwalker

read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

This story originally appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

In Sesara, only the rich wear bright colours. My knight shines in the armour I buff for him nightly, glossy as a jewel. My clothes and skin are the colours of the earth. We stand together with two days of desert at our backs and a forest of black thorns before us. My heart is a bird in my chest.

Rated PG-13.

Tania Fordwalker is artist and writer hailing from Tasmania, the gothic little island beneath Australia. A former Disney animator, she now works as a freelance illustrator (portfolio at www.taniawalker.com) and studies Creative Writing Honours at the University of Tasmania. She lives to tell stories, swinging between pencil and keyboard to make it happen.

Prior publications include the short story “Lapis Lazuli” in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (writing as T L Fordwalker); contributing art to Anything That Loves and the Goblin Quest RPG rulebook; and cover art for fantasy anthology Defying Doomsday and The Mocklore Chronicles series by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Look for Tania’s tabletop card game Dracula’s Feast on Kickstarter in late 2016.

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali  is our Assistant Editor here at PodCastle. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of twenty-five years 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 self-published one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman, has published a story at Escape Pod, and has a story in the An Alphabet of Embers anthology. 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. You can catch her posts at her website, www.khaalidah.com, and you can follow her on twitter, @khaalidah.

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PodCastle Miniature 88: Communion

by Jei D. Marcade 

read by Jen R. Albert and Graeme Dunlop

A PodCastle original!

Leaving broken trails of damp across her skin, the mice climb the dark matted ropes of her hair, their fur the same magnolia white as the spell-struck thread that stitches shut her lips. They gnaw at the creepers binding her wrists and ankles and throat, nuzzle into the hollow of her collarbone, and chirp to her in the gloaming:

they will come again
when the brightsky breaks
to hew your limbs
to mine your bones for silver

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Rated R.

Jei D. Marcade is a Korean-American speculative fiction writer, SFWA member, and graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Ey is currently installed in the American Rust Belt with a hydrobot and a hedgehog, making monsters and poking ghosts.

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PodCastle Miniature 87: All Things to All People

by D. K. Thompson

read by Jason K. Jones

First appeared in Apex Magazine. Read it here!

I wake up in someone else’s house every morning, and lay my head somewhere else every night. The tattoos are my only constant company, covering almost all my skin. I’d stretch the free space of my flesh out if I could, but I don’t make or choose the pictures—and I can’t control the size. I’m running out of skin, and I know what that means. When it’s all inked, I’ll be out of time.

The angel here, on the inside of my wrist, that was the first one. A cartoon character—the tips of his wings sharp as knives. That’s as far back as I can remember: waking up on the side of the road with the taste of dirt in my mouth and the smell of gasoline on my hands. The asphalt and the sun had burned my face from opposing sides, like I’d been twice-grilled. Gravel bounced around me as semi-trucks roared by. I flexed my hands—my knuckles were bloody and cracked. I’d been in a fight, but despite the pain, I grinned because I was pretty sure I’d won.

Then I saw the dead man in the ditch.

D.K. Thompson (also known as the Easter Werewolf) has written stories featured or forthcoming at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, Bull Spec, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod, and has lost NaNoWriMo twice. Once upon a time, he edited and hosted PodCastle with Anna Schwind. His collection of stories And Welcome Back will be out in 2016. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three children. Learn more about him on his website, or follow him on Twitter @krylyr.

Jason K. Jones is a disembodied voice that occasionally cohabitates with a body of the same name.  They live together in Athens, Georgia, with one Jason’s wife and the other’s Weighted Companion Cube.  Most days they believe they are the same Jason.

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