Archive for Miniatures

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

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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PodCastle Miniature 85: So Inflamed, I Have Left

by Anaea Lay

read by Rachael K. Jones

First appeared in Penumbra Magazine in August 2014.

It’s still days and miles away, but I can feel the heat radiating off its coils all the same.  I think, maybe, it’ll be okay when I get there.

Rated PG.

Anaea Lay lives in Seattle, Washington where she sells Real Estate under a different name, writes, cooks, plays board games, takes gratuitous walks, runs the Strange Horizons podcast, and plots to take over the world. Her work has appeared in a variety of places including Lightspeed, Apex, Escape Pod, and Nightmare.

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PodCastle Miniature 84: The Fox Bride

by Mari Ness
Read by Rish Outfield

First appeared in Daily Science Fiction in March of 2015.

He carried the squirming animal to his – no, their, he had to remember that now, their – bedroom, struggling to avoid her sharp teeth. The oversized ring he had given her glimmered on her left front leg; she had spent most of the evening biting and licking at it, when she had not been growling. He had ordered the musicians to play louder, to cover up the noise, but the growls still lingered in his ears.

When he reached the room, he secured her chain to one end of the bed, and sat gingerly at the other end. The waxing moonlight flooded the bed, giving a silver sheen to her red and snowy fur.

“When you are a woman, I can remove the chain,” he told the fox.

The fox barked.

“I swear it,” he said.

A snarl.

Rated PG-13.

Mari Ness has published close to 100 short and flash fiction stories in various publications including Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Apex. Her experimental novella, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, is forthcoming from Papaveria Press. She blogs at Tor.com, where she has, amongst other things, compared Disney animated films to their text sources. She lives in central Florida.

Rish Outfield. Not much can be said about Mr. Outfield that hasn’t been said by the average parent to scare their children into behaving, into going to sleep, or keeping their mouths shut about what they saw take place in the woodshed. You will find him regularly at The Dunesteef podcast, which he produces with Big Anklevich, and you can hear him pretty much everywhere in the genre story pod-o-sphere. And for good reason!

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