Archive for Podcasts

PC039: Honest Man

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains some bleakness — but mostly fun and games (well, con games).


Honest Man

by Naomi Kritzer

“Excuse me…” The man from the front of the restaurant was talking to the waitress, his face obviously distressed. “I am so, so sorry, ma’am, but I just realized that I left my wallet back at my room. I’m going to have to go get it before I can pay, but I don’t want you to think I’m running out on my bill. I can leave my instrument here as security…” He had a violin case, Iris saw; he opened it up to show the waitress the violin inside. “This is a good violin. I paid fifty dollars for it, a few years back, but I think it’s worth more.”

The waitress glanced at it and grunted. “It looks like it’s worth more than your meal, anyway. Go ahead and get your wallet.”

“I’ll be right back,” he promised, and went back out into the rain.

Iris was finishing her sandwich when she heard Leo say, “Can I take a look at that?”

“What, the violin?” The waitress shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”

Leo opened the case and took out the instrument, turning it over in his hands and holding it up to the light. She heard him let out a long, appreciative breath, and looked up to see him swallow hard. For a moment, his eyes darted around the room, like a man with a poker hand that he knows will win the night. Then he looked back up at Iris, and at the waitress. “My God,” he said. “This is a Stradivarius.”

PC038: In the House of the Seven Librarians

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains a childhood made strange by books.


In the House of the Seven Librarians

by Ellen Klages

Once upon a time the Carnegie library sat on a wooded bluff on the east side of town.

PodCastle Miniature 25: Through the Cooking Glass

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains the wafting smell of gingerbread.

Happy holidays!


Through the Cooking Glass

by Vylar Kaftan

The smell of gingerbread wafted through the small kitchen, across the pictures of her grandkids and the newly-hung pine wreath. Mrs. Wallace tried to remember if she’d added anything different to the dough. Butter, flour, molasses–the usual. With curiosity, she peered through the window again. The gingerbread man had woken the girl cookie next to him. “Oh, how sweet,” Mrs. Wallace said out loud. “They’re playing Garden of Eden.” It was easy to imagine the soft cookies as innocent lovers. She watched as the cookies kissed. Then the boy cookie stood behind the girl cookie in an extremely non-Baptist manner. “Oh, my!” exclaimed Mrs. Wallace. She blushed and went to tidy up the sink.

When she returned, the rest of the gingerbread people had woken. They were hunting a gingerbread mammoth across the cookie sheet. Some of them had primitive buttons at their waists. Their flesh had firmed into a pale golden brown. “Oh!” exclaimed Mrs. Wallace, delighted by the sight.

A glance at the clock reminded her that Call to Prayer would come on the television shortly. She switched it on, but continued to watch the gingerbread people. They were wonderful entertainment. They had just started to build shelters, which pleased Mrs. Wallace because they took their private relations indoors. She was quite glad she’d made both boy and girl cookies. She didn’t like the idea of a cookie Sodom.

PC037: Gordon, the Self-Made Cat

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains talking animals and peanut butter.


Gordon, the Self-Made Cat

by Peter Beagle

One evening, when Gordon was only a few weeks old, his next-to-eldest sister was sent out to see if anything interesting had been left open in the pantry. She never returned. Gordon’s father shrugged sadly and spread his front paws, and said, “The cat.”

“What’s a cat?” Gordon asked.

His mother and father looked at one another and sighed. “They have to know sometime,” his father said. “Better he learns it at home than on the streets.”

His mother sniffled a little and said, “But he’s so young,” and his father answered, “Cats don’t care.” So they told Gordon about cats right then, expecting him to start crying and saying that there weren’t any such things. It’s a hard idea to get used to. But Gordon only asked, “Why do cats eat mice?”

“I guess we taste very good,” his father said.

Gordon said, “But cats don’t have to eat mice. They get plenty of other food that probably tastes as good. Why should anybody eat anybody if he doesn’t have to?”