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PodCastle 564, ARTEMIS RISING: One More Song

Show Notes

Rated: R, for the vengeful justice of seafolk.


One More Song

By Eliza Chan

After Mira closed the door the selkie shed her skin, leaving the mottled grey fur in a heap like stepped-out-of work clothes. Mira handed her one of the many robes hanging on the hat stand and kept her eyes on her blue and green rug, only catching glimpses of the woman’s bruises. There were purple marks the size of fingers on her legs and red, raised lines across her back. Mira blinked rapidly, her hands already clenched into tight fists as she tried to keep her rising anger from bursting its banks.

“How can I help you, Ms. . . . ?” Mira asked.

“Iona, just call me Iona,” the selkie said, knotting the robe tightly at her midriff. She winced visibly and her eyes darted up. Mira moved to her drinks cabinet, deliberately turning her back so the other woman didn’t have to look her in the eye. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 563: El Cantar de la Reina Bruja

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


El Cantar de la Reina Bruja

By Victoria Sandbrook

Mothers, hear me! I am alone but for your graces. My mistakes have bound me. My weaknesses have hobbled me. My pride has torn me from you.


Alejandra pricked her finger on her rough iron chains and whispered lilting iambs until all appearance of fatigue fell from her. When they came for her, she would look herself again.

Well. Not her true self. Not even the self she’d donned a decade ago to snare herself her king. What chaos there would be if her husband’s guards — nay, the entire kingdom! — discovered that the bruja chained in the metal palanquin had been their queen these ten years. “I must hide you from the priests,” Ciro had said, pallid with self-pity over his own deceit. “They would burn you for heresy.” Thus, Alejandra discovered what husband-kings did with unwilling, powerful wives. Now he risked much by dragging her on this yet unblooded campaign. But he had a rival to conquer: a widowed queen he thought to wed. With his wife’s help, of course. (Continue Reading…)

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…)