Archive for Rated G

PodCastle 243: Tiger in the BSE

Show Notes

Rated G


Tiger in the BSE

by E. Lily Yu

There was once a tiger in Mumbai, a Kshatriya and a ruthless trader of stocks, who lived in a glossy high-rise the color of the sea. His suits of slick poplin and seersucker were confected by two tailors in Milan; his bath was cut from marble as rich as soap, and always drawn warm and fragrant for him at the end of each day; and his suppers, which threw the meat markets into an uproar, were prepared under the hands of some of the finest cooks from Mangalore and Chengdu. He had, in short, the kind of life that any well-bred tiger could hope to have. But he lacked one thing, and it made him pace between the red walls of his living room and bite the pads of his paws.

He went to the house of an old friend, where he and his trading tips were always welcome, and said, “Brother, I have no mother or father to help me in this matter, and no family except my friends. For the sake of the tricks we played in school, for the beatings I took for you, will you help me find a bride?”

PodCastle 212: Squonk and the Lake Monster

Show Notes

Rated G


Squonk and the Lake Monster

by P.M. Butler

Sometimes, you don’t realize how bad a bad idea _really_ is until your best friend is suddenly plummeting head over ringtail to his certain death.

Squonk and Slowfingers had been playing catch–well, _trying_ to play catch. You see, Squonk was a dragon, and his best friend Slowfingers was a raccoon. They were both apprentices to a wizard named Wendel. They liked hanging around each other, but there wasn’t a lot they could _do_ together. Unlike most of Squonk’s other friends, Slowfingers didn’t have wings; and unlike Slowfingers’ other friends, Squonk had to be very careful to not step on him.

But according to Wendel, being a wizard didn’t mean you ran away and hid from problems; it meant grabbing your problems and showing those problems who’s boss. So Squonk had come up with the idea of playing a nice game of catch.

It worked like this: Slowfingers would pick an acorn, and throw it as hard as he could–from the top of a tall tree, since his throws needed the head start. Squonk would try to watch the teeny tiny acorn as it bounced off leaves and branches and stick out his paw where he thought it would land. After inspecting his paw carefully to confirm he’d missed, Squonk would set another acorn in his paw and use a talon on his other paw to flick it at Slowfingers. If he was lucky, he’d get it somewhere near the tree Slowfingers was in, and Slowfingers could watch it go by.

This was every bit as frustrating and not-fun as it sounds.

PodCastle Miniature 62: The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Ortega

Show Notes

Rated G


The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Ortega

by E. Lily Yu

The first time María Luisa Ortega cursed, after stabbing herself with a pair of steel tweezers, she turned into a sea urchin. Two weeks passed before a peripatetic priest found her lying in the sand and uncursed her. It was a frequent occurrence, he explained, and for this reason he always carried a squirt bottle of holy water in his bag, to bless the poor souls he found in the shapes of dolphins, fish, lobsters, or, in less fortunate cases, mollusks.

PodCastle Miniature 59: Rainmaker

Show Notes

Rated G


Rainmaker

by Benjamin Thomas

I was eight then, which made her eleven. We lay on a grassy knoll. The earth dampened my flesh: buttocks, shoulders, elbows, and heels. It was late spring, and a light breeze chilled me in pleasant contrast to the tingling warmth of May sun on skin.

“I see a peacock,” I said. It didn’t look like a peacock, a bird, or even a fan. Clouds never really looked like anything, unless you squint just right.

“That one looks like,” Arida furrowed her brow, crinkling up her glass smooth face, “a circus.” The wind gusted.

“It does not,” I protested. “It doesn’t even look like a …” my voice caught. The panorama shifted subtly yet suddenly. I saw the circus; her circus.

The center formed an enormous tent. Crowds milled around it. They moved in less than real time, but at a steady pace. One person spit fire, another juggled. A bear balanced speckled ball in front of the main entrance. In those days, I had seen a few paintings, and none compared to this monochrome play in the clouds.