Archive for Rated G

PodCastle 124: Squonk and the Horde of Apprentices


by P.M. Butler

Read by Wilson Fowlie

A PodCastle Original!

Most dragons learn to love fire as soon as they come out of their eggs, when their parents celebrate their birth by spitting great gouts of flame into the sky; dragons often use fire to express joy.  Or anger. Or surprise.  Or boredom.  Or the fact that they’re still breathing. Dragons _really_ like fire.

But Squonk didn’t even know he _could_ breathe fire.  That’s because his adoptive mother, a little blue bird named Mrs. Tweedle-Chirp, didn’t know he could breathe fire, either–and even if she did, she certainly would have forbid him from ever doing it.  Like most forest creatures, Mrs. Tweedle-Chirp didn’t like fire one little bit.

But her not-so-little boy was, indeed, a dragon.  And while there are some things you _can_ teach out of a dragon….

Rated G: Contains Dragons, Wizards, School, and Fire (which is Awesome)

PodCastle 118: Sugar


by Cat Rambo

Read by Rachel Swirsky

Originally Published in Fantasy Magazine

They line up before Laurana, forty baked-clay heads atop forty bodies built of metal cylinders.  Every year she casts and fires new heads to replace those lost to weather, the wild, or simple erosion.  She rarely replaces the metal bodies.  They are scuffed and battered, over a century old.

Every morning, the island sun beating down on her pale scalp, she stands on the maison’s porch with the golems before her.  Motionless.  Expressionless.

She chants.  The music and the words fly into the clay heads and keep them thinking.  The golems are faster just after they have been charged.  They move more lightly, with more precision.  With more joy.  Without the daily chant they could go perhaps three days at most, depending on the heaviness of their labors.

This month is cane-planting season.  She delegates the squads of laborers and sets some to carrying buckets from the spring to water the new cane shoots while others dig furrows.  The roof needs reshingling, but it can wait until planting season is past.  As the golems shuffle off, she pauses to water the flowering bushes along the front of the house.  Placing her fingertips together, she conjures a tiny rain cloud, wringing moisture from the air.  Warm drops collect on the leaves, rolling down to darken pink and gray bark to red and black.

Rated PG: Contains a Rush of Sugary Sweetness (No Corn Syrup or Artificial Flavoring!)

PodCastle 114: Wolves Till the World Goes Down


By Greg van Eekhout

Read by Dave Thompson

Originally Printed in Starlight 3. Read the text at Ideomancer!

“Hey,” said my brother. “Down there.” Without waiting, he dove toward the sand where a dead Rotweiller rolled in the white foam. It had been a long flight and we were both ravenous. I angled in to follow, and soon we were absorbed in our feast.

A big gray gull challenged our salvage rights, screaming and beating us with his wings, but we tore him to shreds, ate him, then returned to the dog.

Later, my brother would be able to report every minute detail of the incident. He’d describe the precise markings on the gull’s bill, the way he favored his left foot over his right, the iron and salt taste of his blood.

But he wouldn’t be able to say why we’d killed him. He’s expert at the whats and whens and wheres, but he leaves the whys to me.

His name is Munin, Memory. I’m Hugin, Thought.

Rated R: Contains Violence and some gore.

PodCastle Miniature 52: The Sphinx in Thebes (Massachusetts)


by Lord Dunsany

Read by Steve Anderson

There was a woman in a steel-built city who had all that money could buy, she had gold and dividends and trains and houses, and she had pets to play with, but she had no sphinx.

So she besought them to bring her a live sphinx; and therefore they went to the menageries, and then to the forests and the desert places, and yet could find no sphinx.
Rated PG: Contains Riddles, Greed, and Death