Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 518: Iron Aria

Show Notes

Rated PG for vengeful mountains and the accursed dead.


Iron Aria

Merc Rustad

The mountain dreams pain. Cold iron vibrates purple-blue deep in the stone, while tongues made from rot and rust bite and gnaw and hunger ever deeper.

The dam, buried like a tooth in the mountain’s narrow gums, holds back the great burgundy ocean. Otherwise it would pour into the Agate Pass Valley and swallow up the mining town at the mountain’s toes.

From an owl’s eye, the dam is almost as big as the mountain, built five hundred human-years ago. The infesting tongues burrow in from the sea, sent by angry water-memories. The sea cannot see its children in the lakes far beyond the dam. So it sends corrosion into the mountain, into the infinitesimal pores of the dam.

The mountain is being devoured from the inside and it screams. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 516e: 10th Anniversary Special, The Best of PodCastle #1 – The Paper Menagerie

Show Notes

Rated PG.

Editors’ note: This episode originally aired as PodCastle 165. We are reissuing it to celebrate PodCastle’s 10th anniversary. This story was in first position in a listener vote that was held to determine PodCastle’s most-loved episodes over the past decade.

 


The Paper Menagerie

by Ken Liu

A little paper tiger stood on the table, the size of two fists placed together. The skin of the tiger was the pattern on the wrapping paper, white background with red candy canes and green Christmas trees.

I reached out to Mom’s creation. Its tail twitched, and it pounced playfully at my finger. “Rawrr-sa,” it growled, the sound somewhere between a cat and rustling newspapers.

I laughed, startled, and stroked its back with an index finger. The paper tiger vibrated under my finger, purring.

Zhe jiao zhezhi,” Mom said. This is called origami.

I didn’t know this at the time, but Mom’s kind was special. She breathed into them so that they shared her breath, and thus moved with her life. This was her magic.

PodCastle 511: The Fumblers Alley Risk Emporium

Show Notes

Rated PG.


Desperation was the worst thing you could bring to the Emporium, but there was nowhere else to go. The Emporium was the only place that would have what I was looking for. It always had what I was looking for. So I brought my desperation with me, like an albatross around my neck, like a black spot.

You could get it all at the Emporium. But not for money; Mr. Handlesropes didn’t operate that way. Sometimes, one of the art addicts who dealt in the alley would come in and offer huge sums of stolen cash for one of his items — a piece of cured human skin bearing a rare tattoo, or the shell of a dodo egg hand-painted by a prisoner on the day before his execution — but Mr. Handlesropes would just laugh.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 509: A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters

Show Notes

Rated PG for Mild Language and Bold Monsters.


A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters

By A.T. Greenblatt

1. The Siren

There are three basic guidelines that any idiot can follow when faced with a shape-shifting Siren hell bent on drowning you. One: Plug your ears and sit tight. She’ll tire eventually. Two: If easily visually swayed, use a blindfold. Three: Don’t be a hero.

Which around here is like telling people not to breathe.

The Siren guarding the bridge at the end of the road is a beauty in the classic sense and she’s relentless with all those brave, brave heroes attempting to cross the river. From the way her lips linger over syllables, I can tell she’s singing some slow, breathy song and between the lulls in victims, she brushes her radiant hair with a flimsy dollar-store brush and glares at me, challenging me to approach.

(Continue Reading…)