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Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 370: Congratulations On Your Apotheosis

by Michelle Ann King
read by Christiana Ellis

First published in the anthology Unidentified Funny Objects 2, from UFO Publishing

As a life coach, Abby Fowler strongly discouraged magical thinking. It was better for people to take responsibility for improving their lives, rather than wait and hope for supernatural assistance. Better, and a lot more reliable.

So Abby would never advise anyone to use a spell, even one that came with impeccable provenance and the crackle of real power in every square inch of the ancient parchment it was inscribed on. Even one that was purely for divination, nothing more than a harmless bit of information-gathering that might, say, help someone with preparing a five-year business plan for their coaching practice in order to apply for a bank loan. She would never advise it because she knew that kind of thing never ended well.

Rated PG.

Michelle Ann King writes science fiction, fantasy and horror from her kitchen table in Essex, England. She loves Las Vegas, zombie films and good Scotch whisky, not necessarily in that order. Her short stories are being collected in the Transient Tales ebook series, and she is currently at work on a paranormal crime novel. Find more details at www.transientcactus.co.uk.

Christiana Ellis is a Writer and podcaster living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of Nina Kimberly the Merciless as well as Space Casey. She also produces several non-fiction podcasts and videos, all of which can be found at www.christianaellis.com. You can also find her on Twitter @christianaellis.

She’s just begun Space Casey Season 2, so it’s a great time to go visit Christiana’s site and subscribe! This season, Casey, the fast-talking con-artist, continues her thrilling tale of adventure, fraud, and time travel!

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PodCastle 367: The Washerwoman and the Troll

by Julian Mortimer Smith

read by M.K. Hobson

Originally appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, May 2013.

Bunchunkle was magnificently ugly. The trollmothers said there hadn’t been such an ugly child since Grimshik’s day, and Bunchunkle wore it with the pride and mirth befitting a troll. He could pull a face to make you void your bowels and howl with terror. He had a genius for mischief that rivaled even that of old Quillibim, the Arch Rascal of Moldy Stumps. There was much speculation about what would happen if a human ever laid eyes on Bunchunkle, but as far as anyone knew it had never happened, for Bunchunkle was as quick and sly as he was ugly.

When the faefolk decided it was time to drive the old washerwoman from the Blinking Woods, they did not come to Bunchunkle immediately. He was reclusive and cantankerous and did not like to be disturbed. Besides, they were loath to seek him out for fear of laying eyes on his revolting face. But nobody doubted that he would succeed if all else failed. They knew he was there as a last resort.

Rated PG.

Julian Mortimer Smith lives in Southwest Nova Scotia in a small lobstering town called Yarmouth. His short fiction has appeared in Terraform, Daily Science Fiction, and AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. He has stories upcoming in Pulp Literature and Asimov’s Science Fiction, and you can find him online at julianmortimersmith.com.

M.K. Hobson is hard at work on a few writing projects, all of which are going more slowly than she’d like. Her latest written offering is The Ladies and the Gentlemen, a novella in the Veneficas Americana series. It’s currently in production by Audible, and is also available in e- and paper book format from Amazon.com.

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PodCastle 366: Sticks and Stones

by Nathaniel Lee

read by Tatiana Gomberg

Originally appeared in Crossed Genres.

The dead body was ugly, as dead bodies tended to be. The man’s face was swollen and purple-black with the blood that had pooled in his cheeks before congealing. Blood on the sidewalks had smeared with the rain before the sun rose. Lillian stared at the stains with her hands in her pockets, toying with her ring.

“Detective Staunton?”

“Blunt force,” she said, not turning around. “Probably some pretty heavy words, by the look of them; he’s almost crushed. Loser, maybe. Failure. Took him by surprise, I think; the first blow from the back spun him around. You can see the blood spatter where he turned.”

Rated PG-13.

Nathaniel Lee lives with his family in South Carolina.  His work has appeared in dozens of venues online and off, including several times previously here on PodCastle.  He serves as the editor of the Drabblecast and assistant editor at Escape Pod.

Tatiana Gomberg is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

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PodCastle 365: The Newsboy’s Last Stand

by Krystal Claxton
read by Graeme Dunlop
originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 3.

She stood up on her tip-toes, extending a slightly wilted white daisy up to Romulus, her whole body pointed and straight in the effort of reaching something that was entirely beyond her reach.

For his part Romulus knelt down and took the flower and gave her a sad smile and watched her run back across the street. And even though he had another line of news, it was sad, so he called it quits for the day and went home. He put the daisy in a jar of water and ate his cake from the bakery (yes, the bakery, not the cakery) and went to sleep.

Rated PG.

Tragically born with a miscalibrated sense of humor, Krystal Claxton lived in nine US states before the age of thirteen. The combination of the two has left her with an oscillating accent and a habit of laughing at things that aren’t funny. She currently lives in Georgia with her long-suffering spouse, a dog who thinks she’s a cat, and a number of children that is subject to change.

She enjoys breaking Heinlein’s Rules, getting distracted by Dragon Con, and feverishly researching whichever random topic has just piqued her interest. Keep up with her at krystalclaxton.com and on twitter @krystalclaxton. Her short story “Planar Ghosts” was recently released in Writers of the Future vol 31.

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