Archive for Rated R

PodCastle Miniature 100: Seven Things That Oughtn’t Cut Me


Seven Things That Oughtn’t Cut Me

By Jessi Cole Jackson

They say troll girls appear only in brilliant shades of armored green. Their skin is faceted, unpierceable, and gleams in the sunlight like emeralds. They say we cannot be drab or fragile. They say we cannot bleed.

If only.

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PodCastle 495: Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light


Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light

By Malon Edwards

You keep running, even though you know you can’t escape the fifty-foot-tall Pogo. But you were built for this.

You are taller than all of the girls and most of the boys in your Covey Four class. Your legs are longer. Your steam-clock heart is stronger. Your determination is unmatched. Even against the rocks they throw. Even against the insults they hurl. Even when they entimide you and chase you home after school every day, all because your mother could not save their friends.

They have not caught you yet. And they never will. Because you will not let them.

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PodCastle 494: Folk


Folk

By Eden Royce

In a place beyond far, my braids are woven into the sweetgrass basket encasing me and I am surrounded by the scent of the ocean and its dead. A crack of light breaches my intricate prison and I shift, twist only a fraction, to take advantage of its brightness — there is no warmth from it.

I look at the pads of my fingertips. The flesh, bloodless, has been stripped away, and instead of muscle and meat, there is a network of twisting reeds, coiled, wound tightly into green-brown curlicues. Three of them in a staggered pattern like stepping stones in a garden. I touch my fingertips to my face and feel the prickly scrape of dried palmetto leaves.

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PodCastle 491: Bullets


by Joanne Anderton

read by A. J. Fitzwater

Previously published by In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep

Rated R for adult content.

It had once been a sheep, and it wasn’t dead yet. A mangle of smouldering wool, scorched skin, and cooked meat, breathing in puffs of hot ash. Outrun by flames, tangled in underbrush, or crushed beneath a falling tree, who could tell? Everything was charcoal now. I pull the mask from my nose and mouth and breathe the warm smoke in. Load the rifle, aim between what’s left of the poor thing’s ear and eye, and give it peace with the slow squeeze of the trigger. Try to ignore the shakes, the tears stinging my eyes. I’m soaked in sweat and covered in ash, but supposed to be grateful that I’m still alive. At this point, it’s hard to even give a shit that the house is still standing.

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Joanne Anderton writes speculative fiction for anyone who likes their worlds a little different. She sprinkles a pinch of science fiction to spice up her fantasy, and thinks horror adds flavour to everything. She has won the Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadows awards.Joanne Anderton Photo

A. J. Fitzwater is a dragon wearing a human meat suit, living between the cracks in Christchurch, New Zealand. She attended the Clarion workshop in 2014, and won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2015 for Best New Talent. Stories have been published in venues such as Shimmer, Crossed Genres and various Crossed Genres anthologies, At The Edge, an anthology of New Zealand and Australian speculative fiction from Paper Road Press, The Future Fire, and more.

A J Fitzwater Photo