Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 550: The Last Exorcist

Show Notes

Rated R for strong language and violence.

The Last Exorcist

by Danny Lore 

Author’s Note: This piece was commissioned and then declined by a prominent magazine. The only information that has been altered/omitted are locations, as those have been deemed a national security risk. Re-post and share at will.

Naheem is our last great exorcist.

When you point this fact out to him, he barely blinks. It is a title he accepts, not with humility or even resignation, but with frustration. “We should have dozens like me out there on the streets,” he argues, “hundreds. It’s why we’re in this mess.” (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 548: Daniel

Show Notes

Rated R.


by Ashley Blooms

Ellie watches her husband from the front porch. He makes a lean shadow against the twilight, his arms outstretched, his heels lifting from the ground and dropping again. The wind rustles the branches of the trees overhead, their limbs picked clean of leaves, their roots bitten with cold. The windows rattleshake inside their panes, a thin vibration that the house carries through the walls and into the boards of the porch. The feeling trembles beneath Ellie’s bare toes as she wraps her arms around her chest, cups her elbows in her palms.

Her husband looks at her from across the yard. He holds up his hands so she can see a bright pearl of light reflected in the center of the spiderweb. The thin strands shudder, curving away from the twigs that bind it together, but the web holds on. Ellie turns and walks back into the house alone. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 545: The Aunties Return the Ocean

Show Notes

Rated R.

The Aunties Return the Ocean

By Chris Kuriata

Auntie Roberta landed badly on the roof of her escarpment house, scraping her knees across the flagstone shingles and splitting her pantyhose. Her arms were too full of black water to keep her balance so she nearly slid off the edge.

She carried so much ocean she barely knew where to hide it all. Inside her stony home, she filled the kitchen drawers and cupboards with cold dark brine. Every pot and tankard as well.

She quickly ran out of places, yet her weary arms were still loaded with the stuff. Where would it all fit? Auntie Roberta got on her knees and stuffed the final bits of ocean into the mouse holes. She heard the panicked mice squeak before drowning.

What an exhausting evening she’d endured. At the appointed hour, all the Aunties of the world had banded together like a swarm of locusts, and set upon the heart of the ocean. Their grubby hands tore the water apart, breaking up the reflection of the moon as they scrambled to load every last drop into their arms.  All along the empty ocean floor, fish flopped and ships jammed into rock beds. The neighbours had called the Aunties’ bluff, refusing to give in to their demands. So, just as the Aunties threatened, they stole the ocean.
During the theft, Auntie Roberta kept close watch on the other Aunties, noticing none of her sisters carried away as much ocean as she did. Auntie Roberta always did more than her fair share and never received thanks. The other Aunties thought they were smarter than her, but really they were just lazier.

“Hey!” Auntie Robert shouted. “Get away from there!”

A burr covered cat with collapsed ears sat on the kitchen table, lapping away at a mug filled with ocean. Auntie Roberta flung a wooden spoon and sent the cat retreating through a gnawed hole in the parlour wall.

“Sneaky thief,” she huffed. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 544: Waters of Versailles — Part 3

Show Notes

You can buy Kelly Robson’s book, Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, now. It’s also available in audio.

Below are a few links from Kelly’s recommendations and comments during the interview:

The Sun King by Nancy Mitford.

A Study in Oils” by Kelly Robson, published by Clarkesworld.

The Uncommon Reader, a novella by Allan Bennett.

Mysteries by Sarah Caudwell.

The Tremontaine serial, seasons 1 to 4 by Ellen Kushner.

Kelly Robson’s Tremontaine tie-in story “The Eye of the Swan.”

Waters of Versailles

by Kelly Robson

[Note: This is Part 3 of a three-part novella. Visit our previous posts to read Part 1 and Part 2.]


Sylvain stood on the roof of the north wing, the gardens spread out before him. The fountains jetted high and strong, fifteen hundred nozzles ticking over reliably as clockwork, the water spouts throwing flickering shadows in the low evening light.

The gardens were deserted as any wilderness. Inside, everyone was preparing for the evening’s long menu of events. Outside, the statues posed and the fountains played for the moon and stars alone.

Sylvain was taking advantage of this quiet and solitary hour to do one final check of the velvet pipes. He had already felt every inch of the new connection, examined the seams all the way to the point where the fabric sleeve dove off the roof to disappear through a gap above a garret window. (Continue Reading…)