Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 524: Shine like the Sea’s Deepest Secrets

Show Notes

Rated R for blood, guts, and monstrous appetites.


A shadow passes overhead and mermaids rise from where they were playing hide-and-seek among the jellyfish. It has been weeks since they’ve fed. If the shadow is a whale, the mermaids will only wish it safe passage. But the shadow is a galleon. Is it the one I’m looking for? I rush upwards.

The sky is noon-bright; the air, still. The ship’s main mast, cracked and scorched by lightning, lays toppled. Torn sails flutter on the fore- and mizzen-masts. The ship has been left to drift at the whim of the current. Mermaids crawl up the hull and cling to barnacles. Their voices, which usually hiss like the breaking waves, bend to wordless song. Lured by their music, sailors peer over the rail, their faces gaunt, their gums rotted. No matter. The mermaids’ sharp teeth will slice bone and reach the marrow. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 522: Extinctions

Show Notes

Rated R.


Extinctions

By Lina Rather

Your mother taught you three things, up in the great white wilderness, before she went and shot that man:

  1. How to kill an animal quickly and mercifully.
  2. How to kill the veiled things that prowl in the shadows at the edge of your vision. These are harder and faster beasts, but they all fall like deer in the end, and that’s the best advice your mother could have given you.
  3. How to sew and mend the veil of the world so the secret things cannot escape. Truthfully, this was your grandmother’s teaching, but your mother would have taken credit for the sun, had God not claimed it first.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 521: We Are Sirens

Show Notes

Rated R, for all the weaknesses of flesh (and how it tears between teeth).


1.

We roll into town on a bright sunny morning, steering the Caddy around the half-dozen streets that make up “downtown.” Three of us in the back dozing and the other two up front with our arms hanging out the windows, letting our fingers ride on the fall air.

We love autumn. Autumn is football and soccer and tennis season, it’s harvest festivals and Oktoberfests and the last round of carnivals and fairs. We can still get away with tank tops and shorts, or we can wear our tight wool suits with their snug skirts, or our sweaters with the necklines way, way down.

It just depends on what there is to do around here. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 516d: 10th Anniversary Special, The Best of PodCastle #2 – Makeisha In Time

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains violence.

Editors’ note: This episode originally aired as PodCastle 345. We are reissuing it to celebrate PodCastle’s 10th anniversary. This story was in second position in a listener vote that was held to determine PodCastle’s most-loved episodes over the past decade.


Makeisha In Time

by Rachael K. Jones

Makeisha has always been able to bend the fourth dimension, though no one believes her. She has been a soldier, a sheriff, a pilot, a prophet, a poet, a ninja, a nun, a conductor (of trains and symphonies), a cordwainer, a comedian, a carpetbagger, a troubadour, a queen, and a receptionist. She has shot arrows, guns, and cannons. She speaks an extinct Ethiopian dialect with a perfect accent. She knows a recipe for mead that is measured in aurochs horns, and with a katana, she is deadly.

Her jumps happen intermittently. She will be yanked from the present without warning, and live a whole lifetime in the past. When she dies, she returns right back to where she left, restored to a younger age. It usually happens when she is deep in conversation with her boss, or arguing with her mother-in-law, or during a book club meeting just when it is her turn to speak. One moment, Makeisha is firmly grounded in the timeline of her birth, and the next, she is elsewhere. Elsewhen.

Makeisha has seen the sun rise over prehistoric shores, where the ocean writhed with soft, slimy things that bore the promise of dung beetles, Archeopteryx, and Edgar Allan Poe. She has seen the sun set upon long-forgotten empires. When Makeisha skims a map of the continents, she sees a fractured Pangaea. She never knows where she will jump next, or how long she will stay, but she is never afraid. Makeisha has been doing this all her life.