Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 363: L’Etoile Flamboyante

by Samantha Henderson
read by C. S. E. Cooney
Originally featured in the Word Webber Press anthology of 2013, Allegories of the Tarot.

Last night I dreamed about the Painted Children: the Dragon Leviathan, the Boy made of Horses, and the girl, L’Etoile Flamboyante. In the dream, I was sitting at the edge of the cliff beside the ruins, not far from where I lie now, but I was straight and whole again, the tiger reclining beside me like an outsized housecat. The water at the foot of the cliff glistened in the starlight, and the Children were in a boat, little wider than a rowboat, looking up at me. The girl stretched out her arms, and I shifted as if to rise. The tiger gave me a lazy nudge. Not yet, it said, silently. We are still at the business of dying.

Rated R.

Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon.  Her short fiction and  poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast.   She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.

C.S.E. Cooney is a Rhode Island writer, actor, poet, and singer-songwriter. She is the author of the Dark Breakers series: The Breaker Queen and The Two Paupers. “Witch, Beast, Saint” the first erotic fairy tale in her Witch’s Garden Series, can be found at Strange Horizons, while the second, The Witch in the Almond Tree is available for purchase on Amazon.

Cooney’s first short fiction collection Bone Swans is forthcoming with Mythic Delirium in July of 2015.

She recently started working as an audiobook narrator for Tantor Media, with Carol J Perry’s “Caught Dead Handed,” a Witch City mystery— Cooney’s first book-length narration—now available for purchase.

Thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign, Cooney’s alternate personality, the imaginary rockstar Brimstone Rhine, is just about to hit the studio to record her first EP, “Alecto! Alecto!” Eight songs of Myth and Legend—Witches, Queens, Nymphs, Fiends—as you’ve never heard them sung before.

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PodCastle 357: The Specialist’s Hat

by Kelly Link
Read by Elizabeth Green Musselman
Originally published in Event Horizon, November 1998.

“When you’re dead,” Samantha says, “you don’t have to brush your teeth…”

“When you’re dead,” Claire says, “you live in a box, and it’s always dark, but you’re never afraid.”

Claire and Samantha are identical twins. Their combined age is twenty years, four months, and six days. Claire is better at being dead than Samantha.

Rated R.

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PodCastle Miniature 83: Double Feature! Two by Nathaniel Lee

The Machine That Made Clothes
By Nathaniel Lee
Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers)
A PodCastle Original!

He stood in front of the machine that made clothes and fretted.  He already had a fur suit, a carpet suit, and a brick suit.  Everyone had a water suit; it was practically cliche.

Last week he’d had a Pop-Tart suit for a lark.  That had been popular, but he couldn’t go back to that well so soon.  Anyway, it smacked too much of the bacon suit fad from last year.  He’d had to shower for an hour to get un-sticky afterward.

He’d even done a suit suit, which had helped keep his reputation for the sartorial avant-garde.

Harriet, their aging basset hound, shuffled into the bedroom and plopped down beside him.  He looked at Harriet and pursed his lips.

Tired Eyes and Clever Hands
by Nathaniel Lee
Read by LaShawn Wanak
A PodCastle Original!

The Brindletom woke after Erdi had already finished her eggs and was on her second cup of coffee.  He swung down from his nest in the rafters and slid along the ropes to the table.  Erdi pushed the plate of bacon toward him.

“I had a dream last night,” he piped, plucking a bacon strip up with his clever forepaws and gnawing on it.

“Do tell,” Erdi said, somewhat blearily.  She was considering a third cup of coffee.

“I dreamed that I was a man accursed, trapped in a hideous mannikin body, and bound to a cruel sorceress who had promised to help me, to return me to my place and my true form, but upon whose pleasure I must wait and serve in the interim.  I dreamed that my servitude would have no end, for I was sworn to her unto death and she would live forever.”

Rated R. Contains Unethical Clothing Options.

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PodCastle 355: Flock

by Caspian Gray
Read by Tanja Milojevic
Hosted by M.K. Hobson
Originally published in Kaleidotrope, Summer 2013. Read it here!

They met in a birdcage, in those last precious days before they became birds themselves.  They were too panicked to ask each other’s names.  The boy beat his palms against the wire bars as impotently as he had beat them against the giant’s fist; the woman brushed her fingers first against her sternum, then along the cage floor, even through the boy’s kinky hair, to prove that she was not mad or dreaming.

“Don’t touch me,” he said, making the order into a question.

The woman drew away.  “Are you hurt?” Her hands still moved restlessly, diffident as butterflies.  They were in a ramshackle attic full of cages whose inhabitants were sparrows as big as she was.  

“I didn’t know,” said the boy.  He slumped against the bars of the cage.  The woman watched the wire press indentations into his shirt.  “I didn’t know there were giants in Ohio.”

“Oh.” The woman squatted next to him, careful to keep their shoulders from brushing.  “I didn’t know there were either, until today.” She paused.  “What’s your name?  Where did the giant take you from?”

“Avery.” The boy’s eyes were as brown as tree bark.  “I was in the backyard, working.  Who are you?”

“Jack.”

Avery blinked.  “Jack is a boy’s name.”

Her expression did not change.  “But if we’ve been kidnapped by giants,” she murmured, “the only way we’ll ever escape is if one of us is named Jack.”

Rated R. Contains Adult Themes

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