Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 404, ARTEMIS RISING: Territory

by Julie Steinbacher

read by Maura McHugh and Kim Rogers

Hosted by Amal El-Mohtar

A PodCastle Original!

Where are you and I in those moments before the flawed magic works? Hovering somewhere, inside ourselves or above our bodies? Placidly dreaming, like we did so many times last summer as we listened to cassettes of The Clash and Eurythmics in the woods by your house? Or screaming silently, saying, “We didn’t know it would be like this when we gathered the raven’s feather and the fox’s clote. We were afraid to cut the words in our palms, didn’t know that pricking our fingers wasn’t enough blood to preserve our bodies.

“This is not what we wanted, not what we meant to do. Take us back to our letters and our mums and dads. Take us back, even if they beat us and tear us apart and send us away.

“Take us back, even though life will not cure us of this love for one another.”

But the flawed magic is working, and as the rain slows, the questing worms place their soft mouths against us. The beetles tick across our hands and legs, beneath our clothes. We feel little parts of ourselves lost in them, and remember the spell words we uttered.

Rated R for some disturbing imagery.

Julie Steinbacher lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she (or they) is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University. She is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, and her fiction appears in Terraform and Escape Pod. Learn more about her on her website julie-steinbacher.com.

Maura McHugh is a prose and comic book writer living in Ireland. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the USA and Europe, and she’s had two collections published in the USA:Twisted Fairy Tales and Twisted Myths. Her web site is http://splinister.com and her Twitter handle is @splinister

Kim Rogers is an EMC actress living in Brooklyn, NY. She has recently appeared in such productions as Cthethal Weapon and the musical Slaw Slingers. She has also done voice work for The Kaleidocast and currently works for Music Theatre International.

 

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PodCastle 392: The Lady’s Maid

by Carlea Holl-Jensen

Read by Kim Lakin-Smith

Guest hosted by Keffy Kehrli, editor and host of the Glittership podcast

First appeared in Fantasy Magazine’s Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue. Get the full issue here!

Sometimes she wonders about the girls whose heads her mistress wears. Sometimes, though not often, she wonders where they came from, who they loved. She wonders who, if anyone, keeps their memory now.

Mostly, though, she doesn’t trouble herself. It is her lady’s right to take what she desires. Everything is hers, as far as the eye can see: the mirrored sitting room and the marble statues in the courtyard and the deer in the forests to the east and the endless farmland, now fallow, to the west—all hers. Any passing milkmaid with a handsome head of curls, any traveling fortuneteller with changeable sea-green eyes—they are all hers, too, if she wishes it. This is the order of things.

Rated R.

Carlea Holl-Jensen was born on a Wednesday. Since then, her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Pindeldyboz,Shimmer, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Underwater New York, Lightspeed, and Fairy Tale Review. She holds an MA in Folklore from Indiana University, Bloomington, and an MFA in Fiction from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also one of the editors of The Golden Key, an online journal of speculative writing.

Kim Lakin-Smith is a Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy author. Kim’s short stories feature in Interzone, Black Static, Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who, Best British Fantasy 2013, Sharkpunk, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, and more. She is the author of gothic science fantasy, Tourniquet, and YA novels, Queen Rat and Autodrome. Her novel, Cyber Circus, was shortlisted for both the BSFA Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel 2012. With a background in dance and performance, she has narrated stories for Dark Fiction Magazine, Word Punk, Tales to Terrify, PseudoPod, and, of course, PodCastle! Follow her on Twitter @theginfairy.

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PodCastle 387: The Half Dark Promise

by Malon Edwards

read by Mandaly Louis-Charles

First appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Read it here!

The first thing Bobby Brightsmith told me when I moved to the South Side of Chicago from La Petite Haïti with Manmi was to run like a scalded dog if I ever saw zonbi la in the half dark on the way home from school.

See, when Bobby was eight years old, a little girl and a little boy were snatched from the half dark not far from home. They were never seen again. Bobby said because of that little girl and that little boy, timoun yo in Chicago now walk home from school in groups, in the half dark just before nightfall. The half dark comes fast this time of year.

Rated R.

Malon Edwards was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, but now lives in the Greater Toronto Area, where he was lured by his beautiful Canadian wife. Many of his short stories are set in an alternate Chicago and feature people of color and Haitian Creole (Malon does not speak Haitian Creole). Currently, he serves as Managing Director and Grants Administrator for the Speculative Literature Foundation, which provides a number of grants for writers of speculative literature.

Mandaly Louis-Charles has been running the Haitian Creole Blog for five years now and is an advocate for the Creole language. The blog promotes the Haitian Creole language to foreigners and natives. The blog address is sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com with a Twitter page @creolelingo that publishes daily Haitian Creole words and terms for native and foreigners.

Mandaly just completed a project creating the first ever Creole alphabet song and animated video for the Creole language as the alphabet is unknown to most Haitians at this time. This successful project was done in collaboration with MIT linguistic professor Michel Degraff. Info on the alphabet Creole song may be found on the Haitian Creole blog at this address: http://sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com/2015/06/an-important-new-learning-tool-for.html

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PodCastle 386: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Ghostly Interludes

“The Spirit of Pinetop Inn” by Renee Carter Hall.

Read by Folly Blaine.

First appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (#58).

The first ghost showed up right on time, striding into the Pinetop Inn’s front parlor so regally that the proprietors, Emma and Tom, expected a flourish of trumpets to accompany his entrance.

The ghost bowed to Tom and kissed Emma’s hand. “Sir Edward Blackthorn the Fourth, at your service, my lord, my lady.” He straightened and handed Tom a thick leather-bound book. “My references, dating all the way back to 1784. I trust you will find everything in order.”

Tom squinted at the faded calligraphy. “Impressive.”


“Wet” by John Wiswell.

Read by Nathaniel Lee.

First published in the first issue of Urban Fantasy Magazine.

It was on Day Six that I sat in a puddle from a leaking drainage pipe, and something about it got the kid to finally roll over, peeking out from under her shiny yellow hood and recognizing that there was another person there who wasn’t afraid of a raincoat. I was the picture of chill. After all, my raincoat protected me from the puddle.

She didn’t resume breathing correctly, because she didn’t actually have lungs anymore, but she did stop thinking she was hyperventilating. Then I offered her the candybars, which she didn’t take, but she did appreciate. She took my tablet instead, haunting my browser and looking up the latest One Direction videos. I deleted my cache later.


“The Faces Between Us” by Julie C. Day.

Read by Dave Thompson.

First published in Interzone #254.

Drive long enough and you can find anything. Copper-eyed goddesses. Gilded August afternoons. That arid stretch of Oregonian high desert in the southeastern corner of the state. Keep driving and you might catch something even more precious—a path through. Perhaps even a fairy-tale ending. That’s what Amber promised me during that long ago summer.

Didn’t matter. Back then the girl could have said almost anything and I wouldn’t have listened.


Rated R

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