Archive for Rated R

Podcastle 79: Marsh Gods

Show Notes

Rated R: For Gods, Mortals, Frogs, and Other Potential Sacrifices

Marsh Gods

by Ann Leckie

Irris was a changed man. When he went out fishing, he didn’t spend the day drunk or asleep in the boat and then come home with nothing, the way everyone expected. Instead he made a full day’s catch early, and then picked up an axe and went to cut wood. He sat down to dinner sober, played with the baby, spoke pleasantly to his wife and sister. In the evening, instead of drinking, he sat in front of the fire and knotted nets, or carved fishhooks. It’s because he almost died, the neighbors whispered. Everyone had seen the scar. Everyone wondered how long the change could last.

There were other things, little strangenesses that never made their way out of the house for the villagers to be aware of them. For instance, one afternoon Ytine brought him a dish of vetch, and he said, “My dear, it amuses me to call this gravel. So the next time I ask you for a bowl of gravel, you’ll know what I want.” Water was poison, working was sleeping. The list of changed names seemed to grow every day. Voud wasn’t sure why Ytine went along with it, except that the new Irris was kind and hard-working, and doted on the baby. And maybe, thought Voud, that was reason enough. The crane had said not to waste her grief on Irris, and she hadn’t cried when she’d heard the whispery-voiced god say he was dead.

But one evening Irris came home in an especially good mood. “Good fishing means good trading,” he said. He had needles, and fiber — dyed and spun — for Ytine, and a tiny, wheeled cart for the baby. “And Voud,” he said, “I hear you’re a hunter.” He handed her a bronze knife. It was small and its plain haft was dented, but it was a real metal knife and it was hers.

That was when she knew for certain that her brother was dead. Irris would never have thought to buy her something she wanted so much. Not without her telling him, and likely not even then. She sat there with the knife in her hand and cried.

Podcastle Miniature 41: East of Chula Vista

Show Notes

Rated R: Ghosts are Unhappy for a Reason

East of Chula Vista

by Samantha Henderson

I rock in the bentwood chair on the porch and wait. I know about the bodies in the arroyo, in the mesquite ash between the charred trunks of the live oaks. The grass beneath the mesquite had grown long in winter rains and was shriveled dry by the summer heat. Fire had crisped it quickly, and the oaks were dense hard wood, old fuels, burning long and hot and all-consuming.

Eventually they all come to me like homing pigeons, those unlucky ones who die in the unforgiving desert, short water or caught out at night with no fire and not enough of them to huddle together to keep warm, not thinking how cold the badlands get in the middle of the night with nothing to keep in the day’s heat. They come to me at dusk, hollow-eyed and bewildered to my front yard, all of them. They stand, wavering in the moonlight, waiting for me to let them go.

PodCastle 77: Nine Sundays in a Row

Show Notes

Rated R: Themes of abuse, and dark deals at the crossroads.

Nine Sundays in a Row

by Kris Dikeman

If you wanta learn you somethin’, go on down to a place where two roads cross. Get there Saturday ’round midnight, and wait there ’til Sunday morning—do that for nine Sundays, all in a row. The dark man, he’ll send his dog to watch on you while you wait. And on the ninth morning, the dark man will meet you. And he will learn you—anything you wanta learn. But you remember this: that dark man, he don’t work for free.

Podcastle Miniature 40: Incubus


by Tim Pratt

Every forty or fifty years the incubus and the succubus got together to catch up. This time they met in a quiet little bar, and the incubus said, “Yeah, it’s been hard these past few years. I did porn for a while, but these days, with Viagra and everything, it doesn’t matter what kind of a woodsman you are, because anybody can pop a pill and perform superhuman feats of sexual prowess.”

The succubus nodded in sympathy, invisible serpents twining in her hair. “I hear you. There’s easy money in internet porn, but it’s no good for me, I miss the personal connection. But you can still do the gigolo thing, right?”