PC032: Senator Bilbo


Senator Bilbo

by Andy Duncan

Dear Americans,

Happy Election Day. As we all go to the polls and wait with mixed anticipation and anxiety for the poll results, PodCastle is happy to bring you into the electoral politics of another world — Tolkein’s — dealing with a trope all sides of the political spectrum can agree on, corrupt senators.

The rest of the world, I hope you’ll forgive our electoral America-centrism, and I hope you enjoy the story.

The Senator jotted down Appledore’s name without pause. He could get a lot of work done while making speeches – even a filibuster nine hours long (and counting).

“There are forces at work today, my friends, without and within our homeland, that are attempting to destroy all boundaries between our proud, noble race and all the mule-gnawing, cave-squatting, light- shunning, pit-spawned scum of the East.”

The Senator’s voice cracked on “East,” so he turned aside for a quaff from his (purely medicinal) pocket flask. His allies did not miss their cue. “Hear, hear,” they rumbled, thumping the desktops with their calloused heels. “Hear, hear.”

“This latest proposal,” the Senator continued, “this so-called immigration bill – which, as I have said, would force even our innocent daughters to suffer the reeking lusts of all the ditch-bred legions of darkness – why, this baldfooted attempt originated where, my friends?”

“Buckland!” came the dutiful cry.

“Why, with the delegation from Buckland. . . long known to us all as a hotbed of book-mongers, one-Earthers, elvish sympathizers, and other off-brands of the halfling race.”

PodCastle Miniature 19: Cask of Amontillado

Show Notes

Rated R. Happy Halloween.


Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allen Poe

I said to him –“My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”

“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Amontillado!”

“I have my doubts.”

“Amontillado!”

“And I must satisfy them.”

“Amontillado!”

“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If any one has a critical turn it is he. He will tell me –”

“Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.”

“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.

“Come, let us go.”

“Whither?”

“To your vaults.”

PC031: Colin and Ishmael in the Dark

Show Notes

Rated R. Dark as an oubliette.

The fifth of our Halloween features, continuing through October 31.


Colin and Ishmael in the Dark

by William Shunn

In the total darkness, the incessant drip! drip! of limewater on stone was the only sound to be heard. Steady as the beating of a heart, ceaseless as the motion of the stars, that sound filled the darkness, fed the darkness, became the darkness. It stitched the seconds together loosely into minutes, the minutes into long ragged hours, and the hours into great tattered sheets that flapped like ghosts in an unseen wind, leaving behind only gray threads of time to mark their passage as they unraveled. In all of creation there was only dripping water, and beyond the reach of its echoes the world no longer existed.

This changed only twice a day, when metal ground harshly against metal and the bolt sprang back from the rusted lock with the sound of a crossbow quarrel being loosed. This particular
day began like every other–the resonant creak of the hinges, the crushing reverberation as the door slammed shut, the tread of steel-toed boots crossing the damp stone floor and then pausing. “Breakfast, Ishmael,” said a voice worn into a sing-song by the repetitiveness its daily routine.

“Just put it there on the settee, will you?” This dry voice spoke wryly and precisely.

PodCastle Miniature 18: Scar Stories

Show Notes

Rated R. A touch of horror.

The fourth of our Halloween features, which will be continuing through October 31.


Scar Stories

by Vylar Kaftan

We’re mixing punch when he asks us about scars.

“Everyone has at least one,” our guest says. “They’re always good stories, too.”