PodCastle 568: The Pull of the Herd

Show Notes

Rated: PG-13, for predators and prey.


The Pull of the Herd

By: Suzan Palumbo

My doeskin calls to me from under the woollen blankets in the cedar chest at the foot of our bed. Diya murmurs beside me, eases back to sleep. I cling to her, try to calm the panic welling in my chest by inhaling her cardamom scent. The metallic taste of a skin thief lingers in the air this morning and, though I’ve sworn never to return, every nerve and sinew inside me is screaming: get back to the herd.

I swing my feet onto the wooden floor. Human soles are weaker than keratin-covered hooves — less sure, though they suit their purpose. I undress, then pad over to the trunk. My fur stirs as I lift the lid and pull it from beneath the blankets. It twines up my forearm, grip like hardened horn sheathed in fraying velvet. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 567, ARTEMIS RISING: The Weaver Retires

Show Notes

PG-13, for needles and blackest thread.


The Weaver Retires

by Kai Hudson

They come from all over: exotic, far-off places with names Weisa can barely pronounce. Australia. Japan. Venezuela. Last week, some alien-sounding place called Pen-sil-vay-ni-yah.

Her grandson Ashti says they come because she’s famous. She’s on the Internet, he tells her, this great big place like a temple in the air, full of books and magazines anyone can read at any time. Apparently someone wrote about her a few months ago, and that’s why people come.

She doesn’t mind it so much. They break up the monotony of the day, when she comes back from feeding the pigs or killing cockroaches with her sandals to find yet another foreigner sitting awkwardly with Ashti inside the hut. Today it is one of the ones with skin like someone dusted him with bread flour, with a balding head and damp patches decorating his brightly-colored shirt. A fat woman presumably his wife slumps in Ashti’s usual chair, fanning herself with her hat. Ashti has politely moved to the floor.

“Ah, Ima,” her grandson says, rising upon her entrance. The foreigners don’t move. “We have visitors.” (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 566, ARTEMIS RISING DOUBLE FEATURE: Starr Striker Should Remain Capitol City’s Resident Superhero, by Keisha Cole, 10th Grade Student; All the Fishes Singing

Show Notes

“Starr Striker…” is rated PG-13, for giving zero fricks (3 F-bombs).

“All the Fishes, Singing” is rated PG-13, for cuts to skin and scales.


Starr Striker Should Remain Capitol City’s Resident Superhero, by Keisha Cole, 10th Grade Student

By Amanda Helms

Argument

Despite the call to ban Starr Striker from Capitol City for “attacking” Captain Thunder, she should remain our resident superhero. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 565, ARTEMIS RISING: I Am Fire; I Am Tears

Show Notes

PG, for dragon-sisters and bones picked clean.


Ulykke crouched in the darkness, just beyond the sunray’s reach.

Before her, along the forest path, an entourage of huntresses passed on horseback, armed with arrows and blades of finest silver and armor too strong for even Ulykke’s teeth to pierce. Among them, on a dappled-gray mare, rode the princess Dania herself: beloved ruler of Crowwell. Maiden most fair. Usurper of the throne.

The princess’s horse was ill at ease, its nostrils flaring and its eyes darting into the forest where Ulykke followed, just out of sight. It kept to the furthest edge of the path, so that holly-fern and moonwort and dwarf birch brushed the princess’s boots and snagged the hem of her riding skirts. (Continue Reading…)