PodCastle Miniature 81: Crow Gifts

by Angela Lee
Read by Danielle Daly
A PodCastle Original! One last little treat for Artemis Rising!

It is a simple matter to track a deer, to bring it down with a single shot to the neck. I follow it by the red droplets in the snow, then drag the carcass back to the clearing of the crow gifts. Each bit of offal in its turn: black heart, worm-like entrails, pink spongy lungs. I save the liver for myself, and a haunch. The rest I cut apart, leave in a starburst – and by now I am surrounded by crows, a circle of beady-eyed children in cloaks of iridescent black feathers. As I back away, the crows descend, cawing loud enough to wake the dead.

The crows give me gifts in turn. At first they pelted me with rocks that shone ruby and emerald when broken open. I am richer than any king I could name, here in my empty forest, far from any human city. I began it by sharing my kills, inadvertently at first; I give blood and flesh, and they give me what humans want.

Rated R. What do you call a group of crows, again?

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PodCastle 352: The Creation and Destruction of the World

By Ann Leckie
Read by Diane Severson
Hosted by M.K. Hobson
A PodCastle Original! Artemis Rising: The Final Week!

At one time the waters were divided and contained, and dry land was raised up out of the sea, mountains and valleys, hills and plains, and the people lived there.  They lived this way for a long time, standing on the bones of the world, until it chanced that they angered the lord of wind and storm.  The lord of storms caused it to rain, and it rained for days, for weeks, for months, until there was no dry spot on the face of the world.  The low places were deep lakes, the high places awash.  In the highest place every step was ankle-deep in water.  The clothes the people wore, the beds they slept in, were soaked and dripping.  The very food they ate was soaked and dissolved by the rain.  And day by day it rained, and the water grew still deeper.

“We will drown!” the people cried.  “Alas for us, and for our children! It would be better if we had been fish!”  And many of these people, who cried so, were turned into fish, and swam away into the sea.  And after this no one gave birth to anything but fish.

There was a woman who gave birth, and the child was a fish.  The woman would not put the child into the sea, because it was hers and sickly, but instead kept it beside her.  “I will go to the lord of storms,” the woman said, “and beg for the god’s forgiveness, and the life of my child.”  And so she did, swaddling the child and keeping it wet with her tears.  She traveled far, where even the waters could not reach, until she was too weary and grieved to go further, and some way past that she came to the palace of the lord of the winds.

Rated R. Contains, well, Destruction (and Creation)

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PodCastle 351: Hoywverch

By Heather Rose Jones
Read by Sarah Goleman
Featuring Special Guest Host Amal El-Mohtar
A PodCastle Original! Welcome back to Artemis Rising, Week 3!

Elin verch Gwir Goch oed yn arglwydes ar Cantref Madruniawn wrth na bo i’w thad na meibion na brodyr. A threigylgweith dyvot yn y medwl vynet y hela. Ac wrth dilyt y cwn, hi a glywei llef gwylan. Ac edrych i fyny arni yn troi, a synnu wrthi. A’y theyrnas ymhell o’r mor. Ac yna y gelwi i gof ar y dywot y chwaervaeth Morvyth pan ymadael ar lan Caer Alarch: Os clywhych gwylan yn wylo, sef minnau yn wylo amdanat. A thrannoeth cyvodi a oruc ac ymadael a’y theulu a’y niver a’y chynghorwyr, a marchogaeth a oruc tra doeth i’r mor.

Elin, the daughter of Gwir Goch, ruled over the cantref of Madrunion, for her father had neither sons nor brothers. And one day it came into her mind to go hunting. As she was riding after the hounds, she heard the cry of a seagull and looked up to see a white bird circling overhead. She marveled at it, for her lands were far from the sea. And then she remembered what her foster-sister Morvyth had said when they parted on the shore by Caer Alarch: “When you hear a gull crying, that will be me—crying for you.” And the next morning she took leave of her household and her warriors and her counselors and rode west for the sea.
 
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The scent in the air was just as I had remembered it: sharp and rich at the same time. I’d seen and heard the gulls for hours before my path topped the hill and the wide expanse of the Irish Sea spread out before me. The land curved to embrace it, gathering an armful of harbor to hold close and safe against winter storms. And there, where the hills rose past the outlet of the laughing river, the timbered walls and halls of Caer Alarch stood. My eyes were not for the court, but for the cluster of ships pulled out on the narrow slip of sand—ships with the look and build of Ireland. I let my horse pick her own way down to the shore and across the shifting flats where the tide had run low. Then we climbed the hills again to the eastward side where the gates of Caer Alarch opened.
 
The men who watched the gate I knew of old, though the last time they’d seen me I had been a wild hoyden, racing my pony along the beach and daring Morvyth to explore the treacherous caves under the cliffs. Neither one knew me at first, until I called out, “Ha, Meurig! Am I so changed?”
 
Then their faces split into grins, and one answered, “Elin!” He corrected himself quickly. “Lady! You’ve come in time, just barely.”
 
With the foreboding already resting on my shoulders, his words would have chilled my heart if they’d not been spoken with such cheer. “In time?” I asked.
 
“For the wedding feast,” came the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Changes: Rates and Online Submission Manager

Beginning February 20, Podcastle is using an online submission manager to streamline the submission and acceptance process and improve communications with authors and among our editors. The submission page includes guidelines for the current submission call and our current rates.

We will no longer accept submissions by email after 2/20/15, but please be assured that our editors will read and respond to any story that is already in our system – you do not need to resubmit!

Speaking of rates: Podcastle rates are increasing to 6 cents per word for original fiction and 2 cents per word for reprints. We hope authors are as excited by this as we are! Flash fiction (under 1000 words) remains a flat $20 per piece.

We are very excited by these changes, and expect that they will be of benefit to our authors – and listeners!

 

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