PodCastle Miniature 90: How to Survive in Room 105

by T. Jane Berry

read by Jen R. Albert

This is a PodCastle Original!

Principal Freezarro announced that you’re substitute teaching in my kindergarten class for the next few weeks. I’m so excited! I’ve seen your work with the Vindicators, and just to let you know, I think it’s ridiculous that you were sentenced to six months of community service over the bridge incident. Who expects you to save the city from an army of wood chipper-earthworm hybrids and not take out a few historic landmarks? As we say in room 105, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” And please, please don’t let them get upset.

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Rated G.

T. Jane Berry has held various jobs, including IT manager, political blogger, bakery owner, and a disastrous two weeks as line worker in a razor blade factory. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror from the outskirts of Seattle with considerably fewer on-the-job injuries. Her fiction has appeared in Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix. You can find her on Twitter @tjaneberry.

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PodCastle 432: The Beautiful Bird Sits No Longer Singing in the Nest

by Kate Lechler

read by Stephanie Morris

My husband has hired Grace to come each morning, bringing food, medicine, and, as she puts it, “comp’ny.” She isn’t truly a witch—my father taught me that a belief in augury is the sign of an untutored mind—but I loathe her just the same. Each day, she drags the rocking chair from the adjacent room and sits knitting in it, her heavy breathing filling the space. At the end of the day, she scrapes the chair back through the door.

Who knows what trouble I might get up to with unfettered access to a rocking chair?

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A PodCastle original!

Rated R for adult content, disturbing imagery.

Picture of Kate LechlerKate Lechler teaches British Literature at the University of Mississippi and writes science-fiction and fantasy from her home in in Oxford, MS, where she lives with her husband, a dog, a cat, and seven fish. Her work has been previously published in the NonBinary Review, Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction, and Illumen, and she reviews fantasy and science fiction for FantasyLiterature.com. She loves gardening, singing jazz, and watching bad (and good!) TV. You can find her online at http://www.therediscoveredcountry.blogspot.com/ and on Twitter @katelechler.

Picture of Stephanie MorrisStephanie Morris is a professional fangirl by day and the lone library assistant staffing a college circulation desk at night. She has narrated short stories for PseudoPod, PodCastle, EscapePod, Cast of Wonders, and StarShipSofa, guest-blogged on subjects ranging from book recommendations to zombie turkeys, and performed Shakespeare in a handful of weird churches. Until she suppresses her inner perfectionist enough to create a website, you can find her on Twitter at @smaliamorris.


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PodCastle Is Open to Submissions for Artemis Rising 3!


PodCastle is now OPEN for submissions to celebrate ARTEMIS RISING, a special month-long event across the Escape Artists podcasts featuring stories by women and nonbinary authors in genre fiction.

Head on over to our special ARTEMIS RISING Submittable portal for more details. The portal will be open for the month of September.

All Escape Artists podcasts are currently accepting submissions for ARTEMIS RISING, so be sure to check out Escape Pod for science fiction, Pseudopod for horror, and Cast of Wonders for YA.

Thanks, and we look forward to reading your stories!


Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Guest Editor

And the PodCastle team

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PodCastle 431: La Héron

by Charlotte Ashley

read by Nadia Niaz

The lead rider was a man dressed head to toe in shiny red leather with a sword on either hip and a grotesque black mask like the face of the devil. He tipped his hat at her as he passed, his demon’s face curling into a smile, flashing sharp, dog-like teeth.

Herlechin. There could be no mistaking the creature. La Héron watched as the party pulled up in front of the inn, dismounted, and entered. When the last of the strange riders had crowded through the door, she continued toward her destination with little more than a shrug.

These were the Black Bouts of Caen, after all. Duelists and mercenaries had come from all over Christendom to compete for the glory and the purse that would be awarded to the winner. It did not matter to La Héron what creatures of the otherworld entered the lists as well. Come they from Hell, fairyland, or anywhere else, she planned to best them and to win as she had so many times before. She only needed a second.

Originally published in Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Rated PG-13.

Picture of Charlotte AshleyCharlotte Ashley is a writer, editor, critic, and bookseller living in Toronto, Canada. She is also an Alexandre Dumas fanatic who won the National Book Collecting Prize for her collection of his work, which includes 18 editions of The Three Musketeers, one of which is a purse.

Nadia Niaz is a writer, academic, language nerd, creative writing teacher and third culture kid who now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She divides what little downtime she has between cooking, knitting, painting, dancing, powerlifting and, now, narrating stories for PodCastle.

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