PodCastle 522: Extinctions

Show Notes

Rated R.


Extinctions

By Lina Rather

Your mother taught you three things, up in the great white wilderness, before she went and shot that man:

  1. How to kill an animal quickly and mercifully.
  2. How to kill the veiled things that prowl in the shadows at the edge of your vision. These are harder and faster beasts, but they all fall like deer in the end, and that’s the best advice your mother could have given you.
  3. How to sew and mend the veil of the world so the secret things cannot escape. Truthfully, this was your grandmother’s teaching, but your mother would have taken credit for the sun, had God not claimed it first.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 521: We Are Sirens

Show Notes

Rated R, for all the weaknesses of flesh (and how it tears between teeth).


1.

We roll into town on a bright sunny morning, steering the Caddy around the half-dozen streets that make up “downtown.” Three of us in the back dozing and the other two up front with our arms hanging out the windows, letting our fingers ride on the fall air.

We love autumn. Autumn is football and soccer and tennis season, it’s harvest festivals and Oktoberfests and the last round of carnivals and fairs. We can still get away with tank tops and shorts, or we can wear our tight wool suits with their snug skirts, or our sweaters with the necklines way, way down.

It just depends on what there is to do around here. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 520: One Day, My Dear, I’ll Shower You with Rubies

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for broken hearts and rolling heads.


One Day, My Dear, I’ll Shower You With Rubies

by Langley Hyde

“Elusia Cooper,” she said. “I’m the only child of the accused, Verus Bloodrain.”

Her father, clean-shaven and dark-haired, sat at the defendant’s bench. He looked exactly as he had when Fort Beatitude had fallen, about thirty years old, but then magic would do that. He even wore his iconic red leather robes, though his sabre sheath and gun holster hung empty, and no torture implements glittered on his utility belt.

He smiled at her. She smiled back. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 519: Burning Season

Show Notes

Rating: PG-13, for things unspeakable.


It was burning season in Rashid. Again.

Even in the shop, I could smell the smoke. Can you believe I used to like the smell of burning paper? With my eyes closed, I can still see pages glow red before they burst into flame and curl into ash until they crumble.

I clerked at a small sundries shop in Commercial. The owner was a Duchies woman, one hand peach-pale, the other brown as her shop counter. She had no love for the All-King, who had toppled her Grand Duchess, but you don’t need love to run a business, just enough money to buy mercy. After that expenditure, though, she couldn’t afford to hire a licensed Translator. Coincidentally, I couldn’t afford a license, so she paid me a little extra to quietly broker transactions from the non-Duchies customers and shippers she couldn’t understand.

I am an Omniloquist. Some say we’re a curse the last true Rashidan king put on his enemies before he died, so that we’ll never flounder helpless under a conqueror. More say we have no true power, just an uncanny ability to pick up foreign sounds quickly. Until the All-King came, I was inclined to think the latter. We were a skill with a guild, like any other. And then he came, with his Collectors. There’s nothing natural about them. Maybe there’s nothing natural about us. (Continue Reading…)