Archive for Giants

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PodCastle 215, Giant Episode: Ours is the Prettiest

Show Notes

Rated R for language, sex

Ours is the Prettiest

by Nalo Hopkinson

The camel bus had a black banner draped around it. The lettering on it was made to look ike bones, and read “We Dead Awaken.” Through the windows we could see the musicians, all of them wearing funereal black suits, including top hats tricked out with black lace veils. Even the musicians were playin’ mas’. It was a brass band, instruments shouting out the melody to a song I almost recognized.

Today was Jou’vert; the daylong free-for-all we were pleased to call a “parade” ushered in the week of bacchanalia that was Bordertown’s more or less annual Jamboree. Word had gone around town that thi year’s theme was “jazz funeral.” I was dressed as a Catrina from the Dia de los Muertos — a gorgeous femme skeleton in sultry widow’s weeds, complete with a massive picture hat.

I suppressed a sneeze; my sinuses were tingling. Juju breeze for true, blowing a withcy front of magic from the Realm into Bordertown. Juju weather always made things in Bordertown especially…interesting.

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PodCastle 207, Giant Episode: Hope Chest

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains violence.

Hope Chest

by Garth Nix

One dusty, slow morning in the summer of 1922, a passenger was left crying on the platform when the milk train pulled out of Denilburg after its five minute stop. No one noticed at first, what with the whistle from the train and the billowing steam and smoke and the labouring of the steel wheels upon the rails. The milk carter was busy with the cans, the station master with the mail. No one else was about, not when the full dawn was still half a cup of coffee away.

When the train had rounded the corner, taking its noise with it, the crying could be clearly heard. Milk carter and station master both looked up from their work and saw the source of the noise.

A baby, tightly swaddled in a pink blanket, was precariously balanced on a large steamer trunk on the very edge of the platform. With every cry and wriggle, the baby was moving closer to the side of the trunk. If she fell, she’d fall not only from the trunk, but from the platform, down to the rails four feet below.

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PodCastle 178, Giant Episode: Braiding the Ghosts

Braiding the Ghosts

by C.S.E. Cooney

That first year, when Nin was eight, she wanted her mother so desperately. But Noir was dead, she was dead, and would always be dead, thanks to Reshka.

Reshka liked to say, “I’m not above keeping ghosts in the house for handmaids and men-of-all-work. There must be ghosts for sweeping, for scrubbing, ghosts for plunging the toilets or repairing the roof, ghosts to fix the swamp cooler and to wash and dry the dishes. But,” said Reshka, “but I will be damned—I will be damned and in hell and dancing for the Devil—before I summon any daughter of mine from the grave.”

So Reshka had Noir cremated three days after her death. Afterward, she prepared the funeral feast in Noir and Nin’s small apartment kitchen.

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PodCastle 175, Giant Episode: El Regalo

Show Notes

Rated PG

El Regalo

by Peter S. Beagle

“You can’t kill him,” Mr. Luke said. “Your mother wouldn’t like it.” After some consideration, he added, “I’d be rather annoyed myself.”

“But wait,” Angie said, in the dramatic tones of a television commercial for some miraculous mop. “There’s more. I didn’t tell you about the brandied cupcakes—”

“Yes, you did.”

“And about him telling Jennifer Williams what I got her for her birthday, and she pitched a fit, because she had two of them already—”

“He meant well,” her father said cautiously. “I’m pretty sure.”

“And then when he finked to Mom about me and Orlando Cruz, and we weren’t doing anything—”

“Nevertheless. No killing.”

Angie brushed sweaty mouse-brown hair off her forehead and regrouped.

“Can I at least maim him a little? Trust me, he’s earned it.”

“I don’t doubt you,” Mr. Luke agreed. “But you’re fifteen, and Marvyn’s eight. Eight and a half. You’re bigger than he is, so beating him up isn’t fair. When you’re . . . oh, say, twenty-three, and he’s sixteen and a half—okay, you can try it then. Not until.”

Angie’s wordless grunt might or might not have been assent. She started out of the room, but her father called her back, holding out his right hand.

“Pinky- swear, kid.” Angie eyed him warily, but hooked her little finger around his without hesitation, which was a mistake. “You did that much too easily,” her father said, frowning. “Swear by Buffy.”