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PodCastle 598: The Sound of His Voice Like the Colour of Salt

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for ghosts and the terrors that make them.


The Sound of His Voice Like the Colour of Salt

By L. Chan

The ghost boy was the colour of bone, of gossamer spider web, of salt trails of dried tears. He still had his shape, his outline. No one had said his name in thirty years, even though he’d scarred the house with it, carved onto a tree in the garden, scratched into the paint under the outdoor kitchen. Scars unseen, name unspoken. The house had stood for close to a century, waking to kiss the sea breeze decades before, still standing when the red dirt roads had hardened to dark tarmac and the state had stolen the sea from it.

The house called the dead unto itself, and so the boy persisted, him and the others, outnumbering the living. Walls skinned with the colour of the ocean meeting the sky, a driveway of parched and cracked stone, girded with the garishness of bougainvillea and the shyness of orchids. The newest owners had furnished the house with a television screen the same size as a car door, computers in every room, tiny bulbs the size of candles with the glare of lighthouses; ripped out the old worm-eaten flooring in favour of inky Burmese teak. Now, you can do that, strip a house down to the bone, flay the walls from it and pull tiles like teeth. But the marrow of the house remained, so the living never stayed and the dead never left.

On the thirtieth anniversary of his death, a new ghost came to the house. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 597: The Satyr of Brandenburg — Part 2

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


The Satyr of Brandenburg

By Charlotte Ashley

[Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part novelette. Please visit last week’s post to read Part 1.]

Donshead Doombellows accompanied La Héron to confront Piacere, for she knew better than to go alone. “Witnesses,” she told the ogre. “We can remember each other. That will help.”

The satyr was in the villa’s common room entertaining a party of young nobles from the castle, fiddle at his chin and wine at hand. There was an air of camaraderie in the room, the warm togetherness of a family feast, cloying and intimate. One by one, guests drifted into the satyr’s orbit, their expressions and demeanors softening as Piacere’s presence enchanted them. The smell of roast boar and uncorked wine embraced them, delicious on undertones of crackling cedar logs.

“This really is a fine tavern, though,” Doombellows murmured, moving to sit at a table by the fire. La Héron pulled the chair away from him before he could settle into it. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 596: The Satyr of Brandenburg — Part 1

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


The Satyr of Brandenburg

By Charlotte Ashley

By the inebriated light of dawn, October the 23rd, 1700, a swarthy figure skulked in the rosebushes lining the Villa del Sulcis, outside the Sardinian town of Soleminis. The lurker clambered onto the tavern’s windowsill muttering badly hushed curses, then clumsily mounted the trellises. After a noisy minute of climbing, the figure leaped for the nearest second-story balcony, catching it by the fingertips.

Only the most carefree of slumbering inhabitants could have ignored such a racket. Draperies parted, hinting at drawn pistols and blades at the ready as several sets of wary eyes sought the cause of the disturbance. After a short investigation, a tall woman with hair the color of moldy straw threw aside her thick curtain and leaned out over the railing of her window.

“Alex?” she demanded, holstering a pistol. “What in the hells are you doing?”

“Shit,” the climber grunted, getting hold of the balcony’s iron bars and struggling to lift her foot over her head. “Héron, help me up. I think I’ve got a thorn in my thumb.”

The tall woman stood straight, crossing her arms over her chest. “You’re drunk.” (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 595: The Feast

Show Notes

Rated R.


The Feast

By K.C. Mead-Brewer

We took Emmaline on what promised to be a particularly stormy night. It wasn’t hard to do, especially since all the police and alarm company people were right there in the mob with us. Her mother, Rebecca, had to be restrained by five different people; the sheriff had to lock her in a holding cell to keep her secured.

We brought Emmaline to the closest beach and tied her to a giant lightning rod that we’d planted in the sand not far from the water. The choice of sacrifice via lightning strike surprised a lot of people, but we didn’t have a volcano to toss her into or any grand golden steps like the Mayans to push her down from. And if we were going to make the sacrifice count, if we really wanted our crops to flourish and satisfy, it made sense to us that the more drama we could build up, the better. (Continue Reading…)