Archive for Rated PG

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PodCastle 634: When I Was a Witch

Show Notes

Rated PG.


When I Was a Witch

By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

If I had understood the terms of that one-sided contract with Satan, the Time of Witching would have lasted longer — you may be sure of that. But how was I to tell? It just happened and has never happened again, though I’ve tried the same preliminaries as far as I could control them.

The thing began all of a sudden, one October midnight — the 30th, to be exact. It had been hot, really hot, all day, and was sultry and thunderous in the evening; no air stirring, and the whole house stewing
with that ill-advised activity which always seems to move the steam radiator when it isn’t wanted.

I was in a state of simmering rage — hot enough, even without the weather and the furnace — and I went up on the roof to cool off. A top-floor apartment has that advantage, among others — you can take a walk without the mediation of an elevator boy! (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 631: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — Another End of the Empire

Show Notes

Rated PG for superseded oracles, despots past their expiration dates and probability witches.


Another End of the Empire

By Tim Pratt

“I am here,” Mogrash said. “Give me the bad news.”

“A child dwells in the village of Misery Chin, in the mountain
provinces to the east. If allowed to grow to manhood, he will take
over your empire, overthrow your ways and means, and send you from the halls of your palace forever.”

Mogrash relaxed. This was, at least, not an immediate threat‚ not like the pronouncement of metastasized bone cancer she’d given his grandfather. He sighed. “So I’m expected to send my Fell Rangers to the mountains, raze the village, leave no stone upon a stone, enslave the women, and kill all the younglings to stop this dire prophecy from coming to pass.”

“It’s what your father would have done.”

“Yes, but I’m more modern than he was. Besides, we’ve seen this happen a thousand times‚ the attempt to stop the prophecy will make it come to pass, won’t it?”


To read the rest of this story, visit Strange Horizons

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PodCastle 628: Vincent’s Penny

Show Notes

Rated PG.


Vincent’s Penny

By Chris Barnham 

May 1941

I’m a child this time. Five or six years old.

Fully clothed under a bed, on a wooden floor. I touch a hand to my throat, but there is nothing there. I examine my hands and arms, astonished by the smoothness of the skin. At last, I crawl out from beneath the bed and leave the room.

Light from a jagged hole in the roof, blue sky beyond, streaked with horsetails of cloud.  The floor is dusted with splinters of wood and brick. The window at the end of the hall has daggers of glass clinging to the frame.

Over the banister, more rubble and destruction below. Some of the stairs are broken, but I pick my way downstairs, helped by the fact that I am so light now, in this child’s frame. I could skip across a field of grass and barely disturb the dew. There is a door at the foot of the stairs. I turn the handle and push, but at first it does not move. Maybe the wall has shifted in the raid. I try again, ramming my tiny shoulder against the wood.

The door releases its grip and tumbles me outside.    (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 613: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — Hoywverch

Show Notes

Rated PG.


Hoywverch

By Heather Rose Jones

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. (Continue Reading…)