Archive for Rated R

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PodCastle 709: TALES FROM THE VAULTS – America Thief

Show Notes

Rated R

This episode is a part of our Tales from the Vaults series, in which a member of PodCastle’s staff chooses a backlist episode to highlight and discuss. This week’s episode was chosen by associate editor Hamilton Perez. “America Thief” originally aired as PodCastle 319.


America Thief

by Alter S. Reiss

I looked around the table. Most of the people there weren’t paying much attention. Lansky looked a little embarrassed, and Siegel shook his head. “You want me to find out if Chaim Goldberg can turn lead into gold, or if he’s running some sort of scam,” I said.

“Of course he’s running a scam,” said Lansky. “I want to know how he’s doing it.”

“My friend Meyer is unfortunately narrow-minded,” said Rothstein. “I am willing to entertain the possibility that he’s getting his gold through means that are not generally considered possible. Which is why I have entrusted this task to your care.”

“So you want me to find out where Goldbug is getting his gold from,” I said. “And?”

“No and,” said Rothstein. “Just that. It’s a simple job, and I’ll give you a thousand dollars for doing it.”

“A thousand dollars is a lot of money, Benny,” said Legs, putting his oar in. “Live things up a little, show your girl a good time.”

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PodCastle 707: TALES FROM THE VAULTS – Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints

Show Notes

Rated R

This episode is a part of our Tales from the Vaults series, in which a member of PodCastle’s staff chooses a backlist episode to highlight and discuss. This week’s episode was chosen by associate editor Tierney Bailey. “Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints” originally aired as PodCastle 302.


Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints

by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Jump up! Take arms! Bare teeth!

We fight for these sands.

Sink iron knives and white teeth into their scented flesh, their soft city flesh, those stealers of our homes. This is our city now, this desert with its winds that scour our cheeks, its dunes that join us in song, its rare springs that we lap at so gently. We once gulped rivers of rubies and pearls; now they do and we will never be able to claim them back. We will not let them take this final city of air and graveyards from us! Jump up!

We fight for these sands with everything we have and sometimes we forget the feel of a sister’s shoulder beneath our heads, we’ve been so long without sleep–but today will be remembered for more than this.

Today we retrieve the bodies of our Saints.

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PodCastle 705: TALES FROM THE VAULTS – Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer

Show Notes

Rated R

This episode is a part of our Tales from the Vaults series, in which a member of PodCastle’s staff chooses a backlist episode to highlight and discuss. Today’s bonus episode was chosen by associate editor Emmalia Harrington. “Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” originally aired as PodCastle 269.


Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer

by Kenneth Schneyer

34.     Magda #4 (1989)
Oil on poplar wood, 30 x 21″
Private collection

Sometimes called “Devotion” by critics, this nude the earliest extant work featuring Magda Ridley Meszaros (1963-2023), Latimer’s favorite model and later her wife.  The lushness of the flesh and the rosiness of the skin are reminiscent of Renoir’s paintings of Aline Charigot (See, e.g., The Large Bathers (1887) (Fig. 8)).  Latimer maintains microscopic hyperrealism even as she employs radiating brushstrokes which emanate from the model, as if Meszaros is the source of reality itself.

Discussion questions:

a.      The materials and dimensions of this painting duplicate those of Da Vinci’s La Gioconda (c. 1503-1519) (Fig. 17).  Is this merely a compositional joke or homage by Latimer?  How does it change the way you see the painting?

b.      Most biographers agree that Latimer and Meszaros were already lovers by the time this work was completed.  Is this apparent from the composition or technique?  From the pose of the model?  As you proceed through the exhibit, note similarities and differences between this and other portrayals of Meszaros over the next 34 years.

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PodCastle 693: Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart

Show Notes

Rated R


Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart

by Louis Evans

Agent Heartbreak and the Misery Muse meet cute on a lonely-hearts cruise.

Their gazes lock above the brunch buffet.

She—let’s go with “she” for Agent Heartbreak, inaccurate though it is—she is a vision in a silk robe, bathing costume high to her neck and cut open just below her sternum, cheekbones like a jewel-thief’s kit. She is spooning a single deviled egg onto an undersized plate, objectively the most awkward food to serve at a buffet, but her muscular arms move it the way the hired dance virtuoso whirls an ingenue across the ballroom floor. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 692: When the White Bird Sings

Show Notes

Rated R


When the White Bird Sings

by KT Bryski

Bones show best in cold weather.

Sharp lines cut under skin; bare branches crack against the sky; snow drives on snow. In a land wiped clean, only the essential remains.

The village freezes, and hungers. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 683: Three for Hers

Show Notes

Rated R.


Three For Hers

by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko

 

The second time one of Vida’s brothers came home with strips of flesh cut out of his back, she decided it was time for the Margrave’s rule to end.

‘Don’t go,’ her middle brother sobbed. His bandages had soaked through, blood clumping where it met the grimy floor. ‘I was brave and fierce, and it was not enough.’

‘Don’t go,’ her oldest brother pleaded. His back had scarred a long time ago. So had his spirit. ‘I was strong and stubborn, and it was not enough.’

‘Please don’t go.’ Her father’s face was the hardest to ignore. Vida bundled the last of her belongings. It did not take long: the Plemitschi allowed them only food and clothing.

‘We have served the rulers of this land since it was young.’ Vida looked down as she spoke. Her father remembered a time when their service had been freely given, one Yagichari to another. She did not wish to see that nostalgia on his face. ‘I will not stop now.’

‘I’ll go instead,’ her father said. ‘You cannot do this to your brothers. They rely on your good cheer. I cannot bear to see your heart harden in the Margrave’s service.’

Vida did not want to upset him. She did not say, My heart hardened the day the Plemitschi came. Or, My heart broke the day the plague broke out, and I have pretended ever since, for you and for my brothers, because I knew I was stronger. Or, There is no heart where the Plemitschi tread.

‘I will serve,’ Vida said, and left.

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 681: TALES FROM THE VAULTS —Wolfy Things

Show Notes

Rated R.

This episode is a part of our Tales from the Vaults series, in which a member of PodCastle’s staff chooses a backlist episode to highlight and discuss. This week’s episode was chosen by departing co-editor, Jen R. Albert. “Wolfy Things” originally aired as PodCastle 429.


Wolfy Things

by Erin Roberts

 

Tonight, me and Lee gonna kill the wolf. Been digging a pit out in the woods all summer, filling it up with wolfsbane and sharp rocks big as our heads, covering it up with leaves so wolfy eyes can’t tell it’s there. Lee even snatched a whole chicken outta his Pa’s coop, snapped its neck and threw it on the pile like some kinda wolf Christmas come early. Wolf just has to go sniffing over by the edge and we give a good push and we’ll be Nicky and Lee, honest-to-God wolf-killers.

Lee says they still gonna be talking ‘bout us when our grandkids is old and crook-backed, just like they do Old Cooper Lyons. Coop’s mean as a snake in a wood pile, but ever since he tricked that whole pack into calling truce and then burned ‘em to the ground, cubs and all, they ‘bout throw him a parade whenever he comes through town. So by sunup, ain’t nobody gonna care why I ain’t got no Daddy or where Lee’s Ma went off to or how I got my devil eyes. And once that damn wolf’s good and dead, he won’t be coming ‘round my house no more.


First time I seen the wolf was two years past, day I turned ten. Old enough to handle a knife and stand watch like Lee done for his Pa three years already. Wasn’t really nothing to see out there but the same old trees and stars and Lee’s Pa’s cabin down the way, but better’n watching Ma sniffle and drip tears all over the floor like a leaky roof. She been like that since forever, river in her eyes and stone in her throat, always gulping out things ‘bout vows and sins and being sorry, and ain’t a man alive what wants to watch his own Ma cry.

I woke mid-watch, leaned up against the side of the cabin, knife on the ground and wolf in my face, its goldy eyes flashing like fireflies. Froze me up faster than a tongue on ice—barely got my legs squeezed together tight enough not to piss the ground. Lee always says a wolf’ll kill you right off soon as it sees you, add you to its coat of little boy skins. But this one just stood there tall on hind legs, hairy and naked as a hound-dog, smelling like new-killed hogs and dirt and bare feet after running. Then it honest-to-God started talking, real words and everything, voice deep as far-off thunder.

“Your Ma know you’re out here?”

Hearing it talk about Ma unfroze me right quick. Man can’t let no beast come for his kin. I reached for the knife, but the wolf grabbed hold of my wrist and laughed. I tried turning this way and that, but it didn’t make no difference. Its palms was spongy-soft, but they clamped down tight as a bear trap all the same.

“Let go!”  I said, voice coming out high and squeaky.

“So you can grab your knife and gut me?”

“Do what I have to,” I said, growling in my throat to get my voice deep. “Protect my kin.”

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 676: #BloodBossBabes

Show Notes

Rated R for bloody sacrifices to thirsty gods.


#BloodBossBabes

By Rachel Kolar

 

Hey Girl!

From: Amy Shearer (serpentsisteramy@sotesh.com)

To: Heather McBride (mcheather@ymail.com)

 

Hey, girlfriend! Love looking at your beautiful family on Insta. And congrats on getting into grad school—that’s HUGE!

Furthering your education while raising a family takes so much dedication, and that’s why I think you’d be AMAZING on my team. For the past six months, I’ve been offering blood libations to Sotesh, Mother of Serpents, and let me tell you, it has changed my life! I get to set my own schedule, bleeding the unbelievers when it’s convenient for me. I have the security of knowing that when Sotesh comes in Her glory, I’ll be spared the worst of Her wrath. And She gives Her faithful THE BEST gifts! Just last week, I hit Green Level and was blessed with the ability to shed my soft warm-blood skin. Check out these before and after pics—my acne is COMPLETELY gone! #CobraClear #WhiteheadsAreForWarmbloods

I’m looking to pick up some acolytes, and you’d be a natural. Let me know if you’re interested! And give my love to Jason and the kids. <3

XOXOXO,

Amy

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 666: Reading Dead Lips — Part 2

Show Notes

Rated R.


[Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part novelette. Visit our previous post to read Part 1.]

Reading Dead Lips — Part 2

By Dustin Steinacker

They must have razed the entire village, Alex said carefully, rather than admit that ordinary people had killed the officers living here. Better for the city to appear a battle casualty.

“Why does it matter?” she managed. “Whether it was military or rebels?”

“Czir military all captured or killed. Nobody there left, but still guerrillas fighting. No need to inspire them.”

“But you know it was rebels.”

“Everybody knows. Propaganda.”

“Then why?” she pled. For understanding, for any way to put order to this. Questions of politics seemed so distant and sanitary to this charnel town before her. “Why the coverup?”

“We pretend not to. Same thing. Propaganda still works.”

These streets of death brought names back to her memory. Her friend, little Tibor, he of the harelip scar. The Valentins, who both shouted and struck their children and made Noe glad for her gentle mother. Petr Mátyás, an oddly well-to-do peddler who’d had the misfortune of settling in Óste just before the end. A nice man with a hard-to-place accent who loved a foolish pun.

All dead or enslaved or worse. This was a graveyard, as much as any she’d visited coming here.

Snap. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 665: Reading Dead Lips — Part 1

Show Notes

Rated R.


Reading Dead Lips

By Dustin Steinacker

Nouelle had always thought that she’d feel a sense of homecoming when she returned to the country that had birthed her. But after eight years, it was already a foreign land. Her first day back she risked a hostel, near the border, and the shower water was wrong; it stung her flesh with its force but never seemed to rinse off the lather. The loudest voices in the common room all spoke the occupiers’ dialects and she stayed silent rather than mark herself as a Czir. The cooking smells too were unfamiliar.

After that she slept out of doors.

She was wiser than she’d been when last she breathed Czir air (this she told herself, and sometimes she believed it too). She now knew occult sciences, after all, and had acquainted herself with the many stages of corpse-stink. So yes, she was standing on ground that she’d had to sell herself to escape, occupied ground. But she was also prepared. She’d lost everything she ever had in this country and now, dammit, she had the chance to take just one thing back.

Somewhere within these borders was her sister. (Continue Reading…)