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Episode Comments / PC742: The Morning House
« Last post by Ocicat on Yesterday at 01:19:08 AM »
PodCastle 742: The Morning House

Author: Kate Heartfield
Narrator: Kaitlyn Zivanovich
Host: Matt Dovey
Audio Producer: Devin Martin

PodCastle 742: The Morning House is a PodCastle original.


Content Warning:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Show Notes
Rated PG-13


“This B&B is frankly unacceptable,” Dad says. “I want to go home.”

Sylvia freezes, runs through all the things she shouldn’t say.

You are home, Dad.

No, don’t argue. Never argue. Rule number one. Don’t dismiss. Get into his world, because he can’t get into yours.

Don’t you remember? You bought this house before I was born. You and Mom.

Don’t mention Mom, for God’s sake. Maybe today he doesn’t know she’s dead.

I know you think it’s a bed and breakfast, but this is actually your house. We all live here, now. Me and Kayla and David and you, together. Remember, Dad? Remember? We moved in with you, in March, after the diagnosis. But this is still your house.

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Episode Comments / CoW Ep. 498: Field Biology of the Wee Fairies
« Last post by Languorous Lass on July 05, 2022, 04:22:39 AM »
Cast of Wonders 498: Field Biology of the Wee Fairies

• Author: Naomi Kritzer
• Narrator: Kara Grace
• Host: Katherine Inskip
• Audio Producer: Jeremy Carter
• Artist: Katherine Inskip

"Field Biology of the Wee Fairies" was previously published by Apex Magazine, September 4, 2018.

Click here to listen to Episode 498

Content Warning:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

When Amelia turned fourteen, everyone assured her that she’d find her fairy soon. Almost all girls did. You’d find a fairy, a beautiful little fairy, and catch her. And she’d give you a gift to let her go, and that gift was always beauty or charm or perfect hair or something else that made boys notice you. The neighbor girl, Betty, had caught her fairy when she was just nine, and so she’d never even had to go through an awkward adolescent stage; she’d been perfect and beautiful all along.

Not all fairies were equal, of course. Some of them would do a much better job for you. The First Lady Jackie Kennedy, for example, had caught the fairy
queen. Or so almost everyone said. “So keep your eyes open,” Amelia’s mother told her.

“I don’t want to catch a fairy,” Amelia said. “If I did catch a fairy, I’d keep her in a jar like my mice and study her.”

Tags:   biology, expectations, fairies, gifts, growing up, Jeremy Carter, Kara Grace, Katherine Inskip, lodestar, Naomi Kritzer, science fair, sexism, Summer Spotlight, teen protagonist, young adult fiction
Episode Comments / CatsCast 4: The Cat (patron-only release)
« Last post by laurasbadideas on July 04, 2022, 11:26:00 AM »
CatsCast 4: The Cat

Author: Nicole Walsh
Narrator: Matt Dovey
Host: Laura Pearlman
Audio Producer: Dave Robison

The Cat originally appeared in Teleport Magazine in May, 2021.

Content note: although it’s not a major theme, there is some domestic abuse in this story.

Tomas Shine spent three and a half minutes in the stairwell hyperventilating. He heard Mrs Helen Acres, the widow from Unit Two, clatter and batter her way out her door, shopping bags in hand. She spotted the cat outside the stairway and reversed soundlessly into her unit.

Tomas sucked in a ragged breath, filling his lungs to the brim, and looked up. The cat waited on the far side of the glass door. Its tail lashed back and forth. Tomas used the rail to heave himself upright, then crept down the stairs. He opened the door. The cat stood, butt shooting into the air, tail upright like a comma. It mewed.

Tomas stepped aside.

The cat led the way up the stairs. Tomas walked slowly, careful not to step on it. His hand was shaking so badly he couldn’t get the key into the lock. His work bag slid awkwardly down his arm. Sweat pooled at his armpits, licking wet trails past his ribs.

The cat pressed into his leg. A small, frightened noise slipped from his throat.

“I’m sorry,” he gasped. “I’m trying.”

Nervous sweat coated his fingertips. The keys slipped free. They landed on the tiled floor with a loud clang, startling the cat. Tomas pressed into the wall, hand raised defensively.


The cat stared, tail low and flicking. Tomas crouched slowly, extending a shaking hand for the keys. For a sickening moment he was almost eye to eye with the creature. Tomas rose. He slowly and deliberately inserted the correct key into the lock and opened his door.

A small white shape flittered past his brown work shoes.

It was done.

Tomas Shine had a cat.

Premium Content patrons can listen to (or read) the story on Patreon.
Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by Feranox on July 01, 2022, 08:32:02 AM »
Hurray! Congratulations to everyone who entered! So many excellent stories, it was an honor to be amongst such diverse creativity. Thank you to everyone who voted for Bee! And those comments! There were a few (and one in particular) that really made my day, if not month. It was a great experience, and thanks so much to the mods who orchestrated the entire affair--you are awesome :)
Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by hemipristis on June 30, 2022, 01:20:46 PM »
HUGE congratulations to the winners! They all hit perfection emotional notes, whether it was to surprise me into a laugh or to pull at my heartstrings. Well deserved wins.

I also want to add that this was a super tough contest, with so many beautiful stories. Thank you, all, for writing them!
Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by BrittleLittleRobot on June 29, 2022, 07:52:55 PM »
Congratulations! Three terrific stories, well deserving the win!
Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by drbeer on June 29, 2022, 06:46:33 PM »
Congratulations to the winners! These stories were all so enjoyable to read.
Episode Comments / PC741: Between The Island and the Deep Blue Sea
« Last post by Ocicat on June 29, 2022, 06:24:12 PM »
PodCastle 741: Between The Island and the Deep Blue Sea

Author: Jaxon Tempest
Narrator: Soleil Knowles
Host: Matt Dovey
Audio Producer: Eric Valdes

PodCastle 741: Between The Island and the Deep Blue Sea is a PodCastle original.


Show Notes
Rated PG-13


No one knew how the island floated, but everyone knew it shouldn’t.

Four thousand square miles of concrete bones and metal veins, a million people circulating daily, and yet it sat in the middle of the Atlantic like a feather on a still pond. Even those with the most rudimentary understanding of physics would cry bullshit. Everyone had their theories, of course. Some called it an act of God, others a miracle of science, and a small yet loud minority called it a 10G interface meant to hack into their minds as a part of the new world order. When the three clashed, normal family dinners and rail rides to work turned into a three-ring circus of physics, theology and conspiracy theories.

I watched their interactions with a subdued smile. They were wrong, but their commitment to their ideals was adorable.

In rare instances, the three sides of the debate came together — when outside forces got involved. They came in the form of greedy foreigners with deep pockets and silver tongues. The Bahamas was no stranger to such people, even before the sea rose over the islands. They promised investments and jobs and economic boosts, then took all their money and fled the country at the slightest inconvenience.

It wasn’t different now. Instead of exploiting the sun, sand, and sea, they exploited the island’s secret, chased it like a cryptid. They came with cameras, diving equipment, and promises to uncover the mystery. Despite the warnings from the locals, they dove into the tongue of the ocean.

I killed them all.

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Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by Liam on June 29, 2022, 01:31:48 PM »
Congrats to the winners! Glad to say I voted for two of the three (bad luck to Crosswords and Coffee, my third vote, which I still highly rate!) and had the small misfortune to share my first heat with the third winner, finishing fourth. (So I THINK I can say I was knocked out by a contest winner, right?)
Flash Fiction Contest VII - Escape Pod / Re: The Winners' Circle
« Last post by sassylittleimp on June 29, 2022, 01:01:57 PM »
Wow! Bob (Imposter Syndromes) here. Congrats to the other winners and finalists and thanks so much to the Escape Pod team for running this contest. I know what a serious investment something like this is to run and I really appreciate the labor of love from the Escape Artists/Pod folks to make this happen. It’s a tremendous experience as a writer to get feedback on your stories that exceeds “this wasn’t a fit”— and I really appreciate the way they run the contests (and for free!).

There were so many stories (and once the anonymity was lifted, writers I recognize) that I admire and appreciate; it was wonderful to be a part of it. My personal favorites were probably six reasons why bots make the worst asteroid miners, nice solar system…, and crosswords and coffee, but I liked so many of them.

Finally, an indulgent, sappy backstory you can skip: A decade ago, I dove headfirst into the world of publishing (Got an MFA, worked as an agent,adjunct, and reader) and immediately became disillusioned and burnt out. I had stopped writing fiction entirely, and never planned to return. A couple months after my first child was born in 2020, I developed a severe colon and bladder infection and underwent serious emergency surgery. I was bed-bound for months and I couldn’t listen to any of my normal supply of podcasts because they were all comedy shows and laughing hurt like hell. So…I downloaded a podcast called Escape Pod. I binged a billion episodes (and laughed and hurt my stitches). It reminded me how much I still love writing and it was a major reason I started writing again for the first time in a decade. This is an absolute thrill and it is far more emotionally rewarding than it should be to have some strangers on the internet to tell my they like my silly story about rotten fish chowder and Uncle Goose Boys.

Thanks everyone! I look forward to reading and voting for your stories in the next contest!