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Author Topic: PC456: Mateus Goes Higher  (Read 1459 times)


  • Castle Watchcat
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on: February 22, 2017, 01:34:45 AM
PodCastle 456: Mateus Goes Higher

by Natalia Theodoridou

read by Thomas Busby

First published in Neon #42, February 2016

Rated PG-13.

Mateus can no longer see the ground from the top of his tower. He calls it a tower somewhat pompously, as in reality it is but a crooked structure made of scavenged materials stacked higher and higher towards the sky. But what is he supposed to call it? A stack? Tower is good. It conveys its importance. Mateus balances on the platform of the latest level he has added and begins his descent to collect the materials he needs for the next. The brown cloud swirls around him and a sudden gust of wind blows dust into his face. Bits of sand make tiny scrapes on his goggles. He’ll soon need to find a new pair. He puts one hand on his bandana and holds it tightly over his mouth. In the little while it takes for the wind to die down, the sound almost drowns out the whisper in his ears: Higher. Go higher.

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Natalia Theodoridou is a media & cultural studies scholar currently based in Exeter, UK. She is also the dramaturge of Adrift Performance Makers (@AdriftPM). Her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Apex, and elsewhere. Her story “Every Black Tree” is forthcoming in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Find her online at and on Twitter at @natalia_theodor.

Thomas Busby is an up and coming Actor from South Wales, United Kingdom. He’s just starting his acting career and hopes to do voice work as well. You’ll find him on The Larp Book Podcast where he and three friends discuss LARPing and generally just have a good time.

You’ll also find him streaming games at, and on Twitter @redundant_uk.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!


  • Palmer
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Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 09:23:52 PM
No comments yet? Incredible!

I thought this was a fascinating little parable. His seemingly nonsensical obsession actually yielded positive results, he managed to reach the sky and escape the dust. Yet it crippled him as he couldn't enjoy his accomplishment. Instead he had to keep building to go higher.

There was also an interesting implication with the other tower and how he couldn't find it on the ground despite it being only 100 meters away. Was the sky somehow in a different realm than the ground?  Or was the other tower a metaphor for something else?

It was a slow moving tale but I'm glad I finished it. Despite not having any clear answers as to what it all meant.


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Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 10:59:47 AM
It was an interesting story, but I couldn't think of much to say about it. The thing that I wondered about most was the voice telling him to go higher -- was it a yearning, a mental disorder, some kind of mental programming from before whatever happened, or some kind of communication from beyond?
I thought the other tower and other person might have been some kind of reflection through time until it actually attacked Mateus. Will his tower ever let some non-hostile entity find him? Or will his haphazard construct eventually collapse and kill him?


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Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 08:07:23 PM
The story raised enough questions to make me interested, but in the end it felt incomplete.