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Author Topic: PC464: Needle Mouth  (Read 1431 times)


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on: April 05, 2017, 02:04:19 AM
PodCastle 464: Needle Mouth

by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
read by Setsu Uzume
hosted by Graeme Dunlop
A PodCastle Original!

Rated R

When Hana Samsa woke from a fevered nap one afternoon, she found that she had been transformed into an enormous mosquito. At the foot of her bed, her tiny legs thumped against an empty bottle of Becherovka; she’d pushed it there that morning after licking the last particles of bittersweet liquor from the cap. Her head pounded in the faint light of the gas lantern by the bedside, but when she raised her new insect arms to massage her temples, they wouldn’t bend. She felt quite sure that, when she had escaped Anastázie’s embrace that morning in order to retrieve the Becherovka from beneath the bed, she had been human, had used her human tongue to lap the inside of the cap, had nudged her human head back under Anastázie’s arm and rested it on her chest, had breathed with human nostrils the sunshine smell of Anastázie’s skin. Now Anastázie was gone, likely off to work at the school, and Hana had gained four extra legs and a mouth like a needle.

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Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s fiction and poetry has appeared in over fifty magazines and anthologies both literary and speculative including Clarkesworld, The Toast, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She recently released an audio fiction-jazz collaborative album, Strange Monsters, with her partner Peter Brewer, centered around the theme of women’s voices. She is active on Twitter @BonnieJoStuffle and on her website

Setsu spent their formative years in and out of dojos. They also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. They are a member of Codex and SFWA. While they have dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck. Find Setsu on Twitter @KatanaPen

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Father Beast

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Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 12:06:49 AM
OK, this was just terrible. The central premise made me queasy, and halfway through, I considered skipping the rest, but decided to stick with it, hoping there would be something redeeming. There wasn't. I wish that I had skipped it.

My problem is that the character becomes a self described monster, and then proceeds to act like one, as if she had no choice.

This story also lacks the sense of wonder I look for in a fantasy setting.