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Author Topic: PC629: Though She Be But Little  (Read 507 times)


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on: June 04, 2020, 06:25:43 PM
PodCastle 629: Though She Be But Little

Author: C.S.E. Cooney
Narrator: Julia Rios
Host: Setsu Uzume
Audio Producer: Peter Behravesh

Originally published in Uncanny Magazine. Previously published in Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve, and Subterranean Press’s The Best of Uncanny Magazine (2020).


Show Notes
Rated PG-13.A statement from PodCastle on the ongoing protests against police brutality and anti-Black racism (included in audio at the start of the episode): As you know, protests are happening all over the U.S. to draw attention to police brutality and the ongoing injustice Black Americans are forced to endure. Make no mistake, PodCastle supports Black Lives Matter and we demand justice George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & all victims of police violence. If you want to help and don’t know where to start, please donate to your local bail fund and the National Bail Fund Network. When everything looks bleak, and you don’t know what to do, look outward to your community. We help ourselves by helping others. Solidarity.

Emma Anne had a tin can attached by a string to her belt. Lots of things on strings bounced and banged from it: some useful , some decorative , some that simply seemed interesting enough to warrant a permanent yo-yoing to her person .

“Emma Anne’s Heavy Weight Stacked Plate Championship Wrestling Belt,” Captain Howard called it. Captain Howard often capitalized the first letters of words she spoke out loud.

The belt was leather and embossed bronze, like a python wrapped twice about Emma Anne’s torso. It had appeared along with Captious and Bumptious the night the sky turned silver. So had the tin can. They were all part of Emma Anne’s endowments.

Emma Anne hadn’t known how to use any of her endowments at first. Nothing was obvious until it was.

She brought the tin can up to her mouth and spoke into its cavity as clearly as she could. Endowments obeyed intent.

“Emma Anne to Margaret Howard. Come in please, Captain Howard.”

Captain Margaret Howard, Way Pirate of Route 1, did not deal in tin cans. What she had was her parrot, George Sand. George Sand got reception.

“Rrrawk,” Emma Anne’s tin can blatted back at her. “Whaddya want?”

“What do you want, over,” Emma Anne corrected.

She wouldn’t have corrected Captain Howard to her face, but George Sand never failed to get on Emma’s nerves.

“Rrrawk! Take it and rrawk yourself,” said George Sand. “Over.”

There was a pause while Emma Anne’s chest tightened.

The tin can blatted: “Cap’n Howard makes her apologies for her rude bird, over. Please continue, kid, over.”

She took a deep breath and decided not, after all, to cry.

“Captain, I’ve had a second visitation. It’s the Loping Man for sure. I think he’s coming for me tonight. Can you please meet me at Potter Hill preserve? He’s been showing up around eight o’ clock, so if you could come before that, I’d be really . . . But I understand if you’ll be out, out . . .”

Emma Anne knew the word she wanted to say, or knew that she had known it not too long ago. It dissolved at the back of her throat like a Vitamin C tablet. Left a tang.

George Sand provided.

“Carousing!” it squawked. “Roistering. Wassailing. Possibly pillaging. Pirate Banquet tonight up at The Grill. Starts at seven. Mandatory.” Another pause, wherein  Captain Howard related something to her parrot even it would not repeat. “Er . . . over.”

“Bye,” said Emma Anne in a much smaller voice. She let the tin can fall. It bonged hollowly against her knee.

Captious sighed. “Well. That went about the way we thought.”

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