Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 010: The Desires of Houses  (Read 19257 times)

Heradel

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on: September 06, 2008, 01:52:43 AM
PodCastle Miniature 010: The Desires of Houses

By Haddayr Copley-Woods
Read by Rachel Swirsky
First appeared in Strange Horizons (full text online)

The floor is sulking. She almost always wears shoes in the basement, and the cement lies all day in agony listening to the first floor’s boards sighing loudly in ecstasy at the touch of her bare heels.

All it can hope for in its slow, cold way is that the woman will scoop the cat boxes, squatting on her heels, after she starts a load of laundry. Today oh joy oh joy she does. The floor is practically writhing at the smell of her (she always showers after the scooping, so her scent is thick)—the tangy rich odor. The cement feels (or maybe it’s just wishful thinking) just a bit of her damp warmth.

But then she is sweeping the floor, oblivious as always to the swooning house around her, ruining the floor’s pleasure with the horrible scented litter she sweeps up and tosses back in the box.

She yanks open the dryer, who feels violated and then guilty for enjoying it, dumps the hot, panting shirts and shorts into a basket, and heads back upstairs, carefully turning off the lights to avoid the lecture about electricity the man will give her later if she doesn’t. Even minutes later, the cords are still shaking in the darkness.


Rated R. Contains desire.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008, 07:07:03 AM by Heradel »

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MacArthurBug

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Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 04:26:32 AM
humm

Bored housewife self gratification. This immidiatly struck me as the sort of story I've have written if I felt underappriciated (but I'm not, I'm worshipped as is my due).  It made me sad - that the couple wern't communicating their issues with each other. That the only love we saw anyone getting was the unrequited love of household things. The reading was kinda hot, and I feel slightly dirty now, but am afraid that if I shower my tub will resent me.

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Lionman

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Reply #2 on: September 08, 2008, 04:09:22 PM
Um.. "Broad, fleshy rump of the man..."

Dude...when did this become a Harlaquin podcast?!   ???

I can say this one was one that rocketed right towards the bottom of my list of PodCastle podcasts.

EDIT:  Okay, it was creative though.  That much, I do admit and admire.

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Ocicat

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Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 06:38:47 PM
Didn't turn my crank.



Hatton

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Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 07:01:43 PM
If walls could talk, these would be writing trashy romance novels!


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Hilary Moon Murphy

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Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 07:21:50 PM
I've always loved this particular story of Haddayr's -- short, sexy, funny, and clever with just enough pain to make it poignant.  I realize that I may be in the minority here with my appreciation of it, but I am very glad that it was chosen for Podcastle.

Hmm


Heradel

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Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 07:22:27 PM
I've always loved this particular story of Haddayr's -- short, sexy, funny, and clever with just enough pain to make it poignant.  I realize that I may be in the minority here with my appreciation of it, but I am very glad that it was chosen for Podcastle.

Hmm

I liked it. Bit of a change up and the narration was perfectly toned.

P.S. I just realized that that was your initials and not a sound.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 07:23:58 PM by Heradel »

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Anarkey

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Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 07:46:34 PM
I really liked this one.  Well written, well read.  And it seems like anyone else writing this would have done it with less brevity, which would have killed it.  This is what flash is supposed to do, stuff you can't do in more space, because it falls down if you try.  Good choice, PC.

Thematically I liked the tension between the house pieces' inability to communicate desire contrasted with the living couple's unwillingness to.

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Hilary Moon Murphy

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Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 10:52:22 PM
P.S. I just realized that that was your initials and not a sound.

Yes!  Very perceptive of you. 

Most people don't realize that, so they think I am constantly humming or something...

 :P

Hmm


JoeFitz

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Reply #9 on: September 09, 2008, 01:04:44 AM
I really liked this one.  Well written, well read.  And it seems like anyone else writing this would have done it with less brevity, which would have killed it.  This is what flash is supposed to do, stuff you can't do in more space, because it falls down if you try.  Good choice, PC.

Thematically I liked the tension between the house pieces' inability to communicate desire contrasted with the living couple's unwillingness to.

Well said!



Chivalrybean

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Reply #10 on: September 09, 2008, 06:21:14 AM
While I didn't dislike it per se, it was a couple ten penny nails away from being really creepy horror. It didn't come across that way in the story, but I just thought it was really close. Overall, not quite my cup of tea. I didn't care about the house at all, but I did think that the man of the house, seems wrong to use that term is this case, needed a two by four upside the head and a lesson in how to build a happy home. He was certainly no stud, that's not sure. Ok, I'll stop hammering you with puns now.

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eytanz

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Reply #11 on: September 09, 2008, 08:13:34 PM
I liked this one very much, for two reasons:

A - I loved the last sentence. Until the last sentence I was a bit dubious about the premise, but the last sentence was so perfect it made everything work.

B - Great reading. It was obvious Rachel was having a lot of fun with it, and it was contagious.



DKT

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Reply #12 on: September 10, 2008, 03:56:43 PM
I really liked this one.  Well written, well read.  And it seems like anyone else writing this would have done it with less brevity, which would have killed it.  This is what flash is supposed to do, stuff you can't do in more space, because it falls down if you try.  Good choice, PC.

Thematically I liked the tension between the house pieces' inability to communicate desire contrasted with the living couple's unwillingness to.

You said FLASH  ;D 

Eh, at least now I know why my wife is contemplating being a stay-at-home mom...


Talia

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Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 01:57:53 PM
Heh heh, this one was just so much fun. Yay houseporn!

Reminds me of what I think (??) was an old EP episode from a good while back, about sentient houses that got up, walked around and even mated with each other.



Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #14 on: September 11, 2008, 02:40:34 PM
"sentient houses that got up, walked around and even mated with each other. "

Single White Farmhouse by Heather Shaw.



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Reply #15 on: September 11, 2008, 04:06:20 PM
Good, but not my cup of tea.  Kinda creepy - hope my house doesn't think that way about me and my wife.



Talia

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Reply #16 on: September 11, 2008, 05:41:19 PM
"sentient houses that got up, walked around and even mated with each other. "

Single White Farmhouse by Heather Shaw.

Ah yes. Thanks.

That was fun too. I'm a fan of stories of anthropomorphized (if thats the correct usage of the term) objects.



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Reply #17 on: September 11, 2008, 09:51:12 PM
This was a very strange piece of erotica. I didn't dislike it, but I don't know if I actually enjoyed it.

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Reply #18 on: September 11, 2008, 09:57:44 PM
This was a very strange piece of erotica. I didn't dislike it, but I don't know if I actually enjoyed it.

I'm pretty sure that I didn't. 

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ieDaddy

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Reply #19 on: September 11, 2008, 10:43:37 PM
This was a very strange piece of erotica. I didn't dislike it, but I don't know if I actually enjoyed it.

I'm pretty sure that I didn't. 

I think I'm going to go home and scrub my toilet...  oh the visions in my head on that one!  I hope my house doesn't uhh.... "spring an unexpected leak" from my vigorous scrubbing actions...



Chivalrybean

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Reply #20 on: September 16, 2008, 04:58:01 AM
This was a very strange piece of erotica. I didn't dislike it, but I don't know if I actually enjoyed it.

I'm pretty sure that I didn't. 

I think I'm going to go home and scrub my toilet...  oh the visions in my head on that one!  I hope my house doesn't uhh.... "spring an unexpected leak" from my vigorous scrubbing actions...

Bleh.

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Myrealana

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Reply #21 on: September 17, 2008, 05:50:59 PM
I think it was actually too long. It was kind of interesting at the beginning, and then the house got really creepy.

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Reply #22 on: September 17, 2008, 06:44:35 PM
Quote
It was kind of interesting at the beginning, and then the house got really creepy.

You said it. The idea of a house getting its jollies by the act of being used almost seems like a segue way into a horror tale.

The female kitchen stove, inflamed (pun intended  ;)) that it is the women and not the man fiddling with her knobs, hatches a plan to ignite all her burners when the man and woman next decide to shag it on top of her.

The garbage disposal of indeterminate sexual origin, tired being ignored decides the woman will be losing more than a spoon the next time she goes searching around with her hand.

Hell hath no fury as an erotic house ignored. 

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Listener

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Reply #23 on: September 17, 2008, 11:16:28 PM
This was a very strange piece of erotica. I didn't dislike it, but I don't know if I actually enjoyed it.

I'm pretty sure that I didn't. 

I think I'm going to go home and scrub my toilet...  oh the visions in my head on that one!  I hope my house doesn't uhh.... "spring an unexpected leak" from my vigorous scrubbing actions...

The first time we spent a weekend away after buying our house, the water heater sprung a major leak and flooded our house. Was it really so starved for companionship that it fapped the whole time?

/just sayin'

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ryos

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Reply #24 on: September 18, 2008, 11:40:50 PM
I absolutely hated this one. I stopped listening before the end - and with a story this short, that should give you some idea of the depth of my dislike.

Ok, so, everything's anthropomorphized, right? And it's all exquisitely turned on by everything either the man or the woman (but mostly the woman) does, which simultaneously disturbed and annoyed the heck out of me. I actually listened to 5 of the story's 7 minutes in hopes that there might be some point to it beyond that, but it didn't come before I just couldn't take the disturbannoyance anymore and had to turn it off.

I haven't reacted this negatively to an Escape Artists story since the last time Escape Pod ran a Silverberg story.



veganvampire

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Reply #25 on: September 19, 2008, 03:18:01 AM
I try to keep an open mind while listening to a story the first time.  I try to suspend my disbelief, and accept any surrealism.  Usually, while I am listening, I love every story I hear while I am hearing it.

That being said, while I was listening to The Desires of Houses, only one word was running through my head while I was listening to it : creeeeeeepy.



Sandikal

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Reply #26 on: September 27, 2008, 08:37:24 PM
I just listened to this while washing the walls of a room I'm getting ready to paint.  My house must really love me!



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Reply #27 on: October 02, 2008, 03:33:43 AM
Wow.  I'm surprised at how many people didn't like this.  It was short and a great story for being so short.  The reading was excellent too.

Why is everyone getting creeped out, can't anything happen in fantasy?  Did no one hear Mer's story on EscapePod about cities that were alive?

This was my second favorite Flash story after the little girls and the quarters story.



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Reply #28 on: November 22, 2008, 05:47:43 PM
I figured today--housework day--would be a great day to catch up on all the podcasts I'd missed because I just moved into a new house. Apparently so! I was loading up the laundry when I pushed play on this one. My next stop was going to be the cat box...but now I think I'll head for the bathtub.



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Reply #29 on: November 23, 2008, 01:43:34 AM
Wow.  I'm surprised at how many people didn't like this.  It was short and a great story for being so short.  The reading was excellent too.

Why is everyone getting creeped out, can't anything happen in fantasy?  Did no one hear Mer's story on EscapePod about cities that were alive?

I remember that one.  Unlike most of Mur Lafferty's stories, I had no great opinion of it.

The only thing I could say in this story's favor is that it was short.  Mercifully short.  It's the only thing most of these miniatures have in their favor -- I can count on one hand the ones that I liked, and still have a finger or three left over to give the rest a rude gesture  :P

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Reply #30 on: November 17, 2009, 10:18:25 PM
Well it was definitely unique.  I'm not a huge fan of stories told from the POV of inanimate objects, but of that subgenre, this wasn't a bad execution of it. 

I did find it very creepy, and a living house has lots of potential for stories, but in the end it turned out to be mostly a scenario description, a snapshot of a life, but didn't give the plot arc that I crave.