Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz  (Read 15829 times)

Heradel

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PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« on: October 18, 2008, 04:25:55 PM »
PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz

By Kristine Dikeman
Read by Alasdair Stuart
First appearance here, in PodCastle

An Escape Pod flash fiction contest submission.

She was about 12, maybe a little younger. It’s not so easy to tell with kids, especially girls. This one looked normal enough, pink puffy coat, blond hair up in a scrunchy thing, vinyl backpack with a cartoon character — an anthropomorphic block of ice — plastered across the side. She moved down the aisle of the lurching bus with the ease of a career sailor and plopped herself down next to me.

Pulling out a pack of well-thumbed index cards, she stripped off the rubber band and held them tight in both hands, staring hard, lips moving with grim concentration. Vocab quiz. I could almost hear the electric impulses zapping through her gray matter as she tried to soak in the knowledge before she reached school. Her lips moved softly as she repeated the words to herself.

I peeked over her shoulder.

eviscerate


Rated PG. Contains Lovecraftian references, and three dollar words.


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Heradel

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 08:19:09 PM »
Alasdair was a really good reader for this one, probably because it fit into a grey area between PP and PC.

Here's the original thread on the story: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=531.0

And for anyone left wondering about some of the words, let me quote my younger self:

For everyone else reaching for a dictionary.

chitinous - chitin |ˈkītn| noun Biochemistry a fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides and forming the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi. DERIVATIVES chitinous |ˈkītn-əs| adjective

rugose |ˈroōˌgōs| adjective chiefly Biology wrinkled; corrugated : rugose corals.

squamous |ˈskwāməs| (also squamose) adjective covered with or characterized by scales : a squamous black hide. • Anatomy relating to, consisting of, or denoting a layer of epithelium that consists of very thin flattened cells : squamous cell carcinoma. • [ attrib. ] Anatomy denoting the flat portion of the temporal bone that forms part of the side of the skull.

exsanguination |ekˌsa ng gwəˈnā sh ən| noun Medicine the action of draining a person, animal, or organ of blood. • severe loss of blood. DERIVATIVES exsanguinate |ekˈsa ng gwəˌnāt| verb

From the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Whatever edition they throw on Mac's.
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Ocicat

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 10:06:37 PM »
Haven't listened yet... but didn't we skip 16?!?  ???

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 01:09:03 PM »
This was a good little piece, but between the subject matter and having Alasdair as a reader, I found myself really wondering why it ended up on PC rather than PP. Not that I'm complaining, since I listen to both, but it seems that since PP occasionally tends to have trouble finding stories that are quite "horror enough", I would have thought they'd have called dibs on this one. Plus I guess the people who listen only to PP would miss this one more than the people who listen only to PC.

Rachel Swirsky

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 08:29:07 PM »
I asked Kris Dikeman for the piece over the summer. Pseudopod had theoretically had access to it from the contest since the prior February, but never expressed interest.

We're running stories with Halloweenish themes until Halloween.

eytanz

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 11:27:54 PM »
I asked Kris Dikeman for the piece over the summer. Pseudopod had theoretically had access to it from the contest since the prior February, but never expressed interest.

Their loss, your gain.

Quote
We're running stories with Halloweenish themes until Halloween.

Cool.

Hilary Moon Murphy

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 11:51:08 PM »
What a fun little piece.  Thanks for running it!

You know, I'm sad.  I'm running out of Podcastle backlog to listen to... I will be so bereft when I will have to wait until the weekly fiction upload to get my audio fantasy fix.  Ah well, I still have over half the archives of EP left!

Hmm

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 06:33:13 AM »
Tight, fun, captivating, and excellently read.  I approve!
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ryos

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 08:44:10 AM »
It may be the least helpful comment ever, but I'm going to use it anyway:

Meh.
 ;D

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 05:43:33 PM »
 8) A bite-size morsel: quick, tasty, and satisfying. I like!

wintermute

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 01:14:47 AM »
It was OK. Might have been better at regular-length.
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eytanz

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 05:52:52 AM »
It was OK. Might have been better at regular-length.

Really? I don't see where there was room for expansion, at least not without adding quite a lot of plot.

Anarkey

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 12:11:10 PM »
As funny as it was the first time around, during the flash fiction contest.  Thanks for running this one PC! 

This one would have been a perfect promo, too.  Maybe PP will pick it up as a promo.  :)
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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 12:32:19 PM »
Alasdair was a great reader for this story. I just wish the story had been better. With a title like that, I expected more... but I didn't get it.
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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 01:15:51 PM »
Haven't listened yet... but didn't we skip 16?!?  ???

You mean you didn't get PodCastle Miniature 016: "There is No PodCastle Miniature 016" ?  ;D
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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 03:30:55 PM »
Since it's been said that PC is running "spooky" stories through Halloween, I won't make any more noise.  The reading was captivating, clear and concise!  Like Ep29, though, the fantasy didn't come out until almost the end.

Granted, that end came a lot quicker!
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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 08:36:35 PM »
Absolutely loved this.  It's so nice to see these stories finally published. Thanks, PC!

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2008, 08:03:11 PM »
Alasdair was a really good reader for this one, probably because it fit into a grey area between PP and PC.

You see, I imagined the reader selection process more like this:

Rachel: I've got myself down for "Scar Stories" so I need to find someone for "All Flee the Vocab Quiz".  Anybody?

Steve: No thanks.  I remember that one from the Flash Competition.  If I wanted to embarrass myself by reading the-words-that-only-Lovecraft-uses-that-nobody-knows-how-to-pronounce I'd have bought it for EscapePod already.

Rachel: Ben?  It's got a horror element.

Ben: Nuh-uh.  If Steve won't touch it, I'm fashioning myself a ten-foot pole not to touch it with.  How about one of our British friends?  They know all sorts of old-fashioned words.  I bet they call each other squamous all the time.

Voice of Frank Key [from the ceiling, like the voice of God]: If you think I'm falling for that you're even more stupid than I realised.  You can't give me "Vocab" on top of "Grand Guignol".

Ben: Hey, how about Alasdair?  He likes Lovecraft.

Rachel: Is it really fair to allocate him in absentia?

Steve: Yes.  Yes it is.


Joking aside, it's an excellent story, and one that really stuck in my mind from the competition.  But I think I enjoyed it even more read by Alasdair.  Kudos all round.

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2008, 12:15:57 AM »
Alasdair was the first person I asked on this story. ;)

For the record, we have fewer male readers whose voices I really like than I'd prefer. In particular, I want more guys whose voices feel timeless. We get a number of male voice submissions from men whose inflections are clearly stamped "I live in 2008."

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Re: PodCastle Miniature 017: All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2008, 05:37:38 AM »

I didn't read the flash fiction contest -- it was sort of before my time on the forums -- but I loved this story. I thought it was just right for the miniature format. I think any kind of follow-up would have been overkill.
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