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Author Topic: Podcastle Miniature 41: East Of Chula Vista  (Read 4942 times)

Heradel

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on: November 14, 2009, 04:58:53 PM
Podcastle Miniature 41: East Of Chula Vista

By Samantha Henderson
Read by Ben Phillips

Originally published in Abyss & Apex.

I rock in the bentwood chair on the porch and wait. I know about the
bodies in the arroyo, in the mesquite ash between the charred trunks
of the live oaks. The grass beneath the mesquite had grown long in
winter rains and was shriveled dry by the summer heat. Fire had
crisped it quickly, and the oaks were dense hard wood, old fuels,
burning long and hot and all-consuming.

Eventually they all come to me like homing pigeons, those unlucky ones
who die in the unforgiving desert, short water or caught out at night
with no fire and not enough of them to huddle together to keep warm,
not thinking how cold the badlands get in the middle of the night with
nothing to keep in the day’s heat. They come to me at dusk,
hollow-eyed and bewildered to my front yard, all of them. They stand,
wavering in the moonlight, waiting for me to let them go.

Rated R: Ghosts are Unhappy for a Reason
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 05:52:48 AM by Heradel »

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MacArthurBug

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Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 12:09:14 PM
huh
What a horrible interesting little story. Unsettling and slightly bitter sweet. The desert was painted well enough that it made a veryvery small part of me home sick.

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yicheng

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Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 05:20:22 PM
I loved this story, but for personal reasons.  It reminds me of when I used to go out hiking in the Arizona desert.  I loved going out where it was so quiet that all you can hear is your own breathing and the crunch of your shoes on the ground.  I used to find all kinds of things out there too, from the mundane things like broken beer bottles or a pile of shotgun shells to the weird like a rusted car battery many miles from a road or a tattered remains of a woman's underwear.



Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 05:41:26 PM
It was okay.  Nothing happened that really caught my interest in any major way.



eytanz

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Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 11:13:55 AM
A bit heavier on style than substance, in my opinion. It felt more like the beginning of a longer story than a self-contained piece.



gelee

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Reply #5 on: November 18, 2009, 03:10:06 PM
I'll have to agree with eytanz, but only to a point.  I would agree that this piece definately emphisized style over plot, but I think the author was successful enough that it was able to carry the story.  I think this comes up a lot when people work in the flash format.  You don't normally have enough space to lay out a plot with character development and whatnot.



stePH

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Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 03:10:35 PM
Is this the story that needed a Spanish-speaking narrator?

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eytanz

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Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 04:36:04 PM
I'll have to agree with eytanz, but only to a point.  I would agree that this piece definately emphisized style over plot, but I think the author was successful enough that it was able to carry the story.  I think this comes up a lot when people work in the flash format.  You don't normally have enough space to lay out a plot with character development and whatnot.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply, in my somewhat hurried comment, that I thought the story a failure by any means. I think it was very succesful as a small mood piece, and had pretty nice world development in it, and a nice story. However, what it didn't feel to me was like a self-contained piece - it felt like we were getting a glimpse of a larger story being set in motion.



DKT

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Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 06:24:07 PM
Is this the story that needed a Spanish-speaking narrator?

No. There's actually a couple stories coming up that was for. And I suspect there will be more in the future.


Scattercat

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Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 04:48:52 AM
I enjoyed it, though I think the desert was the most three-dimensional character in it.  Still, a good meditation upon a setting is a nice palate-cleanser every now and then.  I think the coyote angle was hit a teensy bit too hard; those notes threatened to overwhelm the melody now and then.  Still, one can be forgiven for over-emphasizing that a little, given how appalling some of the actual facts are.

I must say, I was waiting for some sort of Final Revelation about the narrator, but if there was one, I missed it.  Was it just me that had that sense of building expectation?

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kibitzer

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Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 10:29:03 PM
Now that was a good miniature. About the right length and with enough in it to keep me interested. Excellent piece.


RedArrow

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Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 02:10:26 AM
I agree with the previous.  I thought this was extremely well done.  I hope there are more like this coming... ;D



Listener

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Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 01:03:40 PM
This felt way too heavy-handed to me in regard to (in regards to?) immigration policy, coyotes, and border posses vs people who put water out in the desert to help those jumping the border. I felt more like the fantasy elements were incidental to that, especially when the coyote was killed in the fire he set.

It would be cool if there really was some dude out there in a house in the middle of the desert to facilitate the moving-on of people who died trying to cross it.

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Fenrix

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Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 11:07:28 PM
When I share this story, I'll make sure to compile it with Jim Biyeh's Coyote Tales. Good stuff.

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