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Get your 500 word fantasy stories ready! We'll be open for submissions through the month of March, and starting the voting sometime in early April. Full details on Podcastle's website

Author Topic: PodCastle Minature 46: Debris  (Read 3324 times)

Heradel

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on: January 29, 2010, 04:06:47 AM
PodCastle Minature 46: Debris

by Kiini Ibura Salaam

Read by Ann Leckie

Originally published in Ideomancer

It is legend how my mother kept my grandmother’s eye sockets clean with the pure white feather of a cockatoo. She often sent me to the forests to pick marigolds to stack high around Grandmother’s skull. Grandmother loved the smell of the marigolds. She told me so every time I entered the house with an armful of fragrant weeds.

After my grandmother’s head had been sitting in the altar room for a month, my mother realized my grandmother was dying, not because of her missing body, but because she was bored. Mother brought Grandmother into the living room and positioned her right in front of the window. There Grandmother sat happily for a week until Dad caught her promising her skull to an epileptic candy vendor.

Rated R: For Skulls, Sweet and Otherwise, and Days of the Dead
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 01:14:20 AM by Heradel »

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Scattercat

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Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 07:14:06 AM
It made me smile, but I was glad it was a flash piece.  I was just getting tired of the conceit when it finished up and tied itself into a neat little bow for me.  Can't really ask for better timing.

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Kaa

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Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 08:44:25 PM
I'm with Scattercat on this one: I enjoyed it, but was glad it was a flash piece.

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Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 03:46:15 PM
Not too much to add to what the others said.    The bone-creatures are both powerful (invisible and can cause excruciating pain at will) but also so vulnerable (tiny bits of debris are their undoing).  The idea of an afterlife after the afterlife is an interesting idea.  :)




schmetterling

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Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 07:53:08 AM
I don't get it.

Now before someone accuses me of saying little more than "meh", let me explain.  I liked the beginning, and I was getting into the story, when it ended.  If it wasn't for the outro, I'd have thought the file was incomplete.  I felt like the story had no ending, and was waiting for more.  Thus, I don't get it.  I liked where it was heading in the beginning, and the reader's voice seemed well suited to it, and it was definitely intriguing to me, until it was over.  Maybe I missed something, as others seemed to have enjoyed it more, or at least understood it more.

I may try listening again, just in case.



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Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 03:35:23 PM
I don't get it.

Now before someone accuses me of saying little more than "meh", let me explain.  I liked the beginning, and I was getting into the story, when it ended.  If it wasn't for the outro, I'd have thought the file was incomplete.  I felt like the story had no ending, and was waiting for more.  Thus, I don't get it.  I liked where it was heading in the beginning, and the reader's voice seemed well suited to it, and it was definitely intriguing to me, until it was over.  Maybe I missed something, as others seemed to have enjoyed it more, or at least understood it more.

I may try listening again, just in case.

As far as I understood, the protagonist is some kind of spirit of the dead, invisible to the living, but still semi-physical in nature.  They can wield great power by reaching into people and tweaking their spines, but they're also hugely vulnerable in that simple clods of dirt are immovable weights upon them.  A little bit of dust in her grandmothers (I think it was) skull caused her to start giving up all of her parts save her skull, and the protagonist is completely buried by dirt.  But at that point she discovers there is an afterlife after the afterlife where they live on in an even more ephemeral form, not bound to bones or anything. 



LaShawn

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Reply #6 on: March 09, 2010, 04:46:07 PM
I liked this one. Had to listen to it twice to fully get it, but I liked it.

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