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Author Topic: PC Miniature 62: The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Ortega  (Read 4731 times)
Talia
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« on: April 30, 2011, 11:21:44 PM »

PodCastle Miniature 62: The Transfiguration of Maria Luisa Ortega

By E. Lily Yu

Read by Julia Rios (of the Outer Alliance Podcast)

Originally published in the Kenyon Review Online (read it online here)

The first time MarĂ­a Luisa Ortega cursed, after stabbing herself with a pair of steel tweezers, she turned into a sea urchin. Two weeks passed before a peripatetic priest found her lying in the sand and uncursed her. It was a frequent occurrence, he explained, and for this reason he always carried a squirt bottle of holy water in his bag, to bless the poor souls he found in the shapes of dolphins, fish, lobsters, or, in less fortunate cases, mollusks.

Rated G.
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 12:36:55 PM »

That was a seriously weird story.

Perfect for flash, though; if it had gone on much longer, I think it would have started to irritate me.

I liked how it seemed to be an indictment of cursing and an endorsement of holiness, but then turned orthogonally into something just a little more subversive.
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"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 04:35:02 AM »

Well I loved this one. Felt like the beginning of a longer story but I can totally see why it stopped where it did.

*!#$@*&&!"\|!!

(turns into a sea slug)
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danooli
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 05:51:23 AM »

Cute.  I am left wondering how a person who has been transfigured is recognized though.  Grin
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Scattercat
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 08:36:37 AM »

Win on this one, def'nitely.  Reminded me of me, if that's not blisteringly arrogant to say.  (As in, this is like an idea I'd have used over at Mirrorshards; short, weird, and slightly off-kilter in viewpoint.)
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 10:15:13 AM »

I enjoyed this story: short, sweet, and deeply weird. I don't have a lot more to say about it, because not a lot happened, but what happened kept me heartily amused, for a little while.
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 02:49:55 PM »

I'm left wondering "but why?Huh" As in, why did she take up his job and why did he want to be a sea lion??? But I guess that's a mark of a good flash piece, so yeah, I liked it Smiley
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Faraway Ray
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 10:56:18 PM »

Had a Gabrial Garcia Marquez vibe from this. Combination of Spanish names, ocean setting and some weirdness with people being turned into animals.*

*Who's to say that the old man in "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" didn't speak, say, half a swear? Maybe a "heck" or "darn" might do that much damage. Tongue
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A story of lust, violence and jelly.

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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »

Short, bizarre, and clever. Well done.
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 01:57:10 PM »

I have two thoughts concerning this story:

1. Why didn't their mothers warn them? "If you keep swearing like that you'll get turned into a flounder!" So much more effective than washing a child's mouth out with soap.

2. How does one tell the difference between an ordinary clam and a human who should have clammed up? (Get it?!)

3. The part that-
I'll come in again.

1....
2....
3. The part that really made this story enjoyable for me was when I heard the story's title again at the end. That was an epic O-OH! moment, and I loved it.
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 10:02:16 PM »

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iamafish
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 05:43:05 AM »

what's this? a Podcastle flash piece that I actually liked? Awesome. Possibly i liked it because it didn't leave me wanting more that the tiny bit i go, so maybe it was good because it wasn't that good... no, that's just silly. It was exactly as short as flash should be and left me satisfied by it at the end. a perfect little nibble that sated my appetite, instead of leaving me wanting more, like flash usually does.
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 02:41:35 PM »

Why didn't their mothers warn them? "If you keep swearing like that you'll get turned into a flounder!" So much more effective than washing a child's mouth out with soap.

Really? Imagine you're a 10-year-old and your mother says that to you. Is your first reaction "Uh-oh, better not swear," or "Really? Kewl! $#!%"
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 03:04:37 AM »

Why didn't their mothers warn them? "If you keep swearing like that you'll get turned into a flounder!" So much more effective than washing a child's mouth out with soap.
Really? Imagine you're a 10-year-old and your mother says that to you. Is your first reaction "Uh-oh, better not swear," or "Really? Kewl! $#!%"

Yes, I would chose the second one, and if my mother had any sense, she would leave me in that state for a few days, just so I'd learn my lesson.
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2011, 11:28:23 AM »

I need to send this to my husband the next time he swears at the computer. "Sweetie, say the F-word one more time and you're gonna turn into a starfish. And I'm not going to change you back."
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2011, 02:44:21 PM »

I need to send this to my husband the next time he swears at the computer. "Sweetie, say the F-word one more time and you're gonna turn into a starfish. And I'm not going to change you back."

You know some people say "starfish" to mean butt-hole, right?  Tongue
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 10:13:34 AM »

I need to send this to my husband the next time he swears at the computer. "Sweetie, say the F-word one more time and you're gonna turn into a starfish. And I'm not going to change you back."

You know some people say "starfish" to mean butt-hole, right?  Tongue

Well, then, he should have no complaints about it then.  Cheesy

(Awww...now you're gonna make me feel guilty about dissing him...guess I better cook another steak for him...)
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2011, 02:36:03 PM »

(Awww...now you're gonna make me feel guilty about dissing him...guess I better cook another steak for him...)

I cooked steaks last night. My wife holds the sexist view that cooking steaks is man's work, just like home repairs or carpentry.  Tongue
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 08:29:15 AM »

A cute little story which seemed to shift in tone.  In the beginning it seemed like an indictment of swearing, but then when the priest turned into a sea lion much less so.

I could see a whole branch of research opening up about swearing.  The priests' blessings don't actually seem to cost anything, so you could hire a whole team of researchers and keep a few priests on staff.  Like the priest pointed out you could experience foreign anatomies firsthand, which would help all kinds of scientific research.  You could study to find out if there's a predictable pattern between the curse word used and the final form of the change.  I could totally dig becoming a sea lion, especially if I knew someone could bless me out of it, but I'd rather avoid the sea cucumber word.  Maybe it's not the word itself that defines the form but the force with which you say it?  Or maybe there are secondary factors involved, or it could just be random.  These are the things I'd want to find out!
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justenjoying
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2012, 01:09:12 AM »

Though I'm not usually a fan of such blatent religious themes, This was a fun story and for 5 mins I wouldn't have wanted to do anything but listen.
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