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Author Topic: PC Miniature 87: All Things to All People  (Read 1587 times)

Talia

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on: April 02, 2016, 03:12:42 AM
PodCastle Miniature 87: All Things to All People

by D. K. Thompson

read by Jason K. Jones

First appeared in Apex Magazine. Read it here!

I wake up in someone else’s house every morning, and lay my head somewhere else every night. The tattoos are my only constant company, covering almost all my skin. I’d stretch the free space of my flesh out if I could, but I don’t make or choose the pictures—and I can’t control the size. I’m running out of skin, and I know what that means. When it’s all inked, I’ll be out of time.

The angel here, on the inside of my wrist, that was the first one. A cartoon character—the tips of his wings sharp as knives. That’s as far back as I can remember: waking up on the side of the road with the taste of dirt in my mouth and the smell of gasoline on my hands. The asphalt and the sun had burned my face from opposing sides, like I’d been twice-grilled. Gravel bounced around me as semi-trucks roared by. I flexed my hands—my knuckles were bloody and cracked. I’d been in a fight, but despite the pain, I grinned because I was pretty sure I’d won.

Then I saw the dead man in the ditch.


D.K. Thompson (also known as the Easter Werewolf) has written stories featured or forthcoming at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, Bull Spec, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod, and has lost NaNoWriMo twice. Once upon a time, he edited and hosted PodCastle with Anna Schwind. His collection of stories And Welcome Back will be out in 2016. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three children. Learn more about him on his website, or follow him on Twitter @krylyr.

Jason K. Jones is a disembodied voice that occasionally cohabitates with a body of the same name.  They live together in Athens, Georgia, with one Jason’s wife and the other’s Weighted Companion Cube.  Most days they believe they are the same Jason.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 12:35:49 PM by Talia »



windfox11

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Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 01:32:05 PM
I listened to this story on a day when I was all sharp corners and rough edges, needing to recapture a bit of my own grace in my interactions with others. What a gift!

Perfectly concise, and wonderfully detailed in a way that made me start the story over again immediately, this was wonderful!



Unblinking

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Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 02:28:07 PM
Hmmmm.. Interesting, but I didn't find it really compelling the way I felt it maybe should have and I'm not entirely sure why.  Maybe because the character seemed to have no agency, no choice whatsoever about anything that happened, that it ended up feeling like he was just going through the motions, as important as those motions might be.  I wasn't familiar with the source quote from scripture which might have contribruted, I was glad the post-show note explained that.

*shrug*

I was glad he got his own help in the end, though, or at least that was the way I interpreted it, someone else in his role has come to help him through his most dreaded time, as he approaches his own death.



Devoted135

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Reply #3 on: April 19, 2016, 03:24:04 AM
Yeah, I like the conceit of this one, but feel like it was a bit too detached for my taste. It was so random and he almost didn't care about the people he was helping. I guess I wanted a bit more emotional resonance. Sorry Dave! :o



Fenrix

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Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 02:45:17 AM
I liked this a lot. Interesting take on faith and atonement/forgiveness and counseling. I also found it very Bradburyesque, with a heavy dose of Tom Reamy (who was supposed to be the next Bradbury before he dies too soon).

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”