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Author Topic: PC424: Betty and the Squelchy Saurus  (Read 2920 times)

Talia

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on: July 12, 2016, 06:18:10 PM
PodCastle 424: Betty and the Squelchy Saurus

by Caroline M. Yoachim

read by Kim Rogers


First published in Fireside Magazine, Issue 28.

Betty read the treaty out loud:

1. Closets and under the beds are monster territory. Children may obtain items from the closets during daylight hours, as long    as    they knock before entering. Items that fall under the bed should be considered lost forever.
    
2. Monsters must not be seen during daylight hours. Monsters are free to roam the orphanage at any hour of the day or night, so long as they are not seen.

3. Monsters may not eat children during daylight hours.

4. Monsters may eat children at night ONLY if the child (or any portion thereof) leaves the safety of its bed.

5. Children may ask adults to check for monsters under the bed or inside the closet. However:

6. Children may not, under any circumstances, request that an adult drag a monster out of its territory to shoot or otherwise kill the monster. Violation of rule #6 will release the monsters from the terms of this treaty.


Rated PG.



Caroline M. Yoachim lives in Seattle and loves cold cloudy weather. She is the author of dozens of short stories, appearing in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, and Lightspeed, among other places. Her debut short story collection, Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World & Other Stories, is coming out with Fairwood Press in August 2016. You can find her on the web at carolineyoachim.com, and on Twitter @CarolineYoachim.


Kim Rogers is an EMC actress who can be found at Music Theatre International where she has the pleasure of assisting theatres with all of their licensing needs. She has recently workshopped musicals at Lincoln Center and for the BMI Workshop. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn and can be heard at the top of every episode of the Kaleidocast, available on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 06:55:20 PM by Talia »



apep727

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Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 08:57:27 PM
I really enjoyed this story. This kind of concept can too easily turn into real horror, so I'm glad that it didn't go that way. I loved that the monsters weren't all malicious, and that the ending offers the possibility of a friendly relationship developing between Betty and Squelchy Saurus.

But there is one bit of adult-level horror that I noticed - the mention of Betty's step-father reading her Lolita before being taken away by the police. I know it was only mentioned in passing, but my adult mind couldn't help but think that maybe Betty's in a much better place at the orphanage, monsters and all.



hwaffle

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Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 05:04:27 PM
Loved this story. I enjoy most of Caroline Yoachim's work but this one seemed particularly great. So subtle and while working in the trope still interesting.



bounceswoosh

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Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 11:42:52 PM

But there is one bit of adult-level horror that I noticed - the mention of Betty's step-father reading her Lolita before being taken away by the police. I know it was only mentioned in passing, but my adult mind couldn't help but think that maybe Betty's in a much better place at the orphanage, monsters and all.

I noticed this and am sure it was intentional, along with Betty later giving up the book, which I interpreted as her gaining closure on a disturbing chapter (oops - unintentional pun!) in her life.



Not-a-Robot

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Reply #4 on: July 23, 2016, 07:35:44 AM
But there is one bit of adult-level horror that I noticed - the mention of Betty's step-father reading her Lolita before being taken away by the police. I know it was only mentioned in passing, but my adult mind couldn't help but think that maybe Betty's in a much better place at the orphanage, monsters and all.

That was a bit too nudge, nudge, wink, wink for me. I didn't find it subtle at all. Also there was some symbolism at the end with the mention of the phallic snake (also loss of innocence) reading Lolita.  Overall, I found it entertaining, but the symbolism drew me out of the story more than it pulled me into it.



Lisa3737

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Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 12:11:46 AM
I enjoyed this story and the narration was excellent!



Fenrix

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Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 09:51:29 PM
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

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


Devoted135

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Reply #7 on: August 14, 2016, 06:47:10 PM
Hm, I am not familiar with Lolita, that adds a very dark layer to this story that I hadn't picked up on. I'm not sure it adds anything to make Betty's step-father anything more than a rubbish dad who is now in prison. Why add an abuse element? That's not what the story is about, otherwise.

Other than that, I did enjoy this one a lot. I like the complicated and shifting dynamics of the girls' society, and the new girl's initiation into the treaty. Plus, Squelchy Saurus was super cute and got to be the new leader of the monsters! :)



Unblinking

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Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 03:09:19 PM
This was fun.

Though I think my favorite part of the story was the monster names.  Particularly Stabby Gnome.  Bitey Snake was good too.