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Author Topic: PC443: Blueblood (Aurealis Month)  (Read 1991 times)

Ocicat

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on: November 23, 2016, 01:04:42 AM
PodCastle 443: Blueblood (Aurealis Month)

by Faith Mudge

read by Loulou Szal

First published in Hear Me Roar

Part of our Aurealis Month, celebrating the Australian Aurealis Awards.

hosted by Cat Sparks

It is an insult to die at midday.

In the mountain country where I was born, such things take place in the dark of night: the fall of an axe, the knotting of a noose. Here, it is a spectacle. From the narrow window of my tower room, I can see the road that leads away from the castle, down to the sea; it is already lined with people, jostling and squabbling amongst themselves for the best view of my execution.
In this place, a town will turn out to watch a man kill his wife, and call it justice.

My husband wants me to see this, to spend my last hours thinking about what will happen when the sun hits its zenith. Very soon he will step from the great oak doors, and a guard will come to bring me down. The crowd will get what they hunger for then. I hope it haunts them. It probably won’t.

By this point it makes no difference. He can break every bone in my body and shed every drop of my blood and he will still be the fool. Elyse will still be gone.


Click here to continue reading.

Rated PG-13.



I’m Faith Mudge, a Queensland writer with a passion for fantasy, folk tales and mythology from all over the world—in fact, almost anything with a glimmer of the fantastical. I post regular reviews and articles at beyondthedreamline.wordpress.com — my current blog project is Ladies of Legend, for which I write monthly posts about female figures from myth and legend — and I am also present at beyondthedreamline.tumblr.com. My stories have appeared in various anthologies, the latest being Cranky Ladies of History, Hear Me Roar and Daughters of Frankenstein: Lesbian Mad Scientists. I am always here for witches and angry princesses.



Loulou Szal is a school teacher specializing in English and medieval History, but is also a lifelong fan of fantasy, romance and historical fiction. She is also fluent in both English and Arabic. Besides trying to pen her own stories, she is delighted to have multiple narration credits at StarShipSofa and now Podcastle. When she was eighteen she managed to track down and interview Mark Hamill for her school magazine. She lives with her husband and two children (one of whom is a writer and editor of science fiction) in sunburnt Sydney, Australia where she’s always on the hunt for antique books to add to her ever growing collection.

Loulou’s son, Jeremy Szal, edited her narration for this story.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!



Unblinking

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Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 03:19:19 PM
This was really interesting and novel.  When the reversal happened and the lady's maid took the lady's place, I was trying to figure out whether it was a betrayal or not.  I guess that ambiguity was intended?  Since a forced marriage with someone who likely means you harm is a horrible situation, but if one isn't in the situation it might be easy to imagine that the wealthy life might make up for it.  I think that as the story played out from there she had meant it as a powerful act of friendship, a sacrifice that to many would not have looked like a sacrifice (and all the more selfless that she did it anyway, it wasn't just an act to appear selfless).  I found it very gratifying when the boat arrived at the end.




Scuba Man

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Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 01:59:45 PM
I needed that ending.  Was it predictable? Sure.. Was I rooting for some crazy, over-the-top, flesh-melting (Raiders Of The Lost Ark) ending to the witch-mom & the dude?... A little bit.

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


Ichneumon

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Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 08:36:37 PM
I didn't feel there was any ambiguity at all when she took the princess's place. Fortune was never one of her motivators and her love for Elyse was obvious in all her actions.
I don't know if it could make as elegant a story as this, but I enjoy imagining the adventure of the princess during those years her maid was married. Lost and alone, but with fierce drive to rescue her friend, and learning the secrets of her powers on a foreign shore.
Plus, I had never heard of the ol' rolling down a hill in a nail barrel execution before.



Scuba Man

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Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 09:05:03 PM
...snip...
Plus, I had never heard of the ol' rolling down a hill in a nail barrel execution before.
It sounds like a pretty gruesome torture-execution. I'm trying not to hum that poka-music ditty, roll out the barrel.   :)

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


Devoted135

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Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 08:21:14 PM
One of my favorites of the month, I was so relieved when the princess' boat showed up on the horizon!