Author Topic: PC Miniature 85: So Inflamed, I Have Left  (Read 2646 times)


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on: November 06, 2015, 04:58:48 PM
PodCastle Miniature 85: So Inflamed, I Have Left

by Anaea Lay

read by Rachael K. Jones

First appeared in Penumbra Magazine in August 2014.

It’s still days and miles away, but I can feel the heat radiating off its coils all the same.  I think, maybe, it’ll be okay when I get there.

Rated PG.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle Miniature!

Anaea Lay lives in Seattle, Washington where she sells Real Estate under a different name, writes, cooks, plays board games, takes gratuitous walks, runs the Strange Horizons podcast, and plots to take over the world. Her work has appeared in a variety of places including Lightspeed, Apex, Escape Pod, and Nightmare.


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Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 09:38:29 AM
I don't usually comment on Miniatures, so let me take this opportunity to say that I love Podcastle Miniatures! Always have done.


More specifically, This one hooked me in from the start, and if it hadn't been clearly labelled as a Miniature, and I hadn't noted the play time in iTunes before I played it, I wouldn't have noticed that it was a Miniature.

I really liked the depiction of loneliness and isolation in this piece. Really touching.

Fresh slush - Shot this morning in the Vale of COW


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Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 03:15:30 PM
Very effective.  I felt quite bad for the protagonist's situation; I've known people who felt their lives were like that but who did not end up going to the dragon.

I sincerely hope that her aim to console the lonely dragon is a real possibility and not just an anthropomorphizing delusion.


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Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 07:38:59 PM
I tried, I really did, but even when I squinted really hard I couldn't get rid of the idea that the dragon was just a metaphor for suicide.  Maybe it's because I struggle with depression myself on a daily basis but there were so many things here.  The narrator stated that those doing the abandoning have themselves been abandoned.  Yup, often the case.  Given that grounding, I can totally sympathize with her loved ones who can't face her.  She's basically told them that she'll be abandoning them, won't acknowledge how deeply it will hurt them, then blames them for not being able to be with her.  Given that framework, I'm pretty sure she would equally blame the if they did stay with her for that last meal, because obviously that would also be evidence of them not caring. 

Maybe this episode should have had a trigger warning?  I know it's impossible to predict what will set someone off, but this one seems to me to be a really problematic story.


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Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 02:57:03 AM
I think the dragon can definitely be a metaphor for suicide, but in my opinion that's not a bad thing. Of course that means it may not be a story for everyone, even more than most stories aren't for everyone. But, I found it to be a powerful expression of the pain of being "in between" and am glad to have heard it.

I'd like to posit that there are a number of groups who can relate to this betweenness, for example those living with a debilitating chronic illness. I've experienced a share of this myself, and wanting to join in activities but being unable to due to physical restraints can be very difficult. As is the decision the friends must make day after day: stay home or go out? It's easy to stay home sometimes, but of course they can't make that choice every day... It can become a very strained situation that I think the non-dragon parts of this story captures very well.

Psst: Rachael, I liked the re-jiggered EQ of your voice :)