Kris Kringle moved silently through the workshop, making sure nothing had been forgotten by the elves. Normally, they’d be starting their post-toy-making-frenzy party, but this year the group was more subdued, the carols on low, with no one making merry or wearing lampshades.
Kris sighed and lifted his hand in a wave as he passed the break room, but he didn’t go in.
Inventory. Yes, inventory would take his mind in the direction it needed to go.
Lumps of coal? Check.
He peeked out the window. Elves hooking up the reindeer? Check.
Reindeer fat—but not too fat, they did have to fly—and happy? Check.
Rudolph’s nose at full power? Check.
As Kris moved from the workshop to the adjoining kitchen, he sniffed. Apple pie baking, ready to eat when he got home?
• Narrated by Chloe Yates
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Originally appeared in Bull Spec (Issue 6)
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Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Tina is also one of the co-hosts of EscapePod, and her narrations have appeared all over including all the Escape Artists podcasts, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. You can follow her online and on Twitter.
For your narrator we welcome back Chloe Yates. As well as narrating, Chloë writes odd stories. She has written many short stories for the British Fantasy Award winning independent press Fox Spirit Books, and is currently working on both a collection and a novel for them. English born, she currently lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie. You can find her online and on Twitter, and if you’re very luck, the bar of the occasional British convention…
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
Lisa Montoya is an elementary school teacher in Nebraska who decided to never completely grow up. She has always treasured books and stories, and loves to create her own worlds. You can find her online at Lisa’s Thought for the Day.
As well as narrating, Chloë Yates is a writer of odd stories. She has written several short stories for Fox Spirit Books, and is currently working on both a collection and a novel for them. She lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie. You can find her online and on Twitter.
Want to see those OTKs I mentioned? They’re at Sock Dreams – and tell them I said hello!
This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you the conclusion of our flash fiction month: Trope Twists!
Our first twisted trope — and the story which inspired this Little Wonders collection — is The Hero by Jessica Holscher. Jessica is a freelance writer in Oregon who loves to write fun fantasy stories. She has two novels published by ASJ Publishing: Legend of the Phoenix and Kenneth Randall: Grower. She’s on Twitter as @jessholscher, and you can find out more about her on her Facebook page.
The Hero is narrated by the extremely talented John Cmar. John is an infectious diseases physician in Baltimore who splits his time between treating horrors such as syphilis, and molding the next generation of doctors, while repeatedly washing his hands in between. When not herding his five cats or going fanboy over the space endeavors of his wife Moon Ranger Laura, John infectious various podcast and radio projects with his voice. He is the Chief Medical Officer and Bad Doctor in Residence at his personal blog, where he consults and ruminates over all manner of things at Saint Nickanuck.
Next we have The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty by Charity Tahmaseb. Charity has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer. Her novel, The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading (written with co-author Darcy Vance), was a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback pick. Her short speculative fiction has appeared in the Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere.
Next month, her YA novelette Just a Matter of Time will appear in Volume 3 of Sucker Literary Magazine. She’s on Twitter as @geekgirlx2, and her blog is Writing Wrongs.
Your narrator is Chloë Yates. Chloë has written several pieces for the excellent Fox Spirit Books, and her latest story, ‘Well Our Feeble Frame He Knows’, closes out Guardians in their Fox Pocket series. More of her work will be included in several upcoming anthologies, including ‘Tits Up in Wonderland’, which will round off the Missing Monarchs Fox Pocket and can also be heard in Episode 16 of Dark Fiction Magazine.
As well as ‘All Things Fall’ in the upcoming anthology Girl At The End of the World, Vol 1.
She writes humorous, if somewhat macabre, poetry. You can contact her through her website, while she wanders through Twitter under the sobriquet @shloobee.
She’s currently working on a collection of short stories for Fox Spirit and on her first novel. English born, she lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie.
Michael Strickland’sBigfeet is next. Michael has published a handful of other short stories in small indie outlets. In addition to Bigfeet, his story Pale Green Pants — inspired by What Was I Scared Of? in Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches and Other Stories — recently appeared in the anthology Green Eggs and Horror. By day, Michael wrangles words as a professional copywriter, and you can find him online here.
Michael says this story was created when a friend challenged him to reduce a screenplay idea into a flash story under 300 words.
Regular listeners of Cast of Wonders will recognize our next two narrators, the podcasting duo of Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield from the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. Dunesteef features genre stories brought to you as fullcast audio productions created by some of the most talented producers in the podisphere. After each story, Big and Rish treat you to scintillating, thought provoking, and often mind-numbing conversation…oh, sorry, I meant mind-opening…opening?…mind-expanding maybe…conversation related to the day’s story and other geek-centric topics. Check it out!
To bring our twisted tropes to a close we present Alexandra Grunberg’sJack and the Griffin Eggs.
Alexandra is a New York City based author and actress. Her work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Perihelion Science Fiction, and here at Cast of Wonders in episode 106, our Little Wonders collection “The Journey” with Treasure Hunter.
Her story Any Ending won third place in Fiction Vortex’s August Monthly Contest and her story Finale in Blue won third place in their October Horror Contest. She is currently writing a web series, HOUSED, in which she will also be appearing as a lead character. You can find links to her stories at her website.
Rish Outfield’s prior narrations for Cast of Wonders include episode 91, “Open 28 Hours” and the chilling “Cosmetic Procedures” from episode 69. We’re thrilled to have him back.
Theme music is “Neversus” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
Today we present Therese Bickley‘s story, The Void Test. Therese is currently interning in Washington, DC, although her checkered past also includes work as a library page, cashier, and volunteer income tax preparer. Her first short story was accepted for publication in Byzarium on January 2, 2008. Her second story sold a few hours later, to MindFlights.
Since then, her work has appeared in places including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Crossed Genres, and the anthologies Thoughtcrime Experiments and Sword and Sorceress XXIV. Her science fiction novella, Aqua Vitae, was released by WolfSinger Publications in 2011. She’s working on her next book. You can find her on the web, where you can subscribe to her newsletter for news of upcoming publications.
Your narrator today is Chloë Yates. Chloë has written several pieces for Fox Spirit Books and her story Leave the Pistol Behind was one of the winners of their International Talk Like a Pirate Day competition in 2012. Her noirish chops have slathered into the anthologies Weird Noir (2012) and its follow up, Noir Carnival (2013). More of her work will be included in several upcoming anthologies.
You can find her humorous, if somewhat macabre, poetry here, and her website is here. She wanders through Twitter under the sobriquet @shloobee.
She’s currently working on a big idea or two, and writing more short stories. English born, she lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie.
Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.