Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Carter’

Episode 216: Banned Books Week – This Story Begins With You by Rachael K. Jones

Show Notes

The Comic Book Legal Defence Fund is a non-profit dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium and is an annual sponsor of Banned Books Week. Founded in 1986, the CBLDF has managed and paid for the legal defense of artists, worked with libraries to resist challenged to comics and graphic novels, and undertaken advocacy work against unconstitutional proposed legitlation at the state and Federal level.


This Story Begins With You

by Rachael K. Jones

 

The story goes that your dad got a new job.

The story goes that you moved 5,000 miles away. You didn’t know anyone in your new town, and none of them knew you.

You had a best friend in your old town named Marco, but you left him behind. You had a playground on your old street. A favorite climbing tree. A secret hideout behind the garden shed made from plywood and latticed tree branches, papered with mildewed books the library had thrown out after the classics section flooded.

The story goes that losing all of this felt like a part of you had died. You cried a lot. That bothered your parents. You didn’t want them to feel guilty, so after a while you only cried when you were alone.

The story goes that you were the new kid in 9th grade. A well-meaning history teacher bumped a girl with an amethyst bracelet from her desk so you could take a seat near the front, but the girl’s friends glared at you, the intruder, the cuckoo squeezed into the wrong nest. You’d just arrived, and they already hated your guts.

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Episode 215: Banned Books Week – Problematic by Brian Lawrence Hurrel

Show Notes

Learn more about The Freedom to Read Foundation, an advocacy group that deals with a wide range of issues affecting our freedom of speech and our right to access information. A growing part of their mission is to educate librarians, library patrons, and the general public about issues related to the freedom to read and our right to access information.

 


Problematic

by Brian Hurrel

 

The Main Office is as spartan as the the rest of the campus. Three plain gray metal folding chairs arranged in front of Headmistress Dinali’s equally plain and unadorned wooden desk. In one of the chairs the slim ten-year- old frame of Luna Vega-MacPherson squirms restlessly, twisting strands of dark curly hair around a forefinger, and not at all trying to disguise her boredom. In the other two chairs sit her parents, looking equally uncomfortable but for different reasons.

I confess to taking some degree of pleasure in the final phase of the application process. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I do so enjoy seeing overbearing parents humbled. Since the Banks Institute is self-financing, and offers only full scholarships or flat out rejection, those of means have no more influence than those without. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 214: Banned Books Week – The Price of Stories by Shannon Connor Winward

Show Notes

Learn more about Stop Hate and their work to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination based on any aspect of an individual’s identity.


The Price of Stories

by Shannon Winward

 

Mother is not the real librarian. You think she has always been here, but that’s the magic working. 

The real librarian – the one who issued your first library card, painted castles in the reading room and taught you about elephants – she never existed, now. That’s why you don’t remember. 

But don’t worry; she’ll be back. 

Mother doesn’t come for the librarians. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 213: Beneath the Loveliest Tints of Azure by Jeff Samson


Beneath the Loveliest Tints of Azure

by Jeff Samson

 

“You sure picked a hell of a day to start.”

The guard stared up at Ted with a look somewhere between aggravation and indifference. He slouched over his desk, his belly spilling over a portion of its tidy surface. His chair creaked in protest as he swiveled lazily. 

“I’m sorry?” Ted said, deepening his voice to match the guard’s husky bass.

The guard wiped a hand over his head, polished bald but for a faint horseshoe of salt and pepper hair buzzed to the same length as the patchy stubble on his face. He pushed himself away from his desk, growling as he rose. 

“Ken Allen,” he said, enveloping Ted’s comparably slight hand in a powerful grip.

“Ted Kirsch.” Ted stifled an urge to wince.

“I know–Hurrel’s replacement. Been expecting you.” Ken pursed his lips. “Sorry if I seem a bit gruff. It’s just, well, visiting days aren’t exactly best for breaking in fresh meat. Know what I mean?”

Ted nodded that he did. Then quickly realized that he didn’t.

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Episode 212: Selling Home by Tina Connolly


Selling Home

by Tina Connolly

 

Sharp metal nicked Penny’s shoulder and she stumbled, hand clasping her baby brother’s leg.  Home giggled as her knees hit the asphalt. Penny felt for the bit of metal scrap as the cars inched past, above, below, up and down all the decks of the Bridge.

     “Mo, mo,” demanded Home, and she absently tickled his foot as she stood.  It was a rusting bit of hubcap, sharp and warm. The day was dusk now, the sun vanishing in smog, but she didn’t need to see perfectly to gauge its value.

     “That’s a bottle’s worth for you,” she said to the baby as she tucked the metal in her scrap bag.

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Episode 211: Indian Rope Trick by James Fitzsimmons


Indian Rope Trick

by James Fitzsimmons

 

“Careful not to drop that on your head,” Edson Vole warned, pointing to the huge beveled mirror leaning against the wall. “Unless, of course, you know the Indian rope trick.”

Sanjeev Ravi laughed, clipping a tape measure onto his utility belt. “No such thing, Mr. Vole,” he said in a gentle lilt.  

“That mirror weighs a ton,” Edson said. “Couldn’t lift that even during my days in New Delhi. Back in an hour.”    

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Episode 210: Little Wonders 8 – Embracing Change


The There-It-Is Store

By Adam Gaylord

 

The bell over the door jingled and Claire hastily tucked her book under the counter. It was one of her favorites and she’d just gotten to the best part. She didn’t want a customer to come in and claim it.  

An older man, probably twice Claire’s age, entered the store. Actually, he really more danced his way in. The man turned this way and that, his eyes trained on the ground, all the while patting his pants, alternating front pockets and then back. Claire suppressed a giggle at the sight of his search dance – as it was fittingly known in the trade. The man gave up the floor and scanned the shelves by the door, muttering to himself while patting his breast pockets. “I swear I just had ’em. I was walking out the door…” He passed over boxes of buttons, jars full of jewelry, several large sacks stuffed with socks, and a pail packed with pocket watches before stopping in front of a particularly large crate nearly overflowing with keys. He gave a low whistle, eyeing the huge box with trepidation. 

“Good morning Mr. Crowhurst,” Clair interrupted his search.

“Hm? Oh, yes. Hello.” Mr. Crowhurst wandered up to the counter, still patting. “I really hope you can help me. Do you happen to know where…” He trailed off, his eyes drifting to the shelves behind her. Claire felt the tingle of the there-it-is magic and the man’s patting finally stopped, his face lighting up. “There they are!”  

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Episode 209: A Real Stand-Up Guy by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd


A Real Stand-Up Guy

by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd

 

Topher checked his watch and peeked out around the dusky red stage curtain.  There was a full house in the bar tonight. If he played them right he could get all the tips he needed, and tonight could be the greatest night of his life.  He put a paw to his face, pulled down on his tawny-furred jowls, and drew a deep breath. “Okay,” he said, softly to himself. “Let’s go.”

The spotlight hit Topher before he reached the mike, but he was used to that bright glare in his eyes.  He straightened his jacket and stared the audience down before he began, giving them his best tough guy look.  He had the mug for it, if not the build. “I don’t get no respect,” Topher barked at the audience. “It’s because I’m short.  Curse of my breed, you know?”

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Episode 208: Questing for Princesses by Amanda C. Davis


Questing for Princesses

by Amanda C. Davis

 

Prince Harold swore off marriage at the age of six, when his older brother Yancey came riding home with a new bride and a waterfall of half-healed scars along his right side that he called “the unexpected bonus for winning a princess from a fire-breathing dragon.”

Harold eyed the puckered skin on Yancey’s neck and cheek. “Does it hurt?”

“Sure,” said Yancey, tugging Harold’s earlobe until he flinched. “But finding the right princess is hard stuff. You have to take the risk if you want the reward. Anyway, just wait ’til you meet Celiura. She’s amazing. Totally worth it. She’s going to be your new sister, you know.”

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Episode 207: Millions Times Eight by Jake Walters


Millions Times Eight

by Jake Walters

 

Mick looked at the letter to his parents sitting on the kitchen table.  It was from the school. Outside, he heard the sounds of children laughing and a ball bouncing on the street pavement.  It was late August, and in just a week, their summer freedom was going to be erased. Mick was starting seventh grade.  

The letter had been opened and was sitting unfolded beside a pile of crumbs, likely left by his older brother, Chaz, before he ran outside to meet up with his own high school friends.  There was nothing unusual about receiving a letter from the school at about this time in the summer; a welcome back, hope everything is okay and that your summer treated you well and you had a chance to rest for the big year coming up kind of statement from the superintendent.  

So Mick read it.  And that was what it was, in the dullest, most boring language imaginable.  Except for the very last paragraph, which read, “We are looking forward to working with our students this year, and we have some big surprises in store for all of them and all of you!  We appreciate your trust in Linwood Schools!” Something about the words did not match the style of the rest of the letter, which had been business-as-usual. Something about the exclamation marks at the ends of the statements sent a little shiver down Mick’s back.

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Episode 206: Planar Ghosts (Part Two) by Krystal Claxton


Planar Ghosts (Part Two)

By Krystal Clayton

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Episode 205: Planar Ghosts (Part One) by Krystal Claxton


Planar Ghosts

by Krystal Claxton

 

The walls around the town of Bootstrap are mostly old cars stacked one on top of the other and welded together. Outside Bootstrap, market stalls made from patchwork tarps and rusty pipes lean on either side of the wide gate. They are temporary places for the people who live inside to trade goods with the people stuck outside who need in.

People like Pup.

He looks up at the guard by the gate, who is thicker, but not much older. Probably grew up inside the walls. He looks as if he’s been well-fed, even during bad years. His skin is sun-reddened and spotted along his cheeks and the high bridge of his nose.

Pup offers his frayed duffle bag to the guard. The man kneels to comb through it with one meaty hand. Inside is Pup’s winter scavenge–a length of rope, a glass vial with lighter fluid, and three almost-full rolls of duct tape. 

If this is enough to buy Pup in, he can work for water until summer is over. As the guard measures Pup’s worth, the one good pocket of his cargo pants seems heavier. Inside is something he’s not supposed to trade. He’s not sure what it is. Some Before thing. Probably the guard wouldn’t know what it is either.

 

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