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Cast of Wonders 413: Little Wonders 25 – Hearts in Boxes


The Half-Life of a Broken Heart
by N. R. Lambert

We hear the nursery long before we see it. Feel it too, despite the heavily insulated walls. Deep metronomic concussions roll down the corridor and crash through us. When we reach the entry, marked simply, “Hearts,” the door slides open and a technician ushers us through. The nursery is aggressively antiseptic–shrill LED lighting, a gleaming steel tile floor, and between them, bed after bed of hearts. A chamber of chambers, bumping and pulsing in sync.

“They do that on their own.” The tech says, smiling, glasses glaring back at us.

“We’ve even tried to offset them intentionally, quite drastically, but still…they always sync up somehow. It’s rather uncanny, don’t you think?” (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 412: Eight to the Eighth


Eight, to the Eighth

by Liam Hogan

Spider was fed up. Fed up, and upside down. She hung from a web in the darkest corner of Witch’s cottage, swinging back and forth in the most fed up manner she could fashion.

Each time she swung she scowled with all eight eyes at the torn open envelope with the Royal crest on the side table below. Witch’s gilt-edged invitation to the Palace Ball, the social spectacular of the year, had arrived that very morning.

Spider knew exactly how things would go. How the annual event always went. Witch would not, of course, RSVP. If pressed, she would say how terribly busy she was, and how she definitely hoped to make it, but she really couldn’t say for certain until much closer to the date. But she wouldn’t RSVP later on, either. Instead, Witch would turn up at the Summer Palace of the King and Queen of Freyen-Noyen, on the night of the Ball, invitation in hand, and claim she’d found herself unexpectedly free of an evening and she trusted her gracious hosts wouldn’t mind her unannounced attendance? (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 411: Studies on the Impact of Homeschooling, or When Not to Wear a Tuxedo


Studies on the Impact of Homeschooling, or When Not to Wear a Tuxedo

by R. Rozakis

“Daddy, can I use the atom scramblizer?” Hilde kicked her heels against the metal cabinet she was perched on.

“No, pumpkin.” All she could see of him were his feet sticking out from underneath the giant chassis.

“How about the temporal destabilizer?”

“No, pumpkin.”

“Can I at least graft some new wings onto Spuffy?”

Her father slid out from under the chassis, pushing his goggles up onto his forehead. Dr. Acheron von Phlogiston never went anywhere without his goggles. He’d even convinced them to let him keep them during his jail stints. Not that those ever lasted long before he’d craft an ingenious device from common cutlery and break his way free once more. “Sweet pea, we’re at a critical juncture in this plan and I need to concentrate. Can’t you find something to do in your room?” (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 410: Cast Member Rules at Old Tech Town


Cast Member Rules at Old Tech Town

by Shaenon Garrity

Thank you for uploading the autonomous guide stream Cast Member Rules at Old Tech Town. Through this node we will provide scheduled reminders of your duty roster and update your personal ruleset as required. Cast Member Rules at Old Tech Town may be deleted at the end of the summer when you depart.

1. Old Tech Town, known to indigenous humans as San Francisco, is a protected heritage site. Treat the area with the respect you would show your own root compiler, which in a sense (symbolic/holistic, not literal) it is. (Continue Reading…)

Cats Cast

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CatsCast 289: The Thing in the Basement


The Thing in the Basement

By Gerri Leen

You can hear it, in the basement, behind the metal boxes that your human puts her outer-coverings in just when they start to smell good—when the boxes are done, she brings out her things stinking of flowers or fruit. She’s lucky you know the sound of her voice, because her scent is all over the place.

You chirp to get her attention. A cat would understand the sound. “Alert! Something to hunt!”

(Continue Reading…)

March 2020 Metacast


Transcript

(Alasdair) Hi everyone, Alasdair here.

We’re not going to ask how you are right now, because we have a pretty good idea. You’re fine. You’re FINE. You’re the same version of fine as everyone right now, the one Aerosmith sang about. The one where you’re alternately anxious, terrified, furious and calm.

We empathise. We’re the same. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 408: Growing Resistance


Growing Resistance

by Juliet Kemp

The late-afternoon sun hovers above the wall as I kneel on the earth, weeding tomatoes. Beyond the wall, yellow-orange light reflects off the clean sharp lines of the apartment blocks. Boxes for safe people, people who are provided for. People who matter. People who I knew, once upon a time. People who could afford the vaccine before the gates closed. The plague’s gone now, but the wall’s still here. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 407: Little Wonders 24 – Dogs and Monsters

Show Notes

Good Girl was first performed as part of Escape Artists Live at PodUK 2020, and released on the EA patreon feed.


Good Girl

by Maria Haskins

Wawa waits in the woods, tongue lolling, ears drooping. She waits in the fern-covered gully beside the dried-up creek. Every now and then she tries to lie down, but then there’ll be a rustle in the trees, the sound of snapping twigs, of scuttling claws, and she’s up again.

But no one comes.

Wawa waits. She would howl, would bark, but Wawa is a good girl. A good dog. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 406: The Hammer-Royal Model For Making the Superhero A-List


The Hammer-Royal Ten Step Model for Making the Superhero A List

by Jason Kimble

1. Have super powers

Mom and Dad insist I’m too young to consider a career in the hero business, but I’m seventeen and I need to prepare. I figure if I pay attention, I can put it all together. I’ve only got the one piece for the list right now, but I know I’ll add more as we go. (Continue Reading…)

falchester

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Cast of Wonders 405: From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review


From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review

by Marie Brennan

Dear Sirs–

I was fascinated by Mr. Benjamin Talbot’s brief notice, published in the 28 Seminis issue of your magazine, detailing his acquisition of a preserved specimen from a heretofore undocumented draconic species. As we all know, legends of the cockatrice date back many centuries, but I am unaware of any reputable examples collected before now, either dead or alive. This is a thrilling event for the field of dragon naturalism, and I heartily encourage Mr. Talbot to publish his discovery at greater length, including details such as the manner of its acquisition, the island or archipelago in the Broken Sea where such beasts may be found, and a thorough description of its anatomy. An engraving to accompany this article would not go amiss–though naturally a public presentation of his find would be even more desirable. I may dare hope that Mr. Talbot is even now preparing such an article for publication, whether in your magazine or elsewhere, for I have awaited further information with bated breath, and fear I will soon turn blue for lack of oxygen.
(Continue Reading…)

Oak KNowers

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Cast of Wonders 404: The Oak Knowers (Part 2)


The Oak Knowers

by Wesley Jenkins

Part 2 of 2

“I don’t know how to find someone like this,” says Priscilla, loudly, over the sudden swell of midnight noise.

“I do,” says Renia, strolling confidently to the edge of the pit and kneeling. Silently we join her. It’s not a message she sends, more like a scent, something more primal than emotion. We always know when she is calling us. Only Jamian, still manning the circle’s rim, remains standing. Renia looks up suddenly, straight into my eyes. I’m surprised to see fear on her face, though I know we all feel it, but there is also certainty. “The killer. I can feel him.” (Continue Reading…)