Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

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Cast of Wonders 436: I Kill Monsters (Encore!)


I Kill Monsters

by Nathaniel Lee

Robbie killed monsters. He used a baseball bat, because they didn’t give better weapons to ten-year-olds. It worked well enough. He’d cleaned out his room first, the slithering whispering things under the bed and the Chatterer in the closet. Then the attic, full of Flappers and Flutterers, and one that was more like a fog or a mist than anything solid. He’d poked holes in it with the bat, then swirled the bat around until the drifting fog-thing shrieked and funneled up through a crack in the ceiling like a tornado in reverse. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 431: Little Wonders 27 – Old Ladies


The Soup Witch’s Funeral Dinner

by Nicole LeBoeuf

One morning, late March, Sammy Tailor visited the soup witch. He hadn’t planned to. He was busy wrestling with his father’s crankiest sewing machine when the good smell from the soup witch’s cauldron yanked him out the door by his nose.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 372: Little Wonders 22 – #FantasyWorldProblems

Show Notes

“Whatever the Price” and “The Supervisor of Accountants and the Great Grey Wolf” are original to Cast of Wonders (2019)

“An Evil Opportunity Employer” was originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 6, edited by Alex Shvartsman (2017)


Whatever the Price

by Matthew Bailey

The road to defeating an evil Corpse Lord is long, the oracle had told me, but it always starts with proper financing.

With a deep breath, I stepped into the Rootbridge Savings and Loan praying I wouldn’t have to sully my honor. Knowing I would, if it came to it. One way or another, I was getting what I came for–whatever the price.

At least the place wasn’t as imposing as the larger, marble-hewn banks I’d already tried back in the capital. Banks that would laugh at anyone without their own personal standard and at least one hornblower. Banks that existed solely to help those who already had money make more of it. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 229: Questing for Princesses (Staff Pick 2016)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge, plan the year ahead and highlight some of our favourite episodes. A different member of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2016 each week in January.

We hope you enjoy our audio producer Jeremy Carter’s favorite story from 2016, Questing for Princesses by Amanda C. Davis, narrated by Katherine Inskip. The story originally aired May 1, 2016 as Cast of Wonders 208.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.


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.”

Harold carried the ring at the royal wedding. Immediately afterward he ran back to the chapel, where he threw himself on his knees and prayed that he wouldn’t mind not getting married if it meant he never ever ever had to fight a fire-breathing dragon.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 208: Questing for Princesses


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.”

Harold carried the ring at the royal wedding. Immediately afterward he ran back to the chapel, where he threw himself on his knees and prayed that he wouldn’t mind not getting married if it meant he never ever ever had to fight a fire-breathing dragon.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 202: Henkie’s Fiddle


Henkie’s Fiddle

by Vonnie Winslow Crist

Stirred by a bone-chilling wind, the lone tree in the unsanctified section of the cemetery rattled its bare branches. Duffy had the eerie feeling that Witchman’s Oak sensed what was to happen today. He chewed on the hard skin left by a burst blister on his right thumb and studied the tree.

By order of the Edgewater town council and with the mayor’s approval, Duffy was to remove Witchman’s Oak before Christmas despite local lore proclaiming the tree haunted. Personally, he thought it was a terrible mistake to cut down the oak if for no other reason than the shade it provided in the summer. Rousted by another cold gust, the huge iron bell hanging from a rusted hook embedded in the tree’s trunk clanked its agreement.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 195: The Tale of the White Tiger (Staff Pick 2015)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge our batteries, plan the year ahead, and highlight some of our favourite episodes. As part of joining the Escape Artists family, this year we’re pulling out all the stops. We’re running 10 staff pick episodes over the month, each one hosted by a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew.

We hope you enjoy editor and host Marguerite Kenner’s favorite story from 2015, The Tale of the White Tiger by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt and narrated by Tracey Yuen. The story originally aired July 5, 2015 as Cast of Wonders 168.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.


The Tale of the White Tiger

by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Blind Li Xiao surveyed the marketplace. The sensor net embedded in his storyteller’s robes fed signals directly to his brain. The citizenship transponders exactly matched the number of heat signatures. A world firmly loyal to the Empire, then. Or one too afraid to act otherwise.

A passive scan showed at least two peacekeepers in the market. Probably more secret police. He would have to be careful in his story selection. Something from one of the official chronicles. Something he could use for his own purposes.

He beat his staff on the ground three times. The bells at the head chimed out their message. Be still and hearken. Blind Li Xiao is about to begin his tale. He chanted the introductory poem in his clear, high voice:

“When wicked ministers subvert the good,

“The Systems lose the beautiful and true.

“On Heaven’s River vast, White Tiger sails,

“Her course set by the pirate Madam Hu.”

An audience gathered in front of Blind Li Xiao. Children pressed close, their grandparents behind them. The young women and men stood at the edge, feigning disinterest or fearing entrapment. Blind Li Xiao swept the head of his staff in a broad arc as he spoke.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 193: Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire (Staff Pick 2015)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge our batteries, plan the year ahead, and highlight some of our favourite episodes. As part of joining the Escape Artists family, this year we’re pulling out all the stops. We’re running 10 staff pick episodes over the month, each one hosted by a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew.

We hope you enjoy assistant editor Jeff Hite’s favorite story from 2015, Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire by Sarina Dorie and narrated by Jeff Hite and family. The story originally aired July 19, 2015 as Cast of Wonders 170.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read along with the text of the story.


Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire

by Sarina Dorie

When Princess Draciona was born, it was obvious something wasn’t quite right. She had emerald eyes and viridian hair. Most unusual of all was her scaly, moss-tinted skin.

“This baby looks a little like a . . . ahem . . . dragon,” said Prince Rupunzelson (named after his great-grandmother).

“No, no,” insisted his wife, Princess Penelope. “That’s just green eczema. She’ll outgrow it.”

Prince Rupunzelson nodded and decided to let his wife worry about it. He would rather think about battle.

But Princess Draciona did not outgrow her eczema. To make matters worse, when she started to teethe, she grew sharp, dagger-like fangs. When she didn’t get her way, she sometimes breathed fire.

“Princesses do not breathe fire just because they don’t get their way,” said Rupunzelson, who was king by now.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 171: Pluto


PLUTO

by C. E. Hyun

On Pluto, there were pterodactyls that flew in V-flock formations. Sarah had never seen pterodactyls that flew in V-flock formations.

This was not demoted-to-dwarf-planet Pluto. This was a lush and fantastic Pluto, which Sarah and her companions discovered while returning from their discouraging voyage to the system of Poseidon. (Perks and promotions had been promised on their finding the fabled god’s trident. Alas, all they’d found were dusty moon rocks, and there were plenty of those next door to home.)

On Pluto, fresh fruit dangled from the trees. They camped by the beach, where the sand was pink and pale. It was a welcome respite, and no one was eager to hurry back home. Here, the weather was lovely. Curious creatures populated the land. Silver otters and sapphire hummingbirds. Tiny compsognathus that scampered in the beach grass.

It was Tony, their systems engineer, who discovered them. “I’m good with animals. Look, I’ve got this guy eating out of the palm of my hand!” he said.

“Maybe it’s him that’s good with you,” Sarah said. The compsognathus crushed Tony’s walnut like a marshmallow.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 170: Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire


Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire

by Sarina Dorie

When Princess Draciona was born, it was obvious something wasn’t quite right. She had emerald eyes and viridian hair. Most unusual of all was her scaly, moss-tinted skin.

“This baby looks a little like a . . . ahem . . . dragon,” said Prince Rupunzelson (named after his great-grandmother).

“No, no,” insisted his wife, Princess Penelope. “That’s just green eczema. She’ll outgrow it.”

Prince Rupunzelson nodded and decided to let his wife worry about it. He would rather think about battle.

But Princess Draciona did not outgrow her eczema. To make matters worse, when she started to teethe, she grew sharp, dagger-like fangs. When she didn’t get her way, she sometimes breathed fire.

“Princesses do not breathe fire just because they don’t get their way,” said Rupunzelson, who was king by now.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 169: Lost Socks

Show Notes

Want to see those OTKs I mentioned? They’re at Sock Dreams – and tell them I said hello!


Lost Socks

by Lisa Montoya

Perdy saw Grandpa Zeke sitting in the swing on the front porch as she carried the empty laundry basket.  She pushed open the old wooden screen door and went to sit next to him. She leaned her head against his shoulder as the two of them just looked out into the yard.  Perdy sighed.

He asked, “How you be, Perdy Perdy?”

She squeezed his arm and cuddled closer to him.

Grandpa Zeke slipped his arm around her. “Did you find those missing socks?”

Perdy shook her head. “No.  They aren’t in my room. Do you think a squirrel got into the house again and took them?  Or maybe we have a sock eating washing machine.”

He laughed.

She sat up and looked at him.  “Really, I looked everywhere.”

Grandpa Zeke smiled at her.  “I am sure you did. Most likely was the sock gremlins.”

Perdy stared at him, waiting for him to continue.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 168: The Tale of the White Tiger


The Tale of the White Tiger

by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Blind Li Xiao surveyed the marketplace. The sensor net embedded in his storyteller’s robes fed signals directly to his brain. The citizenship transponders exactly matched the number of heat signatures. A world firmly loyal to the Empire, then. Or one too afraid to act otherwise.

A passive scan showed at least two peacekeepers in the market. Probably more secret police. He would have to be careful in his story selection. Something from one of the official chronicles. Something he could use for his own purposes.

He beat his staff on the ground three times. The bells at the head chimed out their message. Be still and hearken. Blind Li Xiao is about to begin his tale. He chanted the introductory poem in his clear, high voice:

“When wicked ministers subvert the good,

“The Systems lose the beautiful and true.

“On Heaven’s River vast, White Tiger sails,

“Her course set by the pirate Madam Hu.”

An audience gathered in front of Blind Li Xiao. Children pressed close, their grandparents behind them. The young women and men stood at the edge, feigning disinterest or fearing entrapment. Blind Li Xiao swept the head of his staff in a broad arc as he spoke.

(Continue Reading…)