Posts Tagged ‘Elie Hirschman’

raging river

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Cast of Wonders 501: Across the River


Across the River

by Leah Cypess

When the sorcerer walked through the town gates, I was standing with my friends Reuven and Yitzchak in the square, which was not where we were supposed to be. Reuven should have been in the study hall, where his wife had directed him to go. Yitzchak should have been at the market, helping his father. And I should have been resting my voice, since that evening, for the first time, I was going to be allowed to lead the prayers in synagogue—an honor I had been hoping for and practicing for, but that I now, somewhat nervously, wished was not coming so soon. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 483: Armed With Such Stories, I Roamed Into The Woods (Staff Picks 2021)


Armed With Such Stories, I Roamed Into The Woods

by Evan Marcroft

Never trust a wolf’s promise, Atticus, my mother once told me. Remember the tale of Smiling John and Baron Icepelt. They lie between fangs, and their promises will only ever lead you into their belly. She was full of such morsels of wisdom. There was a fable for every lesson I should know. Not all pertained to talking wolves, but this was most relevant to my task. Remember how Smiling John escaped. If you should find a wolf at your heels, throw meat behind you. Wolves are clever but lazy creatures. They will stop for the easier meal.

Armed with such stories, I roamed into the woods to save her life. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 456: Armed With Such Stories, I Roamed Into The Woods


Armed With Such Stories, I Roamed Into The Woods

by Evan Marcroft

Never trust a wolf’s promise, Atticus, my mother once told me. Remember the tale of Smiling John and Baron Icepelt. They lie between fangs, and their promises will only ever lead you into their belly. She was full of such morsels of wisdom. There was a fable for every lesson I should know. Not all pertained to talking wolves, but this was most relevant to my task. Remember how Smiling John escaped. If you should find a wolf at your heels, throw meat behind you. Wolves are clever but lazy creatures. They will stop for the easier meal.

Armed with such stories, I roamed into the woods to save her life. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 417: Please, Stop Printing Unicorns


Please, Stop Printing Unicorns

by Fran Wilde

It shouldn’t need to be said that home bioprinters are not toys. And yet, as The New York Times reported last week, Fisher Price Waterhouse will soon offer a line of kid-friendly bioprinters in bright colors.

As a parent, I understand the temptation. There’s so much possibility here for creativity, for immersive learning through technology. But caution is necessary. The moral and environmental consequences of bioprinting extend far beyond the grasp of young minds. This is a moment for modeling moral behavior for tomorrow’s leaders, not a jumping-off point for imaginative hedonism.

Making bioprinting more accessible to the public — especially to children — will be likely to lead to even worse disasters than last Friday’s blockade of the Chicago I-899 skyways off-ramp by a herd of miniature unicorns. Sure, the unicorns (whose origins are unknown) were the size of ducklings, but their appearance caused several accidents and a moral quandary. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 213: Beneath the Loveliest Tints of Azure


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.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 125: The Clasp


The Clasp

by Jarod K. Anderson

Our tribe didn’t have a word for the huge, winged race of reptiles who shared the cliff-faces with us. They were just “The Clasp.” Same as us. One tribe. One name. One shared livelihood as old as the great butte.

When I was young boy, before I knew better, I asked my grandmother if we were pretending to be like the big, scaly tribesmen or if they were pretending to be like us. After all, we didn’t look anything alike. When I finally made her understand my question, I hated the way she looked at me, like she’d tasted something bitter.

“There’s no ‘they’ or ‘us,’” she said. “We eat the same plants and insects, don’t we? We drink the same water, don’t we? All The Clasp warms our blood on the southern face and shelters from storms in the red caverns, eh?”

As we spoke, I remember a big male, in the gray raggedness of his shed, ambled along the ceiling of the cave where we sat. A curled sheet of semi-translucent skin fell between us, but I knew better than to mention the difference. I had learned. We would all be the same through sheer will and stubbornness.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 106: Little Wonders 4 – The Journey

Show Notes

This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you a trio of stories where enjoying the way you get somewhere is more important than your ultimate destination. Welcome to “The Journey”.


The Treasure Hunter

by Alexandra Grunberg

“Don’t let him get away!”

Pan heard the pounding feet of the guards racing after him as he sped down the spiral stairs from the tower. He clutched a plain brown bag in one hand. The contents cracked against each other, a constant point of reference for Pan’s pursuers. In his other hand he grasped a solid gold necklace. It was not what he had come here for, but how could he resist? He was already a thief, one more treasure would not hurt. His full pack slapped against his back.

The stairs opened out into a long hall. Pan slid on the smooth stone floor, trying not to give up speed for stability. He scanned the room for an exit. Through the high windows he could barely see the night sky and the tops of strange trees. He was unfamiliar with this world, but he doubted that the ground would offer a soft landing from this height. He had already travelled to a world with a plush surface, and he doubted he would be that lucky twice. His only hope was the archway at the far end of the hall.

“There he is!”

Pan glanced behind him. There were five armored men, much more familiar with the slippery floor than he was, and they were gaining on him. Pan picked up his pace, chancing another look behind him.
(Continue Reading…)