Posts Tagged ‘family’

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Cast of Wonders 290: Everything You Have Seen

Show Notes

February is Women in Horror Month, an international initiative which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. Check out the hashtag WiHM9 for plenty of suggestions. Or if you have the stomach for stronger fair, our sister show PseudoPod.

You can find all our own Women in Horror episodes here!


Everything You Have Seen

by Alisa Alering

I went outside to get away from Chung-hee.

The snow in the courtyard was coming down in thick flakes, making that special kind of silence like the whole world has been wrapped in a cotton bojagi cloth and put away for the night. I thought at first that the guns had stopped. Then a flash lit the sky over our empty chicken coop. The boom traveled through the snowy ground, up my legs and spine and into my skull. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 284: Old Teacups and Kitchen Witches (Staff Picks 2017)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge, plan the year ahead and highlight some of our favorite episodes. Throughout the month, different members of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2017.

This week’s episode is hosted by associate editor Alexis Goble.


Old Teacups and Kitchen Witches

by Kate Baker

On the night my grandfather died, we all sat around his kitchen table and marveled at how he’d been able to raise six kids in such a tiny house. While creative with the cramped living space, one bathroom seemed to be enough despite the hustle to get to school and work in the mornings. Especially as children grew into teenagers and time preening before the mirror was at a premium.

There is chaos that comes with illness and death, yet despite piles of unopened mail and neglected dishes and floors, my eyes lingered on the subtle touches that made this house a home. Especially in this kitchen. A wooden hutch still held the “good” glass and dinnerware that my grandparents cherished and thought to protect. Pots and pans of every shape, size, and color hung from racks and peeked out from crowded cabinets. And despite a very thin layer of dust, the spice rack stood at the ready for whatever recipe came along.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 266: The Immobile God of Secrets

Show Notes

Theme music “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


The Immobile God of Secrets

by Jamie Lackey

Jun slogged through the rice paddy, muddy water swirling around her calves.  She glanced behind her, checking again to make sure that Reiko and her cronies hadn’t chased her.  The only figure in sight was a lone scarecrow, wearing a pointed straw hat and a tattered blue yukata.

Its face, two wide eyes and a softly smiling line for its mouth, was painted onto a rough woven sack, and its wooden pole tilted slightly to the left.  It looked like it could bounce away at any second–Jun couldn’t imagine a single crow braving it.

She bowed. “Thank you for your hospitality.”

“You are welcome anytime.”

Jun started back and almost fell.  She looked around again, but saw nothing but green stalks, heavy with yellowing rice, and the occasional glint of water.  She walked around the scarecrow.  Even the water was still–the only ripples were from her own passing.  She remembered her manners and bowed again.  “Thank you.”

“If you would stay and keep me company, I will share a secret with you.”

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 264: Little Wonders 14: Lyrical Beauty

Show Notes

The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


The Best Busker in the World

by R.K. Duncan

“The best busker in the world never plays in the same place twice.  He is too busy searching.  But maybe, just maybe, you will hear him once.  If you hear him, you will have to see him, even if the first notes of his music drift to you from streets away, completely opposite from wherever you intended to go.  Once you hear a single note, it will draw you along like an invisible string, tugging at the knot in the center of your chest where you keep your secret fears and disappointments.  Wherever you find him— a dusty back street in a sleepy town, a bustling avenue in the rush-hour of a big city, a lonely campground haunted by only a few brave souls and stubborn wanderers— the sight will burn itself into your memory almost as deeply as the music.”

The old man sighed, and leaned back in his chair.  The corners of his mouth turned up, but the young woman couldn’t call it a smile.  His eyes were too sad for smiling.  They had been the first thing she noticed about him, catching her eye as they passed on the train platform.  She paid attention after that, more and more once she started digging, and those eyes had never changed.  They drew her irresistibly toward him, and his rich, careful voice held her there and pushed all other thoughts to the far corners of her mind.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 258: Victory Music

Show Notes

Mermaid UK: http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk
The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Theme music “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Victory Music

by Daniel José Older

One of my favorite moments ever was when the boy called me an Arab and you said, “She’s Sikh, fucknut” and then when he said “Oh, like hide and go-“ you broke his nose. I heard music playing, I swear to God, and it was victory music, your music: A dusty, unflinching beat, lowdown and grinding. It didn’t matter that my family’s not even technically Sikh anymore since my parents went born-again and I’m just whatever. I smiled for days after that moment, Krys. Days.

But so much has happened since then, so much gone wrong.

After that day I found you on the hill at the edge of campus. There’s a fence that cuts right through the summit of the hill and the other side is all wilderness and you and MagD would sit against that fence and watch everybody and murmur quietly. Used to want to hang with you guys so bad before you stood up for me and I finally got the guts to walk up there and just say Hey. And then it was us three, and MagD used to hate it when we called her that but she probably loved it too, and wherever she is now she probably introduces herself that way, with that big toothy grin on her that looks perfect and so out of place on her serious face.

Anyway, now you’re dead.

Is what they told me. That you died. I’m not trying to rub it in: I need to say it again and again so it feels true finally, because it’s been months and I still don’t believe it. In part because you were SO alive, so flesh and blood, and the thought of you not is just…it doesn’t fit. But mostly I don’t believe it because I still feel you, my friend, all around me. And anyway, that’s what I’m getting at, I wanted to tell you that you’ve saved my life at least twice. And once was after you died.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 253: Single Parent

Show Notes

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Single Parent

By Sarah Gailey

The monster in my son’s closet is so fucking scary.

Here’s what happened: Jack screamed in the middle of the night and I came running because I’m his dad and that’s what dads are for. He’s been doing that for a month — screaming like someone’s in his room murdering him with a screwdriver. And even though there’s never, not even once been anyone murdering him, I couldn’t just let him scream his little head off all night. If I didn’t come running, his mom would have risen from the grave just to come and slap me upside the head.

I know what you’re thinking, but the monster in the closet is not his mom. It is not my dead wife, come back to watch over him and protect him. This isn’t that kind of a story. It’s a fucking monster, okay?

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 248: Binaries

Show Notes

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


Binaries

by S.B. Divya

Year 1: I come into the world wet and squalling and ordinary, born of heterosexual bio-parents.

***

Year 2: A flat photo shows me on my first birthday with a shock of red hair, wide green eyes, and an expression of distaste at the sticky white frosting on my fingers. My mother stands on one side looking not at all Jewish; my Goan, lapsed-Catholic father stands on the other.

***

Year 4: Shaya is born. I am a match to my mother’s complexion, but my baby sister takes after our father. No one thinks we’re siblings unless they see the fierce, protective scowl on my face when I’m allowed to hold her.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 247: The Golem of Deneb Seven

Show Notes

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


The Golem of Deneb Seven

By Alex Shvartsman

I was eleven years old when the war came to the Deneb system.

At first, we didn’t know that anything was wrong. Mom and Dad were clearing the table after dinner, Avi was building some sort of a castle out of plastic construction blocks, Sarah was asleep in her crib, and Grandpa was reading one of his thick Hebrew books, leaning into the volume and squinting a little by candlelight. I sulked because I was going be the only girl in my class to miss Karen’s birthday party tomorrow.

There would be no chatting or video games for me that evening, or until after dinner the following night, because we weren’t supposed to use electricity on Shabbos. This weekly routine was difficult to accept while living in the place where few others shared our beliefs. It was far more frustrating this time around, because Dad wouldn’t drive on Shabbos, either, and that meant I had no way to get to Karen’s party. All the other girls were going to be there. Her parents were bringing in a magician all the way from the city, and it had been the talk of the school for weeks. So I sulked, wondering why God didn’t want me to have any fun.

For lack of anything better to do, I was staring out the window when I saw a streak of white light shoot across the night sky. I watched it fall toward the ground in a great wide arc, but before it completed its downward journey there was another, and another.

“Look, Dad, quick! A meteor shower!” I waved him over and pressed my face against the glass. Father set down the salad bowl and came over. He stood behind me and peered out the window. The sky was raining with shooting stars.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 246: Old Teacups and Kitchen Witches

Show Notes

Theme music “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Old Teacups and Kitchen Witches

by Kate Baker

On the night my grandfather died, we all sat around his kitchen table and marveled at how he’d been able to raise six kids in such a tiny house. While creative with the cramped living space, one bathroom seemed to be enough despite the hustle to get to school and work in the mornings. Especially as children grew into teenagers and time preening before the mirror was at a premium.

There is chaos that comes with illness and death, yet despite piles of unopened mail and neglected dishes and floors, my eyes lingered on the subtle touches that made this house a home. Especially in this kitchen. A wooden hutch still held the “good” glass and dinnerware that my grandparents cherished and thought to protect. Pots and pans of every shape, size, and color hung from racks and peeked out from crowded cabinets. And despite a very thin layer of dust, the spice rack stood at the ready for whatever recipe came along.

My eyes scanned old photographs that hung on the wall and came to rest on a scene of a large family. In all the time I had spent visiting my grandparents, I never remembered seeing this one. Dressed in warm clothes, four kids stared ahead not quite sure what to make of the photographer. No smiles, save for the fifth little girl who looked like my grandmother. She couldn’t have been more than six, and her smile was directed at a very ugly doll that rested in her hands. Someone had written “1943” on the lower left corner which only intrigued me more. I was about to push my chair away to take a closer look when conversation erupted around me.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 245: One Thing Leads To Your Mother

Show Notes

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


One Thing Leads to Your Mother

by Desmond Warzel

Yates propelled himself into the office. The door closed behind him, silencing the emergency klaxons that had followed him around for days like Hell’s own Greek chorus. The only remaining sound was his pulse pounding in his head: too loud, too fast.

A seated figure shimmered into existence behind the desk. White, male, balding, wearing a tan sweater. “Lieutenant David Eldridge Yates. It’s agreeable to see you. You have yet to avail yourself of my services.”

“You’re the psychologist?” asked Yates.

“System: Holographic Replica: INdividual Kounseling. S.H.R.I.N.K. for short.”

“That’s a bit forced.”

“You may call me Dr. Turing.”

“Very clever.”

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 240: Cross The Street (Artemis Rising 3)

Show Notes

Illustration by Mat Weller. Artemis Rising logo designed by Scott Pond.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Cross the Street

by Marie Vibbert

I was on the sofa, wallowing in self-pity and blankets, when my sister answered the door.

“Sadie, honey,” old Mr. Smith said from the hallway, “I beg your pardon. So sorry for your loss, again, but are you going to cross the street soon?  It’s just that I haven’t had anything to eat since Thursday.”

Now, I was sitting in the exact same spot the day before when Sadie gave him a can of beans after he said the exact same words, but Sadie just smiled and spoke receptionist-polite to him.  “I’ll have to ask my momma, Mr. Smith, but I’m sure it’ll be soon.”

“Bless you,” he said, and I saw her take a wrinkled paper from him and tuck it in her back pocket.  Chances were it had a dozen items written on it and not enough dollars by half folded inside. We’d have to guess where to cut it off to have some money for our fee, and he’d complain like he’d paid enough for twice as much.  And then bless us.

Mr. Smith raised his wrinkled old chin and, in a voice of practiced outrage, said, “Cars should stop for people.  We made them, not the other way around.”

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 238: The Absolute Temperature of Outer Space (Artemis Rising 3)

Show Notes

Illustration by Mat Weller. Artemis Rising logo designed by Scott Pond.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


The Absolute Temperature of Outer Space

by Xander M. Odell

Dwanda watches her dad bound across the lunar landscape and shivers inside her jacket.  The Moon lifts him higher than anyone on Earth could jump and sets him gently down again, a kangaroo in a space suit.  Sunlight flashes bright white across his helmet.  She chooses not to notice the ragged tear down the right side of his bulky suit, or the way she can see through him to the gray, airless expanse beyond.

The shuttleport crowd paces around the clear observation dome to make room for their excitement and boredom.  They talk softly amongst themselves or watch the swarm of service bots making a final safety check on the shuttle Io.  A few browse the souvenir stands for last minute gifts or keepsakes from their lunar vacation.

Her mom settles beside Dwanda on the couch.  “Brought you some cocoa.”
(Continue Reading…)