Posts Tagged ‘James Vachowski’

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Cast of Wonders 139: Little Wonders 6 – A Little Laughter

Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our thematic flash fiction collections. This episode we bring you A Little Laughter.

Special thanks to Kevin McCloud and the Free Sounds Project for providing music and special effects.


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by James Vachowski

Fog fades away.  Darkness lifts. I struggle to find my feet as vision returns.  The room is empty. Signs of a struggle.

She’s gone!

Off and running with no control of my body as I fly on a path towards revenge.  An unseen hand guides my movements. Of course I know who took her. Who else could it be but Ryoku?  Damn him! If only we had left when he first made his threats…but this is no time to dwell on the past.

Rushing forward, unable to turn back.

Through flat, muted ears, I can almost hear the timer that ticks down the seconds we have left.

My steel jaw clenches as I will the fury down into my tightened fists.  Rage funnels through them as I pummel wave after wave of Ryoku’s goons, henchmen, thugs, and anyone else foolish enough to stand in my way.

Down the stairs.

Through the alley.

Over the barbed wire fence, ducking a pair of rabid junkyard dogs.

Forward still, rushing onward towards my love, and vengeance.

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Cast of Wonders 65: The Great Game, Part 7 – The Mustard Wyrm

Show Notes

The Mustard Wyrm is final installment of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.


The Great Game, Part 7–The Mustard Wyrm

By James Vachowski

What is that infernal screeching?  In God’s Holy Name, child, leave that poor cat alone!

Eh?  Music?  So you say.  To these ears it sounded more like a banshee being skinned alive.  Do yourself a favor and quit now, while you still have your youth. Your talents clearly lie beyond the world of music, and I dare say you will need all available time to discover your true skill.  By virtue of your heinous display of what I can only assume was intended to be a strain from Schubert, it is safe for us to rule out the violin as your life’s calling.

Besides, any devotee knows there is but a single instrument worthy of mastery.  Which one, you say? Do you jest? Surely your music professor has taught you the wonder of the bagpipes?  No? Child, the pipes are the birthright of the Highlanders, the instrument of ancient Scottish kings! Here now, be a good lad and wrap that quilt round my knees.  Close the window as well. The night grows cold, and I fear we have tormented the neighbors enough for one evening, what with your attempts at harmony.
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Cast of Wonders 61: The Great Game, Part 6 – When Stars Fall

Show Notes

To find the other episodes in this series, search for the tag The Great Game.


The Great Game, Part 6–When Stars Fall

by James Vachowski

Child! Quickly now, come here! Pull the drapes back, there’s a good lad, and roll me to the window.  See… there! That flash of light! 

What?  A meteor?  Don’t be a dunce, child, there’s no such thing. That was a star falling from the heavens, as sure as I’m alive. But draw the curtains now, if you please. A single shooting star is an omen of luck, but seeing several foretells death. I’ve seen enough death in my time, and I fear that my own summons cannot be too far off.

Ah, thank you. The stars are beautiful flashes of silver from afar, but terrifying when viewed up close. What? Of course I’ve seen a star up close, child! In fact, I’ve actually ridden in one!
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Cast of Wonders 58: The Great Game, Part 5 – The Dark Continent

Show Notes

The Dark Continent is part 5 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.


The Great Game, Part 5 — The Dark Continent

by James Vachowski

Light a lamp, child, and be quick about it. The day is fading, and my eyes are not what they once were. Ah, that’s the rub. This room closes in when night falls. Oftimes I find myself back in the dense brush of the Kalahari. Were you to speak a smattering of Bantu, odds are fair I would mark you by size as a pygmy Bushman.

What?  A Bushman, child!  Do you mean to tell me you have no knowledge of the fiercest warriors on this Earth?  The scourge of the Dark Continent? Those diminutive spearmen have dispatched tens of thousands of Her Majesty’s riflemen to their end, and it is no embellishment to say that I was nearly one of that number.
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Cast of Wonders 54: The Great Game, Part 4 – In The Bowels of the Sick Man

Show Notes

In The Bowels of the Sick Man is part 4 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.

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


The Great Game, Part 4 — In The Bowels of the Sick Man

by James Vachowski

Child!

What is that swill you have brought me?  I called for coffee!

From Colombia, you say? Where? South America? My dear lad, America is but a speck along the timeline of history and hardly worth mentioning, much less pinpointing on a map. Ah, but real coffee… now that is something timeless.

Of course, there is only one place on earth where one can get such a draught. Hmm? I mean Istanbul, you fool! Here now, if you cannot manage to make proper coffee then at least steep a kettle for tea, and be quick about it.
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Cast of Wonders 50: The Great Game, Part 3 – The Empty Quarter

Show Notes

The Empty Quarter is part 3 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.

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


The Great Game, Part 3 — The Empty Quarter

by James Vachowski

My dearest child,

I was delighted to receive your most recent correspondence. In response to your inquiry, it would give me the utmost pleasure to assist with your History essay. I did indeed serve with Colonel Lawrence during the Arabian campaign, but in those days, before his fame reached its peak, Lawrence of Arabia was known to us simply as Toms.
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Cast of Wonders 46: The Great Game, Part 2 – The Great Game

Show Notes

The Great Game is part 2 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.

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


The Great Game, Part 2 — The Great Game

by James Vachowski

Where do you go in such a hurry, young one?

The football pitch? Bah! Athletics are absurd habits, child. Ah, but I forget that youth is wasted on the young! One would hope that your schooling would encourage you to seek exercise for your mind as well. Hmm. I cannot help but wonder what passes for education these days.

There is but one sport: Chess. It is the Great Game. The chessboard never lies, young one. The movements must be precise, yet in line with a grand strategy to ensure final victory.

And sportsmanship, that lie propagated by coaches everywhere, does not exist in chess! Yes, we all occupy a certain station in life, but make no mistake, some lives are inherently more valuable than others. Pawns and kings may appear to occupy equal spaces on the board, but whom do you think will be sacrificed first?
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Cast of Wonders 43: The Great Game, Part 1 – Khyber

Show Notes

Khyber is part of a series of stories called The Great Game. There’s seven in the series and we’ll be running all seven on Cast of Wonders over the coming months, probably once a month. This is our first series; we hope you’ll look forward to it as much as we are!

The Great Game is by James Vachowski. James works as a “quality assurance technician” for airport Duty Free Shops, where he strives to ensure that your next tax-exempt purchase meets or exceeds your high standards. When not living out of a suitcase and hopping between glamorous international terminals, he writes fiction. You can find out more about James at his website or on Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook.

Your narrator is Cast of Wonders Editor, Barry J Northern.

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


The Great Game, Part 1 — Khyber

by James Vachowski

So it’s a story you want, is it?

Then be gone from here. Stories are but lies, gift-wrapped in sugary coatings that tickle the listener’s ear. If it is stories you want, run along to the lending library with the other children, where you can waste your days reading of wizards and faeries and their ilk.

But if your heart seeks the truth… then I may indeed have a tale for you.
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