February 23, 2024

Dungeons and Damsels by Unchained Productions

Dungeons and Damsels by Unchained Productions

Dungeons & Damsels is a medieval fantasy sword and sorcery audio drama series by Unchained Productions. Episodes are stand-alone short stories of different characters throughout the same fantasy world. (Since each episode is very short, I’m posting several of them) In the Nurmi region, tavern entertainer Tarin uses magic to create illusions to tell his stories for coin, and finds he unwittingly auditioned for a different kind of gig.   Tavern server from Sylvanwood, Skeyo tells her companions at campfire how she discovered her innate talent reveals to her unexpected things, and brings unexpected danger. Running errands for a peculiar lord in Gardur, Tuntemus takes an unexpected journey into a strange realm. In a mountain monastery in remote Luostari, an acolyte of The Discipline is presented with a seemingly impossible challenge. And its solution, the…

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February 20, 2024

“Becoming Queen,” A Short Story by Lorraine Parrish

“Becoming Queen,” A Short Story by Lorraine Parrish

*Featured image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay* Doubt has a funny way of sneaking into our minds when we least expect it, and all we need is a little encouragement to push past that negative voice. Come along as Lorraine guides us through an elegant performance in “Becoming Queen.” Inky darkness disguises me among the shifting walls of velvet.  It calls to me — an energy that ebbs and flows, like blood pumping throughout my veins.   Come closer. This whir of energy beckons, sighing into my ear — Reveal yourself to me.    My skin tingles in anticipation as high-pitched whispers dissipate into an atmosphere rife with tension and excitement. Normally light on my feet, I stumble over a wooden block secured to the floor. Their expressions — raised eyebrows, and curled lips—reveal both contempt and perhaps, surprise? Whatever…

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November 21, 2023

“Gone,” A Short Story by Katherine Harper

“Gone,” A Short Story by Katherine Harper

I want to be gone. I want to be utterly gone. I was once gone, but now I am here, but now I am tired of being here and want to be gone. I have been here for so long and have been not gone for so long and I want to be gone like no one has been gone ever before.  I used to be a sky-watcher when I was gone. I used to be a sky-watcher and know all the shapes in the sky. I used to know everything about the night sky, and the night sky knew everything about me when I was gone. Now I am here and there is no night sky. There is no darkness here. Here has no darkness but dark times. I had no dark times when I was gone, just the…

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September 29, 2023

“In the Days of the Revolution,” by David Michael Litwack

“In the Days of the Revolution,” by David Michael Litwack

Tehran, February, 1979  “So you’re a bachelor,” I ventured.  “Why do you say that, agha?”  “You wear the brown of a bachelor.”  “That is a custom for the maghrebi—the westerners. The Berbers. For me it is a good color to disguise the filth I encounter here. For example, that dog.”  “Nice taqiyah!” I was complimenting his white cap. White linen doubled over with a kind of gold filigree.  “It is an araqchin, agha.”   “Why are you sitting here?” I asked. I had had enough of the xenophobic vocabulary lesson. He’s irritated me so I decided to be irritable in return.  “I am making illustrations of the bustle and tragedy of these people. These Emricani and the Irani. Maybe some are from Afghanistan as well. They are always in the wrong place. Always the wrong time, those…

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August 22, 2023

“The Jam,” A Short Story by Joshua Britton

“The Jam,” A Short Story by Joshua Britton

A black Nissan hatchback with its lights off rolls down the street. Troy is at the wheel, and he and Brandon listen through the open windows for community unrest. But it’s dark and quiet. The lights go off at 11:00, inside and out, whether you’re ready or not.   Utopic villages like this one have sprouted up all over the country, segregation as a result of a rigorous application process. Troy had tried to be admitted just hard enough to know it was futile. These communities were designed to keep out gimps like Troy and minorities like Brandon. If discovered, how they’d snuck in would cause a panic among the residents.  Aided by light from the moon without the hindrance of light pollution, Troy slowly navigates the hatchback toward the main gate through the flat neighborhood…

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August 15, 2023

“Featherweight,” A Short Story by Avi Setiawan

“Featherweight,” A Short Story by Avi Setiawan

On a warm day in May, when only a few clouds tripped across the sky like lambs, Gertrude Stocking began to float away.   It was a clear day, with a sky so blue that it made Gertrude Stocking want to cry. She didn’t cry, though; she felt as if she was stewing in a huge pot of soup. It was that kind of day.  Gertrude Stocking didn’t notice that she was floating at first, thinking that she was particularly light on her feet on this particular May day. But as she traveled up the street, Gertrude Stocking realized that her feet were no longer touching the ground. She stopped and looked down at her brown patent leather shoes. There was a good half-inch between her soles and the pavement.  “Well,” said Gertrude Stocking. “Perhaps if…

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July 24, 2023

“Vector Control,” A Short Story by Micah Thorp

“Vector Control,” A Short Story by Micah Thorp

Laughter and revelry permeated the ceremony.  At least until the explosion. Red balloons, firecrackers, a brass band and the entirety of the Mayoral staff were in attendance as the coffin was marched from the back of a flatbed truck into the midst of Portland’s South Waterfront Square. The coffin was an ostentatious thing, painted in red and gold, with the lid cracked open just enough to expose large Papier-Mache ears and giant snout, complete with whiskers and buck teeth.   The laughter was misplaced, though the participants at the City’s mock funeral celebrating the beginning of “Vector Control Week” could not have foreseen the devastation about to befall the event.  After all, when is frivolity at a mock funeral interrupted by domestic terrorism?  Particularly unaware were two young men who would eventually “claim” responsibility for the explosion.  Not…

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July 19, 2023

“Wind Fall,” by Ian Carass

“Wind Fall,” by Ian Carass

Lila stood at the window as what passed for daybreak began to light her room. Her bed was unmade and would stay unmade until she returned to it. A twitch of the coverlet and a brief smoothing of the sheets was all she would do to make it ready for sleep. The bed bore the indentation of her body. No longer did she turn the mattress, as her mother had taught her. Sheets were washed irregularly. The mould of her form and the residue of her own body odour were comforting when she retired each night. She slept alone. Lila’s husband had left many months before, seeking work up at the Confluence. He had heard that labouring was well paid there and living was cheap, that the air was more consistently purified, that grass grew…

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June 30, 2023

“New Tricks,” by Fiona Sinclair

“New Tricks,” by Fiona Sinclair

Lugging shopping up the path, she leaned against the back door to open. Dumped bulging bags on the kitchen floor, exhaled with relief; the food shopping, top of her weekly chore list, was completed.   “You shouldn’t have left me alone,” her husband grinned as Olivia entered the sitting room. A grumpy “Oh” as she plonked herself down on the sofa and regarded him with a frown. She wondered when they had tacitly agreed to this division of chores. Whilst she tackled the weekly shop, her husband checked his emails and pottered about the internet.   Oblivious to her body language he turned the laptop to face her. “What do you think of this?” On the screen, a motor bike, retro in shape, glossy black with chrome trim. “It’s pretty,” she replied, wondering where he was going…

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May 25, 2023

“The Worrymajig,” by Rhea Thomas

“The Worrymajig,” by Rhea Thomas

When Amy tripped on her way out of the office parking garage and ended up sprawled on the sidewalk, a noise came from her mouth that was a cross between a gasp, a screech and a squawking chicken. In addition to skinning her knees, she broke the heel on one of her new, cute winter boots. Luckily, she had some back-up tennis shoes in her desk due to some client freebies and no one would have noticed her cute boots anyway, because she would be stuck at her desk all day with the mountain of work she needed to complete. Despite this being only a few weeks into January, Amy wasn’t feeling very hopeful this year would be any different from the last. Everyone was so excited about “the new year, the new you,” and…

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