GlitterShip

An LGBTQ Science Fiction & Fantasy podcast

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Episode #25 — “Straw and Gold” by Kate O’Connor

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“STRAW AND GOLD” is a GLITTERSHIP ORIGINAL

 

Straw and Gold

By Kate O’Connor

Orin did not know the feel of gold. There was none to be found in his father’s mill. There were coins of tangy, sharp copper and rough iron fittings on the door, slick steel for the horses’ tack and clattering tin plates for the table. His sister had a silver ring that had belonged to their mother. It was smooth and cool as a night breeze on Jessa’s delicate finger when she held his hand, warm against his skin where it now sat. But none of those things were gold.

The padded stool underneath him was by far the most comfortable piece of furniture he had ever sat upon. The king was a clever man. Fear and wealth could drive a person to incredible feats. He clearly thought to give a bit of both to the woman who might live up to her father’s boasting, even if he thought her father a liar. Magic was rare – and it meant power. Orin tugged at the veil that covered his short hair then ran his fingertips over the wood of the spinning wheel. The finely-sanded surface was slick with polish.

 

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Episode #24 — “Lamia Victoriana” by Tansy Rayner Roberts


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Lamia Victoriana

by Tansy Rayner Roberts

The poet’s sister has teeth as white as new lace. When she speaks, which is rarely, I feel a shiver down my skin.

I am not here for this. I am here to persuade my own sister, Mary, that she has made a terrible mistake, that eloping as she has with this poet who cannot marry her, will not only be her own ruin, but that of our family.

My tongue stumbles on the words, and every indignant speech I practiced on my way here has melted to nothing. The poet looks at me with his calm, beautiful eyes, and Mary sits scandalously close to him, determined to continue in her path of debauchery and wickedness. I cannot take my eyes from the poet’s sister.

 

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Episode #23 — “Je me souviens” by Su J. Sokol


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Je me souviens

by Su J. Sokol

There are nine police cars. I count them again just to be sure and because counting usually calms me.

Arielle watches to see if I’m freaking out, asks if I want to leave. I tell her I’m OK but she’s not reassured so I give her a sexy smile. If she would kiss me now, I’d have somewhere pleasant to channel my beating heart. She leans towards me and I see that she’s used her superpowers to read my mind again, but then another police car arrives, drawing her attention away.

Now ten police cars face two hundred and thirty-six demonstrators. We are peaceful, banging pots and chanting slogans. Our numbers include children, old people, commuters on bikes, dogs wearing red bandanas. A cop is speaking through a bullhorn but no one can hear him because of the clanging and chanting. Will they arrest us now? My heart beats like the wings of a falcon, trying to escape the prison of my chest.

 

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Episode #22 — “Into the Nth Dimension” by David D. Levine


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Into the Nth Dimension

by David D. Levine

The fence around Dr. Diabolus’s lair is twenty feet tall, electrified and topped with razor wire.  I’d expected no less.  From one of the many pouches at my belt I pull a pair of acorns and toss them at the base of the fence. 

I exert my special power.  Each acorn immediately sprouts, roots digging through asphalt as the leafy stem reaches skyward.  Wood fibers KRACKLE as the stems extend, lengthen, thicken, green skin changing to grayish bark in a moment.  Leaves SSHHH into existence; branches reach out to the neighbor tree, twining themselves into rungs. 

Before the twin oaks have reached their full height I spring into action, clambering up the living ladder as it grows, creeping along a limb even as it extends over the razor wire.  It’s a dramatic, foolhardy move, but I can’t delay — Sprout is in peril!  The branch sags under my weight, lowering me to within ten feet of the ground, and I leap down with practiced ease. 

 
 
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Episode #21 — “Her Last Breath Before Waking” by A. C. Wise


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Her Last Breath Before Waking
by A.C. Wise

She is a city haunted by a ghost.

When the architect dreams, her sinews are suspension bridges, her ribs vaulting arches, her bones steel I-beams, and her blood concrete. In her dreams, the city is pristine and perfect. She is perfect.

The architect has a lover who is afraid to sleep. At night, the lover lays her head against the architect’s chest. Instead of breath and pulse, she hears the rumble of high-speed trains.

 

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Episode #20 — “Skeletons” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam


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Skeletons

by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

 

   “Who’s gonna watch the skeletons?” I ask.

            We’re about to go camping. Cathryn’s undressing before the closet in her garage apartment. I’m trying not to watch, though she wants me to. Instead I peer into her glass terrarium where the skeletons live, three of them: a dwarf T-Rex and two dwarf stegosauruses. The T-Rex stands atop a lonely pile of rocks.

            “I was going to leave them extra food. You think that’s okay?” Cathryn rummages through the clothes pile on the floor, such beautiful chaos. I stare at her reflection in the glass. Her bra, lacey and black, makes me want to glimpse what’s underneath, even though I have before, five times.

 

 

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Episode #19 — “And the Blood of Dead Gods Will Mark the Score” by Gary Kloster


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And the Blood of Dead Gods Will Mark the Score

By Gary Kloster

I had a frat-boy stretched out on the table, a pink slab of drunken meat just itching for ink, when Huck blew back into my life and brought the blood trade with him.

“Dead gods, Woody, this is the shit-hole you crawled into?”  The shop was damn small, Huck was damn big, and the perfectly tailored black ass of his suit pants leaned against my desk before I’d even raised the humming needle from frat-boy’s hide.

“I’m busy, Huck.  Back off.”

 

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Episode #18 — “Eureka!” by Nick Mamatas


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Eureka!

By Nick Mamatas

Adam hadn’t worn the crushed velvet blouse in his hands for a long time. It was from his goth phase, twenty pounds and twenty years prior. He shuddered at the thought of it distending around his spare tire these days, but he couldn’t bring himself to put it in the box he’d set aside for Out of the Closet either. And not only because it would be embarrassing if anyone saw it.

There were memories in the wrinkles of the velvet—well, not memories exactly. Half-memories, images and glimpses and smells. Two decades of gimlets and bad decisions and a few teeth and a trio of cross-country moves. What was the place? It was Huggy Bear’s on Thursdays, when they played disco for a majority black clientele, but on most nights it was just The Bank. A real bank, in the sepia-toned days when great-grandma worked in an Orchard Street sweatshop, a goth/darkwave club now.

 

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Episode #17 — “Minghun: Unlikely Patron Saints No. 5” by Amy Sisson

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Minghun: Unlikely Patron Saints, No. 5

by

Amy Sisson

 

A whisper of excitement echoes through the cave, or what I think of as a cave. She is coming, the minghun broker is coming, I hear or perhaps feel, like soft butterfly wings brushing my face. I strain to catch a glimpse of one of the others I know to be around me, but it is difficult to see faces. A flash of sleeve, whether plain or fancy, or a pale hand laid briefly on my arm is more likely.

When she arrives, the minghun broker is far more tangible than the companions I sense around me, and her face seems familiar. She has been coming as long as I’ve been here, which may be months or years. It is whispered that she comes to us in her dreams, that she belongs to the world before. The others are always happy to see her because she offers something they cannot find for themselves.

 

 

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Episode #16 — “They Jump Through Fires” by Gabriela Santiago


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They Jump Through Fires

By Gabriela Santiago

 

 

“They jump through fires, you know.”

We were behind a glass window and at least ten feet off the ground, but Sam’s voice startled the rabbit that had been standing frozen on the asphalt, one large brown eye twitching as it stared up at me. Its ears jerked up and it twisted away, hopping into the underbrush.

I kept looking out the window. “They what?”

“Jump through fires. Instead of running away.”

“Did you read that on Wikipedia?”

She changed the subject. “You going to be all right here by yourself?”

“Of course.”

“I left my number on the kitchen table, if, you know, you need anything—”

“Thanks for helping carry her. You can go now.”

 

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