017 – Some Things Never Change

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Some Things Never Change, by M.R. Jordan.

Music for this episode is Sedona Sky, by 2012.

Jim Gable cradled a cheap plastic grocery bag between his arm and ribcage because the handles had broken. In the other hand he thumbed his retro iPhone X, flipping through songs. He walked with his head down, on autopilot. Tweets crawled across his screen- old and new were seconds apart- from friends seemingly compelled to announce every detail of their lives. Half of them weren’t friends, not in the old sense of the word. These days the world was your friend. A woman walking her dog sniffed at him as she passed.

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015 – Legs

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Legs, by Tara Barnett. Narrated by Lorna Boyle.

Music is The Body, by Android Lust.

I love my legs. I chose the custom red striping on the sides when I was twelve, with vintage ball joint knees and toes, patterned with scrolls; a more expensive model than my parents wanted. We customized the calves with embossed stars that wind a gentle arc up my legs to my thighs. I was quite the designer even then. My parents made me pay for half of them with my allowance from that summer because they were so utterly frivolous. It was the summer without ice cream. I looked at my old blue feet every time the truck went by and curled my toes in anticipation, smiling to myself.

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013 – Corseting

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Corseting, by Brandon Blackburn. Narrated by Ken Stoeffler.

Around midnight, pedestrians cutting through Olmstead Park in north Boston would sometimes look up to the west façade of the Feniston Building where a few lights in a few lonely offices on the eleventh floor were still burning, their luminescence quickly swallowed by the cloying night. In one of these offices, Jim Staymin, Creative Director for Beantown Fashion, sat behind a small desk crowded with drafts of articles and photo sets, looking at the taskbar at the bottom of his PC screen, which gave the time as 11:53 PM. Marlene, his editor-in-chief, sat across the desk from him where she’d sat for most of the evening, mouth tight, eyes bright but emotionless, just as they’d been for as long as Jim had known her. She was considering an objection Jim had just made, but considered it only momentarily before shaking her head and resuming her argument. “All I’m saying,” she said, “is that I think a trip to the gym is in order for this young lady.”

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012 – Miracle, Texas

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Miracle, Texas by DeAnna Knippling.

If he’d meant to leave his wife for her, he shouldn’t have shot her horse.

Justine waved to the banditos and hefted her saddlebags. She’d sold the banditos her saddle and tack in payment for the ride from El Paso to Miracle, Texas. They’d heard of Marguerite’s Amazons and therefore weren’t prepared to risk doing her bodily harm, but they weren’t going to give her a ride for free. She walked the last mile and a half, one foot in front of the other. Her boots hurt her feet; she wasn’t used to walking.

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011 – Smoke Signals

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Smoke Signals, by Cody Quinn.

Regret pulled a cigarette from her pack of Camels. Rolling it between her rough fingers she examined it closely, her deep brown eyes dissecting its details, admiring its simple perfection and soothing promise.

“Got a smoke?” Coy asked.

She looked up at him from her position on a low window sill, “Not for you.”

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008-02 – Dioscuri

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Dioscuri, by Edward R. Morris. Part two of two.

Mr. Morris can be found online at http://edwardrmorrisjr.blogspot.com/.

Public bathrooms are supposed to be safe, to a child. What could ever happen there?

Public bathrooms occupy their own corner of Spacetime, their own cosm that gets examined as little as possible by anyone.

When you’re four years old, public bathrooms are mysterious and terrifying, with vast Horoscope machines looming over you, their funhouse mirrors at your eye level inlaid in the Bakelite where grownups don’t notice.

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008-01 – Dioscuri

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

Dioscuri, by Edward R. Morris. Part one of two.

Mr. Morris can be found online at http://edwardrmorrisjr.blogspot.com/.

Special thanks to Steve Cox (http://fromtheedge.com) and Erin McFall (http://erinsaves.ning.com/) for their narration assistance.

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, continue the experiment. If it continues to run away, terminate it and rebuild. Rinse. Repeat Step One.

This is the way of pure Science. We may think we love those not born of Man and Woman, the way we think we love a long-time family pet. But neither are ensouled.

Not even when they think they are.

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004-03 An Occidental Book of the Dead

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

An Occidental Book of the Dead, by J. Michael Shell. Part 3.

Consciousness grabbed Malcolm and shook, causing him to jump to his feet. When he did, he noticed he was standing, once again, on that endless, grassy plain. “You’ve got to be kidding,” he said out loud. “Damn all this grass.”

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the ground began to shake. All around him, in the distance, he could see a dark wave undulating toward him, as if he’d been a pebble thrown into a pond, and his ripples were coming back to haunt him. When those waves converged on Malcolm, he was bounced up into the air. When he came back down, it wasn’t onto grass, but asphalt. The field had become a parking lot, stretching into infinity.

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004-02 An Occidental Book of the Dead

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

An Occidental Book of the Dead, by J. Michael Shell. Part 2.

He wasn’t sure if his feet were quite touching that so-green grass. Aimed straight and grim, Malcolm was stretching whatever sinew it was he wore to put distance, rapidly, between himself and Aminae’s forest. He was aware at a gut level…no, at a molecular level, a sub-atomic level, of how close he’d come to being swallowed in there. He didn’t even dare think of Aminae. One glimpse of her in his thoughts could stop him in his tracks with a vicious longing. He could not survive another encounter with her.

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004-01 An Occidental Book of the Dead

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated R

An Occidental Book of the Dead, by J. Michael Shell. This is part one of three.

Malcolm Stark kept an appointment with his soul to meet in a dream, and died in his sleep. As they walked, arms around shoulders, through that twilit place, his soul let something silver fall from its hand, and left it lying in the too-green grass.

The relief Malcolm felt was that of a husband watching his in-laws leave after an extended visit. His soul had never gotten along with his life, but in the end the animosity had become a palpable thing. Even so, the two had remained close, and Malcolm had tried to take his soul’s advice whenever he could divine what that cryptic character was trying to tell him.

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