M001 Metacast

Author: Jim  //  Category: Metacasts

The first Nil Desperandum metacast. No story here, just some information about the podcast and how you (yes YOU!) can help.


005-02 Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated PG

Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven, by Mark Twain. Part 2 of 2.

Narrated by Charlie White, who you can find online at http://www.cewtwo.com.

Learn about, and purchase, the full manuscript of Mark Twain’s long-awaited autobiography at http://www.thisismarktwain.com/

I had been having considerable trouble with my wings. The day after I helped the choir I made a dash or two with them, but was not lucky. First off, I flew thirty yards, and then fouled an Irishman and brought him down–brought us both down, in fact. Next, I had a collision with a Bishop–and bowled him down, of course. We had some sharp words, and I felt pretty cheap, to come banging into a grave old person like that, with a million strangers looking on and smiling to themselves.


005-01 Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated PG

Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven, by Mark Twain. Part 1 of 2. Narrated by Charlie White.

Well, when I had been dead about thirty years I begun to get a little anxious. Mind you, had been whizzing through space all that time, like a comet. LIKE a comet! Why, Peters, I laid over the lot of them! Of course there warn’t any of them going my way, as a steady thing, you know, because they travel in a long circle like the loop of a lasso, whereas I was pointed as straight as a dart for the Hereafter; but I happened on one every now and then that was going my way for an hour or so, and then we had a bit of a brush together. But it was generally pretty one-sided, because I sailed by them the same as if they were standing still.


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.


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.


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.


003 – Markheim

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated PG

Markheim, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Read by Charles McFall of The Bear Crawling Nation.

“Yes,” said the dealer, “our windfalls are of various kinds. Some customers are ignorant, and then I touch a dividend on my superior knowledge. Some are dishonest,” and here he held up the candle, so that the light fell strongly on his visitor, “and in that case,” he continued, “I profit by my virtue.”

Markheim had but just entered from the daylight streets, and his eyes had not yet grown familiar with the mingled shine and darkness in the shop. At these pointed words, and before the near presence of the flame, he blinked painfully and looked aside.


002 – His Garden

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated G

His Garden, original fiction by Edward McDermott. Narrated by Ken Stoeffler, host of The Flatus Show.

I was in grade five when I first met Mr. Hamilton. That was the
year my father died and my mother had to start working again. That was
the year that Mike Todd and his friends decided to make my life

On that crisp spring day I could smell the earthworms in the
ground and see a fog of green buds surrounding the trees. I thought
I’d lost Mike by taking a different street home that afternoon. I
didn’t count on Mike’s persistence. Like dogs after a fox I could hear
them hallooing half a block behind me, so I ran.


001 – Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Author: Jim  //  Category: Rated PG

At long last, the very first issue of Nil Desperandum!

We present the classic short story Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce. Narrated by Charlie White.

A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the ties supporting the rails of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners – two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as “support,” that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest – a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.


Coming Soon!

Author: Jim  //  Category: Metacasts
Nil Desperandum.

It’s about truth, life, and the human condition.

Fiction from the Bear Crawling Nation. Coming to an audio player near you, June, 2010.

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