Back to the Beginning
(reading time: 1 hour, 11 minutes)
The tip had come to Lindwurm from a trilophosaur, and so was taken with the utmost seriousness. No family was more devoted to the cause than the trilophosaurs, even across their many species. Most of them were forever cut off from man, unable to experience their appreciation across the gulf of time, because few of their fossils would ever be found, and when they were they were not representative. Continue reading
Only finding fossils, we never suspected the flesh of the dinosaurs could’ve been so strange, could’ve climbed off whenever it felt like it and even borrowed our shape. That is the forgotten clade thanazoa, but they know of us, thanks to communing with their fungus-like oracle Atropos.
A defeated villain resurfaces to abuse those predictions, her predatory eyes set on the future she thinks she is denied. Discover a brand new world on familiar bones in this wildly speculative novella of the Triassic period.
(reading time: 1 hour, 13 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 24 minutes)
‘Even if, one day, we had access to perfectly preserved fossils, a vital aspect of animal life would still elude our grasp. Behavior is almost entirely lost in the fossil record. Imagine the richness and strange wonder of animal life today. The eerie, ululating songs of whales, the elaborate middens of bowerbirds and the surreal spectacle of a peacock’s display could never be deduced from inanimate remains.
Likewise, some of the most spectacular sights of the past will never be seen, or even guessed.’
– All Yesterdays
The insects were reluctant to touch it, and that reluctance continued on down to everything that could be called life. The fungi refused to take the first bite. The bacteria self-destructed rather than continue touching it for more than a moment. It was as if they knew what kind of will had inhabited it just one day prior. Continue reading
(reading time: 53 minutes)
Fetch the Black Gold
Time off was not part of the experimental parameters the 8th were always subject too. While it would’ve been fair to have a longer period of rest after each foray if, say, they had gotten particularly bland or stomach-cramping tinned food that time, their current stay at the base in Tampico was just a fluke. Continue reading
(reading time: 44 minutes)
That Dog had Something to Say
He really had no idea why he brought the book, even the first chapter had been insufferable, but he was certainly glad for it now with the sun beating down on his head. With one end of it stuffed under his collar the thin open novel made an excellent neck shield. Its cool pages were a relief on the raw shedding skin there. Continue reading
(reading time: 37 minutes)
The Cave is not an Allegory
Tampico would’ve liked to be known for its architecture. Their cast iron balconies could’ve been right out of any European city a century ago. No matter how desperate your search for god, there was a church in Tampico grand enough to handle it. Its people would gladly sit you down and, in the Catholic hospitality as immortal as their god, share the region’s bounty with you. A tortilla of pounded corn stuffed with roasted iguana meat. Or perhaps armadillo. That was without even considering the bounty of seafood. All you had to do was stay close enough to the buildings, and to the food, to smell them. Straying might mean getting a whiff of the oil in the air. Continue reading
This novella is dedicated to the animals used in human warfare all throughout history. None of them knew what they were doing, but some of them surely wanted to help. I take you now to the dawn of the first world war, and the birth of a very special litter of puppies who will eventually have to journey into Mexico as part of the manhunt for Pancho Villa, encountering a rogue German scientist and his hypnotized bats along the way.
(reading time: 59 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 3 hours, 13 minutes)
Gal rested on her bed of dry straw and whimpered. One of her ears flopped over her eye; she didn’t bother to move it. The freshly-washed hands hovering over her thought this odd, so they moved in and pushed the ear back. Gal loved the light, loved chasing the setting sun to the marshy edge of the island, so there was no reason for her to not see the light in her litter’s eyes. They were due any minute now. One of the hands rested on her swollen belly, both petting and feeling for the position of the puppies. She couldn’t tell the difference. Continue reading
(reading time: 57 minutes)
(Against the Grain will return after these messages from our sponsor)
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(reading time: 46 minutes)
It was awfully quiet for a place where so much money changed hands. There were tons of poker players there that night; as a crowd they tended to know how to keep their eyes down and their mouths shut. Half of them wore sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night. The other half had toothpicks in their mouths, just enough of a disturbance to make their tiniest smiles or frowns undetectable.
It was a private apartment, high above the streets of Midway, so excessive noise wouldn’t have helped anyway. Still, it didn’t feel like much of a party. The loudest noises were the clinking of glasses and the brief scrapes of USB drives docking and undocking from various ports. Every dealer had a box next to them with at least four ports, perfect repositories for the digital currency while the guests gambled. Should the police burst in the boxes would automatically cancel everything they held and wipe their own memories. Continue reading
(reading time: 47 minutes)
Eirene wondered if her father had more of a literary talent than she had initially thought, because the two houses that made up the Odeck family compound did appear to be stitched together, like the arguing children of a mad scientist. They were bound by a tunnel of unpainted wood, with nearly every board having come from a different source. There was one window on the tunnel, its frame an actual picture frame.
It was a nightmarish playhouse already, but the image was further enhanced by the entertainment and sport debris littered all over the yard and in the branches of a giant twisted elm tree, the roots of which crawled into the gray asphalt driveway and broke it into chunks like lava rock. Continue reading
Police work has been the subject of fiction for an age, but what about television police work? Dive into this quirky novella that blends the twists and turns of a murder conspiracy with the trappings of hokey law dramas, complete with time slots, character tropes, crossovers, and commercial breaks!
(reading time: 46 minutes) (reading for entire novella: 3 hours, 16 minutes)
The Detectorate 7/6c
This program is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.
Intro Narration: Law enforcement is taken seriously in the township of Little Pond, Massachusetts. A new crime wave, worsened by local corruption, has convinced its people that elections are now necessary for its detectives as well as its sheriff. The first two candidates for this experimental program, called the Detectorate, are Eirene Amstead and Cincinattus Golfort. These stories are the evidence of their efforts, conviction, and dedication to their constituents.
Intro theme tune by Zizi Caraway
Produced by Heath Moose
Episode 17: By the Horns Continue reading