Drabblecast 146 - Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

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Kevin Anderson
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Drabblecast 146 - Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:34 pm

Drabble- Homeostasis
by Phenopath

Teddy Bears and Tea Parties
by S. Boyd Taylor

Shadows move on the mantelpiece and the end tables. She freezes. The family pictures are moving. Brass frames buckling into bow-shaped mouths. They want to eat her.
Don't be scared, she says. Of course they’re hungry. Everything must eat. And there isn't much food...

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Episode art by Skeet Scienski
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by StalinSays » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:40 am

Have not heard the story just yet but Skeet wins for best art since switching to the rotating format (easy). If that cover doesn't get you pumped up delete your account and get the eff outta' here.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:16 am

Woo, grats phenopath. Is this your first appearance? Or did you already lose your virginity to Norm.

In any event, I'm switching over right now to give this weeks episode a listen.

I heart Drabblecast day.

Ok, finished listening to it.

1st: Again, great to hear Pheno on the cast. Well deserved appearance of a fine zombie drabble.

2nd: As for the story. Ya, wow. I think that childhood terrors are the most frightening of all. The imagination that allows for the reality of Santa Claus has an equal and opposite counterpart in the vividness of terror that can be conjured by the young. I'm not surprised that this story is becoming a Nebula contender. It certainly merits it.

3rd: Didn't I tell ya that PMS was gonna be a heavy hitter in the twabble arena? Right again, ROU. Fine job PMS. Keep'em coming, you weird, twisted Norm-stalker, you.

4th: (and most important) Kudos on using your podcast and powerful voice to send out a call for assistance to those that are truly in the greatest time of need.

God bless you, Norm. You brought tears to the eyes of this rapid offensive unit.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by Richmazzer » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:38 am

...So after listening to this story I basically stared blankly with my mouth hanging open for about 5 minutes or so.

That was a insane, terrifying and visceral. Very well done.

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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by strawman » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:20 am

I must say that if this piece is Horror, then DC hasn't really done horror before. I mean, Pumpkinseeds and Unholy Fruit are not really in the same category. The Lovecraft episode had a similar aura, but this story took place in a Freudian dungeon. It might have been the result of Jeffrey Dahmer eating anchovie pizza before bedtime.

That is not to say that I enjoyed it, though. I can say well-done, Mr. Taylor and Norm, but the genre is not my cup of strange tea, whereas Pumpkinseeds and Unholy Fruit were exactly my taste.

Chaque a son degout, I suppose.

Norm, I was surprised and happy about the fundraising diversion to earthquake relief. It's great to see that when the strange veil is lifted, you're a human being.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by moonowl » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:45 am

Kevin, you know you make this woman squee out loud every Thursday when I get your episode posts? :mrgreen:

Thought you should know.

*happy newdrabblecast dance*


Edit:

I'm back. Do NOT listen to this at 12:30 am in a dark house while hopped up on Theraflu.

"Give us all some Jelly!"

This story really, really reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth. Sibling saving, super creepy holding eyeballs to his forehead Bad Guy, going in a dark lair, etc.

Frankly I liked it without the author's subtext at the end. I don't think I see it in the story myself, I would have thought it was about childhood poverty if left to my devices.

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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by themorg » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:37 am

Congrats Phenopath and Pms avenger for great drabble and twabble respectively.

Creepy in a Teddy Ruxpin on crack and steroids with pathological lying and thrust for more blood/fun-filling into a fetish like lust. The imaginary made me feel clostrophobic and i started compulsively mutilating Gummy bears. Thanks for that.

this will sound sad that i missed that there had been an earthquake in Hatti. Thanks for informing me about it.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by vagrant » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:04 pm

Wow. Nothing like a story about killing Teddy bears and eating them to make one feel warm and fuzzy.

Nice work on never giving the little girls name, by never giving her that identity it removes some of the boundries between the reader and the character. I couldn't help bit feel that there was an analogy to parenthood in here, all adults want children to abandon their primal natures and become perfect porcline dolls. Most just don't eat their kids to do it.

Execelent music norm, it set the mood and scared me jellyless.

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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by Phenopath » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:16 pm

Wow, I loved the drabble, that was inspired.

I have mixed feelings about the main feature. Nightmare stories, because of their sureal nature rely on their imagery and this story did not let up. There were some highlight; "Are you thinking about eating me now?" But in this end it left me a little cold. I guess that is because I am not a horror aficionado (despite the zombies).
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by dreamrock » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:01 am

Up until not so long ago, I thought of horror as mostly the "freaky stuff in mirrors, dead kids climbing on walls, and 'come out come out and play' sing-song children's voices, plus torture crap like Saw and Hostel MMXIV." Fortunately, through the careful guidance of PseudoPod, I've learned better. Even if it's still not my favorite genre, there's a lot of fun to be had in the creepy and odd.

We are alien to ourselves, and our reactions to the things we can never hope to understand are a large part of what I feel good horror is about.

I invoke listener privilege and choose to disregard the author's subtext. This story, for me, is about the fact that all life consumes all other life. Every time we sit down for a meal, we are eating human, cat, crow, and wombat. If we take some of the decomposition and re-assimilation out of the picture, the cycle of life is grotesque. Everything eats and everything tricks. Oh various gods, I want to memorize the last few lines of this story. The whole thing was dripping with such beautiful imagery.

Congrats to Phenopath on a really fantastic Drabble. The Twabble was not quite my taste, but PMS Avenger always does a fantastic job.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by munsi » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:59 am

dreamrock wrote: Everything eats and everything tricks. Oh various gods, I want to memorize the last few lines of this story. The whole thing was dripping with such beautiful imagery.
seconded. the best horror works by taking a neccessary part of the human experience, expanding it until it's grotesque, and forcing you to stare into it's face. on that level this was spectacularly successful.

...it was also a good little source of surreal fantasy imagry. loved the drabble too, i'm a sucker for a really good zombie story

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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by themorg » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:28 am

dreamrock wrote:I invoke listener privilege and choose to disregard the author's subtext.

I agree. What the author might have been thinking of (or trying to say) was not what i got when listening. Sometimes art needs explanation but i do not think this story does.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by alhilton » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:28 am

Wow.

Excellent drabble, excellent Twabble, and the main story... It did remind me of Pan's Labyrinth - a love story for all the children who don't make it (except in this case, they do...sort of). Why is it that I can stand her torturing the bears, but I get sick when she starts torturing the stuffed cat? I like the analysis here better than the author's.
Everything tricks and everything cheats, and everything, everything, everything eats.
Such a good line. :D
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by Wonko » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:59 am

Damn it Norm, you gave me nightmares with that story.

I made my younger sister listen to it after I was done (It's part of a crusade I have to try and get her to like more than Twilight) and she claims that she was scared of it too.

In short: more like this please!
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by HPHovercraft » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:21 pm

Oh wow. I LOVED this story. It had me hooked from the word!

What I liked the most was this: the "main character is destroyed by refusal to become what he/she hates/fears/is hunted by in order to destroy it" and it's opposite "main character is destroyed by becoming what he/she hates/fears/is hunted by in order to destroy it" plot devices are very common in horror.

What this story did was make it reasonably clear that the little girl had been deeply changed by her experience - but with just enough uncertainty about whether or not she went over such that the listener is left wondering whether she is now hungry too, or whether she has become something wholly different?

I'm guessing the latter. She doesn't find her salvation. But she doesn't become him either. Makes you wonder what she might do next. Slowly roast the rest of his eyes over an open fire on the end of a stick, just for fun?

I'm also a personal fan of the type of imagery used here, the twisted childhood theme. Anyone else play American McGee's Alice?

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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by MacBean » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:41 pm

Hell yes. This is the first Drabblecast I've kept on my hard drive since September. <3
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by internalogic » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:08 am

That was incredible (the main story). Putting aside, 'liked it' or 'didn't like it' or 'it made me happy/laugh', for a moment. That story was incredible just on the basis of sheer imagination and craftsmanship: how the images and the words that made up the images were assembled and strung together. It was very effectively done.

The author took elements of the 'post-apocalyptic' genre, such as not naming the protagonist, but instead referring to him/her in archetypal terms. We've seen The Man. We've seen The Boy. We've even seen 'The Dog', thanks to Mike Resnick. And now introducing for the first time: 'The Little Girl'. Her sister, Angie, is named, but she isn't. And that's because she's an every [Strikethrough]man[/Strikethrough] girl anti-hero. The last survivor who will do whatever needs to be done. And she's cute. And with that initial conceit, the author so skillfully walks this line between cuteness and bleakness. Two flavors that are almost never mixed, because they're freaking hard to mix. And the story somehow maintained that tension through the whole thing. Things never went too far in either direction. It's that particular tension that I think was really well-executed and that I haven't seen before. It stops the story from becoming either tragic or trivial. Keeps it firmly planted in the absurdly intriguing. I felt almost-serious, but never heavy, through the entire story. And not to mention the creativity of all of the images. It was really great.

The production, the music choices, the narration were all perfect. Which is also amazing. Even after experiencing it week after week. I'm sorry to say that I've really come to expect this high level.

and thanks very much for the announcement at the end about Haiti. It is making a difference.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by strawman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:46 pm

This story could have been called Lions and Tigers and Bears - Through the Looking Glass. Did it remind anyone else of Dorothy/Alice?
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by ROU Killing Time » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:52 pm

strawman wrote:This story could have been called Lions and Tigers and Bears - Through the Looking Glass. Did it remind anyone else of Dorothy/Alice?
It does have all the elements of the young heroine archetype, trapped in a strange world, that you reference here. It hadn't occurred to me before, but it does now.
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Re: Drabblecast 146- Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Post by Talia » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:34 pm

This was great. Very creepy. The girl really came off as a psychopath.

I really dug the end line, but it kept reminding me of something – like a twisted take on a Shel Silverstein poem. Now I did some googling and the closest thing I could track down was "Hug O War," which as it turns out is different enough I'm not sure if the seeming dark parody was intentional or not.

Judge for yourself: http://www.cei.net/~rcox/shel.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false

Great either way, though.

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