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Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:06 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
Feature: Partial Inventory by Helena Bell
Drabble: Knock by Chris Thompson
Genres: Drama Horror


Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
The air conditioning only worked when the speedometer crept past 70 MPH which the lumbering GMC van (on loan from a friend of a friend who took pity on the family and their situation) rarely did. November in the South is hardly hot, but thirteen hours in any vehicle with nearly a half dozen relatives and mismatched belongings, each one trying to both curl and crowd themselves into their claimed seats had left the air warm and slick and smelling faintly of musk.

Episode Art: John Deberge
Read by: Hananel Mavity

Twabble: “ Slowly. Quietly. I creep down the tube. I sense the open air. My eight legs leave the vacuum cleaner; I run. Now. Revenge. ” by Lyda

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:02 am
by Beth Peters
Well, aside from a few off-hand references this seemed (to me) barely a HPL mythos story. That is not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I did. I liked how the author chose to focus more on the characters, particularly Kelly, and her behavior in light of her family turmoil. Certainly the "family curse" could have all been a myth or metaphor the entire time and this was the story of a teenage girl trying to thrive and make sense of things within the context of a broken family. In fact, the more I think about it the more I think that this is what the author was going for... the psychology of people in transition, people coping with themselves and others in a time of instability. What is a "cult" if nothing but another form of family? I took from it that Kelly and Sarah looked at these rumors from their grandfather's era as a fixation on stability, the legacy of an unknown 'elder god' family that once was and they could latch onto. "Zombies are a type of living" was one line, the empathy towards the dead cockroaches, the imagining of swallowing/controlling/becoming one with them and something bigger and more ancient than themselves.

I was certainly perplexed to see this story not only on Drabblecast but also closing out HP Lovecraft month because of its subtlety and lack of overt weirdness. It felt very 'literary' if that makes sense, but not without creepiness, and also sincerity. Part of me will always wonder what horrible thing Kelly's mom did, that's for sure.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:05 am
by Beth Peters
Oh, also, "Knock" by Chris Thompson was one of the best drabbles this year. Made me want to try my hand at Drabbling.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:51 am
by Varda
I listened to this story twice, and reread parts of the text, and still am not sure I've got it sorted out. There were a lot of moving parts in this story: the relationship between Sarah and Kelly, the legend of the family Cthulhu-cult, all those nasty roaches both living and dead, Hurricane Katrina, and the partial inventory itself dotted throughout the story.

I think the inventory is the key because it seems to set the stage for what happens after the final scene in the story. Sarah and her mom never got out of the house (abandoned luggage) and somehow all the dead bugs in the jars came to life and got out? Did Kelly let them out? Was Kelly already dead when Sarah found her at the end? Which of them was buried under a wave of roaches? And what was the deal with Sarah eating a roach after she fell off the roof?

Really cool story - it pulled me enough for all the additional listens/reads - but I'd love some insight if anyone managed to wrap their heads around it.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:52 am
by gunsofchekhovia
Aside from the narrator's mispronunciation of "Beau Rivage" (and really, who could blame her?), I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Also, the rows of jars with dead insects in them made me think of Mi-Go brain cylinders, so it was Lovecraftian in my mind even in ways it probably wasn't intended to be.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:42 pm
by Richmazzer
Great story! I agree, tame for the Drabblecast but definitely a solid piece none the less. I'm not sure I agree with Varda about the end of the story or the Partial Inventory listing moving the plot much, at least that's not how I took it. To me the partial inventory breaks just felt like part of a structural device, much like this week's story that had the little girl making the list of twenty things that could kill you in the desert. I think that in the end Sarah's mom took Sarah and the family abandoned the cleaning project because they just couldn't take Kelly, or at least the way that Kelly was affecting Sarah.
Sarah banged her head and probably had a concussion, she was seeing things and projecting her fears when she ate the roach and imagined the roaches in the end. All the scary stories and cult stuff Kelly was filling her mind with, mixed with the head injury, started to strain Sarah to the point her mom just got her out of there.

Of course, the cool thing about the story is that all the roaches and stuff could have happened, which is what makes it a good horror piece to me. Reminded me a lot of my relationship with my cousin when we were younger.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:50 pm
by cinnamon
Christ, any story where a cockroach crawls right down someone's throat is plenty Lovecraftian for me.

Re: Drabblecast 294 – Partial Inventory

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:33 am
by tbaker2500
My only takeaway from this story was: