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Drabblecast 134 - Bone Sigh

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:57 am
by Kevin Anderson
Drabble- Squid Ink
by Abbie Hilton

Bone Sigh
by Tim Pratt

I put the tenderizer down on the white formica table and look at my bonsai scar. It is like a flower, a jellyfish, a pinwheel of raised flesh, yellow bruises, subcutaneous hemorrhaging...

Image

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:57 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Crazy person does crazy things because he's crazy; I never like those.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:54 am
by alhilton
But you liked my drabble, right? huh? huh? ;)

I enjoy the ambiguity of unreliable narrators. Throughout this story I keep trying, not quite successfully, to see past the lens of the narrator. Is the ex-huspand really a pedophile and skitzo father has sensed it - like a dog sensing a thunderstorm? Has he rescued her or kidnapped her?

There are points in the story, such as his description of the state of the house, when I think this is the case. In his insane way, he has come to his daughter's rescue. There are other points in the story, such as his description of his ex-wife's death, when I think he's orchestrated the whole thing from start to finish.

The story also leaves you wondering whether the kid is really better off, even if her dad has rescued her from a pedophile. The story is like one of those pictures where you look at it one way and it's an old lady, and you look at it another way, and it's...a wombat or something.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:45 pm
by Talia
The poor kid is doomed. Crazy Dad will clearly brainwash her.

I attributed the state of the house to a guy who's just lost his wife and isn't functioning all that well. Everything we saw in the story was colored by the mindset of Crazy Dad, so it's all suspect.

That cover art is creepy as heck. Well done!

Liked the drabble. Its probably better for one's tattoo to turn them into a squid than a murderous psychopath.
Unless it turns them into a murderous psychopathic squid. That'd be pretty bad.

There's a calamari joke here somewhere, but I can't find it. :)

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:59 pm
by strawman
alhilton wrote:But you liked my drabble, right? huh? huh? ;)
I really liked the drabble, and wondered if it might serve as a caution to our head squid-fetishist, Mr. Sherman.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:24 pm
by F5iver
strawman wrote: I really liked the drabble, and wondered if it might serve as a caution to our head squid-fetishist, Mr. Sherman.
I think Drabblecast should pull together a squid lit anthology. Or a contest in that vein for an anthology. Either way, it would amuse a large number of people around here. And zombies.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:46 pm
by Talia
How about a zombie squid anthology?

Or are you saying there are zombies around here? Now I'm worried. I left my Uzi at work.. should I not have done that?

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:47 pm
by strawman
Shouldn't Norm trademark Squid, Inc.?

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:11 pm
by alhilton
This whole episode reminds me of a functional schizophrenic I met in the ICU once. You do meet them sometimes. He'd burned a hole in his stomach by living on tomato products and hot sauce, so he had a GI bleed that made him just sick enough to land in the unit for a day or two.

He was amazingly functional for his level of pathology. He'd driven a city bus for years, retired with some kind of pension, and was living in a well-maintained tailor. The hospital gave him a pych eval, and the result was basically, "Crazy, but not dangerous." He was fascinating to talk to, because he had this wacky world view that was more-or-less internally consistent. He had a lot of tattoos, various metal bracelets, and a silver dollar taped to his head. He believed, among other things, that his tattoos and metal objects where holding his soul inside his body. Various rituals and precautions helped him control his paranoia, and it seemed to work for him.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:04 pm
by tbaker2500
Killer episode!

Drabble was awesome- I thought I heard it before, was it posted here on the boards maybe?

Mongolian death worm- Too funny. You have the elocution nailed for that character Norm! The Bono tie-ins were laugh-out-loud funny.

Main story- Creepy and effective. Presentation was key. I tend to speed read these types of stories, rather than buy into the intensity. However, the production made me experience the piece as, I believe, it was intended. The crystalline bell music was perfect background for the child Crystal.

Artwork- Yikes, that's good. Spent several minutes analyzing it on my iPod screen. Complex.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:25 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
One problem I have with reviewing these things is that I'm always hours, and many tasks, away from a computer when I listen to to Drabblecast. So I don't feel I can give the best review.

But, I do remember soda up the nose -- during that Mongolian Death Worm bit. That was awesome.

The main story was something I never would have thought of (thank God), but I suppose it is the next step in kids mangling their bodies -- the Bonsai scar. "The back parts of God" (IIRC) was just the right kind of touch. Good story.

Production, as always, was excellent. Just please use the celebrity drops sparingly; we don't want this turning into a Dr. Demento sketch. :wink:

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:37 pm
by Richmazzer
That Choadsworth rant will go down in history as maybe the hardest I've ever laughed during this show. "Stop acting like a bashful camel intestine smothered in glossy lipstick and start acting like a libidinous, underage annelid looking for a g**damn father figure!"
Money.
Loved the twist too. I should have seen it coming. Of course Bono's the one who wanted to couple with the sexy camel intestine deathworm decoy, that only makes sense.

Great drabble Abbie!

As for the story, I liked it very much, but I think mostly because of the production it was set in. This was one of the best Norm reads in awhile and the music made it ultra spooky. The story did a great job of building tension and ambiguity, as others have mentioned. We aren't sure who the monster is. There was one very creepy moment at the end, when the father says something like "I vastly underestimated the size of God's face, it will never fit on one leg" when I shrieked like a little girl, thinking that was an implication he would start tattooing his daughter. Was relieved to see that not happen!
And holy smoley is Tim Pratt a versatile writer of what? I prefer his other stories, but mostly because I'm not as big a fan of horror.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:58 pm
by HPHovercraft
Talia wrote:How about a zombie squid anthology?

Or are you saying there are zombies around here? Now I'm worried. I left my Uzi at work.. should I not have done that?
Everybody knows rifles and sub-machine guns are pretty useless against zombies. You need a sawed-off shotgun to really destroy the brain.

For a zombie squid you need a sawed-off spear gun.

By the way, loved this story; I think I do prefer Norm's version to the first time I heard it, although I can't remember off the top of my head whether it was Alister or someone else that read it on Pseudopod.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:02 pm
by Phenopath
Well that story grossed me out (as did the episode art :-). It is hard to drive when your skin is crawling and with ones face screwed up. I guess by that measure the story was effective. The ambiguities in the story kept it interesting, but there was no way that I was empathising with the main character.

I am a Pratt fan, but like Richmazzer I prefer some of his other stories. This is because I am not a horror aficionado (as can be seen by some of my unhorrible drabbles in the forum).

I like the drabble Abbie, keep 'em coming.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:20 am
by tbaker2500
By the way, what does "Bone Sigh" mean?

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:31 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
Play on bonsai, maybe?

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:02 am
by alhilton
tbaker2500 wrote:Drabble was awesome- I thought I heard it before, was it posted here on the boards maybe?
It's the one Norm read on his Geekspeak interview. That's probably where you're remembering it from.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:28 am
by tbaker2500
Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:Play on bonsai, maybe?
Sigh... that's awful.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:54 pm
by Talia
oh. so, er, during the story, was he saying "bonsai" or bone sigh?

I thought he was saying "bonsai" the whole time.

Re: Drabblecast 134- Bone Sigh by Tim Pratt

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:12 pm
by swamp
Talia wrote:oh. so, er, during the story, was he saying "bonsai" or bone sigh?

I thought he was saying "bonsai" the whole time.
He was saying "bonsai" in the story. The title is just a play on that.