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Drabblecast 099 - Sarah's Window

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:27 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Drabblecast 99

Sarah's Window
by Janni Lee Simner


The shadow lingered at Sarah's window, balanced on air, certain to fly away the next step I took. Another moment and it would be gone. Another moments and I would call the police, report my daughter missing, and spend the rest of my life convincing myself I'd imagined it...

Drabble- We Slept Through the End of the World
by Brian Baer

Janni Lee Simner's Bones of Faerie

Drabblecast CD's: Seasons 1-3


Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:32 pm
by strawman
Great imagery makes good writing, and the story was both deep and interesting in addition, so thanks. Usually I think the production makes the story better. This time I'm not so sure. I was somewhat annoyed that the effects applied to the devil's voice required each word to be spoken slowly and distinctly, which threw off the story pace a little. But I hate to pick nits. DC delivers again.

You humans love so many things... so true. I thought the devil was supposed to be a liar! What happens if that isn't true? Yeeks!(':shock:')

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:41 pm
by tbaker2500
Wow, just the opposite. Myself not having children, I'm not prone to such parental complexes such as this story. However I thought the production as top notch and really brought the story to life. Er, death?

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:23 pm
by Richmazzer
whew. Well this one just replaced Synesthesia as creepiest Drabblecast ever, IMO. I think a lot had to do with the production- especially the shadow-faerie's voice. Had a Donnie Darko vibe to it.
I agree the imagery was great. Somber, haunting, hopeless.
The pacing was slow, yes, both in the writing and in the production, but I thought it was perfect.
This played with the "losing daughter to some shadow thing/pied piper through a window/portal" trope. The protagonist actually becomes lost in the trope, in the bedtime story, in his youth and in the things pursued while dreaming half-awake.

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:15 am
by deflective
i just refreshed the mp3 feed and the file was downloaded with a .mov extension. it played fine when it was renamed to .mp3 but i thought you'd probably want to know.

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:10 am
by normsherman
Done fixed. Thanks!

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:05 pm
by Kevin Anderson
First off – great job on the disc designs Bo. Your artwork is worth the price alone.

Although I really enjoyed the main story, wonderfully written and imagined, it was the drabble in this episode that stuck in my mind. My first impression was that it depicted a scenario where Vishnu awakes, and his dream, that is our world, blinks our. Then later I thought maybe it was a comment on the nature of god today, as in, she is pretty much asleep at the wheel.

I did enjoy the main story, especially the first half. Really well written dialogue and I liked Norm’s take on the voice, little bit Kathleen Turner and a little bit Regan. (Exorcist Regan, not President Reagan) Although a fairy / devil with Alzheimer’s might make an interesting story.

Anyway, great job all around, Bo, Norm, and both authors.

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:55 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Very interesting story!

First off, let me say that the production here was stellar. The music set the perfect mood or tension and mystery. I especially loved the voice of the fairy. Making a creature of shadow and starlight sound mechanical works perfectly, because such a creature would have no "real" voice, no larynx, and its speech would be bloodless and synthetic. The fairy doesn't speak words, it generates them. Fairy voices are often described as "tinkling" or like the sound of bells, and what you did here is take that idea–the idea of the fairy sounding like a thing–and made it menacing instead of cute.

The production really made this story, I think. I don't think I would have appreciated it nearly as much without the thick eerie atmosphere that the audio created.

The story itself is just fascinating. We have all these stories about children being whisked off to magical realms, and it's usually portrayed as an unequivocally good thing. Peter Pan flies in through the open window and leaves with all the children... It never struck me before, but how creepy is that? Even in Narnia: The kids vanish into a magic portal and forget who they were? In that story, the magical world is so compelling that they live as king and queens for 15 or 25 years and don't even think about the fact that they used to live in a different world.

This story really captures the flip-side of the magical world story. The characters are drawn into someplace that's strange and fantastic, but for that to happen they must necessarily be drawn out of the "real" world. What happens back in London if Wendy decides to stay in Neverland? What if the Pevinsies never come back out of the wardrobe? How do muggle parents feel when their kid gets a letter from Hogwarts? From the perspective of an outsider, Peter Pan is just a kidnapper, isn't he? A kidnapper with superpowers that can thwart any security.

So, yeah, I thought this was pretty deep. Is the fairy evil? Well, we don't really know, do we? We know that he's scary. He comes into houses and takes children from their beds. He gets into your head and messes. You can't stop him or contain him. He doesn't ask permission. He's terrifying, but is he bad? Well, that rather depends on your perspective, doesn't it?

Epic win.


Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:44 pm
by StalinSays
Let me join the chorus of praise on this one - good stuff! I love the moral ambiguity of it all - exactly like Tweedy said , frightening, but not necessarily evil. Lots of excellent visuals.

I would've preferred the faery's voice volume piped up just a hair. It was slightly unintelligible, and with so much dialog early on, it became a distraction.

-- --

Within a day of hearing this story I ran in to what would appear to be the feature film version, if I didn't know better. Count me in for seeing Ink - my first 'indie fantasy' since MirrorMask. ... indie-ink/

Re: yesh!

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:22 pm
by Goldenrat
StalinSays wrote:Let me join the chorus of praise on this one - good stuff! I love the moral ambiguity of it all - exactly like Tweedy said , frightening, but not necessarily evil. Lots of excellent visuals.
What Tweedy and StalinSays said! Thumbs up!

Loved the background music. Will have to teach my lad how to play that on his keyboard.

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:21 am
by Dr. Sax
Sorry about my prolonged absence. Finishing a music degree really eats into your time. I have been listening though. (No, I'm not actually a doctor...just yet :wink:

I liked the story a lot, and the production was so close to being perfect that I can't help but say: Arnold Schoenberg (Check that dude out!) and the the only sound that didn't work was the brass synths. Those remind me of cute fuzzy things and disappointed me. Replace it with flute and oboe, and invert the intervals with the flute on the bottom (Sorry if you didn't catch that friends). Other than that, brilliant and innovative ideas, particularly the voice effects.

The little girl's giggle creeped me out.

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:22 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Amazingly, Dr. Sax isn't jargonning up his sentences in order to sound artsy-fartsy. That's just the way he talks.

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:58 pm
by Talia
Very creepy and suspenseful. Liked the use of language too, poetic without, I think, being corny.

As an aside, and forgive me, but in the author's list of credits, its "Valdemar" not Vedlemar.. hehe.

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:04 am
by normsherman
woooops. :oops:
thanks for the correction!

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:43 am
by cammoblammo
Dr. Sax wrote: and the the only sound that didn't work was the brass synths.
That goes for brass synths in general.

Norm, I know it would be a whole heap more work for you to do, but have you ever thought about getting people to write/record music for the show? I know, it's one thing to sit down with your banjo and play what you need 15 minutes before the DC has to go up, and it's quite another to write charts and get other people to play and record them weeks before.

(I'd offer to do some brass work, but my recording facilities... well, let's just say that the synths sound better than what I'd be able to produce at the moment. Arranging I might be able to help with.)

Who knows, it might work for the next Black and White animals...

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:53 am
by Michael R. Fosburg
Jesus Christ, this was creepy.

Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:50 pm
by treeman
Yes, can't think of anything I've experienced recently that chilled me like this did. A story like this combined with a Norm Sherman production job is a potent thing that should come with a surgeon general's warning.
I also like the point that has been brought up about the stick-demon not being "evil" so much as outright terrible. However, I wonder if the protagonist ever had much of a choice. If the story had one fault, in my opinion, it is that a moment of decision in the father was never highlighted, while choice and the passing of tests is a clear theme. Was what happened to him truly innevitable, or is there hope for the strongest of us? Does choice vs. innevitability mirror evil vs. the terrible?

Re: Drabblecast 99- Sarah's Window by Janni Lee Simner

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:42 pm
by Unblinking
Ooh, this was one of my favorite DC episodes. I like it took a familiar trope that I tend to enjoy, the child discovering a fantasy world through a secret passage (Narnia, Wonderland, Coraline, Peter Pan, etc...) and told it from a different perspective. That other world isn't so wonderful when it's YOUR kids who have disappeared without a trace.

Re: Drabblecast 099 - Sarah's Window

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:11 pm
by hellena.xantia
I liked it so much that I listened to it for 4 or 5 times. it's mesmerizing. I keep recommending this one and many more to my colleagues and friends, but... ah, they are not strange enough to love the stuff.