EP124: Save Me Plz

By David Barr Kirtley.
Read by Mur Lafferty (of I Should Be Writing and Lulu TV).
First appeared in Realms of Fantasy, October 2007.

Meg hadn’t heard from Devon in four months, and she realized that she missed him. So on a whim she tossed her sword and scabbard into the trunk of her car and drove over to campus to visit him.

Rated PG. Contains sexual innuendo, some mild language, and fantasy violence.

Referenced Sites:
Geek Fu Action Grip
This Day in Alternate History

Blog of the Week:
Ogre Marco’s LiveJournal
(receives Carnal Knowledge by Charles Hodgson)

Comments (30)

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  1. jh says:

    Okay. I admit I can listen to Mur Lafferty for an entire eternity and not really grow tired of it. I suspect it’s because, for some reason, she is the female version of Garrison Keilor.. another person I could stand to hear forever.

    That aside, I loved this story and it’s subtlety. It reminded me, at times, of Zelazny’s edging into Amber. As a person who has lost people into that other world, hearing a story about a crossover into our world was stunning.

    Very well done!

  2. REU says:

    If you think about it (as a humorous comment) He got her into bed over 1,274 times. And if she doesn’t remember, he didn’t have to do it that one time if he didn’t feel like it. If Meg likes doing the same thing over… doesn’t that mean he got his own paradise over hers? Just thought of that.

    Overall I liked the concept of the story and it was well executed. However I do think that it didn’t really delve into moral consequences of doing such a thing.

    I do find it odd that she earned the wands and never once got to use them… which means, what personality changes did she sign up for under his care?

    Still well done.

  3. Brian says:

    There are so many trains of thought provoked by this story, I don’t know where to start. Who created Devon and Meg’s world? How did the first wand get there? Why did the devs leave such a dangerous exploit unpatched for so long? Why didn’t a GM come along and ban Devon for abusing it?

    On a more serious note the irony of Meg grinding for wands in real life exactly the same way she loathes Devon doing in the game makes me wonder if she didn’t deserve her fate.

    Whenever you create a fantasy world, always include a way to log out!

  4. Vody says:

    Devon didn’t just change the world, he changed a woman! Kudos to you! If only I knew that all I had to do to change a woman was to create a real fanasy world…

  5. […] story to be a bad rewrite/adaption of Groundhog Day. The movie wasn’t all that great and Save Me Plz is even worse. At least in Groundhog Day Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, had to do all […]

  6. Mr. Sim says:

    Great story though It being on the SF fantasy boarder. I am wondering if it could have been saved for pod castle

  7. Gary H says:

    Reading = fabulous (Mur is awesome)
    Story = mediocre, at best. It started off ok, then just devolved into every gamers fantasy (I get to change the real world so that I’m cool and normal.) Just be happy with who you are and love people for who they are, not what you want them to be. Wait, that may have been the point of the story, so I change my initial assessment. Good theme, mediocre execution.

  8. Dan the Man says:

    It started off well, and I thought there was some great social commentary at hand about parallels between “old-school” addictions and MMORPG obsessions, then the story seemed to get distracted by something shiny and wandered off. Maybe the Elf-Meg at the end was really the story saying “save me plz!”

  9. Bright Lies says:

    I loved the story.
    Mur’s performance was fantastic as always!
    I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments as well. I don’t understand how this story is significantly related to the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray… >_> And I’m starting to think that some of you critics should write your own damn stories if you think even this one wasn’t good enough… but still, I enjoyed reading all the comments after listening. 😀

    Have I told you lately (Pseudopod), that I love you…?

  10. I didn’t like the story much until the sardonically evil ending, which IMNSHO saved the piece.

  11. Ogremarco says:

    Definitely a sinister sort of story.

  12. Tineil says:

    I like how gripping this story is by taking things that would not normally be seen in real life and bringing them together with reality to create something new and distincly differnt. That being said, this story also disturbs me because eventhough Meg became beautiful, she lost, in entirety, the person she was to become a figment of someone else’s dream. That happens too much today WITHOUT the help of RPG, and that is very sad.

  13. Janni says:

    This was genuinely creepy, in part for exactly the reason Tineil says. Creepy, but also a bit too real, which is what makes it work well.

    There are guys like this out there, and women who put up with them … once you accept the magic itself, the rest is way too plausable.

  14. Morrow S. says:

    That Was “expletive deleted” Awesome!

    Good story, heck, I’ve at times thought that God was a programmer and we where all living in a construct of his design, but that’s getting off subject.

    I’ve played World of Warcraft before,(two years straight)and now I’m not. So yes, MMO-RPGs can be fun and life consuming; they also can be gotten away from. As for the reader of the tale, good voice, even better story telling skills, and she made it fun.

  15. […] see, I was listening to Episode 124 of the ever excellent EscapePod, which is by far my favorite podcast. It presents short science […]

  16. Catherine says:

    What was interesting for me was the way that the story can be taken as a metaphor for some contemporary marriage relationships where one partner ends up performing repetitious life tasks in order to free up the other partner’s time for achieving their life goals. This could be a partner in an unfulfilling but lucrative job who finances the other partner’s ability to spend their time creatively, or a partner who does all of the repetitous chores associated with running the household so that the other partner can build their career.

    The end result is a life that is shaped creatively by one partner, but effectuated through the labor of the other. This to me is sad.

    Similarly, her rejection of their physically ugly former selves is sad and yet who wouldn’t be happy to wake up one day being beautiful and having no memory of the ugliness of the past.

  17. DrFloyd5 says:

    Great Story, I must share it with my WoW playing buddies. Worth it if only for the +100 sword of cleaving.

  18. josay says:

    good story
    any of it can apply to any of us at any time in our journey however high or low we fly
    good reader

  19. Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) says:

    What if reality is just a simulation, and what if the programmers (IE God) got bored with it and just went off to do something else? That might explain a lot.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to find a bug? Or even a way to access a prior version of the program, a la the Matrix; or The 13th Floor?

    Maybe there really did used to be dragons and wizards and ghostly pirates and unstoppable ninja warriors, and the developers just got bored with that and decided they wanted politics and corporations and poverty?

    Not the best story, but certainly a thought provoking one.

    Good to hear Mur is still kicking around the -Pod offices.

  20. Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) says:

    I said: “What if reality is just a simulation, and what if the programmers (IE God) got bored with it and just went off to do something else? That might explain a lot.”

    And then I thought: “And perhaps more importantly, what if they come back?”

  21. An interesting story (I listened to this while playing World of Warcraft – kind of eerie). But the reading was AMAZING! Mur Lafferty was fantastic as always. Her voice is really pleasant to listen to.

  22. […] the geek dad ones are my favorite. I recommend the following stories on it to start you out: Save Me, Plz, Conversations With and About My Electric Toothbrush and The Giving […]

  23. […] Recent Escape Pod short strory, “Save me Plz” has been released as free fiction, accoring to SFSignal. It’s an interesting story. If you’re into gaming, or role playing, or both, I recommend reading it, or listening to the Escape Pod episode. […]

  24. […] My short story “Save Me Plz,” which appeared in the October 2007 issue of Realms of Fantasy, is now available as a free audio download from Escape Pod. […]

  25. Glorious !
    After hearing this story my head has been buzzing for the last week. One of my favorites. Forwarded it to all my Wow ‘disabled’ friends.

    Very enjoyable, Thank you!

  26. […] really liked the story the first time I heard it on Escape Pod, and on re-reading, it becomes even more unsettling. My biggest problem with the story is that Meg […]

  27. bob says:

    I just love every show. I have trouble finding an EP that I do not have. Thanks thanks thanks

  28. […] Rollback recently and listening to a recent Escape Pod episode (I didn’t really care for that story but did find the premise interesting) has gotten me to […]