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Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: Silence

by Rachel Swirsky.
Read by Ann Leckie.  

Whatever the midwife told you, it’s not true.

I cannot walk through walls. I cannot conjure a chicken and make it dance or start a fire with my fingers. I cannot shape familiars from fog or examine entrails to see if a man will die. I cannot resurrect your son.

Rated PG.

Comments (9)

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  1. Abbie says:

    I really liked this one. Sad, but clever.

  2. mithrilwombat says:

    How incredibly bleak, but I appreciate that aspect. But what bothers me more is that I suppose the mother would have to be really self-deluded to miss the “hint hint, I just lied to make you feel better” comments at the end. That sort of negates the favor in lying, don’t you think?

  3. scatterbrain says:

    Quite deep and much better than the one in second place.

  4. pelican says:

    This was my favorite of the group as well.

  5. Elvis on Mars says:

    Rachel Swirsky? Hmm, nepotism much?

    Think I would’ve dug it more if it’d been longer. As it is, it’s too much “these are the rules” and then “I’m telling you the rules again in different order.” We also don’t have enough time to get to know the narrator or understand why she would lie and put herself through all that.

  6. Sayeth says:

    Elvis, I believe these flash pieces all came from a contest held quite some time ago, before Ms. Swirsky became editor of Podcastle. IIRC, they were voted by Escape Pod forum members, not Mr. Eley, as the best flash stories submitted. This is not a case of Mr. Eley showing any favoritism.

  7. Steve says:

    The story was trite and predictable but was thankfully saved by the line about conjuring chickens. How can you not like a story where chickens might be conjured?

  8. Blaine Boy says:

    You think maybe this is commenting on religion? You think maybe the writer has a lack or excess of religious upbringing? I know I’m going to sound like a fanatic here but, honestly, I think that there is a lack of religion because of the way children are being raised around religion. Parents are handing their children these stories and they take it at face value. Parables just as parables don’t mean jack shit people.

    Sorry for the rant guys.

    Sincerely,
    The Blaine Boy

  9. Blainey Boy says:

    You think maybe this is commenting on religion? You think maybe the writer has a lack or excess of religious upbringing? I know I’m going to sound like a fanatic here but, honestly, I think that there is a lack of religion because of the way children are being raised around religion. Parents are handing their children these stories and they take it at face value. Parables just as parables don’t mean jack shit people.

    Sorry for the rant guys.

    Sincerely,
    The Blaine Boy