AUTHOR: J. E.Bates
NARRATOR: Trendane Sparks
HOST: Alasdair Stuart
- Beetle-Cleaned Skulls is an Escape Pod original.
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about the author…
J.E. Bates is a lifelong communicant of science fiction, fantasy, horror and other mind sugar and screen candy. He’s lived in California, Finland and many worlds in between.
about the narrator…
Originally born in Texas, Tren eventually escaped and wound his way through a mystical series of
jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area where he has worked as a software QA Tester for both graphics drivers and video games, a freelance mascot performer, and several jobs on a PBS kids’ show. For most of his life, people have told him that his voice is a pleasure to listen to. But since being a werewolf phone sex operator can get boring, he decided to use his powers to entertain a broader audience.
By J. E. Bates
Fine amber dust infiltrated everything in the Preserve. Each morning, I vacuumed it away with my ventral hose prior to opening my kiosk. I paid particular care to my curios: the fossils, the bismuth crystals, and the beetle-cleaned skulls. Forebears, especially the children, delighted in receiving my curios as gifts. Each successful transaction gave me a burst of surplus energy, expressed as pride.
The mineral specimens I gathered from the talus behind the kiosk. I polished them right in the kiosk according to aesthetic principles. But I prepared the skulls in the subterranean machine rooms. They were created from deceased rhuka, a species of domesticated bovine. No other kiosk attendant created such skulls, and Forebears traveled great distances to receive one. They used them to decorate their caves. (Continue Reading…)