Tag: "Marjorie James"

EP368: Springtime for Deathtraps

By Marjorie James
Read by Dr. John Cmar
Discuss on our forums.
An Escape Pod Original!
All stories by Marjorie James — including EP007– The Trouble With Death Traps and EP224– The Ghost In The Death Trap.
All stories read by John Cmar
Rated 13 and up for language

Springtime for Deathtraps
By Marjorie James

The building sat in a small clearing in the jungle, its stone walls
radiating solidity and the midday heat. Giant statues of warrior-gods
crushing skulls beneath their feet flanked the doorway. Xnab looked
from the ornately carved keyhole to his customer and back again.

“And the key is where, exactly?” he asked.

“In the treasure chamber,” the big man said in a small voice. “We had
just finished putting everything away and, well, it had been a long
day. I think I must have put the key down on the altar or something.
The problem is, the place locks automatically, and our entire fortune
is in there. We had a few locksmiths out to work on it, but they
didn’t get very far.”
Xnab nodded. He had already noticed the blood spatter around the keyhole.

“So that’s why we called you. Everyone said that if anybody could get
in there, it would be you.”

Xnab accepted that, not as a compliment, but a statement of fact. He
was a specialist the design and construction of booby traps, deadfalls
and other, largely fatal, security options. He was a small man, thin
and wiry, his shaved head still smooth and unwrinkled despite years of
working in the sun. Despite making a very good living, he wore a plain
tunic and no adornments at all. In his business, he considered it a
bad idea to have anything extra hanging around, and he was very good
at his business. In fact, anyone who knew anything considered Xnab the
best death trap designer alive.

Which typically would have been reason enough to turn down a job like
this, but in this case it was actually why he was there.

“How long have you owned the temple?” he asked the man, who had
introduced himself as Tuak.

“Just a couple of months, actually,” Tuak admitted. “It’s not really a
temple. I think the statues of the gods are just there for show. The
family who used to have it used it to store their treasures and they
spared no expense on the security.” He sighed heavily and stared up at
the tiers of stone vanishing into the jungle. “It seemed like a good
idea when we bought it.”

EP275: Schrödinger’s Cat Lady

By: Marjorie James
Read by: Mur Lafferty
An Escape Pod original!
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by Marjorie James
All stories read by Mur Lafferty
Rated PG: For quantum theory and brief violent description.

Show Notes:

Schrödinger’s Cat Lady
By Marjorie James

I got out of the car, smoothed my shirt down over my bulletproof vest, and contemplated the cats. They contemplated me right back. I sighed. I hated these jobs.

I opened the tiny gate to the front walk (no fence, just a gate) and made my way to the door. The house was small and tidy, a light blue bungalow with green trim and yellow curtains pulled across the windows, through which the cats were peering. It didn’t smell, which was a relief. And something of a surprise, considering the heat. It was one of those days when the world seemed to be actively rejecting human habitation, where the smog and the humidity made the air feel like warm mayonnaise. On a day like this, a cat overpopulation should be stinking to high heaven. Maybe this wasn’t for real, I hoped. It might just be some neighbor with a grudge. Couldn’t be more than a dozen cats here, max. Maybe this one wasn’t going to be that bad.

I have never been very good at predicting things.

Read More…

EP224: The Ghost in the Death Trap

By Marjorie James
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Marjorie James.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

Editor’s note:  this is a sequel to EP007.  Listen to it here.

Flies buzzed around the edges of the huge stone block, gathering at the rivulets of blood that ran down to the floor. A bit of what looked like it might be intestine hung off one corner, drawing special attention. It was a testament to the force of the collision that fragments of bone and tissue were scattered all the way down the passage, some even wedged in the carvings in the stone walls. Two men surveyed the scene with dismay.

“See? And this just keeps happening. It’s getting so we can’t get anything done around here,” said the taller of the two, a grey-haired man with red eyes and a patchy beard.

The other man, younger but not precisely young, hauled himself up on top of the block and examined the mechanism. “This bar’s been sliced right through.” He looked back down at his client. “You say this was a poltergeist?”

Rated PG for some violence and language.

EP007: The Trouble With Death Traps

By Marjorie James.
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Marjorie James.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

A razor-sharp blade shot out of the wall and whipped in front of the teen’s face. Xnab hauled him back and spun him around.

“First thing you have to learn in this business: never kick anything. Got that?”

“Yes sir. Sorry sir.”

“Good.”

“Sir?”

“Yes?”

“What’s the second thing?”

Rated PG. Contains no sexual content or strong language. Does contain whirling blades of death.