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Escape Pod 738: Flash From the Vault


Flash From the Vault

Hi there and welcome to Escape Pod Summer School, where we post some of our favorite episodes from the vault with a new perspective. I’m your co-editor and teacher for this class, Mur Lafferty, bringing you three flash episodes from long, long ago. We bring you “Taco” by Greg van Eekhout, “Get me to the Job on Time” by Ian Randal Strock, and “Hibernation” by Madge E. Miller.

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Escape Pod 641: Flash Fiction Contest Winners


The Toastmaster

By Kurt Pankau

“Burnt the Pop Tarts again?”

“Yes,” Toaster responded over wifi. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Blender whirred with sympathy.

“Owner was upset,” said Toaster. “She picked me up and looked at my underside to make sure everything was okay.”

“That’s odd,” said Blender. “There’s nothing there but your crumb tray, though.”

“I know, and so does Owner. I don’t know why she did it. It was humiliating.” (Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 533: 2016 Flash Fiction Contest Winners


Bona Fide

by Ben Hallert

The block’s turning into a rough neighborhood, the kind of place murder victims go to hang out.  It’s nasty and dirty but it’s home.  What’s got me pissed isn’t a little trash, it’s these stupid glasses everyone’s wearing.  Government wastes money on them instead of doing their goddamn jobs, drives me nuts.  The worst part: that dumb smile.  You know the one.  Bunch of fakers, walking around smiling at all the filth like it’s high art.

“Hey man, forget your specs?”  Crap, a cornerboy snuck up on me because I wasn’t paying attention.  He holds out a set.  “Free pair.”

“I pay my taxes, boy, it’s not free.  Bug off.”  I keep walking, the pest follows.

“Ok, then you’ve already paid.”  He waves ’em again.

“I don’t want ’em.  My taxes should go to REAL cleanup and maintenance, not…  those.”  I stop, point.  “They’re insulting, I’m not interested in fantasy.”  I walk again, faster.  The boy keeps pace, switching to that infuriating ‘reasonable tone’ parents use when they’re trying to con kids out of being monsters.  I don’t NEED to be handled, I just want him gone.

“Look guy…. if you don’t take these, someone’ll try again later, then again after that.  Might as well get it over with.”  He brightens.  “Hey, you can just turn off the overlay if you want, you know.”

I slow.  “I can turn ’em off?  And you’ll all leave me alone?”

“Sure, you can turn off any enhancement.  Click your tongue twi-”

“Yeah, I’m not a caveman.”  I grab the set.  “Ok, you win.  Go bug someone else.”  I scowl at the glasses as he leaves to find his next mark, then put ’em on.  Everything around me changes.

I ignore the pretty lies and start configuring.  I know if I don’t, the slums’ll look like new construction, the garbage in the street’ll be gone, and everyone’ll have the bodies of freakin’ supermodels.  After a minute, I’ve got honest, dingy reality back.  I’ll take true filth over fake clean anyday, but… everyone still has that dumb smile. I want to scream “It’s not real!  It’s a lie, they’re faking you out and you’re buying it!”  I want to, but they say I sound like a crazy person when I drop hard truths so sometimes I don’t.

They don’t care.  They get their shiny buildings and pretty people and nobody has to DO anything for it.

Well, at least the cornerboys’ll stop hassling me.  I squint, it’s bright out.  Re-open the editor, make ’em sunglasses.  Not bad.  For funsies, I flip one of those idiot mouths upside down.  Oh, this is rich, the simp looks so messed up.  I flip a setting so everyone’s like that.  That’s better, now I don’t have to look at the grins anymore.

Fine.  They can have their illusions, I’ll stay in the real world.  I know the score, I’ve got my integrity.

I keep walking, the last honest man in a world of lies, and I smile.

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EP426: Flash Fiction Special

Show Notes

See HalleRt’s current project here: http://timetravelreference.com/

Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at it!


Four Tickets

by Leslianne Wilder

It’s the only fair way.

Mabel traces the edges of her respirator mask, makes sure there is no crack for the airborne toxins to wriggle in and burn holes in her lungs. She smooths the overalls over her belly- no swell yet. She’s hungry, but it’s worth it. She has four lottery tickets this week.

Mabel sits by the playground and chats with friends. Their children’s respirator masks are painted with elephants, snakes, and monkey tails, and the children run after each other for as long as they can without gasping. They laugh, and it sounds magical; deadly, terrifying and freeing all at once, like setting money on fire. No matter how bad things get, children fill Mabel with a sense of hope and gravity.

“Little Saul can read a whole book by himself,” Rachel says, muffled behind her mask. “He’s got a couple years yet, but we think he’ll be able to test into the domes after puberty. Think of it. A good job, something executive. He’s a sweet boy, he’ll send us back money. He’d never forget us.”

Rachel coughs, and on the gray rungs of the playground ladder, Saul wheezes to himself. Mabel doesn’t say it; no one says it. Rachel’s a sweet woman, and hope’s all she’s got.

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EP372: Flash Collection

Show Notes

Awkward– Miscommunication between editor, host, and producer caused us to, within the audio, proclaim these stories as the winners of the flash contest, and they’re not, they’re stories we’ve purchased through the year. We will be showcasing the flash contest winners on their own in future episodes. I apologize for the embarrassing mistake.


Health Tips for Traveler

by David W. Goldman

Since the short time from mutual greetings of worlds, many Earther wish to visit the lovely world of the Pooquar peoples. This explainer before so will bring yourselves a voyage most lovely.

Within The Transit

The travel via cross-continuum portal will be novel to many Earther. Hydration is a paramount for not having the small problems of liver, marrow, blood tubes, and self memory. Also good before your trip is to make fat, especially under the skin. The scrawny traveler should begin preparation many week prior.

Portal going is sudden and then done. But many Earther say after that they think the journey is very very very long and never to stop. Thus is Earther brains supposed bad attuned to one or more of the interim journey continuum. For thus, non-conscious makes for most lovely travel. Means of non-conscious both pharmacological and percussive are on offer by helpful Pooquar portal agents. (Continue Reading…)

EP326: Flash Fiction Special


Poppies and Chrome by Sylvia Hiven

Rabbi Aaron Meets Satan by Tim Lieder

Fine-Tuning the Universe by Merrie Haskell

Narrated by Mat Weller, author Richard E. Dansky, and Mur Lafferty

EP310: Flash Extravaganza


Jenna’s Clocks

By T. F. Davenport

Narrated by Jean Hilde-Fulghum

Wetware Woes

By J. J. DeBenedictis

Narrated by Mur Lafferty

End of the World or Not, I Still Have Feelings

By Daniel Morris

Narrated by Barry Haworth

The Best Cover Band in the Universe

By Andrew Fazzari

Narrated by  John Anealio

Honorable Mention for the Escape Pod 2010 Flash Contest!

EP302: Flash Extravaganza

Show Notes

Winners of our 2010 Flash Contest!

And we end with a grand “It’s Storytime” montage put together by Marshal Latham.


London Iron

By William R. Halliar

Narrated by Andrew Richardson


Wheels of Blue Stilton

By Nicholas J. Carter

Narrated by Christian Brady

Light and Lies

By Gideon Fostick

Narrated by Mur Lafferty

EP289: Flash Contest Honorable Mentions

Show Notes

This episode has three of the honorable mentions from the flash contest we held on our forums.


Captain Max Stone versus DESTRUCTOBOT!

By Angela Lee

Read by: Joshua McNichols

When last we left our heroes, Captain Max Stone and his brother Billy had just navigated Hyperion’s perilous asteroid field and battled their way into the fortified base of the villainous robot Destructobot. The dastardly robot’s latest scheme is the deadliest yet – he intends to destroy the Earth using a high-powered negabomb! Will Max stop Destructobot in time? Or will the earth be vaporized?

 

Many Mistakes, All Out of Order

By M. C. Wagner

Read by: Wilson Fowlie

The first mistake was in our thinking they were ghosts. In our defense, the tradition of vanishing, translucent figures wailing in the night might’ve influenced us.

 

Mr. Omega

By Arnold Gardner

Read By: Marshall Latham

Mr. Omega checked the time on his trans-dimensional pocket watch and stared out the taxi’s rain pelted window. Four minutes to midnight. Four minutes to the culmination of his life’s work.

Escape Pod 232: Flash Special

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
Cybrosis — A podcast novel by P.C. Haring


This week Escape Pod presents three flash stories:

Alloy

By Marissa Lingen
Read by Electra Allenton

Flare

By Kyle Deas
Read by Stephen Eley

My Grandfather’s River

By Brenda Cooper
Read by Anna Eley