Archive for OK for Kids

Escape Pod 184: As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains Santa revisionism and aerial combat.

Special Closing Music: “Chiron Beta Prime,” by Jonathan Coulton.


As Dry Leaves That Before the Wild Hurricane Fly

By Mur Lafferty

Comet and Cupid were fifteen, and took after their father, both spending the most time in the workshop tinkering with Father’s tools. Christmas was coming soon and they were preparing their yearly trip to the same orphanage that had cared for them. With nine children to raise on his own, Claus could no longer adopt, but he still found it very important to care for the children in any way he could. So he took a load of toys to the children every year, with his children helping him distribute.

Their siblings sat around their great sitting room, some crowding on sofas, some sitting on chair cushions or arms, and Rudolph, the baby at eleven, sat at his father’s feet. He was an imposing man with a barrel chest and wild white hair and beard. When he would get excited about a project, his blue eyes would twinkle and he’d look like a madman.

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.

Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: Hello, I Love You


By Katherine Sparrow.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.
All stories by Katherine Sparrow
All stories read by Rachel Swirsky

“Junk DNA? I’ll junk your DNA!” Sofia glared at Zorg.

“Apologies. It is only, don’t you find it interesting? Most of it is unused–“

“Junk? You supercilious aliens come to Earth to rein snottiness on us lowly humans? How sublime. I suppose your DNA is full of Porsches?”

Rated PG.

Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: The Way Before


By Anna Schwind
Read by Ann Leckie

When Chasca turned eleven, her father took her to a ship farm, to choose her vessel.  She stood on the observation deck, evaluating the herd.  Chasca selected the farthest ship.  It faced away from the others and bumped the edges of the corral.  She understood. 

Rated  G.

Escape Pod 182: The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham

Show Notes

Rated PG. Kids, don’t do drugs. Also, some profanity in the outro.


The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham

by H.G. Wells

“I must tell you, then, that I am an old man, a very old man.” He paused momentarily. “And it happens that I have money that I must presently be leaving, and never a child have I to leave it to.” I thought of the confidence trick, and resolved I would be on the alert for the vestiges of my five hundred pounds. He proceeded to enlarge on his loneliness, and the trouble he had to find a proper disposition of his money. “I have weighed this plan and that plan, charities, institutions, and scholarships, and libraries, and I have come to this conclusion at last,”–he fixed his eyes on my face,–“that I will find some young fellow, ambitious, pure-minded, and poor, healthy in body and healthy in mind, and, in short, make him my heir, give him all that I have.” He repeated, “Give him all that I have. So that he will suddenly be lifted out of all the trouble and struggle in which his sympathies have been educated, to freedom and influence.”

I tried to seem disinterested. With a transparent hypocrisy I said, “And you want my help, my professional services maybe, to find that person.”

He smiled, and looked at me over his cigarette, and I laughed at his quiet exposure of my modest pretence.

Escape Pod 179: Arties Aren’t Stupid

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains some harsh slang and violence against the system.

Referenced Sites:
The Dispatches of Dr. Roundbottom
Philippa Ballantine’s official site

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Arties Aren’t Stupid

by Jeremiah Tolbert

Nobody went home to their Elderfolk while we waited for Niles to come back. That was a rule. If Niles never came back, then we wouldn’t have to. Nobody wanted to see the meanies anyway. They had us Made and then hated us afterwards, which wasn’t fair. All arties know you love the things you Make no matter what. But Elderfolk were just-plains all grown up and they didn’t make any sense at all. Some of the younger arties started to talk about going back, but we older arties who knew Niles better said no, that we’d wait.

Three days passed before Niles came back. It was dark and everyone was sleeping but me, because little Boo’s music itched in my brain. He came in carrying big boxes, and I cried big tears of happy at that. He’d brought some new supplies, and we’d be Making again in no time flat. I watched him for a while, carrying in box after box, and finally I fell asleep. It felt good knowing he was back.

Escape Pod 178: Unlikely

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains profanity. Including in the closing song.

Special closing music: “Mandelbrot Set” by Jonathan Coulton.


Unlikely

by Will McIntosh

“The mayor seems to believe there’s something to this,” Tuesday said.

“He’s desperate. Clutching at straws.”

“So why did you agree to meet?” Tuesday asked, her Keds back on the black and white tile floor.

Samuel paused while the waitress plunked down two glasses, followed by big metal milk shake tumblers. His strawberry milkshake looked as thick as cement. Damn, did he love this place.

“Professor Berry said there was an easy way to prove him wrong: meet with you on and off for a week. If the city’s accident rate didn’t go down when we were together, and back up when we were apart, he’d return his consulting fee to the city.” The shake made a satisfying plopping
sound as he poured it into the glass. “His ideas are wacked. ‘Data mining for non-intuitive connections?’ You can smell the bullshit from three pastures away.”

Escape Pod 174: Private Detective Molly

Show Notes

Rated PG. A somewhat dark kid’s story; contains parental tragedy and complex social issues.


Private Detective Molly

By A.B. Goelman

That’s when I see my new boss. Four feet of trouble. Brunette variety. Tear tracks cutting through the dirt on her face, wearing jeans that were already old when Molly Dolls were nothing more than molded plastic and fantasy homes.

She’s no idiot, though. “I want the Debutante persona,” she says. “You’re still not Debutante Molly are you?”

I like a girl who doesn’t need me to explain everything. “That’s right, kid,” I pull my blonde hair back into a pony tail and cover it with my fedora.

“Why do you keep coming out as a Petey persona?” Poor kid sounds like she’s about to cry. Don’t blame her for wanting Debutante Molly. Debbie’s the kind of girl who reminds me why God bothered with Adam’s rib in the first place. As wholesome and satisfying as a virgin daiquiri on a hot day. Everything I’m not. “Petey’s not even a girl’s name,” the kid says.

Escape Pod 168: Family Values

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains alien reproduction, politics, and other sordid topics.

Referenced Sites:
The Daily Cabal


Family Values

By Sara Genge

Senator Wu accepted Twing’s seed out of courtesy, although she had no intention of conceiving his child. Twing of Sails had thrown this party in his house in her honour, but he wasn’t as free with kilojoules as he was with genetic material, and Senator Wu wasn’t prepared to funnel the heat donations of her two crèche mates to bring another man’s child to the World. She acidified the pores in her tentacle and waved it around, letting the current carry away the dead spores. She smiled at Twing and a wave of blue burst from his centre and radiated towards the thin membranes that rippled on the edge of his disc-shaped body.

He didn’t look bad, but he wasn’t as comely as Senator Wu. Her body was an almost perfect sphere, and she was well aware of it. Wherever she went, she took care to rotate every few minutes, lest gravity pull on her too long in any one direction and tug her gelatinous figure out of shape.