Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master avant-garde musicians/field recorders Annea Lockwood & Chris Watson. A list of links to sounds used from Freesound.org are below.
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by B.C. Edwards
Once the oceans came up and covered the streets over it was like they weren’t ever there. No streets or dead Camaros or boys that abandon you when things get flooded and break down. There were just the tall trees with the high branches and water everywhere and the smudge of mountains I can see off on the horizon if I climb all the way to the top of the tree we use for looking at things. The water filled in all the gaps and erased our telemarketing jobs and our high-heels and the clubs we wore them to. But we’re safe up here, on the little platform Jo-Jo built in the trees. He found me wandering in the muck, cold and alone and his was the first face that I’d seen in forever that didn’t look scared or desperate or tired. The first one since the water and the bombs and all who didn’t try to take one more thing from me, didn’t try to steal me away or trick me into anything. Jo-Jo just smiled and his eyes smiled too and even though he’d lost his words already I knew he meant well. And he showed me how to climb the trees and get up to his platform where there’s nothing to do but climb around, eat the berries and the appleish things that dangle off the branches like Christmas ornaments and screw all afternoon long and laze about watching the world disappear. Jo-Jo catches the birds that build their nests and try to eat our fruit, and then we eat the birds too. That’s about all we do.
That’s about all the kid in my belly will do, too. But the kid won’t know any different. It won’t think there was ever something other than the trees and the muck and the water and the men who come by every now and again in their canoes and their ugly paddles and their terrible broken whispers.
You can’t go down there; those men will eat you.
About the Author
B.C. Edwards is the author of two books,The Aversive Clause and From The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes. He has written for Mathematics Magazine, Hobart, The New York Times, and others. His debut story collection, which this is the titular story of, was awarded the Hudson Prize for fiction and received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts. He attended the graduate writing program at The New School in New York and lives in Brooklyn with his husband.
His website bce.nyc totally exists, but that’s really all that should be said about it. It’s in desperate need of a redo.
About the Narrator
Dani Daly is one of the assistant editors of Cast of Wonders, and narrating is just one of the things she loves to do. She’s a retired roller derby player and current hobbyist soap maker, for instance. Soaps and balms from Story Time Soap make great gifts (for others or yourself). She rants on twitter as @danooli_dani, if that’s your thing. Or you can visit the EA forums, where she moderates the Cast of Wonders boards.