1 hr

PodCastle 839: TALES FROM THE VAULTS – The Book of May PodCastle

    • Drama

* Authors : C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

* Narrators : C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

* Host : Matt Dovey

* Audio Producer : Eric Valdes

*

Discuss on Forums







Previously published by Clockwork Phoenix and as PodCastle episode 669





Content warnings for illness and death





Rated PG-13

The Book of May

By C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

From: Morgan W. Jamwant

To: Harry Najinsky

Date: January 22, 2015 12:58:59 p.m. est

Subject: Death Is the Tree

Eliazar,

Dude. I wanna be a tree when I die. Make them put me into one of those urn-y things. The biodegradable ones with the seed inside. Go look it up. I swear to God. Gawd. Gerd. Gods. All of em.

I wanted to be oak, ’cause of what you wrote a hundred billion years ago in our high school yearbook. “To Morgan, an Oak amidst the Spruce.” But I didn’t see oak on the website. Maybe I should go sugar maple instead. I’d be so fabulous in October.

Can you take this seriously? I mean, not too seriously but a little seriously? I’m kind of on a time crunch here, they tell me.

M. W. J.



From: Harry Najinsky

To: Morgan W. Jamwant

Date: January 22, 2015 6:07:21 p.m. est

Subject: Re: Death Is the Tree

Hey May,

You know you’re the only one who still calls me Eliazar? And it’s not like I don’t hang out with all our old D&D buddies. It’s just that all we play these days are Eurogames, and you don’t give yourself cool, vaguely medieval names in Eurogames. Mostly you do math. I guess all that resource management makes them feel adult or productive or something. To me it feels like a job. I miss D&D.

So I googled it. Eco-urn? It doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like earthy-crunchy ooey-gooey overpriced bourgeois b******t. I mean, it’s not like we have a choice. We’re all recycled eventually. Do you think Nature gives a shit about how we’re packaged when we die? She’ll eat us any way we come prepared.

But okay, you said take you seriously. So you want to be an oak? I can see that. I see your hair, and I can imagine it defying gravity and tendrilling up toward the sky. I’m imagining each lock crusting over, becoming strike-a-match rough, radiating like a bark-brown crown around your head. Then come the leaves, not slowly like boring normal trees, but in one verdant, fireworks-ical explosion. You’d spontaneously generate a heavy load of acorns, and the squirrels would be so pleased that they’d learn to speak, just so they could sing choir songs of gratitude.

How’s that? I was never as good at that shit as you. You were always the roleplayer. I was the rules lawyer. It’s why we made such a good team. Well, and you knew the Raise Dead spell, and could bring me back to life every time I miscalculated.

I wish I hadn’t said Raise Dead. It’s just too painful to contemplate a world where a spell like that could exist. That’s the real reason we don’t play D&D anymore. Fantasy is hopeful. Fantasy hurts.

You’re not a sugar maple. I forbid you from being a maple! Maple trees are all sweet and Canadian and self-sacrificing. “Yes,

* Authors : C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

* Narrators : C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

* Host : Matt Dovey

* Audio Producer : Eric Valdes

*

Discuss on Forums







Previously published by Clockwork Phoenix and as PodCastle episode 669





Content warnings for illness and death





Rated PG-13

The Book of May

By C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez

From: Morgan W. Jamwant

To: Harry Najinsky

Date: January 22, 2015 12:58:59 p.m. est

Subject: Death Is the Tree

Eliazar,

Dude. I wanna be a tree when I die. Make them put me into one of those urn-y things. The biodegradable ones with the seed inside. Go look it up. I swear to God. Gawd. Gerd. Gods. All of em.

I wanted to be oak, ’cause of what you wrote a hundred billion years ago in our high school yearbook. “To Morgan, an Oak amidst the Spruce.” But I didn’t see oak on the website. Maybe I should go sugar maple instead. I’d be so fabulous in October.

Can you take this seriously? I mean, not too seriously but a little seriously? I’m kind of on a time crunch here, they tell me.

M. W. J.



From: Harry Najinsky

To: Morgan W. Jamwant

Date: January 22, 2015 6:07:21 p.m. est

Subject: Re: Death Is the Tree

Hey May,

You know you’re the only one who still calls me Eliazar? And it’s not like I don’t hang out with all our old D&D buddies. It’s just that all we play these days are Eurogames, and you don’t give yourself cool, vaguely medieval names in Eurogames. Mostly you do math. I guess all that resource management makes them feel adult or productive or something. To me it feels like a job. I miss D&D.

So I googled it. Eco-urn? It doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like earthy-crunchy ooey-gooey overpriced bourgeois b******t. I mean, it’s not like we have a choice. We’re all recycled eventually. Do you think Nature gives a shit about how we’re packaged when we die? She’ll eat us any way we come prepared.

But okay, you said take you seriously. So you want to be an oak? I can see that. I see your hair, and I can imagine it defying gravity and tendrilling up toward the sky. I’m imagining each lock crusting over, becoming strike-a-match rough, radiating like a bark-brown crown around your head. Then come the leaves, not slowly like boring normal trees, but in one verdant, fireworks-ical explosion. You’d spontaneously generate a heavy load of acorns, and the squirrels would be so pleased that they’d learn to speak, just so they could sing choir songs of gratitude.

How’s that? I was never as good at that shit as you. You were always the roleplayer. I was the rules lawyer. It’s why we made such a good team. Well, and you knew the Raise Dead spell, and could bring me back to life every time I miscalculated.

I wish I hadn’t said Raise Dead. It’s just too painful to contemplate a world where a spell like that could exist. That’s the real reason we don’t play D&D anymore. Fantasy is hopeful. Fantasy hurts.

You’re not a sugar maple. I forbid you from being a maple! Maple trees are all sweet and Canadian and self-sacrificing. “Yes,

1 hr

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