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Far Fetched Fables No. 61 Peter M. Ball and Donald V.S. Duncan

June 16, 2015 by Gary Dowell

First Story: “The Last Great House of Isla Tortuga” by Peter M. Ball

She enters my name as Tobias Truman. I watch her ink the delicate curve of the capitals, the ostrich feather quill dancing as she writes. My name is entered below Mr. Drummond’s, his below the Captain; two of the three marked with the swooping X that denotes status as paying guest, a true patron of the house rather than tagalong visitor.

The Madam ends with a final flourish that leaves the quill poised above a well of ink. Her needle-sharp eyes study me, peering through the thick veil of her lashes. I fidget beneath her gaze until she smiles and turns towards the Captain with a raised eyebrow.

‘And the boy?’

The Captain spins on his unsteady legs, stares at me through the haze of rum and ruin that accompanies him whenever we put ashore. He considers the question for a few moments, mocking finger to his pursed lips, the barest hint of a smile visible through the tangled mane of his beard.

“The boy? What do you say, Benjamin? Should we give the boy his first tumble?”

Peter M. Ball lives in Brisbane, Australia, where he manages The Australian Writers Marketplace and coordinates the biennial GenreCon writers conference. His most recent book is Frost, the second novella in the Flostam series about Ragnarök and the Gold Coast, and his short stories have appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Eclipse 4, and Daily Science Fiction. He can be found online at petermball.com and on Twitter: @petermball.


Second Story: “The Green Square” by Donald V.S. Duncan

There were giggles and thrashing in the shrubbery. Alex looked around, trying to locate the source. The estate grounds might not be dangerous but his daughter had more energy than sense. She could find trouble anywhere.“Katie,” he called. It was impossible to see more than a few feet. The grounds had never been orderly but now, after a decade of neglect, nature had run riot. Paths were overgrown. The bushes were impenetrable. Saplings sprouted everywhere. Above his head, the canopy scarcely let in the sun. It was
more wild wood than garden.

Soon enough it would all be sorted out.

The giggle came again followed by more rustling.

“Katie, what are you doing?”

Katherine’s response lilted through the interposed green, ignoring the command implied in her father’s tone. “Playing with my friend.”

Donald V.S. Duncan lives in the fine city of New Westminster, British Columbia with his wife and a mischievous cat. He holds degrees in English and Landscape Architecture but life has taught him far more than university ever could. Ask about his stories and he will tell you that they are all true, though not factual. Make of that what you will.

More information can be found on his web page, dvsduncan.com/speculative-writing.

About the Narrators:

Matthew Frederickson is in his mid-30s, living in Memphis, Tennessee, with a rockstar plastic surgeon wife. He reads and writes and runs in his spare time. He loves to brew beer, and he’d love to make that his career. He will soon start the second season of his podcast, Freddy’s Fan Fiction. You can find him on Twitter as @swami.

Graeme Dunlop is a software solution architect and voice actor living in Melbourne Australia. He is the co-editor of the fantasy podcast Podcastle, and used to host the YA podcast Cast of Wonders. You can find him on Google+ and he occasionally tweets as @kibitzer on Twitter.


  1. Actually, it seems that the listed second story is told first and the listed first story is told second.

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  1. […] in point: The June 14 edition of the Far-Fetched Fables podcast featured Matthew Fredrickson doing a reading of one of my first short stories, The Last Great […]

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