My SF flash piece, 'Free to Loving Home (Donation Required)', which was first published in the anthology You, Me, and a Bit of We by Chuffed Buff Books in October 2013, has been podcasted at Manawaker Studio.
The story was inspired by a news report on rescue centres for dogs, which made me wonder how that might work for humans. (The Hugh Everett Rehoming Centre, incidentally, is named for the American physicist who first came up with the Many Worlds theory of quantum physics). What if, when you lost a loved one, you could get a ‘rescued’ version? I started with the idea that it would be literally ‘free to a loving home’ but I couldn’t help thinking that such a place, even if it started out altruistically, would at some point be turned towards making a profit—and the rather cynical ‘donation required’ aspect began to take over.
Manawaker Studio have done a great recording -- the narrator has done a really good job of capturing the rather smarmy auctioneer's tone of this story -- the kind of 'I know this is illegal and horrible, but aren't we all having fun?' vibe. Listen to it here