New Short Audio Story "Blood & Water" by Jason Kimble, Narrated By Paul Cram - Cast Of Wonders' 250th Episode!

Celebrating it's 250th podcast episode, Cast of Wonders podcast presents "Blood & Water" from Florida writer Jason Kimble, narrated by Minneapolis actor Paul Cram.

The story is available to listen online at:
Cast of Wonders

This is extra special because the story is the 250th episode for the UK podcast.

BLOOD & WATER follows Michael, a closeted young man who has a secret crush on his best friend. A terminal disease leads the two of them to the shores of Lake Michigan where Michael's crush disappears into the watery depths... but Michael insists that the boy didn’t commit suicide. Instead he weaves the story of what led up to that night, and shares his secrets both fantastic and mundane.

Paul Cram 

Narrator Paul Cram said "The first time I read Blood & Water I was struck with the sort-of-wonderful conundrum of 'what is real' in this world that the author has created? Which is one of the reasons I enjoy reading for Cast Of Wonders, all the wonderful worlds! Blood & Water is no exception. It certainly resonated with me. Where Michael is wondering if his crush feels the same way as he does. How many of us could say we've never felt that? No one! It's wonderful and frightening, and beautiful."

Learn more about Paul Cram on

author Jason Kimble
Author Jason Kimble

Jason Kimble 

When asked about Blood & Water, here's what author Jason Kimble said:

"I don't know that I ever find it easy to talk about my writing, but Blood and Water is especially wriggly for me, not least of all because of how long it's been bouncing around and changing shape.

I could just play it straight and say I did what I often do and spliced together several bits of story elements I'd been wanting to play with. In this case, it was learning about severe polycythemia in an anthropology class and discovering that -- despite growing up in the area and visiting every summer -- I'd never known the dunes at Lake Michigan actually migrate.

Except that's clearly not the heart of the piece, since I've since completely excised a pre-existing meditation on migrating dunes, and in fact the dunes barely make an appearance at all.

I could play at giving creative raspberries to my MFA thesis advisor, for whom I had to construct an entire version of this story where Michael's narrative is unarguably a delusion. My particular program had very strong feelings about speculative fiction and other 'sub-genres.'

Only, parts of that draft remain. My thesis version was the first draft which involved Michael as an adult. I've obviously done a lot of editing and jettisoning of the elements which dismissed all the watery magic as 100% impossible, but I can't deny that the story gained focus and thematic resonance once present-Michael appeared and had to struggle with accepting what was and was not true about his relationship with his missing friend.

I could lean into personal parallels: Michael is a gay man and he grew up in southwest Michigan suburbs. I'm a gay man who grew up in southwest Michigan suburbs. But while Michael's sexuality moved from subtext to text as I revised, his conflict wasn't mine. I was never closeted in the ways that Michael is. I didn't struggle with secret crushes. The fact is, I wasn't into anyone, really, until well into my late 20's, after college and grad school and more than enough exposure to other members of the queer community that my own late-realized sexuality came with little to no fuss or angst.

(Which is not to say I myself am without fuss or angst, simply that figuring out I'm gay doesn't fall into that category.)

I could definitely talk about my own privilege and cultural blinders, which kept me from seeing for an embarrassingly long time the 'magical person of color' trope at play.

Though the threads of that are still stitched through the narrative. My hope is that, having recognized some of the intersectional failures in myself, the story became stronger for acknowledging and attempting to explore them in Michael, as well.

Let's say this, then: "Blood and Water" is both all of those things above and none of them. And I am both thrilled and scared to death to see the results."

Learn more about Jason on his website Process Wonk

Cast of Wonders Episode 250

About Cast of Wonders

Cast of Wonders is a donation-supported young adult short fiction podcast that was founded in 2011 by Barry J. Northern and Graeme Dunlop. The current editor and host, Marguerite Kenner, took on the role in 2013 and performs her editing duties from Reading, England, a suburb of London. Though she originally hails from San Francisco California.

Marguirite Kenner
Cast of Wonder's Editor Margurite Kenner
 Each week, Cast of Wonders publishes a wide range of speculative fiction stories which highlight emotional expression and a sense of awe and wonder. The show is unique in that it pays it's authors, and the show advocates for the education and development of new and young writers by providing young writers with access to multiple members of the Cast of Wonders broad staff of educators and lecturers for feedback on their writing. Topically, the show takes a very broad approach to the YA genre and focuses on excluding explicit or graphical content, and doesn't require teenage protagonists or specific subject matter.

New listeners are encouraged to start with the show's Staff Picks - an annual feature each January where members of staff discuss their favorite story of the previous year. Featured episodes include martian space cadets, a guardian teddy bear's brave last stand, a Yelp restaurant review, a steampunk duel, intergalactic cabaret, and an ice giant longing for summer to name but a few. You can learn more at, or by following the show on Facebook or Twitter @CastofWonders. You can support the show through PayPal or on Patreon.