Cynthia J. McGean

Original Short Stories

Mrs. O’Leary’s Torment:  A gothic contemplation of the final moments in the life of Chicago’s most infamous cow owner.  Winner of the Oregon Writer’s Colony Short Story Contest.

Daemiel Watches:  In a dark and primitive fantasy world, a hideously twisted creature rescues a baby from child sacrifice and attempts to raise it as his own without succumbing to his primal urge to devour it.  2nd place winner, Kay Snow Awards, 2011; Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest Horror Competition, 2011.

Bread of Life: Acts of creation can take many forms - giving birth, baking bread, mixing a potion, telling a story. Maybe destruction is just creation gone wrong.  But nobody ever died from a story, did they?  In this exploration of the power of art, a storyteller spins the tale of the Village of Brune as a special kind of gift from one outsider to another.

Original Audio Scripts

The St. James Sisters: Inspired by the classic blues song “St. James Infirmary Blues” and the Grimms fairy tale “The Seven Sisters”, this romance set in the Civil War takes a supernatural turn as a war-weary soldier discovers the secret of the mysterious sisters at the old St. James mansion.  Willamette Radio Workshop commissioned and performed this piece, part of a series of original works streamed live across the country by Radio 23 on Halloween night, 2009.  You can listen to it through the mp3 at right, recorded live during a performance at McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Portland, Oregon.

Can You Hear Me Now?  In the age of cell phones, the demons of the underworld have new tricks at their disposal so you’d better have enough minutes on your plan. This short piece is featured on Willamette Radio Workshop’s Ogle Award-winning anthology, A MURDER OF CROWS.    
The Truth About the White Eagle Another in the Ogle-Award-winning collection A MURDER OF CROWS, this story was inspired by the true haunted history of  the White Eagle Saloon in Portland, Oregon, featuring shanghaied sailors and a sad ghost named Sam.  

Meditations of a Gargoyle  What if the grotesque stone statues now replicated in boutique shops around the country were actually living monsters, biding their time to wreak havoc on humanity?  In this piece from A MURDER OF CROWS, the grandfather of all gargoyles ruminates on the past, present and future of his race. 

Call of the Mummy:  My first commission for Willamette Radio Workshop, “Call of the Mummy”  pits egyptologists against cursed corpses, with a mysterious native guide thrown in for good measure.  This story will tear your heart out - literally.  Performed and recorded live on the air at KBOO radio station.

Audio Theater Adaptations

Frankenstein:  My adaptation of this classic tale received a Special Ogle Award for Best Adaptation.  Willamette Radio Workshop’s award-winning production of the script has aired on radio stations throughout the country.  You can hear an excerpt and license that production through Public Radio Exchange (PRX), where listeners heralded it as “a superbly crafted script” and “a brilliant retelling of a sad and painful tale.”. The script was also produced by Wisconsin’s RG Productions.

The 7 Minute Dr Moreau: When Willamette Radio Workshop asked me to create 7 minutes that would wow Live Wire audiences at Portland’s Wordstock festival, I distilled H.G. Wells’ classic tale down to its animal essence.  The result, recorded for Oregon Public Broadcasting, isn’t a sound bite - its a sound chomp.  To watch and listen, click here.  

Theatre of Blood: Inspired by the classic 1970’s horror film featuring Vincent Price, this piece is an audio theater must for Shakespeare fans or anyone who likes a good revenge story. When the Critics Circle snubs him for a coveted award, an aging Shakespearean actor seeks revenge by killing off their members in Shakespearean style.  A deft combination of humor, horror and classic language, produced by Willamette Radio Workshop for Halloween 2010. Mrs._OLearys_Torment.htmlDaemiel_Watches.html
horror and suspense
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