PseudoPod 670: The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en


The Devil Came to Mamie’s on Hallowe’en

by Lisa Morton


It was Hallowe’en night, and business was slow at the whorehouse.

Leona didn’t put much stock in the stories that kept other folk indoors on this night. She’d laughed over stories about Jacky-Ma-Lantern, who’d once outsmarted the Bad Man and then couldn’t get into Hell or Heaven, and so on Hallowe’en he wandered around lighting his way with a coal kept in a pumpkin. She’d once seen the strange blue lights in the bayou that some said led unwary travelers to their doom on this night, but she didn’t really believe they were spirits. And her favorite of Miss Mamie’s girls, Lizzie, had talked about going down to New Orleans once and meeting up with a real hoodoo man, who she’d watched bring a dead boy back to life on All Saints’ Day. But as much as Leona loved Lizzie, she thought even decent, smart folk could sometimes be bamboozled when they found something they just plain wanted to believe in.

It was about midnight now (“the witching hour”, Leona remembered Lizzie once calling it), and the swamp just behind Miss Mamie’s was dark and quiet, no flatboats poling up to the dock tonight, unloading new customers. Leona wondered again where Lizzie had gotten to; Beulah, the cook, said she’d left out the backdoor about four that afternoon, just as the sun was going down. She’d taken a big kettle with her, and said she’d be back around night. It wasn’t safe to wander around the bayou any night, and Leona couldn’t imagine where Lizzie had gone.

It didn’t help that Mamie’s scrawny old cat, Lumpy (so named because he was as black as a lump of coal), was missing, too. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 669: Zanders the Magnificent


Zanders the Magnificent

by Annie Neugebauer


“My handsome, darling boys,” Mrs. Zander said, placing a hand on each of their shoulders. “Which one of you wants to be alive today?”

Robby and Bobby turned their heads inward at the same time, staring at each other with identical dark eyes. Bobby blinked, followed shortly by Robby’s blink, and they both said, “Bobby. Robby was alive yesterday.”

Mrs. Zander nodded approvingly, clapping her hands against their shoulder blades. “Good, yes. I like it when you agree,” she said. “Now both of you go get Bobby ready for school.”

The boys lurched into a sprint together, their narrow shoulders brushing past the door frame at the same time, their synched footsteps thumping down the hall.

When they were safely within their bedroom, Bobby shut the door. Robby went and flopped on the left bed – indistinguishable from the right bed in everything but placement in the room – and sighed. “I wish it was Saturday so we could both live,” he said, covering his face with his arms. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 668: Flash on the Borderlands XLIX: Dirty Deeds

Show Notes

“Baby Fingers” is a PseudoPod original

“Polaroid, 1979” is a PseudoPod original 

“Metal, Sex, Monsters” was originally published in Gamut #5 in May, 2017

Metal, Sex, Monsters: “As you might be able to tell, this story was written with a Judas Priest soundtrack in mind. While writing it, I listened obsessively to all of Judas Priest’s back catalogue, so that is its main inspiration.”


Baby Fingers

by Pierce Skinner

narrated by Austin Malone


Curt stares out the into the dark beyond the jaundiced light of the motel sign. He’s got the sawed-off resting across his lap, hands shaking, face white as drywall behind his wild red beard.

I set my helmet down on the dresser, lean myself against the wall. The wallpaper smells like bleach. A fly thrashes between lightbulb and lampshade. TVs cackle through the walls and somehow, over all of this, behind it, the chittering, scratching. Like ants crawling over a microphone. It’s the sound the thing in the bathtub made before it killed Travis.

“You’re hearin’ it too.” He says, “We’re fucked.”

“No I ain’t.”

Curt’s eyes go red, wet. He looks down at his shaking hands, at the shotgun.

“Hey!” I growl. He don’t look up at me. “Christ, Curt! You a Mongol or ain’t you?”

Curt nods. “Yeah. I’m a Mongol, Dennis. But I ain’t never seen no shit like that before.” He looks up at me like he’s about to cry. “It…killed Travis.”

A headache builds behind the scratching sound. I try to tell myself that it’s just hearing damage. That emptying twelve rounds in an underground bunker did a number on our eardrums. But that don’t explain everything else. Not even close.

“What’s gonna happen to us?”

“Nothin’, Curt. Whatever it was, we killed it. Now I’m gonna call Mr. Senator. We’re gonna get our money, get out of the state. That’s it.” I pull the door open. “Stay here,” I tell him. “I’ll be right back.”

Soon as the door shuts behind me, the scratching sounds stop. The night is silent.

The headache don’t go nowhere. I light a cigarette. (Continue Reading…)

Flash Fiction Contest 6 is Lurking on Your Doorstep


The stars are right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do, a band of innocent authors has accomplished. After vigintillions of years the Flash Fiction Contest is loose again, and ravening for delight. Each week, batches of stories will be released into gladiatorial pits to fight for supremacy. The floor will be churned to mud with the blood of the fallen until the mightiest stories remain for your delight and dread. Head over to the forums, take up your stone, and join us in the harvest festivals of the October Country. (Continue Reading…)