PseudoPod 674: Dust


Dust

by Rebecca Lloyd


Much has developed since the day in April I stumbled out of the Quiet Garden with blood running freely down my cheek. The intensity that has arisen over the months cannot be quelled, and I find myself engaged now in a monstrous negotiation, the nature of which I scarcely comprehend, and one that shifts ground continually. As much as I would keep Beth naïve, I sense in her silences that she is on the edge of recognition. I am touched as much by her innocence as I am by her fierce protectiveness of me—but I would keep her in ignorance for I have yet to comprehend the matter myself. I know only that I am involved in urgent entreaty on her behalf, yet I feel my resourcefulness weakening daily. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 673: Venio


Venio

by Gemma Files


Watch out.

I’m going to tell you about something, and then . . . you’ll know. You won’t be able to un-know or forget why you should want to. And even if you decide you don’t believe it now, you’ll still have thought about it long enough to make that call, so it’ll still be too late. Because now it knows you know, it’ll be able to find you. To home in on you.

Just like it did with me.

Sometimes, a door is enough, open or otherwise. Or an empty moment, an empty page.

An empty head. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 672: In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience and The Halloween Parade

Show Notes

Effie Seiberg: “As a card-carrying wuss, this is the first horror-eque piece I’ve ever written. This story finally lets me say that my work can be found in every single Escape Artists podcast, which is very exciting because I’m a wuss when it comes to horror and never thought this day would come. Perhaps the scariest part, to me, is how we have a culture where it’s somehow ok to treat customer service folks like trash even when they’re not responsible for whatever mishaps you experienced.”


In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience

by Effie Seiberg


Dear Mrs. Axelthorpe,

I’m so sorry to hear your family had a negative experience at our ScareBnB. While we aim to provide an atmosphere of family-friendly spooky overnight fun, I see that with your family’s unique experience we’ve missed the mark.

You’re right, the blood dripping down the stairs to the abandoned attic was a slipping hazard. However, we did have signs clearly stating that guests should not go up the abandoned attic stairs for precisely this reason. You’ll be glad to know that the stains will eventually come out of your family’s clothes with a little bit of bleach, but unfortunately the curse we use to keep the bloodflow going is non-removable, and your clothing will continue to drip.

After their arrival into the (closed off) attic, I understand that your children were distressed by the sounds of our attic ghost. However, after reviewing the logs and interviewing the performer on shift, Alex of the Screeching Chains, it appears that the upsetting sounds were of Alex weeping after your offspring doused him in several cans of WD-40 and tried to set him on fire. We encourage our performers to stay in character and will send him an appropriate reprimand once he’s out of the hospital. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 671: Only Unity Saves the Damned

Show Notes

Click the link to pick up the collection She Said Destroy released by the excellent Word Horde.


Only Unity Saves the Damned

by Nadia Bulkin


“Dude, are you getting this?”

Rosslyn Taro, 25, and Clark Dunkin, 25, are standing in the woods. It’s evening—the bald-cypresses behind them are shadowed and the light between the needles is the somber blue that follows sunsets—and they are wearing sweatshirts and holding stones.

“It’s on,” says the voice behind the camera. “To the winner go the spoils!”

They whip their arms back and start throwing stones. The camera pans to the right as the stones skip into the heart of Goose Lake. After a dozen rounds the camera pans back to Rosslyn Taro and Clark Dunkin arguing over whose stone made the most skips, and then slowly returns to the right. Its focus settles on a large bur oak looming around the bend of the lake, forty yards away.

“Hey, isn’t that the Witching Tree?”

Off-camera, Clark Dunkin says, “What?” and Rosslyn Taro says,

“Come on, seriously?”

“You know, Raggedy Annie’s Witching Tree.”

The girl sounds too shaky to be truly skeptical. “How do you know?”

“Remember the song? ‘We hung her over water, from the mighty oak tree.’ Well, there aren’t any other lakes around here.

And First Plymouth is on the other side of the lake.” The camera zooms, searches for a white steeple across the still water, but the light is bad. “‘We hung her looking over at the cemetery.’”

The camera swings to Rosslyn Taro, because she is suddenly upset. She is walking to the camera, and when she reaches it, shoves the cameraman. “Bay, shut up! I hate that stupid song. Let’s just go, I’m getting cold. Come on, please.” But Clark Dunkin is still staring at the tree. His hands are shaking. Rosslyn Taro calls his name: “Lark!”

The camera follows Clark Dunkin’s gaze to the tree. There is a figure standing in front of it, dressed in a soiled white shift and a black execution hood. The figure reaches two pale, thin hands to the edge of the hood as if to reveal its face. And then the camera enters a topspin, all dirt and branches and violet sky, as the cameraman begins to run. Rosslyn Taro is heard screaming. Someone—the cameraman, or possibly Clark Dunkin—is whimpering, as if from very far away, “oh, shit, oh, shit.”

And then the video abruptly cuts to black. (Continue Reading…)