PseudoPod 643: HORROR COMEDY SHOWCASE: The City of the Gone Away


The City of the Gone Away

by Ambrose Bierce


I was born of poor because honest parents, and until I was twenty-three years old never knew the possibilities of happiness latent in another person’s coin. At that time Providence threw me into a deep sleep and revealed to me in a dream the folly of labor. “Behold,” said a vision of a holy hermit, “the poverty and squalor of your lot and listen to the teachings of nature. You rise in the morning from your pallet of straw and go forth to your daily labor in the fields. The flowers nod their heads in friendly salutation as you pass. The lark greets you with a burst of song. The early sun sheds his temperate beams upon you, and from the dewy grass you inhale an atmosphere cool and grateful to your lungs. All nature seems to salute you with the joy of a generous servant welcoming a faithful master. You are in harmony with her gentlest mood and your soul sings within you. You begin your daily task at the plow, hopeful that the noonday will fulfill the promise of the morn, maturing the charms of the landscape and confirming its benediction upon your spirit. You follow the plow until fatigue invokes repose, and seating yourself upon the earth at the end of your furrow you expect to enjoy in fulness the delights of which you did but taste. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 642: HORROR COMEDY SHOWCASE: The House that Dripped Character

Show Notes

From the endcap:


The author’s thoughts on the story: “The central idea was a joke I made to my wife while we were watching reality TV. I owe it to her for convincing me to expand the idea behind that joke into a complete story.”


The House that Dripped Character

By BG Hilton


It is a dream. It must be. Each of us remembers sleep taking us–be it in a bed, on a sofa, or at the back of a crowded classroom. We know we are asleep, so of course we must be dreaming.

And yet we are not.

The house rises before us, above the tops of the moss-laded cypress trees like some great reptile from the Earth’s youth. Paint of some indeterminate color–bleached here by sun and darkened there by rain–peels from its splintery timbers. Attempts have been made to rebuild the structure in a dozen different styles, but the house’s Victorian heart is visible through these additions.

The windows are blocked with plywood and the roofing tiles are more absent than present. By all rights, the decaying structure should seem fragile, and yet it is almost shocking in its solidity. The ambient light is dim, and the hues of the house and swamp alike are washed and grey. The only hint of color comes from a tattered length of police tape, fluttering by the front door. There is no sign of a road, no sound of traffic, no address on the front of the house. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 641: ARTEMIS RISING 5: A Song for Wounded Mouths

Show Notes

I wanted to write a story about body glitter, and instead wrote something about teeth.”


A Song for Wounded Mouths

by Kristi DeMeester


It was Brandon who found the teeth. He was the one who picked up the small Mason jar, imagining it to be the perfect thing for B roll, the kind of homespun charm we were hoping to emulate for the video we were shooting for “Litany for Those Who Still Live.” He palmed the jar and rattled it at Derek.

“A jar of buttons. Jesus. My grandmother had one of these in her house, too. It’s perfect. A lingering zoom shot. An establishment of how it used to be. Before everything went to shit,” he said. I tried not to watch the fullness of his lower lip, how it curved around the syllables. But I was the same girl I’d always been, and it was too difficult to rip out the infatuation I’d felt for him since I was fifteen.

Derek shrugged. Forever noncommittal. By the time Brandon shrieked, the jar clattering to the peeling linoleum, I’d already looked away, occupied myself with unraveling the knot of cords in our equipment. Anything to keep from seeing the desperation in Brandon’s eyes when he looked at Derek. How he stared, his tongue touching the tip of his upper lip in a reminder of what his body could promise for Derek alone. It was not for me. Never for me.

So when Brandon screamed, I thought it was for effect, something to get Derek’s attention. The muscles between my shoulders clenched anyway, and I bit down on my tongue. I swiped my index finger across it, but there was no blood.  I wished I could be anywhere but stuck in this abandoned house with the band I’d stumbled into and couldn’t leave. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 640: ARTEMIS RISING 5: What Throat


What Throat

by Annie Neugebauer


It was embarrassingly easy to get lost. Even for someone like Jo, who was familiar with hiking and knew better than to make the mistakes she made. She’d always heard it was easier than you think; now she finally believed it. A bit of distraction. Forging ahead when something niggled in the back of her head that maybe this wasn’t the right way. Turning around instead of pushing forward. Dark creeping in. Paths blurring with natural breaks in the trees. And all of a sudden – not suddenly at all – she couldn’t ignore the worry in the back of her head that whispered, I don’t know where I am anymore. (Continue Reading…)