Pseudopod 013: Redmond’s Private Screening

By Kevin J. Anderson

Read by Scott Sigler

Redmond laughed nervously. His face had too many freckles, his skin was too pasty, his personality too slippery. “A lot of people are trying to get into this new movie business, but not usually by killing themselves on film.” He sheathed the blade and handed the slim katana back.

Michael frowned at how low he himself had fallen, how disappointed the spirits of his own dead family must be. “Most directors do not wish to photograph such a spectacle either, and most patrons do not wish to see the result. But there are exceptions everywhere.” He gave Redmond a cold stare. “You and I know how to find them.”

The director raised his chin, pontificating. “Fifteen years ago, people flocked to nickelodeons to see a man sneeze, to watch a waterfall or a running horse. Today, we’ve got to give them something more for their money, eh?”

“I’m sure we do.”

With a deaf ear for his assistant’s sarcasm, Redmond strutted around the floor, looking at the natural light, at the position of the white blanket, but Michael had already set everything up perfectly. The three Japanese followed the director with their eyes, like animals in a cage.

November 27th, 2006 11:06 am

Great story, great reading. I expected retribution to come down on Michael as well, and when it did not I was a little disappointed. It was almost a “happy” ending (not really, obviously).

November 27th, 2006 5:56 pm

Drug a little in the middle, but this one almost made me physically sick during the description of the sepukku (pardon my spelling) scene. Good stuff, and a good reading by Sigler.

November 29th, 2006 4:58 pm

I remember reading this one in…Weird Tales, I think? I was feeling queasy when I started reading it (not sure why I continued) and then got downright sick during the sepukku scene. It’s still makes me feel queasy, hearing it again. That means it’s a pretty effective horror story and reading, right? The setting is fantastic, too.

Keep up the good work.

Jeff Wikstrom
December 2nd, 2006 2:09 pm

I did not care for this story. The characterizations seemed extremely one-dimensional; I couldn’t believe in either the paperdoll churl or the self-righteous assistant.

December 3rd, 2006 8:59 pm

Americans are greedy and ugly. Japanese are noble, spiritual, and stoic. Didn’t Mur tells us to leave our racism at the door?

December 4th, 2006 7:03 pm

Ack! It’s “Hara Kiri”, said just as it’s spelled. When said wrong in a faux Japanese accent my ears bled a little.

December 6th, 2006 3:17 pm

These horror revenge stories are about as surprising as night following day but it’s still a guilty pleasure, like going to McDonalds rather than getting food that isn’t bad for your health.

I always enjoy the readings Mr Sigler does for Escape Artists, I suppose I really should go out and check his site shouldn’t I?

January 10th, 2007 9:39 am

Yes, you should.

And Wakela, Mike wasn’t noble, spiritual, and stoic and Redmond wasn’t indicative of Americans, but rather the hucksters that will use and abuse people so that folks who enjoy human suffering get what they want. A modern day equivalent might be the inventers of reality TV. They obviously have no soul.

April 25th, 2007 4:56 pm

Yeah, this was great!!! And Sigler was awesome. I finally started listening to his stuff and I’m hooked like you wouldn’t believe. I NEED ANOTHER FIX!!!!

Mari Mitchell
April 3rd, 2008 8:03 pm

Overall I thought this was done well, but the ending was too obvious.

January 18th, 2009 11:26 pm

I believe that all cultures and races, whatever, they all have their ceremonies, and traditions. Americans, Japanese, Mexican, we are all different, we have all grown up in our own way and there is nothing wrong with that. Beautiful story.