Pseudopod 014: Virginia Woods

By Janni Lee Simner

Read by Christiana Ellis

The wind brushed her cheek — had it ever stopped? It whistled through the leaves, high and sharp, crying like an animal in pain.

No, not an animal. Ice trickled down Eleanor’s spine. A child. Her child.

“Virginia?” The wind continued to cry. “Virginia, where are you?” Eleanor started forward, in the direction of the voice, then stopped when she felt herself trembling. Would she really find her daughter? Or just another mangled body, nothing human left to it?

Sebastian Y
December 1st, 2006 12:41 pm

I’m not really sure I liked this story, the ending felt awkward and contrived. I must, however,praise the ambiance and mood created by the auther even if it was not lived up to towards the end. Congratualtions in this wonderful podcast, looking forward to the next story.

December 1st, 2006 1:56 pm

The Roanoke colony makes for a great horror story setting. And it was great to see it tie in with the legend of Virginia Dare. And as a parent, I found this story truly terrifying and disturbing. Keep up the good work!

December 3rd, 2006 4:07 pm

I know the reader is trying to create an atmosphere, but the reading was really pretty flat for me. I do feel if she’d put some inflection into the reading it would have been more enjoyable. There were times she did and the story pickup a bit but even in the climax it was flat.

December 3rd, 2006 9:18 pm

My favorite one so far. Good setting and characters. I kept waiting with dread for a moralizing lesson about the main character’s racist attitudes, and I was relieved when it didn’t come.

The description of the ripped up child was truly gruesome.

I think the flat reading contributed a great deal to the tone.

Colin F
December 4th, 2006 8:11 am

I’m afraid I found it hard to get into the story this time round on account of Christiana’s reading of it. I just found it really flat and expressionless

I haven’t listened to her own podcast, so I don’t know if that’s just her style or if she was trying to capture the mood of living in the colony in the story – which must have been a pretty grim experience.

I managed to persevere the third time I started the story and enjoyed the tale well enough, but would definitely have preferred to hear to Auntie Mur read it – once she gets over her cold that is!

December 4th, 2006 11:13 am

I really liked this story. I thought Chritiana’s reading matched the story perfectly. The settler’s lives were pretty grim. The flat voice sounded to me just like what I imagine someone would sound like in such a grey, dreary place.

December 5th, 2006 3:22 pm

Sorry but found this one of the most boring stories that I’ve heard for a long time. The reading was flat (done for atmosphere I’m sure) which made a dull tale seem to drag on for hours. Maybe I just like my horror a bit punchier! Overall though, love the podcast and will be treating this week as a ‘blip’.

December 6th, 2006 5:24 pm

I did not like the reading at all, though the story was great/. I really did like the turn in the story. I tried to listen to it a second time, but couldn’t get through the first 2 minutes because of the voice.

December 7th, 2006 10:44 am

BOOOORING! I didn’t even bother finishing this snorefest. Yet another miss for this podcast. The only thing horrific about the stories on here are how typically bad they are.

That does, however, make the really good ones stand out, but I just don’t think that’s quite what Mur’s going for.

Greg M
December 7th, 2006 12:40 pm

I enjoyed the story, especially the historical setting, but, as others commented, the reading was a bit perfunctory.

January 10th, 2007 9:31 am

I quite enjoyed this. As someone from the Outer Banks I think the writer nailed it. I can understand the comments regarding the reading of it, but I too felt that it added to the atmosphere of general dread.

February 15th, 2007 3:28 pm

The reading was, for whatever reason, grating. The women were extremely whiny, especially the child. I made it through, but it was difficult.

April 26th, 2007 11:35 am

I absolutely loved this. People need to stop being so damn picky and take a non-objective observer point of view. You should let the story unfold and reveal itself and then after hearing the full tale do you dissect it. I loved the narration. I completely felt tired and without hope for a good future like Eleanor. I was completely immersed in this world and love every minute of it. Pseudopod totally ROCKS.

Mari Mitchell
April 6th, 2008 11:24 am

I disagree with most of the posts. I thought the pacing was good. It quicken just a little about five minites into it.

I loved the idea of the story.

I loved the title.

I appercated the fact the arthor had good some many of the historical details right.

SO… does anyone read these things?

July 24th, 2008 3:53 pm

We read ’em. The feedback is much appreciated!

January 19th, 2009 12:15 am

I think that the flatness of the main character wasn’t flatness at all, I think it was just her. Her personality to me sounded like a quiet, small, submissive type. Her voice was that and gave point to her development. It is sad that the mean ladys son died, but it was her own fault and a small dark part of me is kind of happy to see her suffer (aside from it being her child dieing of course). Very well done story.