Pseudopod 036: Liberation

By Kevin Anderson

Read by Mur Lafferty

It had the characteristics of a spider but looked more like some underwater creature – a mutated octopus or alien squid. The arachnid’s legs were thick like tentacles, splayed out on a chalky porcelain table. Pools of blood spotted the off-white surface and a pair of forceps lay next to the spider, providing a sense of scale. The creature’s creamy white frame seemed about four inches in length. Its color reminded Caroline of the salamanders discovered in subterranean caves. Living their whole lives in darkness, the lizards looked pasty – sickly.

Leaning in, Wendy traced a finger along the picture’s caption. “It says, it didn’t have any eyes.”

“It doesn’t need them,” Caroline said, grinning. “It lives in darkness, just feeling its way around.” Just like the salamanders.

Wendy stood up. “This doesn’t prove anything, Caroline. You don’t have spiders living in your brain for god-sakes.”

May 4th, 2007 11:37 am

now my 2nd favorite story on the Pod…Maybe it’s cuz I haven’t seen Saw 3. But, yeah, totally diggin’ this one!!

May 6th, 2007 11:11 pm

Just caught up. The ‘pod just keeps getting better and better. Keep up the good work, gang.

May 7th, 2007 9:50 pm

Great story.

And I guess it REALLY is true:,23599,21685997-2,00.html

May 7th, 2007 10:35 pm

I almost fainted on the bus while listening to this one. I actually broke into a cold, desperate sweat and felt light-headed and nauseous as she described the self-surgery. I almost yelled out for the driver to stop the bus and let me out, even if it was in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel.

May 8th, 2007 8:57 am

This story was wonderful. It reminded me of “Bliss” when the doctor said that you don’t dare the schizophrenic to show you the little aliens inside their head. You don’t dare the schizophrenic feminist to show you the little white spiders inside her head. You don’t dare.

May 8th, 2007 12:50 pm

This was my first psuedopod story, and I must admit that I am impressed. As I work my way backward through the catalogue of stories, I find the writing and reading to be consistently good. So far I find “Bliss” to be the most well executed idea—the White’s scenes are bit over the top, but he pulls it off by the skin of his teeth. Additionally, Sigler’s skillful reading of Thomson’s “Last Respects” brought the characters to life.

May 8th, 2007 1:54 pm

*White, not “the White,” though incidentally, I felt his work was masterful enough to merit a moniker replete with the definite article.

May 11th, 2007 3:24 pm

I didn’t care for this story at all. It’s the kind of tale that, if I’d come across it on the old pre-Pseudo Escape Pod, or some forum which didn’t advertise itself as primarily a horror venue then I might have been more impressed and surprised. But having it here sadly encouraged me to listen along and tick off the horror story cliches as they came out, ending with the predictable angle of the woman preparing to go kill a lot of women by trying to drill the spiders out.

May 16th, 2007 6:03 pm

I’m not big horror buff so I’m not sure how many times this was done before. I’m more into audio stories in general and anything will do, as long as it doesn’t suck. Honestly, I really don’t care if the story has been done before. It gave me shivers. I’ve listened to all of the Psuedopods up to this one and it’s the first one that actually gave me chills. Maybe cliches only become cliche when they stop working. I thought it was great.

May 18th, 2007 6:59 pm

HOLY CRAP!!! What a GREAT creeeeepy story.


And of course Mur’s narrations kick much ass!

May 21st, 2007 7:45 pm

I enjoyed this story very much except the ending. There was a point that I yelled out what I thought was going to happen and it didn’t so I was disappointed.

In my ending, the spiders would have made their way back into her head and she would have gone through all that trouble for nothing.

It did well for creepiness…for sure.

June 23rd, 2007 2:25 am

Wow. I was certain I was going to get sick during the whole surgery scene, but somehow I managed to keep myself in check…I admit the ending was a bit off, but overall it was wonderful.

Zippy Wonderdog
June 29th, 2007 6:07 am

Its strange, I don’t like gore, but I can sit through some of the goriest movies of all time, I even enjoyed Bad Taste and the modern slasher flicks do not phase me.
But when Mur Lafferty started to describe Caroline drilling into her own skull! I just had to turn the podcast off.
Is this a compliment? I dunno, I still don’t know how it ended either :S

Harlequin Salome
October 28th, 2007 3:21 pm

Wow… it takes alot to give me the heebies and the jeebies, and this about did it. The way the drilling was handled… just fantastic.

Also glad I’m not the only sick SoB who wanted to see them crawl back in.

Mari Mitchell
April 12th, 2008 12:28 pm


Feeding the pod Warm tapioca pudding.

I think Loz is full of it.

January 24th, 2009 6:31 pm

I’ve always liked this one. I think that it could happen, maybe it feeds off of somthing other than determination, but with all the things that we find everyday and all the stuff thats left to discover in the ocean who knows what can be crawling around in our bodies that we don’t know about.