Pseudopod 041: Fingerbones Hung Like Mobiles

By Paul Jessup

Read by Jared Axelrod

“These woods are filled with spirits,” she said, “Not like the spirits of the dead. Older spirits. My grandma told me about them. She said that once these spirits used to help people, they were noble and good. And then people stopped praying to them. Stopped giving them food and friendship. Now the spirits are sick, and they wander these woods looking for companionship.”

Brad laughed and drank some of the vodka.

“What a load of shit,” Brad said, “Is that supposed to be scary, huh Carla? I don’t buy it. Not one bit.”

Little Man looked nervous. It was hard to reconcile this story with what we saw only a few hours ago. “Don’t worry Little Man,” Brad said, “Carla’s just pulling our legs. Ain’t that right?”

01
Asha
June 8th, 2007 10:54 am

Best tale on the Pod thus far, imho.

Jared Axelrod did such a splendid job of embodying the emotions and tribulations of the main character.

Captivating, to say the least.

02
June 8th, 2007 1:25 pm

Asha-
Thanks, this is one of my favorite stories. It’s a very personal one.

And Jarod Axelrod’s reading is absolutely fantastic. Just brilliant.

03
Dark Seducer
June 9th, 2007 7:01 pm

Not bad! Of course these days I guess perhaps most folks don’t know much about Baba Yaga, the witch of Russian folklore. That bit of knowledge took something away from the story for me. Perhaps it was my heart. :)
But it wsa still well written.

Blessings

HOC, Dark Seducer

04
June 11th, 2007 11:54 am

Well, I’m hoping knowledge of Baba Yaga would deepen the story, and adds another layer. And I think a lot of people (esp horror or fantasy readers) know about her- she is quite a common trope.

05
Dark Seducer
June 15th, 2007 10:09 pm

still, it’s a great story. I hope to reach your ability one day.

06
Dischord
June 22nd, 2007 12:37 am

Solid Pseudopod contribution. The reading was quite good and the characters were fantastic. Weird, but great.

07
June 25th, 2007 11:25 am

What a curious story. I’m referring not to Baba Yaga (always fun), but to the nearly apocalyptic melancholy. At times it felt like a story about children in exile, or whose parents were dead – until we learn of one father, who really doesn’t matter. The drive towards entropy, towards dissolution, emptiness, failure, incompletion overwhelmed any movement towards fruition, completion, integration, etc. The title sets us up for that.

I really liked the hero’s ultimate decision about his heart.

08
June 25th, 2007 1:00 pm

Bryan-
thanks. The melancholy was on purpose- I was basing this story on how I felt after a friend of mine died in HighSchool. Writing it brought back that feeling, like the end of the world was just around the corner, that everything was collapsing.

I hopes I caught that feeling, and it looks like I did. thanks again.

09
Dugan
August 16th, 2007 11:31 am

I particularly liked the nod to Gaiman at the very end there, with the “heart inside a duck inside a castle on an island guarded by dragons’ bit.

10
October 5th, 2007 3:02 pm

I love this story. One of only submissions so far that I listen to repeatedly. More please!

11
Amber
January 28th, 2009 6:28 am

Its cute. Kinda happy she got messed up thou, she deserved it from my point of view. This story sound more like somthing youd tell your kid so they don’t go into the woods late at night. So it’s still horror.