Pseudopod 050: Everyone Carries a Shadow

By Stephen Gaskell

Read by Paul S. Jenkins

My brother’s death didn’t need to meaningless. It would be my spur to reveal the cruel practices that go for treatment in our mental institutions up and down this land. I would become a patient and expose these places from the inside. This then is the true reason for my absence from these pages. For the last three weeks, unknown to all but a select few personages, I have been a resident of Bedlam. What I discovered will sound like one of Aesop’s fabulous tales, or perhaps, more pertinently, the ravings of a madman, but I swear by the light of the Lord, all that you will read ahead is a true account of events.

August 10th, 2007 2:50 pm

How delighted I was to hear you mention our lovely Providence, RI, and the Lovecraft Tour there. As a native of the area, yes, I too am familiar with that Innsmouth look that really is carried by so many there. Other taints are visible (or felt) as well, as you may know.
Anthropological observations aside, I enjoyed this tale quite a bit. There is something about early insane asylums, a feeling that the ‘rules’ don’t apply in places like that, that makes them such fertile settings for tales like this.

August 10th, 2007 7:27 pm

Great..great story!!

August 10th, 2007 8:58 pm

Hm. Can’t say this was my favorite, but it was interesting. I like the way the story was written. I wonder what happened to the main character…

I -can- say, however, that this is my first time posting onto pseudopod. I’ve listened to about 5 or 6 stories so far, and I think this website is incredible. I’m telling anyone I know who would be interested in it, so keep it up!

In the future, I think it would be cool to have more stories like Bliss, Paper Diane, or Liberation. And Big Boy, which was pretty much my favorite!

Dark Seducer
August 18th, 2007 11:55 am

This story should be made into a short film.
Nice work.

August 20th, 2007 2:20 am

I kind of liked it. It left a few questions unanswered and had a few misplaced time references but it was a pretty well written story and well read.

August 21st, 2007 6:30 am

Predictable ending. bleh.

Dave (aka Nev the Deranged... or is it the other way around?)
August 23rd, 2007 8:41 pm

So, was it really his shadow or his brother’s? Once more, this sounds like a great beginning to something. I suppose it had *something* of a resolution, which is more than I can say for Big Boy.

It was interesting to hear the protagonist, who had started out all scientific and rational, so quickly revealed how by comparison to modern understanding, he was just as benighted and backward in his conceptions as anyone of his day.

I had recently been wondering about the origins of the word “bedlam”, and it was fortuitous to get my education at the hands (er, tentacles) of the ‘pod.

Bright Lies
August 24th, 2007 1:28 am

Long time Escape Pod listener, first time poster:

I felt like this story was cut off halfway through.


August 24th, 2007 12:56 pm

I really enjoyed it. Probably because I’m in the middle of reading a Lovecraft anthology. Asylums are always a good setting for horror.

March 15th, 2008 11:29 pm

excellent!!, a gripping piece mate, and yes a short film or series could be the way forward buddy.
get your inkwell open and pick up your quill. can’t wait to hear some more Steve.