Pseudopod 056: Crab Apple

By Patrick Samphire

Read by Rich Sigfrit

“Josh.” His voice was hoarse, like he’d been shouting.

“How are you doing, Dad?” I tried to stop my voice shaking. I didn’t want to seem like a kid.

“Been better, been worse.” He worked his lips, as though his mouth was dry. “See, the old devil’s put his hand into my chest, lad. Left a bit of a gift for me.”

He coughed. His thin chest shuddered. He turned and spat into a metal bowl by his bed. The spit was thick and threaded with blood. He gave me a painful grin.

September 23rd, 2007 11:05 am

I liked this story. I thought the interaction between Josh and Emma was more fascinating than Crab and her being taken over, though. Like (Ben?) said, the good horror was kind of hidden in the real-life problems.

I give this story 4/5 apples on the story meter and 2/5 on the scary meter.

Keep it coming, pseudopod!

October 3rd, 2007 11:38 am

Not to be a killjoy. I just hate hopeful endings. Well written otherwise!

October 4th, 2007 2:13 pm

Hmmm. Not “scary” at first listen, but the horror, I think, rests not in the fantasy of the story but in the reality of it: death, loss, fear and transformation. Well written!

October 5th, 2007 6:46 am

Not scary, and the reading had some unfathomable problems. I’m from America, and I know that ‘tonne’ and ‘ton’ are pronounced the same.

Stephen Middleton
October 8th, 2007 5:44 pm

Nice story, but I thought it was a crib on the two Star Trek episodes titled “The Menagerie” (parts 1 and 2).

October 17th, 2007 12:53 pm

I liked the story very much and have listened to it about three times.
The only problem, and it’s very minor, is that lung cancer shows up as a radiodensity, which would make the tumor appear whiter, not darker, but I have to acknowledge that pointing out a “black” spot on a film is more poetically apt and much more ominous than pointing out something “white.” (Kind of loses the punch.)
Funny how people like me will point out an insignificant flaw like this, but have no problem accepting tree monsters and girls with leaves growing from their heads!
Anyway, the story worked for me on many levels. Topnotch.
Keep the podcasts coming!

October 23rd, 2007 11:13 pm

Another story I feel doesn’t really fit the genre, more fantasy to me. But besides that I really enjoyed it. I found the interaction between Josh and Emma to be the most interesting, and felt a little sad for Crab in the end, as his existence was probably rather lonely.

Dave (aka Nev the Deranged... or is it the other way around?)
November 4th, 2007 4:06 pm

The more stories you can get from Realms of Fantasy, the better. It’s the only fiction mag I currently subscribe to, and I’ve yet to read one in there I thought was crap.

November 25th, 2007 11:15 pm

I finally just listened to this story. I’d agree with most other commenter’s, maybe this story isn’t really horror, it really seems too hopeful, especially the ending.