Flash: Questions

By Edward Webb

Read by Ben Phillips

“Name’s Claude,” he says. “You’re new.”

I nod again, still looking out into the empty street near the alley. It’s bad enough that I’ve lost everything in my life – my job, my home, my family. But now a chilling realization splashes over me: I am going to be trapped in this alleyway, melting snow soaking into my shoes, listening to a disfigured man with breath as stale as his conversation, forever. This isn’t just another November night. It’s a pit of hell that I’m trapped in, a punishment for my unknown crimes against the universe.

“Sometimes the innocent are put in jail, and the guilty go free.”

Surprised by the comment, I turn back to him. “What?”

Claude’s face twists into a grin, his scar stretched into a new, more hideous shape. “That’s what I like about new guys. They ask questions.”

Music mixed by Navicon Torture Technologies from recordings available from ANNIHILVS:
1. “Instrument Landing System” by Propergol, from the GPWS CD
2. “Rent Boy” by IRM, from the CD, The Cult of the Young Men
3. Gutterballads Vol II, track VI by Wilt, from the Gutterballads Vol II CD-R

September 24th, 2007 6:04 pm

Nicely creepy, I thought. I can definitely identify with the protagonist — probably most people can — and that makes it work all the better.

Edward Webb
September 24th, 2007 6:20 pm

God damn! That was a kick-ass production, Ben. The music was a fantastic supplement to your reading, and your interpretation of Claude was just how I imagined it. Thank you so much!

September 26th, 2007 3:37 am


September 26th, 2007 11:40 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to do this, Ben! I definitely would love to produce some more audio for Pseudopod stories in the near future! and Ben, I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the music, I think the tracks i selected worked perfectly with the tone of the story, and it makes me feel great to know that you as the author appreciated what I’ve done.

September 26th, 2007 11:42 pm

Duh, sorry, I meant Edward!
TLC Life lesson # 72: ‘Merlot and email don’t mix’

September 28th, 2007 7:31 am

Great story. I loved the music that went with it, too! It was creepy…

September 29th, 2007 3:04 am

Superb! Excellent reading and excellent story. This is what makes flash fiction great; mood and imagery.

October 3rd, 2007 11:40 am

Loved the story, loved the music. I wish every story Pseudopod put out had this sort of production style.


October 5th, 2007 6:44 am

The story was passable, but the delay between the pseudopod intro and the tinkly music intro of the flash piece was too long. It’s also far too much production for just a flash piece. Why does a flash need it’s own intro after the basic intro? Too much self-indulgent fluff.

Next time you have a story you think is deserving of its own intro, use it instead of the pseudopod intro. It’ll make the production something special, instead of something more akin to a well-manicured hand inside someone else’s well-worn leather work glove.

November 25th, 2007 11:51 pm

I really get much more freaked out by your flash pieces than the longer stories. They have such great production behind them and they hit so hard so fast I don’t have time to mentally prepare and get myself un-scared.