Pseudopod 059: Fever

By David Malki !

Read by Dani Cutler

The sisters sat in the back seat, bundled up against winter, as the car idled in the driveway. Julie hunched low, staring at the seat in front of her; Emma slumped against the opposite window, staring at the snow that blanketed the world, staring at her friends, lying silently asleep.

“You’re such a freak,” Julie snarled. “You’re always causing such problems. Why can’t you just be normal.”

“I’m hot,” Emma croaked.

“Well, it’s like thirty degrees out there, have at it,” Julie said, and unclicked Emma’s seat belt.

Emma bounded from the car and ran to join her friends, feeling the refreshing rush of snow on her face. They cheered as she rubbed the ice into her skin, feeling weight lift from her lungs. She breathed in the cold deeply, and became more alive: she noticed the tang of pine in the air; smelled the dirty heat of the car’s exhaust.

She felt a deep hatred for her sister rise. Her friends felt it too. They didn’t need to be told what to do.

October 12th, 2007 6:34 pm

Good story. I both love and hate how ambiguous reality was. If she really -did- whisk away her whole family, that’s pretty damn creepy.

October 12th, 2007 7:17 pm

I can’t hear or download anything more than 2 seconds of the intro for this one.

October 14th, 2007 3:50 am

Another great story. Thanks; Love the show.

October 15th, 2007 1:33 pm

Is anyone still having problems getting this file? It seems to be working for me right now, for whatever that’s worth. If you have trouble getting it via this website, try clearing your browser’s cache and then hitting it again. And please send any technical issues directly to me at so we can do whatever it takes to get it working for you. Thanks!

October 26th, 2007 11:04 pm

Seriously now. What’s with all the readers who have no idea how to correctly pronounce basic words in the English language?

The word was loped, NOT lopped. Her friends were running, loping, alongside the vehicle; not lopping. To lop is to cut.

I know you might think it’s clever to have Aussie’s reading stories set in America, and Americans reading stories set in Australia so each can buther the other’s version of English, but this was just plain stupid. At what point should it have occurred to Ms. Cutler to look up the pronunciation of this word? During her dry run read-through.

But, if she’d done that, it wouldn’t have had the same start and stop style where she reads a sentence or two and pauses for no good reason. However would I have enjoyed the reading, if it had actually been read competently? Good heavens, we can’t have that!

I suppose I should be happy this had an ending for a change. Two endings, really.

A whining main character.
April 4th, 2008 7:46 am

Whining reptition, not a good idea. One unique idea, frost monsters, the rest was just a complaing little girl. A description of the frost monsters could have been interesting, but was not done.

July 25th, 2009 4:00 am

Delightfully ambiguous!

I wonder where Emma came from. A changeling of the Winter Court, perhaps…?