Pseudopod 071: The Intrusion

By Joel Arnold

Read by Ben Phillips

Okay, this is where it gets tricky. Confession time. The night I cheated on my wife -

No – let’s save that for later.

The night Mary wakes up and screams “I can hear him! Make him stop!”

“Honey, it’s nothing. Go back to sleep.”

She sits up staring blindly as I turn on the bedside lamp, “No, I heard him. I saw him. His shadow – like he was over me, breathing.”

“Settle down. You were having a bad dream.”

“No,” she insists. The bed shakes with her tremors. “No.”

“You were dreaming.”

She starts to cry.

01
January 4th, 2008 5:29 pm

Very, very creepy. I totally hope that kind of thing never happens to me. Robbery at gunpoint is about as scary as that ghost of you trying to do naughty things to your spouse.

02
Audita Sum
January 13th, 2008 6:43 pm

This might be the first Pseudopod that’s given me nightmares. Which is a good thing.

03
matthew
January 14th, 2008 12:08 am

awesomely creepy conclusion. love it.

04
January 21st, 2008 6:32 pm

Quite effectively disturbing from start to finish. A good blend of the darkness in everyday human hearts and just enough supernatural darkness. The ending followed through perfectly, without flinching or going soft.

05
Spork
January 24th, 2008 8:36 pm

I’m getting really tired of authors who are afraid of horror. Why not end it with his hand on her mouth and the knife on her throat? Or with a splash of blood on the bed sheets with a knife in his hand and a smile on his face? The hopeful endings do far more to negate the horror of the tale, rather than bring it home.

06
Trash
February 5th, 2008 7:53 pm

Hey Spork- you’re a big fan of Rob Zombie movies, ain’tcha?

07
Spork
February 6th, 2008 7:13 pm

Not at all, Trash. They suck. I’m not a fan of gore for the sake of gore, or shock value. But, the ending for this story does not engender feelings of dread or horror. An imminent threat of violence would actually be keeping with all that had been established in the story.

08
colin
March 18th, 2008 3:08 pm

Can this guy not read the story in a laundromat next time?
Way too much background noise.
Also wished the reader kept the nuances of his mouth and tongue to an inaudible level. No offense I just hear a lot of mouth noises also nose breathing. I would guess this man is a smoker.

09
Mari Mitchell
March 25th, 2008 5:03 pm

I did not hear any background noise.

I think this is well constructed but not my cup of tie.

10
July 23rd, 2009 4:11 am

Personally, I find the idea of the ongoing struggle with a deeply uncertain outcome to be far more frightening and affecting than any “imminent” violence could possibly be. The horror is the loss of control, the fear of being unable to close the door once opened.