Archive for March, 2008
Pseudopod 83: Heartstrung

By Rachel Swirsky

Read by Heather Welliver

One, two, three, the needle swoops.

Pamela squirms as the needle cuts into her sensitive heart tissue. “It hurts!”

“Shh,” the seamstress says. “It’s almost done, honey. Just a few more
stitches and you’ll be like mommy.”

The seamstress bends forward as she presses her needle into her
daughter’s heart for another stitch, squinting to make sure she sews
tight and even. As she pulls the thread taut, she realizes this stitch
marks the midpoint – she’s now halfway finished sewing Pamela’s heart
onto her sleeve.

Today’s Sponsor:

Infected by Scott Sigler

Pseudopod 82: The Language of Crows

By Mary E. Choo

Read by The Word Whore

“Susie… Susan…” Jeremy’s eyes struggle to find me. His voice is coarse, beleaguered. “I must know how everything….”

“Jeremy, love… everything’s fine,” I interject. “Min’s round and about, Fidel has been fed, and Edward is coming today, with the papers you wanted.”

Edward, Jeremy’s solicitor, has been back and forth with his secretary a lot lately, regarding Jeremy’s will. Edward did tell me, last time, that he’s getting concerned, in view of Jeremy’s extreme medication and state of mind. Most of the estate and the house go to me, but… well… after… I’d rather not stay.

Today’s Sponsor:

Infected by Scott Sigler

Pseudopod 81: It’s Easy to Make a Sandwich

By SL Bickley

Read by Ben Phillips

You know what goes into each variety — you’d better, you’ve gone
over it enough times. You know what’s in each of the recessed boxes
in the counter.

Meats: Salami, pepperoni, roast beef, turkey, tuna salad, meatballs,
chicken salad. Bacon’s in the narrow coffin-like depression, dead

Cheeses: American, white American, pepper jack, Colby, provolone.

Vegetables: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, shredded carrots, peppers (red
bell, green bell, jalapeño, banana), black olives, pickles.

Sauces: mustard, mayonnaise, chipotle mayonnaise, Italian, light
Italian, ranch, all in upside down squeeze bottles. Oil and vinegar
in cruets. Shakers of salt-and-pepper, oregano, Lawry’s Seasoned

It’s a lot to keep track of. At least, it’s a lot for the mind to
keep track of.

It’s easy to make a sandwich if you switch off your mind.

Today’s Sponsor:

Infected by Scott Sigler

The Pseudopod Autopsy: Stephen King’s 1408

A man alone in a hotel room. The past, present and future colliding beneath banal wallpaper, store bought faux art and carefully neutral furniture. A courtesy phone, a mini bar and every surface covered in the blood of the previous victims. 1408 is a meticulously constructed assault on reality itself, a film where the normal is abnormal and where it’s a very, very bad idea to try and steal the complimentary towels. So glove up, and join us as we pull the most evil room in the world apart apart and find out what makes it tick.

Flash: The Little Match Girl

By Angela Slatter

Read by Dani Cutler

The walls are a hard patchwork of rough stones. In some places, there’s the dark green of moss, birthed by moisture and the breath of fear. In others there’s nothing but black. Soot from torches has gathered so thickly that I could scratch my name into it, if I knew how to write. The floor wears scattered straw for a coat, stinking and old. No natural light comes into this place, there’s not even a window, the aperture bricked up long ago so no one could flee. And it stinks; the waste bucket sits festering in the corner.

I haven’t seen a mirror in weeks, so I conjure my face in my mind: pale skin, green eyes, black hair. Almost against my will, I superimpose the marks of my stay: dirty smudges on the skin, the eyes red-rimmed, the hair a storm cloud of filth. I try to smooth the ghostly suffering away, try to see my eighteen year old face as it was, but it’s no use. I’m forever marked. I close my eyes, tightly.
In my hand, a weight. A matchbox, silver and hard. Inside are four matches with the power to show me the moments when my life turned, when doors opened and closed, and my path changed forever. I open the matchbox and strike the first match.

Pseudopod 80: Votary

By MK Hobson

Read by Dani Cutler

One day Mom came home from work early. Votary found her sitting on the
porch talking with Mr. Dubeck, the postman. He had his bag next to him,
full of mail. He was bald and skinny, with neck muscles that stuck out
and jumped around when he laughed. He had strong muscular legs,
rippling and hard, and they had fine golden hairs on them that shone in
the sun. He was sitting on the stairs below my mother, in the late
afternoon sunshine.

She was sitting in the cool shadow, speaking quietly, her hands clasped
together. The thumb of one hand was stroking the palm of the other. She
was sitting back under the overhang of the roof; her face was darkened
by the heavy shadow. Mr. Dubeck had his head inclined sympathetically
toward her.

They weren’t talking about mail.

Flash: The Closet

By Barton Paul Levenson

Read by Alasdair Stuart

London, 1847. A tall, thin young man came into a shop and nervously removed his top hat. Snow fell silently in the streets as the sun went down. The cobbled street held no carriages or other pedestrians.

The proprietor stood behind the counter. He was taller and fatter than the young man. He had jowls, and hair that was black on top and white in the sideburns. “And what may I do for you today, sir?”

The young man gulped and fidgeted with his hat for a moment. Then he seemed to grow calm. “I am here to see about a closet,” he said firmly.