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.

March 7th, 2008 12:17 pm

Didn’t know what to make of this one. The Dani Cutler choice of speaking voice was perfect, though.

March 7th, 2008 1:19 pm

I was listening to this story walking home from night shift, I didn’t need to hear that last bit 0.0

March 7th, 2008 1:48 pm

Not a fan of this one.

Love the flash fics though, keep ’em coming!

Mari Mitchell
March 7th, 2008 8:24 pm


March 8th, 2008 7:12 pm

…Wow. I really liked this one. It was disgusting and the description was incredible. I can still smell that sour, fat flesh. Disgusting!

March 8th, 2008 7:55 pm

ok good story, but i literally did have to stop and retch twice during my run.. nasty milkshake. bleah.

March 8th, 2008 9:08 pm

Saw it coming, way off.
I think it could have worked better.

March 9th, 2008 3:00 pm

I’m new to pseudopod, and I’m having fun getting caught up. I really enjoyed “Votary.” It reminded me just a little of “Grandma” by Stephen King, but was different enough that it didn’t seem at all like a re-telling.

I also liked how it touched on themes of feeling trapped in a relationship (from Anna’s perspective) and a child’s unquestioning devotion to a parent (from Katie’s) but in such a way that made me feel a little queasy.

March 9th, 2008 7:27 pm

I’m reminded of an old horror story I read about a boy who’s father stayed indoors all the time. Later, he had the boy board up all the windows to prevent light from entering the house. The boy’s father made him bring him cases of beer a few times a day. Pets in town started dissappearing, and a couple children too. When the menfolk eventually snuck into the house to see what was going on, the boys father had become a fungoid mass that attacked them. They escaped burned the house down and later remarked how it seemed the thing that attacked them…had been about to divide in 2. Anybody got the title of this one? I’ve been looking for it for years.

March 10th, 2008 8:55 am

R2k, I think the story you’re talking about is “Gray Matter” by Stephen King. It’s from his Night Shift collection.

March 11th, 2008 5:06 pm

sure, the plot was predictable but I think the story really keyed into the real life horror of those tied to duty by family bonds.

as much as a carer may dearly love those they care for, the duty of feeding and caring for a dependant can really abrade the soul

March 23rd, 2008 8:24 pm

Not guite horror in my view, but still funny, surreal and disturbing.

Reminds me of my grandad, he just sits there, the TV loud, very loud, and mumbles obscenities to what’s happing on the screen.