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.

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March 21st, 2008 3:03 pm

Eh, preferred the sandwich story.

This has been done. If I hear or read one more story about evil animals…

I normally try to listen all the way through, but I gave up on this one after the narrator got it in the temple.

March 21st, 2008 9:48 pm

I quite enjoyed this. Very creepy, and I thought the reader’s voice really did justice to the story.

March 21st, 2008 11:37 pm

It was predictable and hard to listen to. In the future, if Pseudopod has nothing better to play I would prefer they played nothing at all.

I’m sorry to be so harsh, I love Pseudopod and really do appreciate the work that the makers put into it to entertain us. Thank you very much.

Mari Mitchell
March 22nd, 2008 3:38 am

Sometimes I think the mark of any good story or art or song is it ability to for people to love it or hate it. Neither is wrong.

I liked the story. But I like stories about crows and a like.

Frankly I cannot see how the grace of the words escaped those who disliked the story. But them my tastes can go against many.

I loved this story. It is one I will cherish. Already it tucked into my heart.

March 22nd, 2008 12:59 pm

Great story with an unexpected twist at the end. Beautifully written and narrated. What’s not to like?

March 22nd, 2008 4:55 pm

The grace of the words, as Mari puts it, was pleasant and effective. Particularly in the voice of the Word Whore. But I feel that the story itself was sloppy and uninspired. The conceit didn’t really break the gravity of Hitchcock’s the Birds and the conclusion was profoundly unsatisfying. The narrator’s transformation wasn’t given the attention it deserved. Sorry to be a downer.

March 23rd, 2008 12:33 pm

Not your best work.

March 23rd, 2008 8:59 pm

i don’t know how the grace of the words escaped me either, but they did. by a lot. i’ve been listening to pseudopod since the begining, and this was the worst story yet.

i did like the word-whore. it was the story that felt like nails pounded into my ears.

March 24th, 2008 12:46 am

The story is truly creepy and is so because of the great choice of words. It’s unfortunate that there are close minded insecure readers (also whom i assume think that they are fantastic writers or just insecure about their own works) that they feel the need to be so harsh. Of course you can please everyone but really, take into account the the long grueling proces involved and maybe you’ll think again before making such comments.

March 25th, 2008 2:24 pm

I really enjoyed this story, kinda creepy to listen to while driving down a dark rainy mountain. Looking forward to your next story. People mostly place negative comment on peoples work that the envy. I think the masses would agree. Keep up the great work.

March 26th, 2008 5:50 am

The writer has such vivid imagination, and her writing is superb. I don’t understand those who think otherwise.

March 26th, 2008 12:07 pm

A fascinating tale, elegantly conceived . . . . I like this story a lot. It has much to say about the human condition to those who are willing to listen. Imaginative, beautifully written, evocative . . . .

March 28th, 2008 1:07 am


March 31st, 2008 7:55 pm

Man, I dunno what to think about this one. Interesting concept, but it just didn’t grab me, you know?

Mitch Small
April 4th, 2008 2:49 am

Great narration can only go so far. Progress is slow and predictable.

April 7th, 2008 7:21 pm

I would like to nominate the posts of chinawhite and Rob as “things of which I am accused of doing, but never actually do in any of my posts.”

Now that’s out of the way…

This story was dull. Extremely dull. I, too, stopped after the temple piercing. Also, having the story read by someone with only one emotional tone to her voice was tedium heaped onto boredom. Also, in continuing the fine Pseudopod tradition of having the wrong people read the wrong stories, every time I listen to an American describe something as bloody, I keep wondering why _____ was covered in blood. Please stop doing this. There’s a cultural element to just colloquialisms and that element is lost when you have have a narrator lacking in the foundations of that culture read them. Just stop it, already.

April 13th, 2008 4:42 pm

I have deleted several communications between Spork, Chinawhite, and Rob as irrelevant to the general public’s interest. I could split hairs further (I’m looking at you, comments 9, 10, and 16 too) but basically: everyone please comment on the story, not on other commenters, nor even moderation policy. If you want to discuss such things, start a thread on — preferably under “About Pseudopod” if you want to make sure I see it — and try to be as specific as possible about the nature of the complaint. Thanks everyone.

April 13th, 2008 10:07 pm

Thank you Ben.. i feel cleansed. Good Karma to all.

April 14th, 2008 12:00 am

well said ben… thank you

April 16th, 2008 12:25 am

good stories

April 22nd, 2008 10:02 am

The story was ok. But the 100th monkey effect is bullocks, Mr. Stuart!

June 12th, 2008 2:29 pm

I thought this was going to be some sort of homage to Hitchcock, especially when she went after the escaped crow and found the little boy’s bracelet. But then, when the narrator described later what had happened to her, I stopped and said, “WHAT, you got to be kidding me!” What is the deal, here. Was she a human-sized crow, or a crow-sized crow, or what? And why?! This reminds me of the movie, The Fly, where Jeff Goldblum’s character has chunks of flesh falling off him, revealing the fly underneath. At least there, there was a reason for the transformation. The author’s brain must have jumped track at some point and got her genres mixed up.

Nope, sorry. Didn’t do it for me.