Archive for May, 2008

Pseudopod 92: The Sloan Men

The Sloan Men

By David Nickle

Mrs. Sloan had only three fingers on her left hand, but when she
drummed them against the countertop, the tiny polished bones at the
end of the fourth and fifth stumps clattered like fingernails. If
Judith hadn’t been looking, she wouldn’t have noticed anything strange
about Mrs. Sloan’s hand.

“Tell me how you met Herman,” said Mrs. Sloan. She turned away from
Judith as she spoke, to look out the kitchen window where Herman and
his father were getting into Mr. Sloan’s black pickup truck. Seeing
Herman and Mr. Sloan together was a welcome distraction for Judith.
She was afraid Herman’s stepmother would catch her staring at the
hand. Judith didn’t know how she would explain that with any grace:
Things are off to a bad enough start as it is.

Full text available here


Pseudopod 91: Caesar’s Ghost

By Eugie Foster

Read by Cat Rambo

I saw my dead ferret, Caesar, last night in my living room. I’d dozed off
watching re-runs on TV and woke up to the tickle-prick of whiskers against
my hand. When I looked down and saw him, I picked him up and settled him
under my chin. We’d always slept like that on the couch, him nestled
against me, a warm weight rising and falling as I breathed.

I closed my eyes and remembered; Caesar was dead. I sat up, bang, and he
was gone.

I told Richard about it the next morning at work.

“I think my ferret’s haunting me,” I said, hoping to start things on a light
note after our rocky parting the previous evening.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Kathy,” he snapped back.

It was the first time he’d ever been sharp with me. An awkward silence
sprang up and clocked in for the long haul.

This week’s episode sponsored by, who has extended their generous offer of a free audiobook download of your choice from their selection of over 40,000 titles.


Pseudopod 90: The Exhibition

By Melinda Selmys

Read by Heather Welliver

This was the first time in over a century that Garnet had found the courage to attend an exhibition. In those days the fashion had been deliberate deformity; men made with the faces of beasts, or misshapen into the likeness of a turning screw. The art of it had been to make the most severe possible departure from the human form, without creating something too monstrous to be viable; apparently, things had grown worse in a hundred and fifty years.

“Give us a blessing, little mother,” the man standing next to Garnet said to her. He clearly fancied himself a critic of the arts, dressed in the new-style – layers of expensive cloth and furs draped so that they loudly proclaimed the wealth of one who could afford natural fabrics, while doing nothing to clothe or obscure the body of the wearer. His laugh was as joyless and acerbic as bubbling vinegar.

“That one only blesses monsters,” his companion, who was neither male nor female, sipped its wine and ran its fingers along the surface of the blood-drenched ice.

This week’s episode sponsored by The Shadow Pavilion by Liz Williams, out now from Night Shade Books.


Pseudopod 89: Wounds


by Celia Marsh

I cut myself when I was younger, trying to make my outsides match my insides. I slit my wrists in the bath the night that my mother told
me she’d only asked for custody so my father couldn’t have me. Slit them the right way, palm to elbow. I passed out from blood loss, but
woke when the water grew cold, pale new skin glowing beneath the dried blood, beneath the murky water. I could cut myself and watch it heal, almost before I put the knife down. Once I let the knife dig deeply while cooking dinner at my father’s house, through the bone in my
thumb. Even the nail was back by morning.

I’ve pierced my ears so many times I’ve lost count. If I sleep without earrings in they heal over before morning, and I must redo them before class, or go without earrings that day. Tattoos last longer. The colors melt back into my skin within a month, white and yellow first, blue and the black outlines last. By the time I moved back to my father’s house, the tattoo I would have gotten to annoy my mother would be all but gone. By the time I came back to her house, she would have forgotten it completely.