Pseudopod 105: Pattern Masters

By Jeff Carlson

Read by David Moore

Sauber wasn’t crazy. He’d planned on never hitting the same place twice. He even kept a check-list — near the toilet, in case it needed to be destroyed in a hurry. But two hundred and nine days crawled past before he’d bagged every store in Berkeley and Oakland, so it seemed impossible that anyone would remember him at Greenwald’s, his favorite. His first.

Sauber was at the register before the girl stopped him. “Those are mine,” she said, reaching out.

He held the packet against his chest. “What?”

“Look at the label.”

Of course he’d already studied it carefully. Thirty-six exposures, regular 35mm film. Jennifer Crisp. The address, written in delicate cursive, was just two blocks from here.

01
Luniara
August 29th, 2008 12:18 pm

As always, you guys do not fail to please! After listening to all of the casts you’ve done, I only wish there could be more!

This story was just EPIC!

(Have you guys thought of doing the flash casts every month or so! Those are always the most creepy!)

02
David
August 29th, 2008 10:05 pm

good story, interesting main character.

03
August 30th, 2008 4:23 am

i rather enjoy these ‘lonley guy horror’ stories

04
phignewton
September 3rd, 2008 5:45 am

whuuut?? the story [spoiler alert!] ends with crazy loner guy wielding a powersaw and nobody is gonna get hurt??! thats almost like.. its not a horror story! more like… a story of weird but calculating artistic types who are all ooookayyyyy. Dont get me wrong, i’m glad hes ok.. phewww. Oh and i love the bit where shes tossed out weird photo guy in favor of weird radio fellow, weird radio fellows need the love to.

05
Brave Space Monkey
September 4th, 2008 6:31 pm

the scary bit is how much data the credit companies have on us…

06
September 5th, 2008 7:16 pm

I was quite pleased by the twist at the end – I’d figured that the outcome was predictable and inevitable by that point. I am glad to see that the author recognized my cynicism about the genre in advance and chose to surprise me.

07
Spork
September 8th, 2008 6:25 am

This story combined aspects of One Hour Photo and Factotum into a story that was more art scam and a criticism of commercialism and consumerism than it was about anything even remotely horrific.

08
September 8th, 2008 9:21 pm

Hey, this reminds me of Galatea, which was on Podcastle recently.

Um… It was an okay story. Didn’t really grab me, and it wasn’t all that horrorible, but it was good for what it was.

09
Ogion The Silent
September 11th, 2008 2:28 am

I was also struck with the coincidental similarities to Galatea. Apart from that, this was one of those rare pseudopod stories that I just couldn’t get into at all.

10
September 15th, 2008 9:58 pm

It didn’t end in actual gore, but I found his obsession with other people’s photos to be very creepy. Pictures you take are very personal, and if the envelope is stolen negatives and all, irreplaceable. She invades the privacy of strangers too, through the credit card records, so she is just as weird.

11
Skewed-View
September 16th, 2008 4:27 pm

Great Story.
More homage to Chuck Palahniuk then horror. But Chuck is a great writer.
And, if the expectation of a horrific act makes a story horror. Then there you go.

12
PK
September 19th, 2008 6:48 pm

is this even horror at all?

13
Quentin
October 22nd, 2008 10:05 am

Not great horror. Solid reading and writing but the story is at best drama. Why it showed up here, I have no idea.