Archive for September, 2008

Pseudopod 109: In the Coils of the Serpent

By William Meikle

Read by K.J. Johnson

“So after he killed her he cut out the clitoris.”

“Well, that settles it – it can’t have been a man. If it had been, he’d never have found it.”

I looked up at her over the top of my drink, but there was no humour in her eyes – then again, there rarely was these days.

“I don’t know why I’m telling you all this anyway”, I said, taking a long swig of beer and brushing the foam from my upper lip. “If the boss ever finds out, I’ll be knocked back to traffic patrol – this is all supposed to be hush-hush – even the tabloids haven’t got hold of it yet.”

“I should hope not,” Jane Woolsey replied, “If they get so much as a whiff that I’m involved, you won’t see me for dust.”

I didn’t blame her. I remembered the last time – the finding of the body, the lurid headlines, the media circus permanently encamped on her doorstep. I would do everything in my power to make sure that didn’t happen again.

She was playing with her hair, twirling the blond tresses around her little finger. She had that faraway look in her eyes again, as if she was staring fixedly at something in the far distance that only she could see. I leaned over and took her hand.

“I’ll try to keep the press out of it, Jane – I really will.”

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Pseudopod 108: The Teacher

By Paul G. Tremblay

Read by Mur Lafferty

Days and weeks pass without another special lesson. We’ve had plenty of time to waste. Our first term grades are good and we lose ourselves in the responsibilities of senior year; of college recommendations and applications and social requirements.

On the first day of winter term the TV returns. Mr. Sorent doesn’t have to tell us what to do. We pull our chairs in tight and put away our books. Mr. Sorent says, “Lesson two, gang.”

There is a collage of clips and images, nothing in focus for more than a second or two, of car accidents. The kind of stuff some of us saw in driver’s ed. The images of crushed and limbless and decapitated bodies are intercut with scenes from funerals, and there are red-eyed family members, the ones who never saw any of it coming, wailing and crying and breaking apart.

Pseudopod 107: Front Row Seats

By Scott William Carter

Read by Rick Stringer

Daniel lingered in his cramped office at the University of Minnesota long
after the other professors in the Math department called it a day. He was
still there when all the lights under all the doors winked out and the
parking lot outside his window was a bleak, snow-draped emptiness. He was
at his desk when old Cal Thomas from Geography shuffled past, taking his
incessant coughing with him. He stayed until the equations on shifted
lattices turned to squirrelly nonsense, lines and squiggles on ruled
pages, until finally he felt the thing creep into his thoughts, that black
starfish wrapping its prickly limbs around whatever memories he chose to
dwell upon, making his ears ring and his eyes water.

Pseudopod 106: Jihad over Innsmouth

By Edward Morris

Read by Ben Phillips

A cold, black, liquescent fear laps at the edges of my heart as I approach the first gate in the long Caliph’s Maze of Airport Security. Some darker force is trying to sway me unobtrusively away, to make me renege my retainer’s oath, cut my losses and run headlong to South America with the dwindling remains of my bank account.

Should I die on my quest, a first-class seat in Paradise awaits me.
In my time, I have lived through every hell Shaitan could possibly devise right here on Earth, moving behind newspaper headlines which even Al-Jazeera fears to run. Enquiring minds want to know, but some truths are better left to the darkness at the center of the universe, to be drowned out by the skirlings of the blind piper and his retinue of idiot flute-players..