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.

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.

September 12th, 2008 3:51 pm

Just didn’t feel like horror.

September 12th, 2008 5:04 pm

(1) 108 vs 107 ??
(2) links to download seem to be missing ??

September 12th, 2008 5:27 pm

The creepiest thing about this story is that I too have referred to my migraines as “my starfish”, as they crawl into my brain and sinuses. Not a pleasant suffering, and I feel some kinship to this protagonist. I’m not sure how I feel about the story as a whole; I would rather that it had left more mysteries.

September 13th, 2008 1:49 am

Is there a reading here? I don’t see any either.

September 13th, 2008 6:08 pm

Hello everyone:)

Technical hitches are ongoing at the moment. Which is why the flash player, as I write this, does not appear to be up. Sorry about that.

My crass inability to count? That, may take a while longer:)

September 14th, 2008 3:22 pm

Story all right, but not really horror. Seems a while since we had anything actually scary.
Alisdair- your intros still sound like you are eating your microphone or something – maybe you need a new one? I did used to enjoy listening to them but due to crap sound quality I just fast-forward through them to the stories now. Shame if it puts off any would-be new listeners who might the think the whole podcast will sound as if taped outside on a tiny cassette recorder.

September 14th, 2008 10:01 pm

Katy – mind if I ask what equipment you’re using? We can’t hear the problem, on several types of speakers/headphones here. I’m just curious.

Brave Space Monkey
September 15th, 2008 7:34 pm

Intro sounded fine! using cheap OEM speakers that came with office PC.

September 16th, 2008 3:34 pm

horror possibly as a pre-ocupation with suffering and painfullness… as in ‘heres a big pail of suffering, lets spread it around and wallow in it’, probably not for those looking for a cathartic spraying of dystopian jugular fluids.

September 22nd, 2008 4:35 pm

Starfish in head could be horror, if they crawl in nose as larvae, migrate to pineal gland and then grow.

September 29th, 2008 3:31 pm

I really loved this one. There is a slow dread here that I enjoyed. A little bit of mystery, bit of sorrow, and a resignation that makes it all snap into place.

Ogion The Silent
September 30th, 2008 4:47 am

Terrible audio for me too. I think the recording level is too high. I’m using a different mp3 player than usual but it plays everything else just fine, so there’s obviously some eldritch conjunction of pseudopod and certain playback equipment which summons the Great Old Ones from their restless slumber.

Sorry, I think I got sidetracked there.

October 14th, 2008 5:31 pm

Whereas I didn’t find this story too horrific, I thought the narration was read wonderfully. As good of a tale as it is (while not being terror-inducing) Mr Stringer is the star of the story.

October 21st, 2008 6:10 pm

Personally I really Alisdair’s intros. There are times it sounds like he is too close to the mike, but what he says and how he says it are more entraining them some harsh sssss.

I did not like Rick Stringer’s reading. It was SLOOOW.

The story to me was dark fantasy. I think it was at best light horror.

October 25th, 2008 2:20 am

One of the most touching stories, and chilling – a definite favourite Pseudopod of all time for me. Brilliant story by Scott William Carter and such evocative reading by Rick Stringer. Well done!