Archive for November, 2008

Pseudopod 118: Lala Salama

By Gill Ainsworth

Read by Heather Welliver

“You are lucky; I have already imparted that to you. It is the life inside you that is suffering.”

“The hospital doctor looked at my baby through my tummy. It’s happy and normal. Asifiwe Bwana!”

“You may praise The Lord, but He cannot alter this, Madam. I have told you that!” For the first time, Ess noticed anger in the Mganga’s voice. He swatted at flies again, taking his vengeance out on the insects. “The Lord will thank you if you kill it,” he said in a more gentle tone.

Ess stood. “Kill my baby! For what?” She dropped a couple of shillings at his feet, and then stomped across the dirt track to her car and Kazungu who was waiting to drive her home. As she climbed into the vehicle she shouted, “To keep you and your stupid superstitions in business?”

“Madam,” Kazungu said, as he put the car into first gear, “you should show Mganga respect. He is a very wise man.”

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Pseudopod 117: Deep Red

By Floris M. Kleijne

Read by Ben Phillips

Blood matting her blonde hair, blood on her face, blood covering so much of
her it takes a moment to see she is naked. The dream gives me an eternity to
see her. Eyes wide open and shining, shining. And she grins. That grin has
never stopped haunting me. In the dream, I know what she’s done in the
bedroom. And I’ve never seen her happier, more exulted.

Deep Red envelopes her, emanates from her every visible pore. It’s like she
has taken a bath in perfume. The scent engulfs me, blurs my mind, until I
smell only that and see only her grin. Her lips part, and in the dream, she
speaks two words.

“Hey, baby…” she says, and in the calm and affectionate tone of her words,
the horror of the dream reaches an unbearable level.

Full text available here

Pseudopod 116: Sick Day

By Michael Chant

Read by Elie Hirschman

As she leaves for work, my wife kisses me goodbye. It is love in the machine, passion stripped away on the assembly-line known as the workweek. Her car pulls out of the driveway, leaving me with more than an hour to kill before I have to go to work.

I empty a little plastic bag of capsules and gelcaps into my palm. These are all the vitamins a man my age should be taking. I wash them down with a glass of calcium-enriched orange juice, and then it’s time to shower. While lathering up, masturbation gets considered and rejected, the pleasure I would receive is found to be too fleeting to affect my mood. After rinsing and drying off, I pause to look at my face in the bathroom mirror. Seeing is believing — I look older than I am.

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Pseudopod 115: Clockwork

By Trent Jamieson

Read by Ben Phillips

Some places you visit in dreams again and again. Some places visit you. Fourteen and it found me.

I stood knee deep in grass, brittle, yellowing, summer grass. The citadel rose above me, its clockwork beat roaring in my head; gears and wheels rumbling, ticking, tocking, groaning under the weight of all that time.

On the furthest buttress from me, though I dared not look, I knew he would be there, a single figure hanging, broken-necked, spinning in short circles, dancing on the dry hot wind.

And because I was doomed, because the dream was a tide and inevitability, I walked towards the citadel.

When I was near, so close that I could almost touch it, the ground shook and the brass doors at the tower’s base flung open like the wings of an iron dragon and I stared into the guts of the machine.