Pseudopod 119: Pran’s Confession

By Joel Arnold

Read by Ben Phillips

The young men in Bangkok sometimes called him Grandpa or Uncle as he clutched
their lithe oiled bodies. His fingers grasped a bit too tight, his nails dug
into their skin and drew beads of blood. Sometimes he’d choke them, but never
enough to kill them. He had to be careful. He was gaining a reputation among
them, and a reputation was something he had to stay away from. But it was hard
not to let the old feelings overcome him, the memories flooding into his mind
of how it once felt to watch a life quickly fade behind the suffocating film of
a plastic bag.

Samnang startled. He clutched frantically at his shirt pocket. The piece of
paper was still there.

December 12th, 2008 5:37 pm

This story was incredible. Really well structured, and with a truly chilling ending. The best for a while. Again, nice outro.

December 13th, 2008 5:52 am

Is it possible for such people actually feel remorse? I think not, to create death and destruction on such a level requires such banality and lack of internal narrative i think that just doesn’t happen. If it did we would hear from them. History would be told thru their voices, not just thru their victims.

Kevin G.
December 13th, 2008 11:19 am

Ghosts….not scary. Freddy Kreuger…not scary. Vampires….not scary. There is nothing scarier than the horrific acts that mankind has done to his fellow man. This was a true horror story.

Another great outro…and some spiders are Scarey!!

December 15th, 2008 4:35 pm

Great story. I do agree with Phignewton about the lack of remorse in such people; but, it is the purpose of a story like this to fill our need for retribution/justice. Remorse is the dash of fantasy to spice our tale.

December 17th, 2008 1:38 am

Good solid writing, serious topic – really, only the odd start (male prostitute, why?) and the kids joining in seemed off. The flesh covered soccer ball was both very creepy and really silly – better to be left for another story. But the positives far outweighed the negatives.

Good stuff

Thanks for listening
“10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.”
Susan Sontag

December 18th, 2008 8:46 am

Recall that South Africa requested admission. And then forgave.
Nothing was said about forgetting.

December 22nd, 2008 3:11 pm

I always like it when atrocities are used as the backdrop for a horror tale.

Two things happen – the more important is that it raises awareness of the kinds of things that should never be repeated, and second – the combination of the atrocity’s horror, the knowledge that this kind of thing actually happened, and the horror elements of the story create an amplification that could never be achieved by pure fiction . . .

Powerful story. Read up about the actual killing fields if you don’t know about the subject already.