Pseudopod 120: Iowa Highway

By Brendan Detzner

Read by Ralph Walters

The first thing they did when they took a trip like this was pick new names. This time they were Michael and Jennifer. The house was empty when they got there; it was beautiful, the summer home of very wealthy people. The interior was an open shell, rugs on a stone panel floor with a kitchen in back and an open-sided spiral staircase that led up to a balcony bedroom and another set of stairs in back that led to a kitchen. The house was surrounded by grass, which was surrounded by woods, which were surrounded by a wooden fence.
They took their clothes off as soon as they got inside. Jennifer threw hers in the corner; Michael left a trail, starting with his shirt at the front door and ending with his underwear at the kitchen.
“Jesus, I’m hungry…” He stopped suddenly and looked at her sheepishly, like a dog that knows it’s done something wrong.
“No, I didn’t mean…”
Jennifer shook her head. “I know you didn’t. Don’t worry.”
She hoisted herself up onto the counter, put her hand on his shoulder, and tilted her head to the side.
He spit on her neck. His saliva was bright green; it hissed like oil in a frying pan, and a second later there was a swollen red mark on her neck. He nibbled on it gently, and her skin tore and split like tissue paper. She closed her eyes as he pressed his mouth against the wound.
They stayed at the house for about two weeks.

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val grimm
December 16th, 2008 2:10 pm

Your appear to have a lengthy compositor’s error. The sample text appears to have been copied from last week’s story….

December 17th, 2008 1:51 am

Patchy, uneven, seemed to follow thoughts down dead ends and then track back. The start was promising. Was it a fractured time narrative or did it just lose its way?

Agree about the voices – none seemed to work and the “rural trucker” voice/s (couldn’t tell where the primary narrator started and the asshole who only talked about politics and sex ended, confusing the story) sounded so much like Matt Besser from UPRIGHT CITIZEN’S BRIGADE doing his “redneck” character that it was hard to take seriously. A shame, as there were some nice moments.


Thanks for listening

“If you are different from the rest of the flock, they bite you.”

Vincent O’ Sullivan, “The Next Room” (1928)

December 31st, 2008 3:51 am

Fabulous reading. What a voice. I am wondering if the I missed something b/c I was wondering what the motivation was for the creatures/killers (was it the need to breed??) and if the reason the ‘hero’ got to walk away was b/c he was a god fearin’ man…really, in a horror story? Belief in -fill in the blank w/ irrational belief system- can save you from -fill in the blank w/ undisclosed and undefinable evil belief system-?? Say it ain’t so Joe!

June 13th, 2009 8:06 pm

I couldn’t follow it.