Archive for January, 2009
Pseudopod 127: The Garden and the Mirror

By Tim W. Burke

Read by Alasdair Stuart

She asked me, “Will you teach the secrets of the soul and flesh?”

Her eyes glowed like onyx in the gaslight. Her skin seemed translucent, but the young man fidgeting beside her on my drawing room sofa was paler still. His fine suit and shirt sagged on him; the cadaver in him emerging.

The young man blanched at her boldness, “My wife has always been an enthusiast for mysticism. Back home in Atlanta, we tried homeopathy, faith healing, and God knows how many quacks. But the tumor grows. My fevers are getting worse. I can’t even travel home because my head aches –”

“Mr. Alecsandri,” the young woman, Olivia Spalding, leaned to me, “Our friends here told us that you cured their little boy of consumption.”

“I remember the case. I taught the boy to banish it.”

For the follow-up to this story, please check out “The Mother And The Worm”

and then proceed to “Nourished By Chaff, We Believe The Glamor”, part of the Trio of Terror.

Pseudopod 126: The Ashen Thing

By Paul Mannering

Read by Ben Phillips

I dropped the half-eaten turkey on rye back on my plate and stared
darkly at the new wheel-chair ramp, a big yellow exclamation mark
visible from the sidewalk. Warning! Freak in Residence! Imagining the
whispered concerns of our new neighbors was fuel for the fire of my
self-pity. I was so lost in my gloomy fantasy that I did not notice
the first tapping until it became a knocking, and then a scrape. As if
someone had hit the wooden deck under my wheels and then dragged a
hands worth of nails along it. I glanced around; Tammy had not
re-emerged. I looked down. A glint of something wet. Something like an
eye or wet flesh, staring up from the darkness under the deck. I
twisted the steel rims under my hands and adjusted my position to look
again. The thing was gone. I listened, and for a moment, I heard a
sound like a wet blanket dragging on dirt, then Tammy re-appeared and
the sound was lost under her footsteps and sigh of satisfaction.

“You done?” she asked, indicating my abandoned plate with one moisturized hand.

“Yeah, thanks,” I was still turning the fragment of a moment over in
my mind. I had seen an eye. Someone was under our house. Crawling in
the dust and dirt, under the decking, under the floors, slithering
around the concrete pilings, the ducting of the central heating that
terminated in black metal grills in our floors and doing what?
Listening? Searching for a way to break in?

Pseudopod 125: The Interview

By Mike Norris

Read by Dani Cutler


“With eight years property management experience under your belt, I really see no reason to fax over your resume. Tell you what, I’m wide open this morning. I need to run an errand, pick up a few things for the interview, but why don’t you just come on down to Grisholm’s Corporate Towers and we’ll have a quick chat?”

“Right now? I mean … sure, I’d love to meet with you. But what time were you thinking?”

“I’m thinking eleven o’clock. And when you get here, Becky, just come on down to the basement. I’ll be waiting.”



Pseudopod 124: Scavenger

By Jonathan Kuhn

Read by Alasdair Stuart.

Sponsored by CONTAGIOUS, by Scott Sigler.

No end in sight. He tossed aside the empty water bottle, now useless.
One bottle left. Two more liters. But in this heat, that wouldn’t
last long.

Maybe if he could pace himself. But he couldn’t. Because every
second he wasted, it was growing closer.

It moved slowly, awkwardly jerking itself forward with each step it
took. A moderate speed was enough to stay ahead of it. But the man
had to rest eventually. And it didn’t.

Sand slipped under his feet as he scaled the next dune. This one was
much steeper than the others, forcing him to rest halfway to the top.
Perhaps it, with its one arm and poor coordination, would not be able
to climb up. The top could mean safety. But this was only hopeful,
foolish thinking. He knew it would find a way up. It would not stop
until it had him.