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.

January 19th, 2009 11:56 am

Awesome story. Very enjoyable.

Joe Morgan
January 19th, 2009 12:25 pm

The story came across like something i’ve heard before, nothing new. Watch any early horror movies and you have the same story line heck just have a bad dream of running in one spot and the monster catching you. Hey but don’t give up just go to sleep and have a few nightmares then write them down! Yes i know were suppose to dig deep into the true meaning of the story and unlock some primal fear that we all have Yadda Yadda Yadda…..

January 22nd, 2009 1:24 pm

LOVED it! Wish it had been longer and more detailed.

Too many of the stories recently have been boring and difficult to finish. This was a pleasant breath of fresh air!

Thank you.

January 23rd, 2009 11:52 am

I agree with Joe “heard it before” to me it was boring nothing new. I guess i’m looking for something that hasn’t been told before something new and exciting. I also agree with Geoff it needed more details I don’t know if it was the fact that you were trying to hurry through it or had no new ideas. Hey but don’t give up!

January 23rd, 2009 11:55 am

Hey maybe you should try comedy!

January 25th, 2009 3:09 am

Thought it was solid, if slight. Would have made a nice page turner in an old issue of WEIRD TALES. Had a matter of fact, logical progression that worked to its advantage, a nice small scale that made the horror particularized. Good last line (much like DEEP RED, but this was a better story).

The brevity of the story was an asset, although it could have had a bit more internal character development. I’m thinking specifically of some idea of the character’s religious/spiritual/philosophical views, considering what he’s experiencing. He comments on the women’s head scarves, it would have been interesting for the author to open his reaction a little more (I could have missed something).

Unfortunately, I’m really feeling zombie burn-out at this point. Not with this website, more with the genre of horror entire. The zombie (and by that I mean Romero-esque version, not the Vodun version) is dangerously close to entering the zone of overexposure that vampires did under Anne Rice in the mid-80’s, eventually leading to them being expatriated into an entire sub-genre I can’t stand and don’t read. Please, zombies, please, say it ain’t so…

Thanks For Listening

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

February 2nd, 2009 5:16 pm

have to disagree with the last listener…I liked Deep Red much better. Still, this was an OK story, if slightly ‘over-done’ and short