Pseudopod 129: Bottle Babies

By Mary A. Turzillo

Read by Ben Phillips

Allie first saw the fairies in the flower garden beside the driveway, and they were naked. But maybe they would be her friends. She didn’t have any friends because Mom and Dad didn’t want people to come into the house and discover Bobby.
How to make friends with them, when they were almost invisible?
She thought the spicy-fragrant petunia blossoms were small enough to make skirts for them; she knew they were girl-fairies because of their long hair, lavender, pink, and pale green, but her eyes weren’t good enough to see if they had nipples, like her own, which must be concealed. Perhaps a tiny cloverleaf could cover each breast, though she wasn’t sure how to keep them in place.
“Mom,” she said, “May I borrow some thread?”
Mom’s sharp gray gaze flicked away from her needlework, a scene of a Japanese garden. Mom had all sorts of hobbies. “You may have that black spool that’s almost gone.”
Allie chewed the end of her braid. “Colors would be better.”
Mom threw down her needlework, annoyed.
“I want to make little clothes.”

February 13th, 2009 1:06 pm

Great great great episode all around. Fantastic, chilling story. Easily one of my favorites you guys have run here. Ben’s narration of both Bobby and Allie was brilliant and the story never let-up, never let me catch my breath, until Alasdair’s outro rolled in.

Thank you, Ms. Turzillo and Pseudopod!

February 13th, 2009 6:50 pm

Super! At the end I kept wanting to know— whathappensnextwhathapensnext?

February 14th, 2009 1:19 am

Just wanted to say that this is one of the best pieces of short horror fiction I’ve ever experienced. Creepy, suspenseful, satisfying. Thank you.

February 14th, 2009 1:29 am

ah pseudopod, you have at last coiled your scaly turgid body into my brains and done damage to my psyche, i apologize for ever having doubted that your dark soul was capable of such mischief…

February 15th, 2009 8:21 am

Great story. This was the first story from pseudopod and I enjoyed it immensley. The main characters were great and the parents were absolutely awful. Not Roald Dahl humorous, light hearted awful but really just horrible people. Not to mention that this story contained not only killing fairies but also an orgone box. A very good story all around

February 16th, 2009 4:48 am

I enjoyed this story much more than expected (I hear the word “fairies” and prejudice kicks in, I’m afraid). Very suspenseful indeed! Probably one of my favourites so far.

Jittery Wombat
February 16th, 2009 11:51 pm

Damn, I’ll never be able to go into a phone booth again. That story gave me claustraphobia. What is with the moss in the orgone box?

February 17th, 2009 6:05 am

After reading about the orgone box … is the one in the story a reversed orgone box since the mosswas on the inside instead of metal thus draining the person ranter than charging them up? Just food for though. Great story.

February 20th, 2009 6:48 pm

What an imaginative and well written story! It was as strangely charming as it was disturbing. characters were great an.

February 20th, 2009 6:50 pm

What an imaginative and well written story! It was as strangely charming as it was disturbing. WE NEED MORE STORIES FROM THIS AUTHOR.

February 20th, 2009 8:28 pm

Wow. This is a great story. Writing worth aspiring to.

Thank you for accepting this one. I hope to see more of the author’s work. Soon.


February 25th, 2009 1:20 am

I agree with everyone else, More stories from this lady! I just bought her ‘Mars is no place for Children’ based on how much I enjoyed this story.

With only a couple of exceptions, this is easily the best story I’ve ever heard here.

Jonathan C. Gillespie
February 28th, 2009 12:13 pm

This is a terrific story, right up there with “Flat Diane” and “What you Wish For” for the best stories you guys have ever run.

And I love the “Children under the Stairs” vibe from this one. The author should be proud — kept waiting for these detestable parents to get it, and was so glad when they did.

February 28th, 2009 3:28 pm

This was the first EP story in a while that gave me the willies. I keep forgetting what a good reader Ben is when working with the right material. The difference is tone and attitude of the characters was convincing and drew me in. The story was a bit scattered, so many odd things going on, but in this case they just contributed to the chill factor- it’s clear that Mom and Dad have some kind of bizarre situation going on beyond what we get to see here- at once freakish and frighteningly banal.

Good on you, Pseudopod.

March 7th, 2009 1:17 am

This story indeed struck a chord with a few of us, huh! Man, I wanted those cops to come back to the house and break up those effed up parents! And the narrator was super. If Bobby didn’t exist in this story it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as fantastic. GREAT story! In my Top 3.

June 30th, 2009 6:27 am

I liked the story a lot – the disconnected creepiness; the strange admixture of half-sane parents, quasi-mysticism, and pseudo-science – but I couldn’t stand the narrator. He made Allie sound literally retarded instead of like a child.

Jayden Black
August 21st, 2009 10:54 pm

Wow. The moment I heard this podcast, it instantly became my favorite. Especially the evil little faeries. Their betrayl was somewhat expected but it still managed to side-swipe me somewhat. But I loved how they came to the girl’s aide in the end. Besides the tricky faeries, I also loved the small, disconnected girl. She reminds me of the girl from the movie ‘The People Under the Stairs’. So cut off from reality and living in her own little world…I probably like her because she reminds me of me…Once again, MY FAV.