Archive for March, 2009

Pseudopod 135: The Duel

By Michael James McFarland

Read by Kris Johnson

“A what?! What did you say? A duel?”

“You heard me, Vanderbilt. D-U-E-L. Duel.”

“You mean like with pistols… ten paces, turn and fire? That kind of duel?”

“Something like that,” John Lawrence affirmed, hands planted on his hips, the breeze blowing casually through his stylish hair, making him look like a young Michael Douglas, right down to the ass-shaped cleft in his chin. Twenty years old and living life like it was a goddamn movie. That was Lawrence all right. This was just the latest example of his madness.

A duel.

This week’s episode sponsored by, who offers you a free audiobook download of your choice from their selection of over 40,000 titles.

Pseudopod 134: Bait

By Joel Arnold, whose first-ever short story collection was just released from Sam’s Dot Publishing: Bedtime Stories for the Apocalypse

Read by Hugo-nominated graphic artist Cheyenne Wright (for his work on Girl Genius, Volume 8)

It was a cold January when Paul Robinson parked his flatbed pick-up on the edge
of Shady Lake. The ice was ten inches thick. Plenty thick, yet it still
didn’t compare to the rind of ice that had settled around his heart.

He let the tail-gate drop, hauled out his wooden fishing shanty and slid it
over the ice to a spot a good fifty yards from the other fishermen. It was
dusk, and many were already leaving, their perch, walleye, and trout packed in
coolers to take home to their families.

He began to arrange the inside of the shanty, a homemade thing of clapboard and
two by fours. He lit a pile of pre-soaked coals in an old coffee can for extra
warmth, the flame swirling for a moment like a dervish, then settling to a
comfortable glow. As he slid his Styrofoam bait bucket across the shanty’s
floor, steam seeping from beneath the lid, he heard the crunch of cleated boots
behind him. He turned.

Pseudopod 133: Grave of Ships

By Richard Marsden

Read by Ian Stuart

“I know you come from the States and you see this Isle of St. Mary as nothing but quaint. Well, we is a quaint folk and content to be in our cups at the Bishop n’ work the fields and tend to tourists and pull fish from the sea. But as your kin I am to say that the Scilly Isles hold secrets. Every day some of them are shown but only the wise would know it. Only an islander can tell you of it. I want you to listen because you are my kin and so you’ll be told of the Isles of Scilly.

“If you look out from any portion of St. Mary’s out to the wide and gray sea you can gaze at the Grave of Ships. The isle is not friendly to outsiders who sail and never has been. It was in 1707 that a whole treasure fleet was dashed unto the rocks and drowned many a soul, including Shovell, the lord of that ill-fated expedition. Since then the Crown hasn’t much use for Scilly or the government we have nowadays. Since Shovell’s treasure spilled on our beaches, along with the bloated bodies, the isle has claimed hundreds of other vessels. Some drawn too close by storms, others lured in by Wreckers with their false lights and sharp blades.”

This week’s episode sponsored by, who offers you a free audiobook download of your choice from their selection of over 40,000 titles.

Pseudopod 132: The Valknut

By Dan Dworkin

Read by Ben Phillips

When I wake I’m craving almonds and want to die. Pretzeled in the
top sheet, fighting the light… hurts when I move, go easy… something
died in my mouth, breath could bring down a plane, and the light…
Jesus, that’s… fuck, that’s bright. Hot too… pores fuming booze…
sheets wet, what the… oh God I must’ve… I mean, I haven’t been that
fucked up since… clothes on still, one shoe, nice touch… stomach in
revolt, just thinking about it makes… aw Christ, I’m gonna… run for
it, wait… that was close. Too close. Why do I do this? Now if only
I could remem– Wait a… I catch my reflection in the mirror, one shoe
on, halfway to the bathroom… I approach, stick out my neck and the new
mark there… what the f…? Is that…? Aww man, what did I do? What the
hell did I do?!