Archive for May, 2009

Pseudopod 144: The Inevitability of Earth

The Inevitability of Earth

By David Nickle

When Michael was just a kid, Uncle Evan made a movie of Grandfather.
He used an old eight-millimeter camera that wound up with a key and
had three narrow lenses that rotated on a plate. Michael remembered
holding the camera. It was supposedly light-weight for its time, but
in his six-year-old hands, it seemed like it weighed a ton. Uncle Evan
had told him to be careful with it; the camera was a precision
instrument, and it needed to be in good working order if the movie was
going to be of any scientific value.

The movie was of Grandfather doing his flying thing — flapping his
arms with a slow grace as he shut his eyes and turned his long,
beak-ish nose to the sky. Most of the movie was only that: a thin,
middle-aged man, flapping his arms, shutting his eyes, craning his
neck. Grandfather’s apparent foolishness was compounded by the face of
young Michael flashing in front of the lens; blocking the scene, and
waving like an idiot himself. Then the camera moved, and Michael was
gone —

And so was Grandfather.

Pseudopod 143: The Looking Men

The Looking Men

by James R. Kristofic

(also publishes as Jim Bihyeh)

Hiram knew his father, Jonah, could not refuse the Looking Men on the night they asked him to help kill William the Reeve.

Jonah had been the first villager of Corfe to speak to the captain of the Looking Men, the one called Sir Ethan the Red Greaves, after the Looking Men and their tall war-horses arrived by the main road to examine the first deaths from the Black Hand. The wandering friar of Corfe, a red-faced, balding man who had summoned the Looking Men, rode behind them on a bony mare. The friar had briefly addressed the free peasants who’d gathered at the mill and promised he would explain all in the morning after the Looking Men had rested. Hiram knew what everyone else knew about The Looking Men: they served the Church and bore scars from the Crusades to the Holy Land. But they were also knights loyal to their King Henry of England, so they could be trusted. And the friar promised they had come for the good of Corfe.

But the friar had died that night when the Black Hand had laid itself upon him.

Pseudopod 142: Camp

By Jeremy C. Shipp

Read by George Hrab

My muscles tighten. My teeth clench. My irritable bowel is seriously pissed off.

I’m no good at sitting.

“Hold it together,” my dad tells me. Not physically here, of course, but why would that stop him? Hold it together—that’s easy for him to say. He’s made of steel bars and rivets and bolts. Me, I’m held together with Elmer’s glue and pushpins and chewing gum.

Memories vibrate. They fall and crack open.

Pseudopod 141: Flash on the Borderlands I

Show Notes

Theme music as usual: “Bloodletting on the Kiss” by Anders Manga
Additional music in this episode: rare rendition of “LabRatB” by Harmaline

Three flash fiction stories in one gut churning episode.


“Jordan, when are you going to settle down, get married and have us some children?”

By J.R.Hamantaschen
Read by Ben Phillips

Beth, my most recent girlfriend, said I look like a hanged man when I walk because I always stare down at my feet.


Thinking About Polar Bears

By Mike Battista
Read by Matt Arnold

I wake up exhausted. I hadn’t slept well. My heart still beats
quickly; the aftermath of vaguely remembered dreams.


Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Question #7

By David Erik Nelson
Read by Alasdair Stuart

7a) You are a werewolf. You kill and eat people. You are a vicious animal.