By David Nickle
Read by Bob Eccles
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
And so was Grandfather..
By James R. Kristofic
Read by BJ Harrison of The Classic Tales podcast
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.
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.
Three flash fiction stories in one gut churning episode.
“Jordan, when are you going to settle down, get married and have us some children?”
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.
Theme music as usual: “Bloodletting on the Kiss” by Anders Manga
Additional music in this episode: rare rendition of “LabRatB” by Harmaline
This week’s episode sponsored by Audible.com, who offers Pseudopod listeners a free audiobook download of their choice from Audible’s selection of over 60,000 titles.
By Colin P. Davies
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Niall is the worst of us. He’s meaner, more vicious, more crazy. He hates everyone: Jamaicans, Asians, queers…. Chances are he hates me as well. His Dad had been a violent waste-of-DNA and Niall intends to make us all pay. He doesn’t care about anything…and yet, only last Saturday, when we met up as usual, I found him anxious and attentive to every stranger on the street.
For half an hour, we’d been hanging around the launderette, hoping to spy at least one of the Jones twins, in their short skirts and ankle boots. Rain came down fine and bright in the orange warmth of the street lamps, and I felt colder than natural for an August evening. Jimmy sat on the bus stop bench, drinking. The canopy sheltered him from all but the strongest gusts. Somehow he’d got hold of a bottle of Woodpecker. Niall tried to light a cigarette in the open doorway of the launderette. He mumbled, “Shit, shit…” as he battled with the wind. Then he turned suddenly and gazed up the street.
“What’s your problem?” I said.
He cupped his hand around the lighter. “The wind….”
“No…you seem edgy. Are you expecting someone?”
“Maybe…I don’t know.”