Pseudopod 155: The Worm that Gnaws

By Orrin Grey

Read by Ian Stuart

I’ve ‘ad loadsa bad jobs in my day, but this ‘un’s the worst by a
mile. Trompin’ aroun’ in the boneyards at midnight, diggin’ up dead
folks wi’ a wooden spade, breakin’ open the caskets wi’ a mattock, an’
haulin’ ‘em up an’ out by the heads. Christ.

The mist creeps up ‘til it’s so thick ya can’t hardly see the groun’
for it, makes the tombstones look like ships at sea where they thrust
up out a it. Cold as a witch’s tit, an’ only one bottle between us,
Wolfe an’ I.

‘Course it’s illegal. I ain’t had but a job or two that weren’t, in
one way or t’other. But the fines ain’t steep, an’ the constables
tend ta look t’other way. Sides, the pay’s worth the risks. Good
pay, for a fella like me, or a fella like Wolfe.

‘E’s the boss, is Wolfe. Been at the game a long time, compared ta
me, an’ ‘e ain’t like ta let me forget it. Big fella, shaped like a
barrel, face all red an’ puffy from too much drink. “Ya’d drink too,
ya’d seen what I seen,” ‘e always tells me, as if I don’t drink.

August 14th, 2009 1:21 pm

That was amazingly good. The story was great and the narration was first rate.

August 14th, 2009 11:51 pm

for gods sake man… dont open the door!!!

August 17th, 2009 2:55 pm

Good story. Better reading.

August 17th, 2009 9:39 pm

Thanks to everyone who liked the story! And thanks to Ian Stuart and the fine folks at Pseudopod for producing it so beautifully.

August 18th, 2009 1:51 pm

Great story and a great reading. Thanks Orrin and Ian!

August 19th, 2009 1:52 am

Fabulous reading job. I really enjoyed this; it was a nicely-flavored monster tale that gave us a strong voice, a clear setting, and a creepy ambiance in short order and then closed the deal with a bit of the good old “It’s right outside the door!” There’s even a nice motif in the narrator’s attitude towards death and a clear source and purpose for the monster in the story’s moral universe. Really, what more do you need in a piece of horror fiction?

mari Mitcheell
August 19th, 2009 1:11 pm


August 20th, 2009 5:14 pm

I could listen to Ian Stuart read the back of a Maalox bottle and be entertained. A bang-up reading job!

August 25th, 2009 7:00 pm

Reminded me of RL Stevenson’s “The Body Snarchers”. In fact, this story is as if Lovecraft wrote “The Body Snarchers”.