By Tim Pratt
Read by Tina Connolly
A high fence of weathered wood ran along the right side, partitioning the beach for the people in the hotel. The fence ran for a distance even into the water before giving up hope of division. Harriet heard happy shouts and laughter from the other side. It was a gleaming white hotel with balconies on the back; she could see the top floors rising over the fence, much better than the ramshackle crammed-in house with rusty showerheads and sand in the mattresses. Same water, she thought, squelching her envy, they get the same beach we do.
But this was a sad little beach. Grady surged like a live wire, pulling away and eager to be in the grey-green water, but she held on and stepped with distaste around broken beer-bottles and chunks of styrofoam. The horizon was infinite and curved but the air stank of fish.
By Paul Haines
Read by Graeme Dunlop
I wanted her to say she’d had a few long-term boyfriends, a couple of one-night-stands. The fewer lovers the better. I wanted her to make me feel superior in my sexual conquest of the world.
I wanted her to say that, but I knew she wouldn’t.
She recorded our lovemaking sessions to watch later. I knew what that meant in terms of experience. I wanted to be cool about it. I wanted to be able to handle it. Whatever went before didn’t matter.
Ladies’ night at the meat market. A threesome of delectable flash fiction morsels.
My Body Your Banquet
By C.S.E. Cooney
Read by Jacquie Duckworth
The man next door was interested in eating human flesh. He said as much, last time I took the trash out to the alley.
By R. Scott Shanks, Jr.
Read by Rachel Swirsky
“Wherever you touch yourself, you will feel my hands touching you.” Sylvie reached for her aching head and felt a man’s rough hand twined in her hair, gently but firmly pushing her face into her graying sheets.
By C.M. Harris
Read by Eve
It’s The Call of The Hydrae. It’s started.
Episode 203, scheduled for July 16, will be tardy by perhaps a week or so I can tell you now. All this schedule craziness is what you get when you’re working at the last minute and have no time, a syndrome which I intend to terminate with the assistance of a two-month hiatus over August and September 2010. We will return with a vengeance in October. It’s the first such hiatus Pseudopod has ever taken. Oh, I’m not taking a vacation of any kind, and we’re not closing to submissions either — our associate editors continue to slave away all month, every month, giving as much personal feedback to authors as they have time to give. I’ve just fallen so far behind with submissions, production, and administrative duties, that if Pseudopod doesn’t air for those two months it will *just* let me, and incidentally the budget, keep from sinking. Assuming donations don’t drop off as a result… but we have to do this. Delegating only gets me so far, and I would rather take a break and come back with quality shows than resort to stopgap measures.
The winners of our flash fiction contest will still be produced, either in October or sooner. Voting in our final poll closes July 22, so you can go there for some free online fiction! Vote for your favorites. (Free registration is required to see the candidates and vote. No, we’re not going to spam you — it’s a legal kludge so they remain technically unpublished.)
Enjoy the rest of July — we’ll post them as soon as we can.
- Ben Phillips, chief editor
By K. A. Dean
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Sit down with the usual gut warp strength black coffee – only thing that’s going to keep my eyes open all night really- and settle down to watch. I can’t help smiling at it all, all those individual juddering images spread out in front of me, like an artificial compact eye watching the city. A hundred small screens surrounding the single, higher resolution monitor, all for me. So much information fed right back to me in my warm, dark skull of a control room.
I can’t help but enjoy it. Too much to pour over. So many minute human dramas played out over the night shift as though just for me, all of them oblivious. All so used now to the all seeing eye, that ever present observer above that hums and tracks them, benevolent and protective. Never look up, never acknowledge, but I don’t mind. It’s more interesting when they forget they’re being watched.
By Simon Wood, whose latest thriller, Terminated is hot off the presses this month.
Read by Ben Phillips
Turning into the long driveway, I noticed three tall figures standing shoulder to shoulder on the porch. That, I wasn’t expecting. This was meant to be a one-on-one affair with no spectators. Alarm bells rang in my head, but there was no way I could turn tail for the hills. I had to see things through, no matter how bad they got — especially after the phone call.
“Cam, you have to meet me. You have to help me stop you. If you don’t, people will die.”
I’d recognized the voice immediately and knew I had no choice. There’d been too much killing over the years and if I could prevent any further bloodshed, then I would do my best. It was the least I could do, considering the amount of blood on my hands.