Archive for November, 2010

Pseudopod 214: Wendigo


by Micaela Morrissette

Her elegant companion invited her to accompany him to the grocery store, and she accepted. “Dress warmly,” he counseled. He drove for hours in the dark, the headlights spinning uncertainly off the broken curbs, the sharp teeth of the stoops, the strobing telephone poles. The supermarket was in a bad neighborhood, but vast, swallowing several city blocks. Homeless were encamped at the intersections of the aisles. They each took a cart and moved quickly to the meat department, looking neither left nor right. The meat department was a gargantuan walk-in refrigerator: the space so enormous and the cold mist so dense that she could not see from one wall to the opposite. They did not leave each other’s sides. They did not speak or touch. They filled their carts: chicken, goat, bear, salmon, pork, lamb, conch, squab, rabbit, shark, beef, veal, turkey, eel, venison, duck, mussels, ostrich, frogs, pheasant, squirrel, seal. Tripe, kidneys, liver, tongue, and brains. She suggested the purchase of some lemons and marinade; he reproved her cordially.

Pseudopod 213: Hexagon


by Jason Rizos

The honeybees arrived in the spring, though it was as if they were always there. They built their home within his walls. The combs aligned within.

The sound was there as he slept. An enormous stone pestle, perhaps fixed on the Earth’s own axis, grinding in an enormous granite mortar. The sound of paper hexagons forming, the sound of mathematical architecture. He became a part of them. They reached him, drifted past basal ganglia, deep within the cerebral hemispheres of his brain, beyond the center of his cognate mind. There aligned a message, a primal distress signal.

Pseudopod 212: The Poisoner

The Poisoner

by Holly Day

Read by Eve

The poisoner moved into the village soon after the doctor had died. For weeks, she had been dropping crushed narcissus bulbs into the doctors’ drinking well in the dead of night, not so much that it’d kill him right away, but enough that he wouldn’t have to wait too long to die. The doctor’s wife followed soon after, her unborn child spilling out on the stone pavers, brought out too early by contractions caused by the poison.

The poisoner came down into the village the very next day, dressed in a white nurse outfit, her clothes paradoxically spotless considering that no one had anything spotless to wear, not anymore. The war had made everyone a dirty wreck, and the impossibly white clothes of the poisoner made her seem a legitimate miracle, some sort of savior coming down from the hills. They would soon find that no matter how bloody she got, her uniform would always be clean and white.

Pseudopod 211: About 77 Degrees, West of Nassau

About 77 Degrees, West of Nassau

by Don Norum

He made another lunging, splashing grab for the edge of the deck above him and fell short, fell back into the water with his fingers scrabbling on smooth fiberglass three feet short of salvation.

Richard le Pine floated onto his back, letting the salt water bump him into the slick hull with every gentle swell. The shadow of the mast stretched out past him onto the water.

He had trouble telling what time it was, or how long it had been. Two hours, maybe three, at least.

No, he thought as he looked up at the mast, longer than that.