Archive for August, 2011

Pseudopod 244: Bruise For Bruise

Bruise For Bruise

by Robert Davies

Sometimes there would be something of the mother in the child, and sometimes something of the father; there was always something of the town. Leathery wings sprouted oftentimes, as common as fingers. Fur of every hue. Horns and scales were plentiful, too. Lots of feathers and thorns and glass and steel. Beneath the apple trees and the pine, anatomy was negotiable. Anything was probable. Every now and then, though, the tired wet nurses, long inured to the strange fecundity of flesh, would whistle in awe as they lifted a newborn from the amniotic slime.

Something truly special would be seen.

Pseudopod 243: Corps Cadavres

Corps Cadavres

by Neil John Buchanan

Mayor shuffles in circles; his reins hang from his butchered mouth. His clothes have disintegrated, and his swollen legs have been reduced to black stumps. Doc sways in his saddle, gives a gentle sigh, and slips from his mount.

Doc is already half-turned. We can’t have him go wild. Captain orders Mayor for dispatch, and Sarge steps up for the job.

Mayor looks to the middle distance with cataract eyes, oblivious to his impending ‘second’ death. Sarge unclips Mayor’s head and without preamble removes his brain. Mayor looks confused as if he’s just been told a joke he half-understands and pitches forward to lie dead in the dirt. Captain sets about the body with his ‘taming’ knife, stripping free skin with a practiced hand. When finished, he and Sarge roll Doc in fat so only his face can be seen. He looks like a giant maggot. The wild won’t smell him that way.

Pseudopod 242: The 7 Garages of Kevin Simpson

The 7 Garages of Kevin Simpson

by Alan Baxter

‘Seven garages?’

‘Yes, Mrs Baker. Your father’s will identifies each one and dictates that they have all been left to you, along with the family home.’

Claire sat stunned for several seconds, staring across the solicitor’s desk. ‘Seven garages?’

‘Yes, ma’am.’ The solicitor was smiling. ‘Mostly on industrial estates, commercial lock-up garages, in suburbs around northern and western Sydney, though there is one on a farm property just outside Burrawang on the Southern Highlands and one in North Bondi.’

Claire looked at Ben. Her husband shrugged. ‘You don’t think this is weird?’ Claire asked him.

‘Sure, it’s weird. But not really any weirder than anything else your old man ever did.’

. . .

Continue reading here.

Pseudopod 241: In Bloom

In Bloom

by Caspian Gray

Willy was waiting for me with his hat in his hands, pinching the brim and rolling it back and forth. I tried to smile to show him how it would go, but in the dark I don’t know if he saw anything but teeth.

Papa keeps the gate greased, so it opened real silent, and Willy only took a moment to follow me in.

“Are those them?” he asked, pointing at the flowers that keep the dead down.

“They are. You’re lucky they’re just buds now, though. Once they bloom they’ll smell something awful.”

The window in my bedroom faced the garden, so all August I had to smell them flowers. They was big showy things, with a stink like jasmines and gardenias and lilies of the valley all tied up with twine and then tossed in the river to rot. They said it was the smell that warped my family into thinking it was okay to handle the dead, but the truth is it wasn’t so bad, and you never had to be warped at all just to dig a hole and put something in it.