Archive for December, 2011
Pseudopod 262: Black Hill

By Orrin Grey. Click his name to find out who killed him…

This story is available to read here.

Orrin’s first collection is due out from Evileye Books sometime early next year. It’ll be called Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings and will feature ten of his stories, including the out of print, 22,000 word novella “The Mysterious Flame.” Also, Orrin is currently editing an anthology of horror stories that involve fungus. Get sporing…

Read by Rich Girardi.

“There was a sound come up from the hole, like a gasp. The men figured we’d hit a pocket of gas and everyone backed off in case it was like to burn. Then the derrick shook all the way up and the ground seemed to slide a little under our feet. There come a noise from the hole like I ain’t never heard the ground make in all my years. When I was a boy, my pa’d known a man who worked a whaling ship and he said that whales sang to one another. He’d put his hands together over his mouth and blown a call that he said was as close as he could do to what they sounded like. This sounded like that call.

All the men went back another pace, not knowing if maybe we’d hit a sinkhole, or God knows what. There was another groan, then an old cave stink, and then the black stuff started coming up around the pipe like a tide. I’d seen gushers in my day, the pressurized wells that blew the tops off the derricks, but this weren’t the same. This weren’t no geyser; this were a flood, the oil pouring up from under the ground like a barrel that’s been overturned. Everybody was silent for another minute and then the men gathered ’round all cheered, ’cause they knowed we’d finally hit whatever it was we’d been aiming at.”

bonus Christmas flash – Coming Home

By Maria Alexander

The text of this story is available at Gothic.net. You can also seek out her poetry collection, AT LOUCHE ENDS: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned & the Abinsthe-Minded published by Burning Effigy Press in Toronto and her anthology of stories by award-winning authors: LEFT HANGING: 9 Tales of Suspense and Thrills. Get it on Kindle and Nook today!

“My mouth is sour with whiskey and the loaded shotgun lays heavily across my lap in my sofa chair. This is my Christmas Eve ritual.”

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT….

Pseudopod 261: Widdershins

By Robert Mammone.

You can get the Kindle version of his new short story, “Shivers”, in the collection The Big Book of New Short Horror from Pill Hill Press. And check out his earlier Pseudopod story, The Copse.

Read by Frank Key.
Click his name to visit The Hooting Yard! Also, check out his previous reading for ESCAPE POD, Hesperia and Glory!

“His dreams were disturbed. He saw the moon emerge from behind a bank of racing clouds, the surface yellowed and cracked like old bone. He stood in a clearing, surrounded by outcroppings of rock and trees whose branches were lashed by the breeze. He thought he heard indistinct muttering which, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make out. Gradually, though, the muttering grew clearer, until, with a jolt, he understood.

‘*Widdershins start my hair, widdershins start my hair.*’

There was a sudden blurring and the clearing vanished replaced for a brief moment with an image of Hendricks, face rigid with intent, looming over him, a wad of stinking cotton clutched in one hand. Powerless, he felt the material pressed over his mouth and nose, the fumes filling his nostrils and then he was falling…”

Pseudopod 260: Saint Nicholas’ Helper

By D.K. Thompson.



I believe he has something to do with Podcastle, I think… You can listen to his previous Pseudopod story Last Respects at the link.


Read by Marie Brennan. Click her name to visit The Swan Tower! Also, check out her new book on Amazon, With Fate Conspire, the fourth volume in the Onyx Court series!


“Saint Nicholas looked just like he did in the picture stories: tall and thin, with a grand white beard that flowed to his waist. He wore a red-fur trimmed coat, a tall bishop’s hat, and clutched a gold staff. He smiled and said something, but Greta wasn’t listening. She hid
behind her elder sister Heike and stared at the saint’s demonic assistant, Krampus.

A wooden mask covered the demon’s face, a wicked smile carved into it that did not shift. Krampus tilted his horned head, his black pupils focused on Greta through the eye slits. His dark coat of damp furs smelled of decay, and he was wrapped in chains that he shook at the children.

They’d come every year to her house, the saint and his assistant, but back then Greta’s father had been there to protect her.

Krampus brandished a long, thin switch and hissed.

Heike put a hand on Greta’s shoulder and whispered, “Don’t be scared. You’ve been good, right?””


Metacast – TRIO OF TERROR! promo

Now available to all subscribers – check your email boxes for an early Christmas gift from Pseudopod – links to three new stories in our ongoing series. It’s the TRIO OF TERROR and it is yours if you’re a subscriber to any Escape Artists podcast OR have made a one-time donation of $50 dollars or more since January 1, 2011 (or if you choose to do so in the immediate future – hint, hint….)

Offer WILL expire at a future date, just like all of us… or some of us…

What are you getting for your hard-earned dollars, you ask? I’m glad you did! How about…

***

“The Yellow Curse” by Grady Hendrix, in which our (self) esteemed and elitist occult investigating Gentleman’s club, The White Street Society (only pedigrees need apply) delve into the heathen underbelly of Chinatown and uproot madness. Horrific comedy satire with a serrated edge! Click his name to visit his website and check out Amazon and other digital book spots for his ebook SATAN LOVES YOU.

“”Chinatown suffers,’ he declared. ‘Rumors of war. A mysterious artifact. Something stolen in the night. Adventure calls. And I answer with a merry cry on my lips and my cane in my hand. Come, William! Prepare yourself for sights beyond the ken of mortal man! For we go now to solve…. THE YELLOW CURSE!‘”

Read by our own Alasdair Stuart

***

“The Shooting Way” by Jim Bihyeh, featuring a further exploration into the horrors of Native American mythology and the schemes of the legendary trickster god, Coyote. His memoir, NAVAJOS WEAR NIKES, about life on the Navajo Reservation, was released in spring 2011 and was praised for its “wit and keen observation” by the Arizona Daily Sun and for its “consummate storytelling” by New Mexico Magazine. It was recently released in paperback and is a New Mexico Book Award finalist this year. Look for it at Amazon.com, Alibris.com and check out the Facebook page for the book and the NAVAJOS WEAR NIKES group .

“The green eyes had belonged to an owl. Skinwalkers – yee naaldloshíí – were shape-shifters, and traveled as night animals to keep their business secret. And it had been bad business for auntie Bonita since August. Four cows had died in the last two weeks, bucking and groaning while they foamed at the mouth, as though they’d eaten the purple-flowering locoweed that grew in the flat stretches of desert. But Bonita swore they’d never grazed over it. Something must have fed it to them.”

Read by Cayenne Chris Conroy!

***

“Nourished By Chaff, We Believe The Glamor” by Tim W. Burke, wherein an associate of the eternally ambitious Guru Keresh must deal with an old plaything and an even older playmate! Click his name to check out Tim’s blog. His novel THE MAD EARL’S HOMECOMING is available on Amazon, as is my short story collection PENSIVE CREATURES.

“Then I remembered something I had told the ladies: good spirits want to nurture love for all; selfish ones want to divide us all.

Show-Show’s eyes had a dark gleam I hadn’t remembered before.

Grasping at Alecsandri’s questions, I asked, ‘Those boys…in Mobile…at the warehouse. What did you do with them?’

‘They didn’t want to go away to the military academy. They wanted to be pirates. So I took them to their pirate ship.’

‘Show-Show, what have you become?’”

Read by Veronica Giguere

***

If you’re new to Pseudopod, or have missed any of the previous stories in these series, rest assured each of these tales is free-standing… and if they pique your interest, please check out these download links to the previous installments!

THE COYOTE TALES by Jim Bihyeh

THE WHITE STREET SOCIETY by Grady Hendrix

THE SAGA OF GURU KERESH by Tim W. Burke

Merry Christmas from Pseudopod… we’ll keep the lights off for ya!

Pseudopod 259: To My Wondering Eyes Did Appear

By Larry C. Kay.



His blog, Scribbleninja, is you know where. Also, check out STEAMPUNK TALES for more of his work.


Read by Stephanie Morris. Click her name to hear more from her at the Scribbleomania blog!


“A figure obscured the flames of the fireplace: a man. Bettia sat up quickly, blinking away sleep, thinking it was her father. But this man was shorter, rounder, and part of her groggy mind considered Santa Claus, and that she must have slept for days.

Her eyes adjusted and she could see that the man indeed wore a red shirt. Not like a dumb mall Santa, but a working man’s shirt: rough and stained darker red on top of the red. And not any fire engine red, but crimson; just like his Converse All-Stars. His jeans were black or maybe just covered in soot. His face was dirty like a coal miner’s, but Bettia thought he was a white man.

He carried a black bag slung over one shoulder, an empty bag, but Bettia knew this man was no burglar. This shaggy buffalo of a man smiled when he noticed Bettia, and showed his sharp fighting-dog teeth. Bettia heard a whimper, and shame crinkled her face as she realized it was she that sounded like a whipped mutt.”


Pseudopod 258: The Stink of Animosity

By Rob E. Boley.



Rob would like you to visit Mission: Wolf and learn about wolf conservation.


Read by Rish Outfield, say it with me…Dunesteef!


“‘“So, what did she do?”

These are the first words the stranger says to you as he takes the bar stool on your right. The hotel lounge has at least two-dozen seats scattered between the bar and four tables, and only half of those seats are filled. Yet he sits next to you. His voice is almost a growl – all gravel and broken glass – too ragged for someone his age.

Judging from his unblemished skin, you guess the stranger is no more than nineteen or twenty. You search your memories, wondering if he’s one of your students at the college. But no, you would remember him. He’s got an unkempt, patchy beard and dirty, long hair. Everything about him says wannabe hippie or beatnik: his worn boots, his thrift store brown leather jacket, and his dirty grey t-shirt. His eyes are wild, like he’s been chewing on a handful of random pills.

“Who? What are you talking about?” you ask, trying to sound abrupt but not aggressive. You’re not looking for a fight. At least, not with him.

“You got the stink of animosity on you, is all. I can smell it; it’s so strong. It’s not hard to see that you’re pissed at someone.””