Archive for December, 2011

Pseudopod 262: Black Hill

Black Hill

by Orrin Grey

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.

This story is available to read here.



Bonus Christmas Flash 2011 – Coming Home

Show Notes


Coming Home

by Maria Alexander

“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.”

Read the full text here:

Pseudopod 261: Widdershins


by Robert Mammone

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

Saint Nicholas’ Helper

by D.K. Thompson

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?”