Archive for March, 2012

Pseudopod 275: Wailing Well


Wailing Well

by M.R. James


In the year 19— there were two members of the Troop of Scouts attached to a famous school, named respectively Arthur Wilcox and Stanley Judkins. They were the same age, boarded in the same house, were in the same division, and naturally were members of the same patrol. They were so much alike in appearance as to cause anxiety and trouble, and even irritation, to the masters who came in contact with them. But oh how different were they in their inward man, or boy!

It was to Arthur Wilcox that the Head Master said, looking up with a smile as the boy entered chambers, “Why, Wilcox, there will be a deficit in the prize fund if you stay here much longer! Here, take this handsomely bound copy of the Life and Works of Bishop Ken, and with it my hearty congratulations to yourself and your excellent parents.” It was Wilcox again, whom the Provost noticed as he passed through the playing fields, and, pausing for a moment, observed to the Vice-Provost, “That lad has a remarkable brow!” “Indeed, yes,” said the Vice-Provost. “It denotes either genius or water on the brain.”
(Continue Reading…)

Pseudopod 274: The God Complex


The God Complex

by Neil John Buchanan

 


She recognized an Echo drone when she saw one. Probably a scout sent to investigate the crash.

‘Pheromone discharge detected,’ the suit chimed, and the helmet slammed shut. A moment later, a tube expanded from the drone’s underbelly, and a thin spray of liquid splashed across Nadia’s visor.

‘I am God,’ it pronounced. ‘Do you come in love?’

Pseudopod 273: The Crucifixion of the Outcast


The Crucifixion of the Outcast

by William Butler Yeats


A man, with thin brown hair and a pale face, half ran, half walked, along the road that wound from the south to the town of Sligo. Many called him Cumhal, the son of Cormac, and many called him the Swift, Wild Horse; and he was a gleeman, and he wore a short parti-coloured doublet, and had pointed shoes, and a bulging wallet. Also he was of the blood of the Ernaans, and his birth-place was the Field of Gold; but his eating and sleeping places where the four provinces of Eri, and his abiding place was not upon the ridge of the earth. His eyes strayed from the Abbey tower of the White Friars and the town battlements to a row of crosses which stood out against the sky upon a hill a little to the eastward of the town, and he clenched his fist, and shook it at the crosses. He knew they were not empty, for the birds were fluttering about them; and he thought how, as like as not, just such another vagabond as himself was hanged on one of them; and he muttered: ‘If it were hanging or bowstringing, or stoning or beheading, it would be bad enough. But to have the birds pecking your eyes and the wolves eating your feet! I would that the red wind of the Druids had withered in his cradle the soldier of Dathi, who brought the tree of death out of barbarous lands, or that the lightning, when it smote Dathi at the foot of the mountain, had smitten him also, or that his grave had been dug by the green-haired and green-toothed merrows deep at the roots of the deep sea.’ (Continue Reading…)

Pseudopod 272: The Dark And What It Said


The Dark And What It Said

by Rick Kennett

 


The light touched on a bulky, indefinite shape, hard by a tree, obscured by a low branch across the top of it.

‘What’s that?’ whispered Andrew.

‘That old car body I told you about,’ Rudy whispered back. He moved the light along, then swept it all around to catch whatever might be creeping up from behind. Nothing was creeping up from behind.

‘Maybe it was a night bird like you said before,’ said Andrew, not at all sounding like he believed it. ‘I’ve sometimes heard a bird call that sounds like ‘Whatcha reading.’ Maybe there’s something out here that hoots ‘Hey you there’ at night.’