Archive for October, 2012

Pseudopod 305: Pumpkinhead

by Rajan Khanna
“Pumpkinhead” first appeared in the anthology, SHADOWS OF THE EMERALD CITY which came out in 2009 and is based on the L. Frank Baum Oz books.

Rajan Khanna is a writer, narrator and blogger. His website is He has a story in the forthcoming YA dystopian anthology DIVERSE ENERGIES.

Your reader this week is her supreme majesty The Word Whore, whose own podcast is AIR OUT MY SHORTS is a model of hard-working, sultry efficiency.


“Mr. P sat at the table, his sagging head leaning against one gloved hand. It was tilted slightly to the side and he was waving the free fingers of his other hand in the air.

‘Mr. P?’ I said.

He tilted his head toward me. ‘Call me Jack,’ he said, for the hundredth time. But I couldn’t. He was my employer, but more than that, he was a celebrity, and a close personal friend of the queen. In
fact, if it weren’t for his imminent need, she would be the one about to carve this pumpkin for him. He was basically part of the royal family.

He held out his hands and I placed the pumpkin into them. His arms, which he kept covered at all times, were little more than wooden sticks, like broom handles, but they were strong and sturdy and he pulled the pumpkin closer, cradling it for a second before placing it on the table in front of him.

Fascinated, I longed to watch as he carved it, to see how it was done, but it was such an intimate act, so very personal, and I couldn’t bear to intrude upon it. As the knife penetrated the rind and
into the tender inner flesh, I turned and left the house and returned to the field where I belonged.’

Pseudopod 304: The Last Reel

by Lynda E. Rucker

“The Last Reel” originally appeared in Supernatural Tales #10, in 2006 and was reprinted in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #18 (2007).

Lynda E. Rucker’s fiction has appeared in such places as Black Static, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR, and THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR, among others, and is forthcoming in Postscripts. When not writing, she works as a composition instructor, writing tutor, and copy editor. She was born and raised in the South, has lived on three continents and both coasts, and currently calls Athens, Georgia home. Check out her blog at the link under her byline!

Your reader this week, Mark E. Phair, is an engineer and a storyteller. Find him online at,, and @MarkEPhair on Twitter.


“Working in a kitchen had left her inured to minor cuts and burns. ‘Let’s see what’s in the box.’

Let’s not, he wanted to say, but what came out when he followed her back to the bed was, ‘Three movies featuring a head-in-a-box. Name them.’

‘God,’ she said, ‘do you have to be so morbid? _Seven_.’ She lifted the lid.

‘That’s one,’ he said, so he wouldn’t shout something stupid and hysterical like _Don’t look inside_!

‘It’s filled with photographs,’ she said. ‘_Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia_.’

‘That’s head-in-a-bag, not head-in-a-box,’ he said desperately.

‘Oh, for God’s sake. Picky, aren’t we?’ Her voice changed. ‘That’s weird.’


‘I don’t know how she got hold of these. It’s all pictures of me.’ “

Pseudopod 303: Flash On The Borderlands XIII – Responsible Parties

A Murder Of Crows by Tres Crow

Tres Crow lives in Atlanta with the two people he loves most in the world. He’s been published in decomP, Emprise Review, Full of Crow, The Foundling Review, as well as the website Check out his blog, Dog Eat Crow World, at the link under his name above.

Read by Malcolm Charles

I grab him by his shirt and yank him to his feet. He is so thin, a bird, just like his mother, and the reek of liquor from his pores and breath stings in my nostrils. I shake him.

“John…” starts my wife, dropping the shovels, but I wave her away.

“Stop your whining. It’s your fault we’re out here. If you weren’t such a goddamn idiot,” I yell at him and I shake him and I stamp my feet.


Magnitude Seven by David Glen Larson

This story was originally published in Niteblade, December 2011.

After leaving the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, David worked as a screenwriter and television writer for several years before writing his first short story, which recently appeared in Daily Science Fiction. He has also published speculative poems in magazines like Niteblade, Ideomancer, and the British Fantasy Society Journal (formerly Dark Horizons).

Read by Patrick Bazile. Patrick “The Voice” Bazile is a new and fresh sound in the voice over industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patrick has voiced everything from PSA’s to major product brand commercials and movie trailers to documentaries. With a deep, commanding voice often referred to as “The Voice of God” Patrick demands attention.

Levoy found a road at the bottom of the stairs, and followed it to a city of blue and white tents. There were strange people all around him: dog people, pig people, tin-can people, people with legs made of tires and arms of twisted steel, and rat people too. All of them had no eyes.

There were also children making masks from scraps of wood and other broken things for tourists that would never come here. The children had no eyes.



One of them called out his name. It was Marta, a friend from the school Magnitude Seven destroyed. Marta had no eyes.


Always Grinning by Nathaniel Lee

Nathaniel is a writer living in North Carolina with his wife, child, and obligatory cats. He puts words in order, and sometimes people give him money for them.  His work, including a full bibliography, can be found at his daily writing blog, Mirrorshards (see the link under his name above) where he publishes a 100-word story most days.  HIs short story “Gastrohpidia” is currently available at Ideomancer.  The Mirrorshards book, “Splinters of Silver and Glass” has 100 of his drabbles, one flash fiction story (“The Lady of Tilmarine”) and one full-length short story (“Old Growth.”)

Read by Rikki LaCoste. Rikki is the creator and co-host of the metaphysical and esoterically flavoured podcast, Kakophonos Internet Radio available for free from iTunes.  His odd, informative, and provocative show often collapses into the silly and the absurd whenever it begins to get a little too serious.  Rikki is a writer of strange articles on occult subjects, a musician (involved in the projects Panthea and Wychwood Children), the creator of a cartoon strip about Aleister Crowley, a Hermetic Philosopher, a Ceremonial Magician, a summoner of daemons, and teaches piano to happy little children.  He currently lives in Toronto, alone, and in a basement that is dubiously avoided because of the strange sounds and eldrich odours that regularly waft from it.

With an audible thump, a man threw himself at the glass, arms splayed. Jay jumped before his conscious mind caught up with his reactions. Some asshole office-clown playing a prank.  But there was something wrong with the man’s head.  Jay peered up at the window as he resumed walking, then stopped dead barely ten feet away from the building. The man wasn’t moving, hadn’t thrown himself at all.  He was dead.  He had to be, couldn’t still be alive.  Could he?  Jay saw bones jutting from one limp leg, saw the bruises and black smears of blood across the man’s pudgy, gray-haired face.

Pseudopod 302: Singing By The Fire

by Jamieson Ridenhour

“Singing by the Fire” is original to Pseudopod, though an earlier version was briefly available on the author’s website as a piece of free fiction. This story is directly inspired a decade of recurring snake nightmares and by a masterful little poem by North Carolina poet Robert Morgan, called “Mountain Bride” -but that near-decade of snake dreams underpins it like venom. He has recently had the story accepted for publication in the print anthology Hunting Ghosts, forthcoming from Black Oak Media (see link).

Jamieson Ridenhour is the author of the comedy werewolf murder-mystery Barking Mad (Typecast 2011) and creator of the short horror films Cornerboys and The House Of The Yaga. He used to live in a log cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, though one with electricity. He now lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Your reader this week is the Nathan Lowell, who you may know from Escape Pod #357: Connoisseurs of the Eccentric.


“‘I don’t know that I’d call it a ghost story,” Whithers said, looking at the reflected firelight caught in his brandy glass. “I don’t think I really believe in ghosts. It’s been twenty-five years, now.’ He fell silent again, studying his drink.

We leaned forward, eagerly awaiting his next words. A potluck feast of grilled salmon, tomato and basil couscous, and oven-fresh bread was digesting comfortably in our stomachs as we settled round the fire in our accustomed places. The chairs in Whithers’ townhouse were soft and leathery. The rosy feeling in our cheeks and bellies was a combination of good food, wood smoke, and an amiable brandy that Patterson’s wife Deirdre had brought back from Ireland last fall.

The weather had suggested ghost stories; the storm outside was one of those summer gullywashers that swept down from the mountains unannounced, outing power and flooding streets. When the power had gone out we had scurried to find candles and hurricane lamps, and the fitful illumination put us in the mood for some spectral entertainment. Not that we needed any encouragement. Our monthly get-togethers often turned towards the ghostly, but until this particular night Whithers had stayed out of the story-telling sessions, becoming withdrawn and sullen when talk turned ghoulish. So when Henderson asked Withers for a ghost story, his acquiescence had surprised us all.

‘I feel sort of silly talking about this,’ he continued, not looking up. ‘I’ve never told anyone but Melinda, and I don’t think she believed me. But I assure you it is true. It’s the strangest thing that ever happened to me.’

We stayed silent, not wanting to break Whithers’ train of thought for fear he would reconsider. The candles and fireplace combined with the lightning outside to create a weird shifting of shadows across Whithers’ face as he continued.”