by Ted Kosmatka
“Cry Room” is available to read over at fellow horror fiction website NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. Check out their biweekly offerings of new horror fiction, non-fiction and podcast readings on their main page for current and past horror fiction and recordings by authors like Margo Lanagan & Norman Partridge, all curated for you by the tireless John Joseph Adams - and tell ‘em PSEUDOPOD sent ya and please remember to extend a tentacle in friendship! “Cry Room” was inspired by events that occurred a few years back. The line between fiction and reality is probably not where you’d expect.
TED KOSMATKA set his sights early on being a writer. This mostly involved having all his writing rejected, pursuing a biology degree, dropping out before graduation, and becoming a steel worker like his father and grandfather. Then the mill went bankrupt. After that he worked various lab jobs where friendships were born and fire departments were called. (And where, incidentally, he learned the fine point of distinction between fire-resistant and fire-proof) Eventually, Ted finished college and worked in a research lab with electron microscopes. Then came the final logical step: ditching all that to write video games at Valve. Ted’s fiction has been widely reprinted and nominated for both the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon awards. His first novel, THE GAMES, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best genre books of 2012 and is currently available on Amazon. His second novel, PROPHET OF BONES will be released in bookstores on April 2.
Peter Piazza - is your reader this week. Pete narrates stories for sites including StarshipSofa and Tales of Old (as well as Pseudopod, of course).
“Around him, ladies fanned themselves in the heat, dressed in their Sunday finest. At the front of the church, the minister began. He was an older gentleman, narrow and angular as the church itself. Somewhere up ahead, among the sea of blue hair and balding pates sat his cousin Jason—along with Jason’s wife, her grandparents, and other assorted relation, both close and distant, all here for the special occasion.
Mitch came from Steel people, north counties, Hammond and East Chicago. But these were rural people down here. Farm people. His cousin’s wife’s side. In Indiana, an hour south might have been another world.
His daughter was good for the first minutes of the minister’s sermon. Then it began: she slid down his knee to the floor.”