Pseudopod 342: Riding Atlas

by Ferrett Steinmetz

“Riding Atlas” was first published at Three-Lobed Burning Eye and can be read here. Some people think the medical facts in this must be wrong. I ran it past two doctor pals of mine and a paramedic. It seems incredible, and Ryan IS playing very fast and loose with safety, but you could actually do this. Kind of. Please don’t. And if you do, don’t mention me.

Ferrett Steinmetz lives in Cleveland with his wife, a well-worn copy of Rock Band, two boxes of bees, and a friendly ghost. He’s been nominated for the Nebula, much to his continued astonishment, and has published over twenty-five stories since rebooting his writing career five years ago. Ferrett blogs regularly about puns, polyamory, and politics at his blog FERRETT – that’s two “R”s, and two “Ts”. He usually has a few upcoming stories, so if you liked this one, there’s probably more like it at his site.

Your reader this week – Chris Reynaga – is a multiple award-winning writer with stories appearing Cemetery Dance, The Drabblecast, and The Book of Cthulhu 2. You can enter his magical reality at CHRIS REYNAGA’S MAGICAL REALITY.

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“They were naked, now, on a dirty mattress.

‘Neither of you have eaten or drunk anything for twenty-four hours?” Ryan asked, hauling equipment into the room: sloshing plastic buckets, packs of hypodermic needles, coils of tubing, straps. “And no drugs in your system? This is a pure trip. Just two bloods commingling. Any impurities will stop Atlas from getting inside you.’

Stewart didn’t answer. He was too distracted by all the naked couples. The attic floor was covered with bodies, lying belly to swollen belly on bedbug-blackened box springs. Their arms were thrust out above their heads, ears resting on their biceps; they clasped hands like lovers, each couple’s circulatory systems knitted into a single bloodstream.

Stewart felt his arms itch where the needles would be inserted, anticipation and fear churning into a sour mix in his gut. But Tina was ready, as she always was for things like this. She’d dragged him here, telling him they had to do this now, before they outlawed consanguination just like they’d outlawed LSD.”

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