PseudoPod 342: Riding Atlas


Riding Atlas

by Ferrett Steinmetz


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.

About the Author

Ferrett Steinmetz

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.

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About the Narrator

Christopher Reynaga

Christopher Reynaga is a storyteller, novelist, and creator of the podcast radio show Point Mystic: In search of stories behind the magic, the mystery, and the unexplained. Find out more at POINT MYSTIC.

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