Pseudopod 358: Apathetic Flesh

by Darren O. Godfrey.

“Apathetic Flesh” was first published in the anthology BORDERLANDS 2 (1991, edited by Thomas Monteleone), and was later reprinted in THE BEST OF BORDERLANDS (2005).

DARREN O. GODFREY hails from southeast Idaho. His stories have appeared in, among other things, THE MUSEUM OF HORRORS, BORDERLANDS 2, BORDERLANDS 5, Gorezone Magazine (the old sister publication of Fangoria), Black October Magazine, and QUIETLY NOW: An Anthology in Tribute to Charles L. Grant. His story “Recess” has been selected for Mort Castle’s ALL-AMERICAN HORROR OF THE 21ST CENTURY: THE 1ST DECADE. Meanwhile, he’s finishing up a novel he started 20 years ago.

Your reader this week – Bill Ruhsam – blogs at Evil Eyebrow.

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“If you were to stop and think about it, you wouldn’t really be able to say why it is you watch these films; though, as a child, you enjoyed being frightened, and some of the movies did that; and as a teenager you enjoyed being shocked (and perhaps a little revolted) and the “splatter” films fit that bill nicely. But now, at an ancient and creaking twenty-seven years of age, the movies – horror, splatter, or otherwise – no longer seem to have any effect on you. Nil.

But still you watch them.

And think about it is something you never do anyway, so, tonight, you merely chew stale popcorn and gawk at the silver screen where the lead zombie (nicknamed Harley) effortlessly tears a young woman’s head from her quivering white shoulders, delicately tongues one of her eyeballs, sucks it from its socket. Harley chews it, apparently savoring the taste, and the only discomfort you feel is the rock-hard lump against the small of your back, a special feature of all the seats in the Chief Theater. No point in moving. So you don’t.

Until it’s over (completely over; every last credit read and recorded in your junkshop mind), at which time you stand and brush salt and popcorn bits from your jeans.

‘Well, that was fun,’ you say to no one as you step into the aisle and make for the glowing green EXIT.”

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