Pseudopod 462: Flash On The Borderlands XXIX: Monsters

“But the problem is to make the soul into a monster” – Arthur Rimbaud

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“Habeas Corpus” by Julia Watson

“Habeas Corpus” is original to PseudoPod.

JULIA WATSON is a freelance writer and editor, and a graduate of UCR’s Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program in Creative Writing, where she studied screenwriting and fiction. She lives near San Diego, CA and is currently at work on a TV pilot script and a YA fantasy novel. She also has an indie short film, FOREVER HOLLYWOOD (a 16-minute zombie movie she co-wrote and assistant produced). For more info and updates about the film, see its Facebook Page. And you can find her on Twitter at @wordnerditis.

Your reader – Kaitie Radel – is a music education student and aspiring voice actress, has been voice acting as a hobby for two years. In addition to this project, she has participated as both a VA and administrator in several fan projects such as The Homestuck Musical Project and Ava’s Melodies. She can be contacted at kaitlynradel at mail.usf.edu.

Bottom of the breath, I aim and squeeze. CRACK. Mr. Johnson, our next-door neighbor, falls. Goes still. His noisy mutt, the one you hated, used to welcome me at the end of his chain with rough fur and a wet tongue to wash my salt away. I’m glad that dog’s not here.

Another. A woman—hard to tell who. I fire. As her ruined face explodes into mist, I whisper my thanks to the fool who built a gazebo on this ugly spit of land overlooking Rustridge Canyon—named for the five generations’ worth of scrap refuse the town tossed into it. You’d say I was crazy, boxing myself in, but alone, it’s the only way to get this done.

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“Monster” by Mike Allen

“Monster” first appeared in Nameless Magazine, Issue 3, Spring 2014. “I got the idea while watching a documentary on the origins of fractals.”

MIKE ALLEN is the editor of the anthology series Clockwork Phoenix and the digital journal Mythic Delirium. His first novel, THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO, a post-apocalyptic tale of music, magic and flesh-eating ghouls, was published last year by Haunted Stars Press, and he’s written a sequel, THE GHOULMAKER’S ARIA. His website is Descent Into Light and his publisher website is Mythic Delirium.com. His first collection of horror stories, UNSEAMING (with a gracious introduction by Laird Barron, Thomas Ligotti called it “seriously unnerving fun”) was released by Antimatter Press in 2014. (Unseaming contains all four stories that have appeared on Pseudopod – “The Button Bin,”, “The Blessed Days”, “Let There Be Darkness” & “Monster”) and also contains the 19k sequel to Button Bin, “The Quiltmaker.”

Your reader – Ben Kohanski is new to Pseudopod and Escape Artists!

“Since I grew tall enough to sit at a classroom desk, I’ve longed to be a monster. There is no reason for this that you or your friends in the department will ever be able to find, should you have an opportunity to delve into my history. My mother and father loved each other. They were neither too lenient nor too strict. The bullies in my school, the ones who introduced my fellow gifted students to cycles of humiliation and pain, paid no attention to me at all. My teachers never singled me out for praise or discipline.”

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“Stillborn” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

“Stillborn” originally appeared in the first BORDERLANDS anthology from 1990 edited by Thomas F. Monteleone

In the past thirty-plus years NINA KIRIKI HOFFMAN has sold around ten novels and more than three hundred short stories. Her work has been on final ballots for the World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Endeavour, and other awards, and she has won a Nebula and a Stoker Award. She works on production for the MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, teaches a short stories writing class for her local community college, and picks up other odd jobs..

Your Reader, Brian Rollins is a voice actor and writer living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado where he lives with his wife and two kids. When not talking to himself in his sound booth, he’s at his day job as a web developer or on stage with a href=”http://magicmomentsinc.org/”>Magic Moments, a theatre company that works with people with special needs and creates a new musical every March. You can find out what he’s up to on his website, VOICES IN MY HEAD.

Hugh found it in the shallow grave his mother had dug behind the house. He kept it wrapped in cotton above a heat register in the attic, where the dry warmth would preserve it without rotting it. Once it had mummified, he locked his bedroom door and took it out to look at, nights after his mother had gone to bed. When lie shook it, its brain rattled inside its tiny skull like a pea in a gourd. “Little brother,” he would whisper, staring into its sunken leathery face. “Little brother.”

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