“Hand Off” by S. Siporin is a Pseudopod Original. “We all have parts of ourselves we are unhappy with; the trick is to accept them as part of who you are”
“Hide” was first published in Black Static Issue 43 by TTA Press in November 2014.
“Think of the Bones” is a PseudoPod Original. It is about struggling with body image, and whether the story’s resolution is comforting or unsettling is up to the listener. Recommended additional reading is “The Skeleton” by Ray Bradbury, which is included in the October Country collection.
The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
by S. Siporin
She was wealthy; you could tell by the thick brown fur of her coat, by the elaborate, streaked hair that made her look ten years younger than she really was. Three slender fingers on her left hand gleamed smooth and ivory; they were heavy with silver and gold rings, mementoes of failed marriages. Her right hand was bare of decoration; it hung flaccid by her side, brushing against the soft fur like a sallow slab of flesh. She tried to hide it under her coat. It was defective, shriveled, half paralyzed.
Without warning, it twitched, the fingers diddling as if playing an invisible piano, as if restless, discontent. The line between her eyes deepened, darkened as if someone had drawn on her face with magic marker. Not again, she thought. Not here. Her left hand pressed its palm flat against her forehead; she felt the ache of an incipient migraine.
by Annie Neugebauer
When I met Cecilia I’d only been dead for twenty years and she’d only been alive for about as many. She was all golden-brown skin and mahogany eyes and legs that stretched longer than the last week of summer, and I was cold – so cold.
I stood several yards away in the shade watching her with her friends. We were at an outdoor concert where a local band did a shitty job of playing good songs. Cecilia sat on the grass with those legs sprawled easily in front of her, catching the sun, leaned back and propped on her elbows. She wore a big white floppy hat that should have seemed silly and out of place but instead looked perfect.
Think of the Bones
by Gary Emmette Chandler
When the bones first began to grow, David had watched them with something like lust. Each night, in his small apartment, he would sit at the edge of his bed and watch the bones shift, gradually taking form. It started with the feet: that multitude of delicate, tiny bones, slowly knitting themselves together.
It was a secret he kept for himself — a routine that kept the days in motion, swinging about in silence, with hope.
I’m here to turn up the volume. To press the stinking face of humanity into the dark blood of its own secret heart.
About the Authors
Gary Emmette Chandler works from his apartment in Portland as a copywriter and web developer, mostly in pajamas, with a cat nibbling at his leg. His fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Pantheon, and Fantasy Scroll, among others.
S. Siporin lives and writes in NYC where strange encounters are commonplace. Other genres include science fiction and romance.
Annie Neugebauer is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author with work appearing and forthcoming in more than a hundred publications, including magazines such as Cemetery Dance, Apex, and Black Static, and anthologies such as Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volumes 3 and 4 and #1 Amazon bestsellers Killing It Softly and Fire. She’s a columnist for Writer Unboxed and LitReactor. You can visit her at www.AnnieNeugebauer.com.
About the Narrators
Marc Bailey and Heather Welliver have been a part of the podcasting community since 2006 as voice actors and narrators. They are in the process of rebooting their podcast Grailwolf’s Geek Life with a new name, focused on positive reviews of all things geeky along with thoughtful essays on the continuing The Geek Renaissance.
Louise Ratcliffe is a scientist, artist and stay-home Mum. She lives in New Zealand having moved there from England 12 years ago when her Maori husband brought her home. They have 3 children, 3 cats, 9 chickens, 8 ducks and a goat called Steve. She spends her time creating Art Yarn, and knitting body parts and blankets. Her work can be seen on Facebook at her Top o’ the Meadow fibre art page, or you can find her on Ravelry as Giggigoofer.
Kris is a cartoonist, podcaster, and author of the short story Candle Cove Yeah, that Candle Cove which was adapted for TV as season one of SyFy’s Channel Zero. He recently launched the third chapter of his horror adventure comic Broodhollow on Patreon.