PseudoPod 540: The Dog Pit

by Jason Fischer

 

“The Dog Pit” first appeared in “Cthulhu: Deep Down Under” and is soon to be reprinted in the “Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015”. “The Dog Pit came about as a story for the Australian-themed Cthulhu anthology “Cthulhu: Deep Down Under”, and was inspired by some history tours I took around Sydney. I’ve long had a fascination with colonial-era Australia, and the colourful old gangs of the Sydney Rocks area were just begging to be used in a horror setting. Sydney is an odd place, old in terms of European settlement, and incredibly ancient for the Indigenous peoples who lived in the region prior to first contact. The idea of these layers of humanity sitting above an eldritch horror seemed to gel, and of course we writers are lucky that a few Aussie Cthulhu mythos beasties can be used and reused. So enter the dingo creature Kurpangga, trapped beneath the earth for a million years…”

JASON FISCHER is an award-winning Australian author. He has published dozens of short stories, with a novel, a short story collection, comics and computer game work also under his belt. He enjoys competition karaoke, and loves puns more than life itself. His website can be found at jasonfischer.com.au.

This week’s reader – Barry Haworth – works as a statistician for the Australian Taxation Office. He holds a Masters degree in Statistics. Outside of work he is a keen reader of science fiction and enjoys choral singing and taking part in amateur theatricals, having performed such roles as Prospero in The Tempest, Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, and Ebenezer Scrooge and Marley’s Ghost in two different versions of A Christmas Carol.

Barry has narrated episodes of Cast of Wonders, Escape Pod, Pod Castle and also the Cheap Astronomy podcast. He lives in Brisbane, Australia with his wife Sylvia, those of his children who haven’t left home yet, and whatever the current quota of pets is.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


The Dutchman finally found the boy out on the gold diggings.

Being close to seven feet tall and as broad as an axe-handle at the shoulders, Cornelius Tesselaar was an instant curiosity in that place of mud and slap-shacks. His frock-coat and good boots spoke of a man more used to cobbled streets than a fossicker’s warren. He wore a top-hat, the good silk kind, and peered around him through a pair of expensive bifocals that by themselves would earn him a knifing if he stayed too long.

A quiet word and a handful of coins led Cornelius to the nearest opium den. He swept open the hessian sack that served as a doorway, and stood blinking at the thick cloud of smoke that drifted out.

“Toby Jangles,” the Dutchman boomed, striding inside. A dozen faces stared blankly at the man, even as he stepped over their sprawled bodies. One or two furtive shapes slinked away from the doorway, creeping into the furthest shadows of the clapboard shack.