PseudoPod 544: Under the Rubble

by John Wiswell


“Under the Rubble” is a Pseudopod Original. “This story is dedicated to Takeo Murata, Ishiro Honda, and Rod Serling.”

JOHN WISWELL is a writer who lives where New York keeps all its trees. His stories have appeared at Podcastle, Fireside Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. He is chronically ill, and was inspired to write this story during a period of being bedridden alone. He believes that Horror always keeps you company. He can be found on Twitter at @WISWELL and on his blog,

The horror of an earthquake is something you’d never wish on anyone. In 2015, in the span of three weeks, two severe earthquakes struck the nation of Nepal. The damage was so great that much still hasn’t been rebuilt. If you’re moved by this story, please consider a donation to relief efforts. More can be found at

This week’s reader – Marguerite Kenner is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to be with her true love and live in Merrye Olde England. She frequently wears so many hats that she needs two heads. When she’s not grappling with legal conundrums as a trainee solicitor or editing Cast of Wonders, she can be found narrating audio fiction, studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies and playing video games) with her partner Alasdair Stuart, or curling up with a really good book. You can follow her at her personal blog, Project Valkyrie, or on Twitter via @LegalValkyrie.

Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube and the german industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. A list of links to sounds used from appears at the bottom of this post.

Go check out A River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey and Greedy Pigs by Matt fn Wallace.

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

The world trembled until Samantha opened her eyes. She groaned, then coughed and spat dust. Every hitch of her chest made breathing harder, and there was something on top of her, crushing her left breast. She looked at it, but the air was too dark to see anything, so she tried pushing it away and found her arms could barely move. It felt like a metal bar pinning across her chest and biceps, digging into her skin, so she braced her elbows against the floor and heaved. The bar budged just an inch, but the inch was all it took for her to take the deepest breath of her life.


Ambulance Siren
FIRE ENGINE long approach and drive away
Metal Sounds » Door_Metal_Groans_Ext.wav
Towson EMF 366»creakingmetalchair.wav
Heatpress squeaking and creaking.wav
Drones » Metal Creaks_Groans.wav
remix of 108732__klankbeeld__creaking_metal_spokes_of_the_bicycle_wheel_06.flac
furnace creaks.wav
Creaking attic door. » Attic door creaking 2
Ambiance and Background » Creaking Metal Soundscape 2
Cracking Earthquake (cracking soil, cracking stone)
Disaster » Earthquake_Interior_MetalRattling_2.wav
Large Earthquake
Earthquake » Quake1.wav
Rumble Bass 2.wav
Rumble Bass.wav
TEC Machine/Complex Sounds » Low Rumble.wav
Cinematic Deep Bass Rumble
Staircase metal rumble.wav
Monster Pack » Monster Low Rumble 1.wav
Rumble » Rumble · fade in 10s