Author Archive

NASA aurora image from April 10, 2015, Delta Junction, Alaska

PseudoPod 538: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVII: Higher Beings Command

Show Notes

“Higher Beings Command…Their Powers To The Ground….”
Coil


“Behold, The Drowning” was first made available to the public via the “No Sleep” section of reddit.com.

“I would like the audience to consider, while listening to this story, the implications of sensory deprivation on fear. Loss of sight has been explored many times over; it is pivotal to our primordial fear of the dark. Loss of sound, however, receives far less attention and is, potentially, more horrifying for reasons stated by the story’s protagonist.”


“Bring The Moon To Me” was first printed in 2015 in the anthology SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS (later renamed “CTHULHU’S DAUGHTERS”), edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles


“The Hole At The Top of the World” is a PseudoPod Original.

“The story is about equal halves me imagining a character given his own space when, in many other stories, he’d be relegated to a minor role; and me thinking about depression.”


“This Creature, This Creature, This Wonderful Creature” first appeared in the short story collection SING ALONG WITH THE SAD SONG in 2016.


Behold, The Drowning by John Purfield

I once wished I could give both my eyes for a pair of ears that worked. My world is experienced through the narrow window of my vision. I hear no birds sing, nor waves crash on rocks. The intricacies of music are lost on me, but for the vibrations of a particularly obnoxious bass line. In the animal kingdom, there are many blind animals, but precious few deaf creatures. The deaf die fast and young, for hearing is the only sense that gives you full scope of your environment. You can hear a predator creep behind you, but you cannot see it unless it is in front of you. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 536: ARTEMIS RISING 3: Meat


Meat

by Sandra M. Odell


A poster on the far wall of the crowded cafeteria chamber shows an identical man and woman in coveralls and happy smiles with their hands on the woman’s pregnant belly.  The caption at the bottom reads: A REPRODUCTIVE WORKER IS A HAPPY WORKER.  MED CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SEXTIME TODAY.

Ollie puts her hands to her belly, her empty belly.  Three miscarriages in the last eleven cycles.  Only two more chances for a live baby before the overseers stuff her in a containment suit and ship her to processing half a kilometer below the meat farm.  No one comes back from processing.  “My baby won’t look like everybody else’s.  It’ll be different.  Better.  Everyone will know it’s my baby.”

Across the table, Charlie shrugs and keeps shoveling meat porridge into his mouth.  Like everyone else in the meat farm.

She looks around the cafeteria.  The same faces, the same voices.  Sluggo.  Mary.  Abner.  Patty.  Gwen pulling her hair out one strand at a time.  The woman who eats rats.  The bald boy who constantly bangs his head against the wall until he passes out.  All crazyheads.

Ollie picks at a few of the darker lumps in the center of her bowl, takes a bite, says to Charlie, “How many babies do you have now?  Five?  Six?”  When he doesn’t answer, she continues, “I went to the nursery before shift.  You have six crib babies and two in the walker room.  Do you ever go to the nursery?”

Charlie shakes his head and keeps eating.

Ollie pushes her bowl away.  “What’s your fertility rating?  Nine?  Nine-point-five?”

Charlie scrapes the last bits from the side of his bowl.  “Don’t care.”

Ollie stares at him.  “How can you not care?  I don’t have one baby and I care.”

Charlie taps the side of her bowl with his spoon.  “You gonna finish that?” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 534: ARTEMIS RISING 3: In The Country


In the Country

By Christi Nogle


At sunset everything is pink and blue-violet. The mother, Myrna, stands out on the balcony surveying the hills and follows the diagonal lines of them in zigzag down and past the tree line to the scene on the lawn. The little boy and little girl’s nightdresses glow pink in the sunset, succulents at their feet all spiral-shaped, soft and pebbly, the harder white of lilies behind them and the red-green foliage of the roses behind them. Their hair, which always shimmers in the light—his yellow-gold and hers deep reddish brown—is darkened now and so their skin glows healthier rose against it. There are no shadows on their faces. The pebbles between the flower beds are flat rose-gold. The paper lanterns the children hold are brighter rose-gold.

The little boy moves like a little girl, carefully, cringing back from others’ movements and from sharp or hard surfaces. His blonde curls will be cut off soon now. His plain nightdress is already wrong. The girl’s lace-trimmed nightdress cuts tight under the arms, and the sleeves are too short. She twirls with the lantern after her father lights it, then climbs the little ladder to hang it on a stake. Her legs are slim and darker rose. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 532: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVI: Artemis Rising Showcase

Show Notes

“When First He Laid Eyes” first appeared in Fireside, February 2016. Sometimes what is scariest in the world is what we normalize. This story is for the women who have lived this reality.

“Eyes That See Everything” is a Pseudopod original.

“Standard Procedure” first appeared in the anthology For Mortal Things Unsung.

“Us, Here” is a PseudoPod original. “A while ago I ran a roleplaying event, tabletop style, that explored a character’s dysphoria and body-anxiety through this kind of “meatscape” environment, basically exaggerating and inflating all of the points of greatest unease, making the internal external. I’d been thinking of incorporating that idea into a more discrete story for a while, and this seemed like a great time to do that”.

“Nothin’ ever seems to turn out right/I don’t wanna grow up”
Tom Waits


When First He Laid Eyes

by Rachael K. Jones


A girl’s first stalker is always a cause for celebration. She will phone her mother with the big news and spill the story in a tangle of words, voice raw with emotion.

Her mother’s heart will swell at her daughter’s achievement. Every mother hopes for this day. A stalker means beauty. A stalker means desire. It is always a compliment for a girl to become a man’s intended. Her mother will fuss over the details: How did they meet? What was he like? When will they see each other again?

These are hard questions for a girl. If her stalker is a proper stalker, if he observes his social graces, his intended cannot pinpoint the enchanted instant when he first chose her, the moment their lives entangled. She thinks it might have been on a dark thirty run at Cape Canaveral, when the humid Southern air pressed hot and moist around her like a stranger’s breath. She remembers red Mars, hazy through the Spanish moss on the oaks. She fancied she could run there if she continued down the trail through the park, past the beach, and on into the Everglades, into an alien world. Her stalker must have spotted her on that route as he walked home from the bar that sold half-price beer to men in uniform. She probably waved to him, because a girl is friendly to everyone. A girl always smiles. A girl ignores the dread in her stomach when a man’s gaze impales her like a needle rammed through a butterfly’s thorax. (Continue Reading…)