Archive for Podcasts

PseudoPod 669: Zanders the Magnificent


Zanders the Magnificent

by Annie Neugebauer


“My handsome, darling boys,” Mrs. Zander said, placing a hand on each of their shoulders. “Which one of you wants to be alive today?”

Robby and Bobby turned their heads inward at the same time, staring at each other with identical dark eyes. Bobby blinked, followed shortly by Robby’s blink, and they both said, “Bobby. Robby was alive yesterday.”

Mrs. Zander nodded approvingly, clapping her hands against their shoulder blades. “Good, yes. I like it when you agree,” she said. “Now both of you go get Bobby ready for school.”

The boys lurched into a sprint together, their narrow shoulders brushing past the door frame at the same time, their synched footsteps thumping down the hall.

When they were safely within their bedroom, Bobby shut the door. Robby went and flopped on the left bed – indistinguishable from the right bed in everything but placement in the room – and sighed. “I wish it was Saturday so we could both live,” he said, covering his face with his arms. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 668: Flash on the Borderlands XLIX: Dirty Deeds

Show Notes

“Baby Fingers” is a PseudoPod original

“Polaroid, 1979” is a PseudoPod original 

“Metal, Sex, Monsters” was originally published in Gamut #5 in May, 2017

Metal, Sex, Monsters: “As you might be able to tell, this story was written with a Judas Priest soundtrack in mind. While writing it, I listened obsessively to all of Judas Priest’s back catalogue, so that is its main inspiration.”


Baby Fingers

by Pierce Skinner

narrated by Austin Malone


Curt stares out the into the dark beyond the jaundiced light of the motel sign. He’s got the sawed-off resting across his lap, hands shaking, face white as drywall behind his wild red beard.

I set my helmet down on the dresser, lean myself against the wall. The wallpaper smells like bleach. A fly thrashes between lightbulb and lampshade. TVs cackle through the walls and somehow, over all of this, behind it, the chittering, scratching. Like ants crawling over a microphone. It’s the sound the thing in the bathtub made before it killed Travis.

“You’re hearin’ it too.” He says, “We’re fucked.”

“No I ain’t.”

Curt’s eyes go red, wet. He looks down at his shaking hands, at the shotgun.

“Hey!” I growl. He don’t look up at me. “Christ, Curt! You a Mongol or ain’t you?”

Curt nods. “Yeah. I’m a Mongol, Dennis. But I ain’t never seen no shit like that before.” He looks up at me like he’s about to cry. “It…killed Travis.”

A headache builds behind the scratching sound. I try to tell myself that it’s just hearing damage. That emptying twelve rounds in an underground bunker did a number on our eardrums. But that don’t explain everything else. Not even close.

“What’s gonna happen to us?”

“Nothin’, Curt. Whatever it was, we killed it. Now I’m gonna call Mr. Senator. We’re gonna get our money, get out of the state. That’s it.” I pull the door open. “Stay here,” I tell him. “I’ll be right back.”

Soon as the door shuts behind me, the scratching sounds stop. The night is silent.

The headache don’t go nowhere. I light a cigarette. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 667: Allochthon

Show Notes

Hey PseudoPod family, is your TO READ pile getting shorter? We have a solution for you. Coming out this week is Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction. This is written by our friends Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson who host the Know Fear Cast along with Matt Saye. I really enjoyed how each chapter begins with an introduction that explains the era and its representative styles. It then follows with a number of exemplars of that era and style in both short and long fiction formats.

And Quirk Books delivers again with the physical copy of this book. The layout is exceptional and O! The illustrations! Each chapter has illustrations in repeating patterns like could inhabit some creepy wallpaper, with subjects related to a number of the particular stories covered there. I loved the pulp panel in particular with Shambleau by C.L. Moore and The Canal by Everil Worrell – which just so happened to run as episode 648 earlier this year. I loved seeing a shout-out to PodCastle and narrator extraordinaire Dave Robison, and we’re looking forward to bringing some of the stories highlighted here to your ears in the not too distant future.


Allochthon

by Livia Llewellyn


North Bonneville, 1934


Ruth sits in the kitchen of her company-built house, slowly turning the pages of her scrapbook. The clock on the bookcase chimes ten. In the next room, the only other room, she hears her husband getting dressed. He’s deliberately slow on Sundays, but he’s earned the right. Something about work, he’s saying from behind the door. Something about the men. Ruth can’t be bothered to listen. She stares at the torn magazine clipping taped to a page. It’s a photo of an East Coast socialite vacationing somewhere in the southern tropics: a pretty young woman in immaculate white linens, lounging on a bench that encircles the impossibly thick trunk of a palm tree. All around the woman and the tree, a soft manicured lawn flows like a velvet sea, and the skies above are clear and dry. Ruth runs her free hand across the back of her neck, imagining the heat in the photo, the lovely bite and sear of an unfiltered sun. Her gaze wanders up to the ceiling. Not even a year old, and already rain and mold have seeped through the shingled roof, staining the cream surface with hideous blossoms. It’s supposed to be summer, yet always the overcast skies in this part of the country, always the clouds and the rain. She turns the page. More photos and ephemera, all the things that over the years have caught her eye. But all she sees is the massive palm, lush and hard and tall, the woman’s back curved into it like a drowsy lover, the empty space around them, above and below, as if they are the only objects that have ever existed in the history of time. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 666: Breaking the Waters & The Second Coming

Show Notes

“The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats was first printed in The Dial in November 1920. “Breaking the Waters” is a PseudoPod original released jointly with Nightlight, a horror podcast featuring creepy tales written and performed by Black creatives all over the world.


The Second Coming

by W.B. Yeats


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Breaking the Waters

by Donyae Coles


Bootsie is what her mother called her, only her mother, ever. She stood on the train platform, the air daggers of ice against her, cutting through her clothes, leaving her skin raw and frozen.

“Bootsie,” the man called, a hint of pleasure curling on the end of her name. She looked up because only her mother used that secret name, and the man, the Man With No Face, said it just right. Just like mother.

The Man With No Face wore a suit, brilliant white with a gray tie and black shoes that slipped and disappeared into inky pools of shadow from time to time. She stared at him as he approached, his steps sounding hollow and too loud, blocking out the howling wind.

“It’s so nice to finally meet you,” he said reaching out his hand to take hers. She gave it without hesitation. He called her as mother had called her, “She said you would be here. She said to call you that.” (Continue Reading…)