Archive for Holiday

PseudoPod 522: The Christmas Spirits – A Tale of the White Street Society

Show Notes

Another true horror story of the season mentioned in the intro can be found here.


The Christmas Spirits

by Grady Hendrix

 


You can have your Paris, your London, your Vienna, your Rome; for this good Christian there is no city more sublime than New York at Christmastime. As I walked to the White Street Society clubhouse I sucked in great gulps of cold Yuletide air until my lungs froze solid with Christmas cheer. My feet were numbed with holiday spirit as they tramped the icy streets. My face and whiskers were chapped with all the joy of the season. Six carolers raced past me in the opposite direction, screaming, their exposed skin red and blistered with burns, their wet clothes steaming, flesh hanging from one of their faces in sheets. I smiled to myself a secret Christmas smile, for this meant that my good friend Augustus Mortimer was home.

‘God rest you, merry gentleman!’ I shouted in gay spirits, as I pounded on his front door. ‘Augustus? It is William! Come a’wassailing this December eve! Augustus?’

I felt something poking me in the midsection and directed my gaze downwards to behold the blade of a saber protruding from the mail slot and halfheartedly prodding me. It was sharpened to a murderous gleam, but as I was wrapped in many cloaks, and carpets, and coats, and shawls to protect myself against the Christmas chill, I felt only a gentle massaging about my tummy.

‘Augustus!’ I smiled, squatting down and peering through the mail slot. ‘Is stabbing any way to greet a visitor on this fifth night of Advent?’

PseudoPod 470: The Santa Claus Parade


The Santa Claus Parade

by Helen Marshall


Some people think the Santas are smiling.

The Company tries to weed out that kind of thinking pretty early on with videos from the eighties, people with big hair, shoulder pads, smiling in bleached out, crackling colours. There are diagrams about brain function. A specialist gave a talk on the subject but I slept all the way through it. Sweet dreams.

Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition

Show Notes

“It was at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia that I founded a member group for sci fi, fantasy and horror writers to meet and support each other. It’s a fantastic group and they helped motivate me to write, edit and submit this piece. Winter holidays are usually such a happy time, I wanted to try and do something seasonal that was a lot darker. I’ve always liked the pagan tradition of bringing in evergreens to give nature spirits a place to live during the cold weather and this story really came out of that idea- manifesting the rituals into something a lot more sinister and corporeal. I find the loss of control and fear that comes with this setting quite unsettling”


Tradition

by L.M. Ball


It always starts when the leaves change colour. At first they’re yellow, then golden before fading to a russet brown. I like the red ones the best, even though you could say they are the most obvious sign of what’s to come. They give you a rake and they tell you to make piles of the leaves. Your parents I mean, not the leaves. Though that wouldn’t be all that strange, considering. Sometimes when they aren’t watching we play in them, making big piles and knocking them over. It should be fun and it is, when you can forget that winter’s coming.

I think they started it all off, with the weird traditions, cutting down trees and bringing them indoors. Decorating everything in red and green, something about berries. Didn’t they notice that blood’s red too? Mamma says she remembers a time when winter was exciting, decorating a tree with glitter and ornaments to make it pretty. We don’t decorate our tree. Before, people believed that bringing foliage indoors was to provide a home for nature spirits, now that’s its purpose. I guess if you believe in something strongly enough, you can make it manifest. When the ornaments started to fall off by themselves and shatter on the floor, when it happened more than once, people started to notice. That’s what Mamma says. She said it was hard not to feel nervous that something else was going on when your entire tree had thrown off its decorations like an unwanted layer of skin.

Bonus Pseudopod Halloween Flash Episode: Jack And The Bad Man


Jack And The Bad Man

by Annie Neugebauer


Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy. He almost always remembered to put his dirty socks in the hamper instead of under the bed. He certainly never hid his mama’s darning needles – except for when she deserved it. And if he occasionally didn’t go to sleep right when he told his papa he would, it was only because he was too afraid of the dark to turn out his light – and who can sleep with the light on? He hauled hay, set the table, did his schoolwork sometimes. Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy.