JULIA WATSON is a freelance writer and editor, and a graduate of UCR’s Palm Desert Low-Residency MFA program in Creative Writing, where she studied screenwriting and fiction. She lives near San Diego, CA and is currently at work on a TV pilot script and a YA fantasy novel. She also has an indie short film, FOREVER HOLLYWOOD (a 16-minute zombie movie she co-wrote and assistant produced). For more info and updates about the film, see its Facebook Page. And you can find her on Twitter at @wordnerditis.
Your reader – Kaitie Radel – is a music education student and aspiring voice actress, has been voice acting as a hobby for two years. In addition to this project, she has participated as both a VA and administrator in several fan projects such as The Homestuck Musical Project and Ava’s Melodies. She can be contacted at kaitlynradel at mail.usf.edu.
Bottom of the breath, I aim and squeeze. CRACK. Mr. Johnson, our next-door neighbor, falls. Goes still. His noisy mutt, the one you hated, used to welcome me at the end of his chain with rough fur and a wet tongue to wash my salt away. I’m glad that dog’s not here.
Another. A woman—hard to tell who. I fire. As her ruined face explodes into mist, I whisper my thanks to the fool who built a gazebo on this ugly spit of land overlooking Rustridge Canyon—named for the five generations’ worth of scrap refuse the town tossed into it. You’d say I was crazy, boxing myself in, but alone, it’s the only way to get this done.
“Monster” first appeared in Nameless Magazine, Issue 3, Spring 2014. “I got the idea while watching a documentary on the origins of fractals.”
MIKE ALLEN is the editor of the anthology series Clockwork Phoenix and the digital journal Mythic Delirium. His first novel, THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO, a post-apocalyptic tale of music, magic and flesh-eating ghouls, was published last year by Haunted Stars Press, and he’s written a sequel, THE GHOULMAKER’S ARIA. His website is Descent Into Light and his publisher website is Mythic Delirium.com. His first collection of horror stories, UNSEAMING (with a gracious introduction by Laird Barron, Thomas Ligotti called it “seriously unnerving fun”) was released by Antimatter Press in 2014. (Unseaming contains all four stories that have appeared on Pseudopod – “The Button Bin,”, “The Blessed Days”, “Let There Be Darkness” & “Monster”) and also contains the 19k sequel to Button Bin, “The Quiltmaker.”
Your reader – Ben Kohanski is new to Pseudopod and Escape Artists!
“Since I grew tall enough to sit at a classroom desk, I’ve longed to be a monster. There is no reason for this that you or your friends in the department will ever be able to find, should you have an opportunity to delve into my history. My mother and father loved each other. They were neither too lenient nor too strict. The bullies in my school, the ones who introduced my fellow gifted students to cycles of humiliation and pain, paid no attention to me at all. My teachers never singled me out for praise or discipline.”
“Stillborn” originally appeared in the first BORDERLANDS anthology from 1990 edited by Thomas F. Monteleone
In the past thirty-plus years NINA KIRIKI HOFFMAN has sold around ten novels and more than three hundred short stories. Her work has been on final ballots for the World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Endeavour, and other awards, and she has won a Nebula and a Stoker Award. She works on production for the MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, teaches a short stories writing class for her local community college, and picks up other odd jobs..
Your Reader, Brian Rollins is a voice actor and writer living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado where he lives with his wife and two kids. When not talking to himself in his sound booth, he’s at his day job as a web developer or on stage with a href=”http://magicmomentsinc.org/”>Magic Moments, a theatre company that works with people with special needs and creates a new musical every March. You can find out what he’s up to on his website, VOICES IN MY HEAD.
Hugh found it in the shallow grave his mother had dug behind the house. He kept it wrapped in cotton above a heat register in the attic, where the dry warmth would preserve it without rotting it. Once it had mummified, he locked his bedroom door and took it out to look at, nights after his mother had gone to bed. When lie shook it, its brain rattled inside its tiny skull like a pea in a gourd. “Little brother,” he would whisper, staring into its sunken leathery face. “Little brother.”
by Severity Chase, Richard Kellum, Laura Lam, Andrew Reid, Taran Matharu, & Edward Cox
A gaggle of new Flash Fiction to warm your heart and chill your bones…
Absolution by Severity Chase
Read by Khaalidaah Muhammed-Ali Severity is mystery.
My Daily Vampire by Richard Kellum
Read by Graeme Dunlop Richard’s not only an author (Fantasy/Horror) and daydreamer. he’s a fellow podcaster who, along with Chris Brosnahan (Who’s own serial you should totally be reading too), hosts Early Draft. He’s on twitter here and blogs at Elf-Machines From Hyperspace.
The Ghost of Gold and Grey by Laura Lam
Read by Tatiana Gomberg Laura, geek, author, Californian can be found on twitter here and she blogs here. Her upcoming books are False Hearts & Masquerade. Out now: Pantomime, Shadowplay & The Vestigial Tales.
Run Forever by Andrew Reid
Read by Joe Scalora Andrew Reid – Cook, climber, teacher, writer and one of the most fiercely articulate, creative people it’s my honour to know. He and I, along with Lou, survived redshirting World FantasyCon together last year. That may mean at some point we open a bar. We’ll let you know… Andrew blogs at My God It’s Raining and tweets here.
Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing by Taran Matharu
Read by Marguerite Kenner Taran, is the author of the popular book Summoner: The Novice (read 6 Million times and published in 11 languages) and can be found on twitter here.
Gravemaker by Edward Cox
Read by Alasdair Stuart Edward, author of THE RELIC GUILD and THE CATHEDRAL OF KNOWN THINGS can be found on twitter here and blogs here
And that’s our stories, supplied by The Mushens Agency. I’d like to thank all our narrators and authors for turning in stories that show just how diverse and vibrant a genre horror is.
The stars are right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do, a band of innocent authors has accomplished. After vigintillions of years the Flash Fiction Contest is loose again, and ravening for delight. Each week, batches of stories will be released into gladiatorial pits to fight for supremacy. The floor will be churned to mud with the blood of the fallen until the mightiest stories remain for your delight and dread. Head over to the forums, take up your stone, and join us in the harvest festivals of the October Country.
It’s easy to be become a member. Sign up for a forum account and make a single post so we know you’re not a bot. This is a good thread to start with. From there, head over to “The Arcade” as the contest thread will not be visible until after you have made at least one post. Authors, encourage friends and families to come over and participate – you just can’t tell them which stories are yours. Visit our forums for rules and details.
Jason Rush lives in Colorado with his wife, Shannon, and dog, Freckles. When he’s not writing, he snowboards, skateboards, hikes, climbs mountains and plays guitar. He is currently working on his first novel, Mad Maddie, which took first place in the Zebulon contest at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. He blogs at jasonrush.com and tweets at @diminish7 .
Your narrator – Cheyenne Wright is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He is the color artist on the three-time Hugo Award winning steampunk graphic novel series Girl Genius, and co-creator of many other fine works; Including 50 Fathoms and the Ennie award winning Deadlands Noir for the Savage Worlds RPG. He has also produced graphics for Star Trek Online, the Champions MMO, and t-shirt designs for T.V.’s Alton Brown. Cheyenne lives in Seattle with his wife, their daughter, and an ever growing stack of unpainted miniatures. In his spare time he is teaching himself animation, and narrates short stories for a variety of audio anthologies where he is known as Podcasting’s Mr. Buttery ManVoice ™
Rob swings the door of the old Ford pickup, and it squeaks before clunking shut. He puts a hand on the truck to steady himself. His tongue feels like someone crammed a wad of cotton in his mouth, soaked in whiskey and blood.
He flicks a glance at the back of the truck, then across the field to where the great oak stands on the hill, black against the midnight sky.
_I know,_ Rob thinks, looking away from the tree. _I know what I gotta do. Jus’ gimme a goddamn minute._