by Robert MacAnthony
This story is original to PSEUDOPOD.
Robert MacAnthony is a writer and editor of speculative fiction. He lives in California and participates in the Mythic Scribes online writing community.
Your reader this week is a fellow named Alasdair Stuart. Check out what he’s up to (currently NanoJourno, mostly) at his blog, surprisingly named Alasdair’s Stuart’s Blog.
“OL’ DAGON DARK
He’s never heard of such a thing. Still, the aroma is enticing. He checks the box and the shelf, but there is no price.
The shopkeeper is still in back, and all is silent within the store. Iverson contemplates the tobacco, then pulls a small plastic bag from behind a basket of pipes atop the shelves. He quickly loads what he deems to be two ounces of the blend into the bag, and makes his way out of the humidor. He leaves an adequate amount of money on the counter – more than adequate really, quite generous for a place like this – and pushes back out into the rain.
He doesn’t see the shopkeeper sitting just behind the curtain, doesn’t see the man slide into a crouch, back against the wall, and bury his face in his hands.”
By Jim Bihyeh
Read by Cayenne Chris Conroy of the Teknikal Diffikulties podcast
Her teachers never asked her to remove the headphones. What was the point? The girl earned a 100% on every quiz and exam, and when they called on her, Lynnette spat the answer back like a rifle ejecting a shell.
“The girl just has a way with tests,” her teachers repeated. “She knows how to prepare.”
But Lynette caught a lot of shit for her test grades. Part of the Navajo culture said that you weren’t supposed to stand out from the group. But Lynette already stood out.
“Lynette, Lyn-Ette! Teacher’s Pet!” went the usual recess refrain. “Lynette, Lyn-Ette! Teacher’s Pet! About as tall as a jumbo jet!”
And Lynette was tall. She towered past six feet by the time she reached eighth grade. And her long black hair that she rarely brushed only made her seem taller when it fell down over her wide shoulders; she was heavy-set, truly big-boned, more muscle than fat. And she put that muscle to use during the “Lynette Incidents,” as they came to be called.
For further Coyote Tales, please check out:
“Love Like Thunder”
and “The Shooting Way” in “The Trio Of Terror”
Small towns have the worst luck. For fifty years they’ve been beseiged by martians, carniverous slugs, tunnelling prehistoric worms, vampires and most terrifying of all, B-movies. So if you live in a small town with a storied past and eccentric inhabitants beware. Because your town may be about to fall victim to…the Eight! Legged! Freaks!
A lone crew struggling to cope with the stress of an impossible mission. A bomb the size of a city and a star whose light is fading. Danny Boyle’s Sunshine is a difficult, spiky film that turns the traditions of spaceship movies on their head. Now, we take a look behind the scenes, examining how it’s structured, what it says about the times and crucially what makes it tick. Welcome to the Pseudopod Autopsy. Now glove up…
A man alone in a hotel room. The past, present and future colliding beneath banal wallpaper, store bought faux art and carefully neutral furniture. A courtesy phone, a mini bar and every surface covered in the blood of the previous victims. 1408 is a meticulously constructed assault on reality itself, a film where the normal is abnormal and where it’s a very, very bad idea to try and steal the complimentary towels. So glove up, and join us as we pull the most evil room in the world apart apart and find out what makes it tick.
Hotel rooms are, in essence, purgatory charged at a nightly rate. They exist in that same curious hinterland as the departure lounge at airports, not quite in one country and yet not quite at the destination. They are, in essence, neutral spaces, transient environments which are defined, which exist, only for as long as it takes you to check out.
They’re also prime horror real estate, this very transience allowing for the things on the other side of the door, the wet things, the singing things with impossible claws and the voices of children to break through. From the hotel in The Shining to the Bates Motel in Psycho and the snuff palace in the recent Vacancy, hotels have provided fertile ground for horror writers for years and one in particular. Stephen King has survived stays in Hotel Horror before with two versions of The Shining and last year returned to the field again, when Lasse Hafstrom adapted his short story, 1408.
So join us as we pay a visit to the Dolphin Hotel, home to the most evil hotel room in the world and the crucible which will either destroy Mike Enslin, or rebuild him. Welcome to 1408, room service is suspended. Forever.
A shape in the distance, a killer in suburbia, a psychiatrist pushed to his limits and an innocent girl in the firing line. Halloween is one of the acknowledged classics of horror, the patient zero of slasher movies. Now, we take a look behind the scenes, examining how it’s structured, what it says about the times and crucially what makes it tick. Welcome to the Pseudopod Autopsy. Now glove up…
Nothing makes us happier than seeing how far we can get from the campfire before we get scared. Horror cinema has been around almost as long as cinema itself and whether it’s Nosferatu walking jauntily through Bremen, Ellen Ripley discovering exactly how little she matters to her employers, or Laurie Strode running from the blank, featureless evil of Michael Myers, it’s given us some of the most enduring images of film history.
Which is where we come in. Pseudopod’s new film review section will be looking at the best new movies, the acknowledged classics, and the cult films we know you need in your life. Japanese survival horrors, very English armageddons, and masked killers bent on revenge — we’ve caught and caged the lot for your listening pleasure.
So join us, on this first episode, as we look at the slasher movie patient zero, the film that has spawned countless sequels and arguably a subgenre all of its own: John Carpenter’s Halloween.