Archive for Stories

PseudoPod 652: He Dies Where I Die


He Dies Where I Die

by Michael Harris Cohen


Dion spun back to the oval of daylight and said a prayer. He didn’t pray to Jesus or Qamata. He prayed to his father, ten years lost and dead in the mines.

Watch over me. Lead me to gold and back to the light.

He sniffed his last lungful of fresh air, jasmine and pending rain in it. He pulled on the dented hardhat—a hand-me-down from his father—flicked on his headlamp and descended.

Two hours down, back squawking from the constant crouch, the tall man’s misery in the mine, he thought of Thabo though he tried not to.

Thabo’d be pissed if he found out. When. Thabo’d know, he always knew, and it wouldn’t be about gold—he’d cut his boet Thabo a share of that. He’d be pissed about the Zama’s code, how Dion broke it going under alone.

“I die where he dies. He dies where I die.” That was Thabo’s mine entrance prayer and Dion’d heard it a hundred times. Always together. Down for days and even weeks in the abandoned shafts and dark. Digging. Trading jokes and joints and dreams, ready to die together. Because a Zama Zamas never goes or dies alone. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 651: The Coven of Dead Girls

Show Notes

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

The Coven of Dead Girls

by L’Erin Ogle


The key turns in the lock and you step inside. Until you, we have been adrift in waiting, silence heavy in our bones. Time passes slowly inside these walls, dressed in our plastic coffins. Your sister follows you inside and looks around.

“This isn’t a good place,” she says.

She’s right, but you’ll chalk it up to the way Connie’s always existed partially in the real world, and part in another place where everything is gauzy and insubstantial. You don’t even hear her, but it would have served you better if you had.

Hindsight can be a real bitch sometimes. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 650: The Detweiler Boy

Show Notes

This episode is dedicated to horror hosts in general, and Sinister Seymour in particular.

 


The Detweiler Boy

by Tom Reamy


The room had been cleaned with pine oil disinfectant and smelled like a public toilet. Harry Spinner was on the floor behind the bed, scrunched down between it and the wall. The almost colorless chenille bedspread had been pulled askew exposing part of the clean, but dingy, sheet. All I could see of Harry was one leg poking over the edge of the bed . He wasn’t wearing a shoe, only a faded brown and tan argyle sock with a hole in it. The sock, long bereft of any elasticity , was crumpled around his thin rusty ankle.

I closed the door quietly behind me and walked around the end of the bed so I could see all of him . He was huddled on his back with his elbows propped up by the wall and the bed. His throat had been cut. The blood hadn’t spread very far. Most of it had been soaked up by the threadbare carpet under the bed . I looked around the grubby little room but didn’t find anything. There were no signs of a struggle, no signs of forced entry-but then, my BankAmericard hadn’t left any signs either. The window was open, letting in the muffled roar of traffic on the Boulevard. I stuck my head out and looked , but it was three stories straight down to the neon-lit marquee of the movie house.

It had been nearly two hours since Harry called me. “Bertram, my boy, I’ve run across something very peculiar. I don’t really know what to make of it.” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 649: Whatever Comes After Calcutta

Show Notes

Exerpt from interview of David Erik Nelson about “Whatever Comes After Calcutta”.  Full interview can be found here.

This is one of those stories that I think may have accidentally taken on a lot of political overtones that weren’t intentional. I guess that’s for readers to determine; I wrote it mostly in early 2016, well before a lot of what it feels like it’s about actually happened. This story was locked up well before the election.

Nonetheless, when I go to sum up the story in a Big Picture way, I end up saying the same thing that I said about that election:

I totally hear where folks—angry, aggrieved, not-gonna-take-it-anymore folks—are coming from, because I totally agree with them: They are getting screwed. We just totally disagree on who is screwing them, or what is a sensible way to address that.

This story is about that, in a fundamental way.


Goodreads page for Devil Red


Whatever Comes After Calcutta

by David Erik Nelson


It was late in the day when Lyle Morimoto saw the hanged woman and almost crashed his Prius.

He was somewhere between Calcutta, Ohio, and whatever the hell came after Calcutta. For hours he’d been sipping warm Gatorade and cruising the crumbling two-lane blacktop that sliced up the scrubby farmland separating Calcutta, Cairo, Congo, Lebanon, East Liverpool, East Palestine—in southern Ohio, apparently, you could circle the globe without ever crossing the state line.

He understood that he was not thinking clearly, but that seemed OK, since it also meant not thinking about his ear, or his wife, or Detective Jason Good, or the gun in the pocket of his suit jacket. (Continue Reading…)