Archive for Stories

PseudoPod 625: The Golgotha Dancers and These Doth The Lord Hate

Show Notes

“Masks of Nyarlathotep” is now available from Dark Adventure Radio Theater. This is adapted from the famous Chaosium role-playing game of the same title. The show is over 7 hours long. You can check it out here: https://store.hplhs.org/products/dark-adventure-radio-theatre-masks-of-nyarlathotep


The Golgotha Dancers

by MANLY WADE WELLMAN


I had come to the Art Museum to see the special show of Goya prints, but that particular gallery was so crowded that I could hardly get in, much less see or savor anything; wherefore I walked out again. I wandered through the other wings with their rows and rows of oils, their Greek and Roman sculptures, their stern ranks of medieval armors, their Oriental porcelains, their Egyptian gods. At length, by chance and not by design, I came to the head of a certain rear stairway. Other habitués of the museum will know the one I mean when I remind them that Arnold Böcklin’s The Isle of the Dead hangs on the wall of the landing.

I started down, relishing in advance the impression Böcklin’s picture would make with its high brown rocks and black poplars, its midnight sky and gloomy film of sea, its single white figure erect in the bow of the beach-nosing skiff. But, as I descended, I saw that The Isle of the Dead was not in its accustomed position on the wall. In that space, arresting even in the bad light and from the up-angle of the stairs, hung a gilt-framed painting I had never seen or heard of in all my museum-haunting years. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 624: Flash On The Borderlands XLV: Personal Narratives

Show Notes

“Ten Things I Didn’t Do” is a PseudoPod Original – “This was a story that I struggled with while writing it. I wanted it to have a happier, more heroic ending, but the story refused to bend: it stubbornly held on to its darkness.”

“Egg” was first printed at Aug 12, 2016 – Out of the Gutter Online

“People Watching” is a PseudoPod original  – “This story is, a little bit, about people who write stories.There’s something predatory about watching people as they go about their day and trying to extract inspiration from them.”


Ten Things I Didn’t Do

By Maria Haskins


  1. I didn’t die.

I promised you I wouldn’t, so I didn’t. I know you said the words in jest when you dropped me off at school, “Don’t die, honey!”, with that hoarse laugh and sideways wink you do, but I rolled my eyes and said “OK, mom, I promise,” and I don’t break my promises. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 623: Greener Pastures

Show Notes

There’s still a sort of sad Western romance about American truckers, from the language of the CB radio to the drone of all those wheels on the highways. Endless sodium lamps. Although the trucking industry is still very much alive, it often feels like truckers are a relic of the past, and the blank spaces on the maps have less traffic in them. The rest stops and all-night diners tucked into these spaces feel more lonesome. I wanted to write about them in an ode to The Twilight Zone, as a sort of anti-ghost story. We are all haunted by our dead—it is a motif that has been and always will be a resonant voice. But what if the voice is that of the living? Truckers leave behind their loved ones for long stretches at a time, and there is a lot of empty road out there before the dawn.”

http://www.nightvalepresents.com/aliceisntdead/
http://www.nightvalepresents.com/aliceisntdead/#novel


Greener Pastures

by Michael Wehunt


“You ever can’t sleep?” the trucker said.

Forsyth glanced up out of his thoughts. The man standing at his table was big and worn out, his eyes raw and heavy even in the shadow of his cap’s bill. He had a young face with an old beard matted on the left side, as though he’d been trying to nap against the window of his cab.

The trucker slid into the booth but Forsyth didn’t answer his question at first. He felt the contradiction of road life, that of the lonesome loner. It could be nice to have company when he stopped off someplace, but he’d never been much for talk. He glanced around the diner. A couple more long-haulers sat on high stools at the counter, knives and forks chattering against their plates. The waitress was somewhere back in the kitchen. Even for a graveyard shift the place had a tired air. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 622: En Plein Air

Show Notes

“A colleague in the English department at VCU, where I work as a librarian, gave it to the students in her Gothic seminar to read. I sent them the following notes: Writing and reading heavily, as well as being a librarian by profession, I found several years ago that I needed a pastime that was not about words. I have a longtime interest in the arts, and so I decided to try my hand at painting. As often happens, I rushed in headlong, taking classes and working late into the night. The more I painted, though, the less I was writing, and eventually I had to step back from the easel for a while. I still enjoy painting occasionally, but it’s produced an unexpected side effect. Some authors frequently use writers as protagonists, and I now have a similar tendency with artists, though I try to cycle through different media, with a sculptor in one story, a photographer in another. “En Plein Air” came along just after I’d been working on a landscape, as well as finally reading all of M.R. James’ ghost stories, so I expect both of those things influenced the story. I like to think that my art-inflected work fits into a lineage that includes The Red Tree, “Pickman’s Model,” “The Mezzotint,” The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc. These stories are a pleasure to write, in any case, and I’m always pleased when they make their way into print.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._R._James
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Sinclair


En Plein Air

by J. T. Glover


A gust of wind boiled off the James without warning, flattening cattails and clumps of spikerush as it swirled around the inlet where I was painting, and of course it caught my canvas. The morning’s work rushed away from me like a sailboat before a storm, taking my field easel with it. Just as I was sucking in breath to howl with frustration—it shuddered to a stop in midair. Two pale hands held it fast, reaching around from the back. (Continue Reading…)