Archive for the 'Stories' Category
PseudoPod 491: The Second Act

by Nicolas Escobar

“The Second Act” is a Pseudopod original. “It’s important to remember that not everything in life can or should be understood.”

NICOLAS ESCOBAR is a Registered Nurse in Seattle Washington. When he’s not working the night shift he’s at home with his wonderful wife Emily. He developed a passion for writing after attending a meeting of “The Notion Club” run by Professor Will Mari of Northwest University. Nicolas believes in spooks and thinks you should too. He is currently working on a horror novel called THE EMPEROR OF SEATTLE, which should be out in December 2016..

Your narrator – John Meagher – is the writer and narrator of Tales of the Left Hand, an ongoing fantasy series offering “swashbuckling, intrigue and a dash of magic.” His books are available in paperback, eBook and audio versions, and links to all three can be found at Tales Of The Left Hand.com. In his secret identity, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter and two cats.

****************************

He was wearing a torn up jacket and soggy blue jeans. Corralled beneath a frayed baseball cap, his hair spilled out in all directions. Both arms clutched a thin yellow book to his chest. He held it tight, as if at any moment someone might snatch it from him. Wild eyed, he slammed the book down in front of me but left his hand on top.

“I’d like to exchange this please” he said.

PseudoPod 490: Murmurs of a Voice Foreknown

by Jon Padgett

“Murmurs of a Voice Foreknown” is a Pseudopod original. “As an adult human being, I’m an odd misfit, but I was truly a ghoulish child—small and rail thin with a large, square face capable of making the most hideous expressions (usually only for my own amusement in the bathroom mirror). I’m sure my dark humor and morbid bent are due in no small measure to an older brother who delighted in telling me scary stories almost every night of my early childhood. My brother pathologically despised me when we were kids and actively (and creatively) fed my fears and doubts when he wasn’t physically causing me discomfort or pain. My earliest memories are filled with his threats, creepy lies and bizarre, improvised stories. Many years later, they still haunt my imagination, and I wrote “Murmurs of a Voice Foreknown” with these childhood memories in mind.”

JON PADGETT lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, The Lovecraft eZine and Xnoybis. Padgett’s chapbook, THE INFUSORIUM, was released in spring of 2015, and his first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, is forthcoming from Dunhams Manor Press, Autumn 2016. Also later in 2016, Padgett–along with a team of editors and the artistic wizardry of Dave Felton–will be releasing the first issue of Vastarien: a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti and the authors who influenced and are influenced by him.

Your narrator – Paul Cram – is a scrappy actor who’s character in movies always seems to be the one that dies. His latest role in at Anniversary as him awake at night seeing things that no one wants to admit are happening. While Paul still considers his voice to be somewhat new to the world of audio books, he has a few full-length novels under his belt, including the love story Flirting With Death set against the beauty of Lake Michigan & the Zombie Apocalypse. When not acting, Paul can be found out in the woods of Minnesota, arguing pop-culture with his little brother. Check out Paul’s website at PaulCramActor.

****************************

I was seven years old the first time my brother tried to kill me.

PseudoPod 489: The Devil In Rutledge County

by Victoria Hoke

“The Devil In Rutledge County” first appeared in LORE Vol. 2, #4, December 2013.

VICTORIA HOKE writes, draws, and codes in Los Angeles. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Drabblecast, and Three-lobed Burning Eye. She grew up in North Carolina and still gets cravings for hush puppies and butterscotch candy. She’s editor-in-chief of sub-Q, a new online magazine for interactive fantasy, science fiction, and horror. If you like stories that get under your skin, or you’d like to create some yourself, visit sub-Q for resources, submissions details, and a look at what they publish.

Your narrator – Laura Hobbs – works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter is her social media of choice, and she despises the word “cyber”. When asked nicely, she sometimes reads things for people on the internet. You can find her online at SOAPTURTLE.NET

****************************

It was my fault. It happened ’cause I prayed to the Devil.

Of course I prayed to God first. I prayed every night since I realized Pa was a drunk. Not a joker or a hothead or a layabout — a drunk. I prayed God would make him quit drinking. I prayed God would turn him back to the easy-laughing man who took us fishing on Saturdays.

I prayed whenever I heard Pa retching in the backyard at dawn.

I prayed whenever the constable’s boys dragged him home at midnight.

I prayed when Essie got bit on the heel by a copperhead, and Pa was face-down in bed, and there was only one other person we could turn to.

PseudoPod 488: A Thing Of Terrible Beauty

by Roger Zelazny

“A Thing Of Terrible Beauty” was first published in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, April 1963.

Roger Zelazny (1937 – 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the Nebula award three times and the Hugo award six times. In his stories, Roger Zelazny frequently portrayed characters from myth, depicted in the modern world. Zelazny was also apt to include numerous anachronistic present-day elements and references to various drama classics into his fantasy and science-fiction works. His crisp, minimalistic dialogue also seems to be somewhat influenced by the style of wisecracking hardboiled crime authors, such as Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. The tension between the ancient and the modern, surreal and familiar was what drove most of his work. He has a crustacean named after him! Many thanks to Trent Zelazny for working with us to share this story with you. While you’re in the mood for fiction, check out some of his work. We recommend starting with his excellent collection “The Day the Leash Gave Way and Other Stories“.

Your narrator – Ben Kohanski initially became interested in voice work thanks to Pseudopod. He has been an avid listener since all the way back in 2006, and having developed a love of audio fiction, decided to pursue narration. He has since professionally recorded and produced one audiobook, as well as a previous story for Pseudopod, and is available for contract on ACX (hint hint). Though he hails from the grim primordial forests of northwestern Connecticut, he currently lives in Niigata, Japan where he teaches English.

****************************

How like a god of the Epicureans is the audience, at a time like this! Powerless to alter the course of events, yet better informed than the characters, they might rise to their feet and cry out, “Do not!”—but the blinding of Oedipus would still ensue, and the inevitable knot in Jocasta’s scarlet would stop her breathing still.

But no one rises, of course. They know better. They, too, are inevitably secured by the strange bonds of the tragedy. The gods can only observe and know, they cannot alter circumstance, nor wrestle with ananke.

My host is already anticipating the thing he calls “catharsis.” My search has carried me far, and my choice was a good one. Phillip Devers lives in the theater like a worm lives in an apple, a paralytic in an iron lung. It is his world.