Pseudopod » Stories http://pseudopod.org The Sound of Horror. Pseudopod is the world's first audio horror magazine. We deliver bone-chilling stories from today's most talented authors straight to ears. Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:16:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © Pseudopod 2006-2014 editor@pseudopod.org (Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart) editor@pseudopod.org (Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart) horror fiction 1440 http://pseudopod.org/images/250x250.jpg Pseudopod http://pseudopod.org 144 144 The Sound of Horror The Sound of Horror. Pseudopod is the world's first audio horror magazine. We deliver bone-chilling stories from today's most talented authors straight to ears. horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart editor@pseudopod.org no yes Pseudopod 412: Rule Of Five http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/14/pseudopod-412-rule-of-five/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/14/pseudopod-412-rule-of-five/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:16:30 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1419 by Eleanor Wood

“Rule Of Five” first appeared in Bete Noire in May 2012 and hasn’t yet been reprinted. “Obsessive compulsive disorder is far from the trivial, quirky condition it’s often made out to be. It’s a serious psychiatric disorder that can massively impact the lives of its sufferers. Through this story, I wanted to explore it in a psychological horror context whilst trying to convey the pressure and intensity of living with OCD.”

ELEANOR WOOD‘s stories have appeared in Bete Noire, Plasma Frequency, Bastion, and Crossed Genres, among others. She writes and eats liquorice from the south coast of England, where she lives with her husband, two marvellous dogs, and enough tropical fish tanks to charge an entry fee.. She blogs at Creative Panoply.

Your reader is Alasdair Stuart. Read what’s on his mind at The Man Of Words.

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

“Adam clicked the light off. He clicked it on again. Off again. On again, once more, and then, finally, off. Sighing, he closed his apartment door and turned the key before unlocking it, opening it just to check that the light was off (it always was, by the very nature of the Rule of Five), and closing and locking the door once more. He walked, in elongated steps, the five paces to the head of the stairs, and then trotted down them briskly, counting them in his mind. Fourteen steps, of course. There would always be fourteen, unless he failed to count them. But in that event, the number of steps would be the least of his worries.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/14/pseudopod-412-rule-of-five/feed/ 0 0:25:16 by Eleanor Wood “Rule Of Five” first appeared in Bete Noire in May 2012 and hasn’t yet been reprinted. “Obsessive compulsive disorder is far from the trivial, quirky condition it’s often made out to be. It’s a serious psychiatric d[...] by Eleanor Wood “Rule Of Five” first appeared in Bete Noire in May 2012 and hasn’t yet been reprinted. “Obsessive compulsive disorder is far from the trivial, quirky condition it’s often made out to be. It’s a serious psychiatric disorder that can massively impact the lives of its sufferers. Through this story, I wanted to explore it in a psychological horror context whilst trying to convey the pressure and intensity of living with OCD.” ELEANOR WOOD‘s stories have appeared in Bete Noire, Plasma Frequency, Bastion, and Crossed Genres, among others. She writes and eats liquorice from the south coast of England, where she lives with her husband, two marvellous dogs, and enough tropical fish tanks to charge an entry fee.. She blogs at Creative Panoply. Your reader is Alasdair Stuart. Read what’s on his mind at The Man Of Words. **************************** “Adam clicked the light off. He clicked it on again. Off again. On again, once more, and then, finally, off. Sighing, he closed his apartment door and turned the key before unlocking it, opening it just to check that the light was off (it always was, by the very nature of the Rule of Five), and closing and locking the door once more. He walked, in elongated steps, the five paces to the head of the stairs, and then trotted down them briskly, counting them in his mind. Fourteen steps, of course. There would always be fourteen, unless he failed to count them. But in that event, the number of steps would be the least of his worries.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Wood yes no
Pseudopod 411: Flash On The Borderlands XXIII: Grief http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/07/pseudopod-411-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxiii-grief/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/07/pseudopod-411-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxiii-grief/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 04:01:54 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1407 “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis

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“Poor Me and Ted” by Kate Jonez

“Poor Me, and Ted” first appeared in ATTIC TOYS an anthology published by Evil Jester Press and edited by Jeremy C. Shipp. “Every day we go about our lives navigating through crowds on busy city streets, riding buses or trains filled with strangers. Most of the time, individuals barely register in the sea of humanity. We don’t know, or perhaps even care, what lurks in the mind of nondescript passers-by. We should care.”

KATE JONEZ is a student of all things scary and when she isn’t writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph weirdness in Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better. She writes dark fantasy fiction. Ceremony of Flies published by DarkFuse is available in limited edition hardcover and ebook. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Candy House is available at Amazon in print and ebook. She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum a small press dedicated to publishing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction or literary dark fiction in print & ebook. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards.

Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off-Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on audible.com, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts. She blogs at TatianaGomberg.com.

“Glory, Glory, Glory. That’s about the stupidest name you can give a person like me. But my mom had high hopes like lots of hard-working folks do. They use fancy names like they’re magic spells. As if naming a kid could somehow make it better than it really is. I don’t go in for that kind of crap. I named my kid John. Simple. John.

‘I know that mess is up here somewhere, Ted. I know it is.'”

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

“The Beachcomber “ by L.R. Bonehill.

“The Beachcomber” was originally published in May 2013 by Dark Fuse at Horror D’oeuvres. “It is one of those rare stories that came to me more or less fully formed after spotting a strange, slightly disturbing figure ambling across a rain-soaked beach in Wales. There was no way I wanted to talk to this odd man, but, from a safe distance, I wanted to know what clacked and rattled inside his bag. He’s still out there somewhere, I’m sure. So, like all Pseudopod stories, this one is most definitely true.”

L.R. BONEHILL is a writer from the dark heart of England. His work has appeared in various haunts including Hint Fiction, Fifty-Two Stitches, This is Horror, and Cast Macabre. He is lucky enough to have been published alongside some of his literary heroes including Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Braunbeck, and Peter Straub. This never ceases to make him smile. He blogs at Bonehill’s Boneyard. His latest tale of woe can be found in an upcoming DARKFUSE anthology.

Your reader – John Michnya – is an actor, illustrator, and screen printer living in Pittsburgh PA.

“All that came back from the cold sea was Little Rosie-Cheeks. Washed ashore one late afternoon as rain whipped down from a slate-grey sky and a rough wind snapped across the beach. Face down in a rock pool, stranded in shallow water and silt. Red cheeks washed pale, white dress smeared with grime the colour of tobacco. A deep gouge cut across her forehead, the seams flecked with grit.

David held the doll now as he walked along the quiet beach. Held it by the hand as if it were a child at his side. It bumped and knocked against his leg as a litter of shells crunched underfoot. Water leaked through a split in the bottom of one shoe. He could taste salt in the breeze, the tang of brine on his tongue.”

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“Sanctuary” by Steve Calvert

“Sanctuary” makes its first appearance on Pseudopod. “‘Sanctuary’ began as a story about fear, and how it can sometimes feed on itself and grow stronger. Later I realized it was also a story about prisons and how—sometimes—the worst prisons are the ones we build in our minds.”

STEVE CALVERT (usually) lives in the UK. He usually writes horror fiction, but occasionally writes in other genres. His fiction has been published in Arkham Tales, Hub, and Necrotic Tissue. You can learn more about Steve at his website and further slices of his fiction can be read in his horror anthology Written in Blood, which is available in the Amazon Kindle store.

Your reader – Roberto Suarez – is a proud supporter and periodic narrator for all Escape Artists productions. He co-hosts of “A Pod of Casts”, the Game of Thrones Podcast! His blog can be found here.

“Raoul had been sleeping. He did not know what had awakened him. Perhaps his body had grown tired of sleep. Raoul slept a lot–too much–
but his hiding place was small and dark, so there was nothing else for him to do.”

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

Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, available from Music Alley.

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/07/pseudopod-411-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxiii-grief/feed/ 0 0:33:48 “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis ************************************************************************ “Poor Me and Ted” by Kate Jonez “Poor Me, and Ted” first appeared in ATTIC TOYS a[...] “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis ************************************************************************ “Poor Me and Ted” by Kate Jonez “Poor Me, and Ted” first appeared in ATTIC TOYS an anthology published by Evil Jester Press and edited by Jeremy C. Shipp. “Every day we go about our lives navigating through crowds on busy city streets, riding buses or trains filled with strangers. Most of the time, individuals barely register in the sea of humanity. We don’t know, or perhaps even care, what lurks in the mind of nondescript passers-by. We should care.” KATE JONEZ is a student of all things scary and when she isn’t writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph weirdness in Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better. She writes dark fantasy fiction. Ceremony of Flies published by DarkFuse is available in limited edition hardcover and ebook. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Candy House is available at Amazon in print and ebook. She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum a small press dedicated to publishing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction or literary dark fiction in print & ebook. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards. Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off-Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on audible.com, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts. She blogs at TatianaGomberg.com. “Glory, Glory, Glory. That’s about the stupidest name you can give a person like me. But my mom had high hopes like lots of hard-working folks do. They use fancy names like they’re magic spells. As if naming a kid could somehow make it better than it really is. I don’t go in for that kind of crap. I named my kid John. Simple. John. ‘I know that mess is up here somewhere, Ted. I know it is.'” *************************************************************************** “The Beachcomber “ by L.R. Bonehill. “The Beachcomber” was originally published in May 2013 by Dark Fuse at Horror D’oeuvres. “It is one of those rare stories that came to me more or less fully formed after spotting a strange, slightly disturbing figure ambling across a rain-soaked beach in Wales. There was no way I wanted to talk to this odd man, but, from a safe distance, I wanted to know what clacked and rattled inside his bag. He’s still out there somewhere, I’m sure. So, like all Pseudopod stories, this one is most definitely true.” L.R. BONEHILL is a writer from the dark heart of England. His work has appeared in various haunts including Hint Fiction, Fifty-Two Stitches, This is Horror, and Cast Macabre. He is lucky enough to have been published alongside some of his literary heroes including Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Braunbeck, and Peter Straub. This never ceases to make him smile. He blogs at Bonehill’s Boneyard. His latest tale of woe can be found in an upcoming DARKFUSE anthology. Your reader – John Michnya – is an actor, illustrator, and screen printer living in Pittsburgh PA. “All that came back from the cold sea was Little Rosie-Cheeks. Washed ashore one late afternoon as rain whipped down from a slate-grey sky and a rough wind snapped across the beach. Face down in a rock pool, stranded in shallow water and silt. Red cheeks washed pa[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Jonez, Bonehill, Calvert yes no
Pseudopod 410: Flash On The Borderlands XXII: Britshock http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/01/pseudopod-420-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxii-britshock/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/01/pseudopod-420-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxii-britshock/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 00:26:42 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1399 by Francesca Haig, Lou Morgan, Den Patrick, Andrew Reid, Richard Kellum, Severity Chase & Peter Newman

A gaggle of new Flash Fiction to warm your heart and chill your bones…

The Day The Words Took Shape by Francesca Haig
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Francesca is an academic, writer and tea enthusiast whose first novel, The Fire Sermon is due out next year from Harper Collins in the UK and Simon and Schuster in the US. She can be found here on Twitter.

Juggernaut Revisited by Lou Morgan
Read by Wilson Fowlie
Lou is an old, dear friend and the author of three novels to date, Blood and Feathers, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion (There may be a supporting character in there you find slightly familiar…) and Sleepless, a chillingly good YA horror novel. She’s also the author of numerous short stories, including one of the best Mummy stories I’ve ever read and is an Archer although, to the best of my knowledge, her frequent trips to Starling City have not been confirmed. She blogs: here.

The Anniversary by Den Patrick
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Den is the author of the wonderful Dwarf, Elf and Orc War Fighting Manuals, in-universe anthropology texts about the culture, weapons and history of the three cultures. Imagine Art of War written by Douglas Adams and you’re close. He’s also the author of the fantastic novel The Boy With The Porcelain Blade and, along with the magnificent Jen Williams, has pioneered Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, a new, rapidly growing author/publisher/fan/editor/agent meeting that’s started to spread across the UK.
Den blogs here.

Kraken Rising by Andrew Reid
Read by Dave Robison
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.

Party at the Witch House by Richard Kellum
Read by Rikki La Coste
Richard’s not only an author 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.

The Lake by Severity Chase
Read by Siobhan Gallichan
Severity Chase’s body of work is well known in some circles but this is her first foray into horror and it comes with the same precision and subtle flamboyance that she brings to all her work.

The Biggest Candle of Them All by Peter Newman
Read by Graeme Dunlop – audio engineer, Chief Technical Officer and superhero. One of the singular pleasures of working at EA is the amazing people you get to work with and Graeme is one of the best.
Pete is the author of The Vagrant, a post-apocalyptic thriller due for release in 2015 and is the husband of Emma Newman (who blogs at Em’s Place), author of the wonderful Split World series and host of Tea & Jeopardy one of my favourite podcasts. Any resemblance between Pete and Lattimer the butler is entirely coincidental. Pete blogs at Run, Pete, Write!

And that’s our stories. 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. Armageddon to basement ghosts, supernatural music to last commands, these stories have it all and it’s been a pleasure to share them with you.

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/11/01/pseudopod-420-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxii-britshock/feed/ 0 0:57:34 by Francesca Haig, Lou Morgan, Den Patrick, Andrew Reid, Richard Kellum, Severity Chase & Peter Newman A gaggle of new Flash Fiction to warm your heart and chill your bones… The Day The Words Took Shape by Francesca Haig Read by Alasdair [...] by Francesca Haig, Lou Morgan, Den Patrick, Andrew Reid, Richard Kellum, Severity Chase & Peter Newman A gaggle of new Flash Fiction to warm your heart and chill your bones… The Day The Words Took Shape by Francesca Haig Read by Alasdair Stuart Francesca is an academic, writer and tea enthusiast whose first novel, The Fire Sermon is due out next year from Harper Collins in the UK and Simon and Schuster in the US. She can be found here on Twitter. Juggernaut Revisited by Lou Morgan Read by Wilson Fowlie Lou is an old, dear friend and the author of three novels to date, Blood and Feathers, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion (There may be a supporting character in there you find slightly familiar…) and Sleepless, a chillingly good YA horror novel. She’s also the author of numerous short stories, including one of the best Mummy stories I’ve ever read and is an Archer although, to the best of my knowledge, her frequent trips to Starling City have not been confirmed. She blogs: here. The Anniversary by Den Patrick Read by Alasdair Stuart Den is the author of the wonderful Dwarf, Elf and Orc War Fighting Manuals, in-universe anthropology texts about the culture, weapons and history of the three cultures. Imagine Art of War written by Douglas Adams and you’re close. He’s also the author of the fantastic novel The Boy With The Porcelain Blade and, along with the magnificent Jen Williams, has pioneered Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, a new, rapidly growing author/publisher/fan/editor/agent meeting that’s started to spread across the UK. Den blogs here. Kraken Rising by Andrew Reid Read by Dave Robison 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. Party at the Witch House by Richard Kellum Read by Rikki La Coste Richard’s not only an author 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. The Lake by Severity Chase Read by Siobhan Gallichan Severity Chase’s body of work is well known in some circles but this is her first foray into horror and it comes with the same precision and subtle flamboyance that she brings to all her work. The Biggest Candle of Them All by Peter Newman Read by Graeme Dunlop – audio engineer, Chief Technical Officer and superhero. One of the singular pleasures of working at EA is the amazing people you get to work with and Graeme is one of the best. Pete is the author of The Vagrant, a post-apocalyptic thriller due for release in 2015 and is the husband of Emma Newman (who blogs at Em’s Place), author of the wonderful Split World series and host of Tea & Jeopardy one of my favourite podcasts. Any resemblance between Pete and Lattimer the butler is entirely coincidental. Pete blogs at Run, Pete, Write! And that’s our stories. 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. Armageddon to basement ghosts, supernatural music to last commands, these stories have it all and it’s been a pleasure to share them with you. horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Haig, Morgan, Patrick, Reid, Kellum, Chase, Newman yes no
Pseudopod 409: Sideshow http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/pseudopod-409-sideshow/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/pseudopod-409-sideshow/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:33:56 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1389 by Catherine MacLeod

This story first appeared in John Joseph’s Adams’ WOMEN DESTROY HORROR, published this month by NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE.

CATHERINE MACLEOD lives and writes in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, where she also spends too much time watching “One Step Beyond” on YouTube. Her publications include short work on Tor.com, and in On Spec, Black Static, and several anthologies, including Fearful Symmetries, Horror Library 4, The Living Dead 2, and Tesseracts 17. She’s waiting patiently for Joss Whedon’s “Drive” to be released on DVD and going into a corn maze is on her not-to-do list. Her new anthology CASSEROLE DIPLOMACY AND OTHER STORIES is an On Spec 25th anniversary retrospective, and contains her story “Foster Child.”

Your reader is Tatiana Gomberg a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off- Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on audible.com, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts and you can find out what she’s up to at her website.

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

“I said, ‘Is it true time has no meaning in the Labyrinth?’

‘Yes. Why?’

‘Because the tape is only four minutes long, but I’m sure my rape took longer.’

He nodded. ‘It did.’ He stared at nothing for a moment. ‘Where are your companions from that night?’

‘I don’t know.’ And it’s in their best interests not to be found. You can hear them laughing on the security tape, under the Minotaur’s grunts and the sound of tearing meat. Only one wall away, and they didn’t try to save me. Justin, Marcus, and Caroline just patched their handscreens into the camera and watched the whole thing.

Minos said, ‘Tell me what happened.’

I didn’t want to need him. I said, ‘You know.’

‘I saw. It’s not the same thing.’ ”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/pseudopod-409-sideshow/feed/ 0 0:39:07 by Catherine MacLeod This story first appeared in John Joseph’s Adams’ WOMEN DESTROY HORROR, published this month by NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. CATHERINE MACLEOD lives and writes in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, where she also spends too much time watching “O[...] by Catherine MacLeod This story first appeared in John Joseph’s Adams’ WOMEN DESTROY HORROR, published this month by NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. CATHERINE MACLEOD lives and writes in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, where she also spends too much time watching “One Step Beyond” on YouTube. Her publications include short work on Tor.com, and in On Spec, Black Static, and several anthologies, including Fearful Symmetries, Horror Library 4, The Living Dead 2, and Tesseracts 17. She’s waiting patiently for Joss Whedon’s “Drive” to be released on DVD and going into a corn maze is on her not-to-do list. Her new anthology CASSEROLE DIPLOMACY AND OTHER STORIES is an On Spec 25th anniversary retrospective, and contains her story “Foster Child.” Your reader is Tatiana Gomberg a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off- Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on audible.com, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts and you can find out what she’s up to at her website. **************************** “I said, ‘Is it true time has no meaning in the Labyrinth?’ ‘Yes. Why?’ ‘Because the tape is only four minutes long, but I’m sure my rape took longer.’ He nodded. ‘It did.’ He stared at nothing for a moment. ‘Where are your companions from that night?’ ‘I don’t know.’ And it’s in their best interests not to be found. You can hear them laughing on the security tape, under the Minotaur’s grunts and the sound of tearing meat. Only one wall away, and they didn’t try to save me. Justin, Marcus, and Caroline just patched their handscreens into the camera and watched the whole thing. Minos said, ‘Tell me what happened.’ I didn’t want to need him. I said, ‘You know.’ ‘I saw. It’s not the same thing.’ ” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction MacLeod yes no
Bonus Pseudopod Halloween Flash Episode: Jack And The Bad Man http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/bonus-pseudopod-halloween-flash-episode-jack-and-the-bad-man/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/bonus-pseudopod-halloween-flash-episode-jack-and-the-bad-man/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:38:48 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1385 by Annie Neugebauer

A slightly different version of this story was first published in the October 2011 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree, accompanied by original artwork by Ken Lamug.

ANNIE NEUGEBAUER is a short story author and award-winning poet. She has work appearing in over forty venues, including Fireside, DarkFuse, Buzzy Mag, and the British Fantasy Society journal Dark Horizons. She’s an active member of the Horror Writers Association and a columnist for Writer Unboxed. She lives in Texas with her sweet husband and two diabolical cats. Her website and blog are at Annie Neugebauer.com and you can find her on Twitter at @AnnieNeugebauer.

Your reader this week is Rikki La Coste, who previously appeared reading The Suicide Witch and will be appearing here again very soon!

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

“Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy. He almost always remembered to put his dirty socks in the hamper instead of under the bed. He certainly never hid his mama’s darning needles – except for when she deserved it. And if he occasionally didn’t go to sleep right when he told his papa he would, it was only because he was too afraid of the dark to turn out his light – and who can sleep with the light on? He hauled hay, set the table, did his schoolwork sometimes. Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy.”

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

The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

The Ghostwoods Books Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960264226/ghostwoods-books-our-2014-15-list-of-6-to-8-books

Halloween Parade music is “Ominousity” by Nick and Gerald, from MusicAlley.com.

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/25/bonus-pseudopod-halloween-flash-episode-jack-and-the-bad-man/feed/ 0 0:18:36 by Annie Neugebauer A slightly different version of this story was first published in the October 2011 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree, accompanied by original artwork by Ken Lamug. ANNIE NEUGEBAUER is a short story author and award-winning poe[...] by Annie Neugebauer A slightly different version of this story was first published in the October 2011 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree, accompanied by original artwork by Ken Lamug. ANNIE NEUGEBAUER is a short story author and award-winning poet. She has work appearing in over forty venues, including Fireside, DarkFuse, Buzzy Mag, and the British Fantasy Society journal Dark Horizons. She’s an active member of the Horror Writers Association and a columnist for Writer Unboxed. She lives in Texas with her sweet husband and two diabolical cats. Her website and blog are at Annie Neugebauer.com and you can find her on Twitter at @AnnieNeugebauer. Your reader this week is Rikki La Coste, who previously appeared reading The Suicide Witch and will be appearing here again very soon! **************************** “Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy. He almost always remembered to put his dirty socks in the hamper instead of under the bed. He certainly never hid his mama’s darning needles – except for when she deserved it. And if he occasionally didn’t go to sleep right when he told his papa he would, it was only because he was too afraid of the dark to turn out his light – and who can sleep with the light on? He hauled hay, set the table, did his schoolwork sometimes. Most of the year, Jack was a fine enough boy.” ***************************** The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts The Ghostwoods Books Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960264226/ghostwoods-books-our-2014-15-list-of-6-to-8-books Halloween Parade music is “Ominousity” by Nick and Gerald, from MusicAlley.com. horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Neugebauer yes no
Pseudopod 408: Knife Fight http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/18/pseudopod-408-knife-fight/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/18/pseudopod-408-knife-fight/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:32:50 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1379 by David Nickle

“My piece of advice: look seriously at all the candidates in the next election wherever you live, because your vote counts.”

DAVID NICKLE is a Bram Stoker award winning author of several novels and numerous short stories–most recently, “The ‘Geisters” from ChiZine. He is also the head of the Toronto City Hall Press Gallery, where he has worked the last four years covering Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. His story collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles from ChiZine Publications is coming out as the podcast goes live, on October 21.

Dave Robison‘s buttery man-voice has been making the rounds on the internet of late, appearing on a recent episode of the Drabblecast, as well as performing in the exceptional “Hidden Harbor Mysteries” audio drama (produced by Bryan Lincoln and written by Jay Smith). He’s slated to narrate the audio book for Tim Marquitz’s novel DEMON SQUAD: RESURRECTION, and rumor has it he’ll be narrating some of the premium content at EscapePod as well. Founder and host of the Roundtable Podcast, Dave is stretching his creative legs, collaborating on a novel with Alasdair Stuart and Colin F. Barnes slated for release sometime in 2015. He figures he’ll get a full night’s sleep sometime around 2019.

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

“There are only ever two combatants in a knife fight, and each combatant is allowed a knife.

The knives are to be provided by the combatants, in a keen, clean condition free of rust. Other objects—scissors, hammers, axes, surgical instruments—shall not be considered knives for the purposes of the knife fight.

Combatants shall arrive stripped to the waist, and well-lubricated so as to keep the knife fight from becoming a wrestling match, which is unseemly.

Goose fat is considered an acceptable lubricant for the purposes of a knife fight.

Victory in the knife fight is usually decided by the drawing of first blood.

Combatants shall avoid their opponents’ faces, hands, and throats, confining their strikes to parts of the body usually covered by appropriate business attire.

In the event that both combatants draw blood from one another in the same instant, the knife fight shall be considered a draw and entered into the Records as such.

To the victor go the spoils.”

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

The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

The Ghostwoods Books Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960264226/ghostwoods-books-our-2014-15-list-of-6-to-8-books

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/18/pseudopod-408-knife-fight/feed/ 0 0:49:18 by David Nickle “My piece of advice: look seriously at all the candidates in the next election wherever you live, because your vote counts.” DAVID NICKLE is a Bram Stoker award winning author of several novels and numerous short stories–most r[...] by David Nickle “My piece of advice: look seriously at all the candidates in the next election wherever you live, because your vote counts.” DAVID NICKLE is a Bram Stoker award winning author of several novels and numerous short stories–most recently, “The ‘Geisters” from ChiZine. He is also the head of the Toronto City Hall Press Gallery, where he has worked the last four years covering Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. His story collection Knife Fight and Other Struggles from ChiZine Publications is coming out as the podcast goes live, on October 21. Dave Robison‘s buttery man-voice has been making the rounds on the internet of late, appearing on a recent episode of the Drabblecast, as well as performing in the exceptional “Hidden Harbor Mysteries” audio drama (produced by Bryan Lincoln and written by Jay Smith). He’s slated to narrate the audio book for Tim Marquitz’s novel DEMON SQUAD: RESURRECTION, and rumor has it he’ll be narrating some of the premium content at EscapePod as well. Founder and host of the Roundtable Podcast, Dave is stretching his creative legs, collaborating on a novel with Alasdair Stuart and Colin F. Barnes slated for release sometime in 2015. He figures he’ll get a full night’s sleep sometime around 2019. **************************** “There are only ever two combatants in a knife fight, and each combatant is allowed a knife. The knives are to be provided by the combatants, in a keen, clean condition free of rust. Other objects—scissors, hammers, axes, surgical instruments—shall not be considered knives for the purposes of the knife fight. Combatants shall arrive stripped to the waist, and well-lubricated so as to keep the knife fight from becoming a wrestling match, which is unseemly. Goose fat is considered an acceptable lubricant for the purposes of a knife fight. Victory in the knife fight is usually decided by the drawing of first blood. Combatants shall avoid their opponents’ faces, hands, and throats, confining their strikes to parts of the body usually covered by appropriate business attire. In the event that both combatants draw blood from one another in the same instant, the knife fight shall be considered a draw and entered into the Records as such. To the victor go the spoils.” ***************************** The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts The Ghostwoods Books Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/960264226/ghostwoods-books-our-2014-15-list-of-6-to-8-books horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction David Nickle yes no
Pseudopod 407: Train Tracks http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/09/pseudopod-407-train-tracks/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/09/pseudopod-407-train-tracks/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 01:34:34 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1372 by W.P. Johnson

“Train Tracks” was first published in Weird Noir by Fox Spirit Books and edited by Katy Laity. It’s a wonderful anthology of crime noir stories with elements of weird fiction, and is still available through Amazon as a kindle download or print version.

W.P. JOHNSON is a writer of horror and weird fiction. He lives and works in Philadelphia where he is currently writing his first novel, a dark fantasy entitled A Song For John, and researching his second novel, an untitled horror story about comedians. You can follow him via the moniker “americantypo” on twitter, wordpress, and instagram. He is also featured in American Nightmare by Kraken Press (“The King”) and “Cut In Half” is available from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

Your reader this week is Sam Ferree who read “Stone Born for Podcastle! Sam lives in the Twin Cities where he writes grants for a small nonprofit by day and stories and plays by night. He co-produces Story Club Minneapolis and encourages performance story tellers to come check out the show and share. To learn more about Sam, visit is website, samferree.com, or follow him on Twitter, @samferree.

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

“The thing that I always ask guys is if they can get me glow. Scribbled in my father’s notebook:
glow, aka, snot, rubber, soul, bright light. Knock offs include deadlights and slag (ecstasy cut with meth emulsified with gelatin and made into a hard jelly).”

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

The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/09/pseudopod-407-train-tracks/feed/ 0 0:43:54 by W.P. Johnson “Train Tracks” was first published in Weird Noir by Fox Spirit Books and edited by Katy Laity. It’s a wonderful anthology of crime noir stories with elements of weird fiction, and is still available through Amazon as a kindle d[...] by W.P. Johnson “Train Tracks” was first published in Weird Noir by Fox Spirit Books and edited by Katy Laity. It’s a wonderful anthology of crime noir stories with elements of weird fiction, and is still available through Amazon as a kindle download or print version. W.P. JOHNSON is a writer of horror and weird fiction. He lives and works in Philadelphia where he is currently writing his first novel, a dark fantasy entitled A Song For John, and researching his second novel, an untitled horror story about comedians. You can follow him via the moniker “americantypo” on twitter, wordpress, and instagram. He is also featured in American Nightmare by Kraken Press (“The King”) and “Cut In Half” is available from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. Your reader this week is Sam Ferree who read “Stone Born for Podcastle! Sam lives in the Twin Cities where he writes grants for a small nonprofit by day and stories and plays by night. He co-produces Story Club Minneapolis and encourages performance story tellers to come check out the show and share. To learn more about Sam, visit is website, samferree.com, or follow him on Twitter, @samferree. **************************** “The thing that I always ask guys is if they can get me glow. Scribbled in my father’s notebook: glow, aka, snot, rubber, soul, bright light. Knock offs include deadlights and slag (ecstasy cut with meth emulsified with gelatin and made into a hard jelly).” ***************************** The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Johnson yes no
Pseudopod 406: Breath Stirs In The Husk http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/03/pseudopod-406-breath-stirs-in-the-husk/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/03/pseudopod-406-breath-stirs-in-the-husk/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 23:14:50 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1362 by Eileen Wiedbrauk

“Breath Stirs In The Husk” first appeared in the URBAN GREEN MAN anthology edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine (Edge Publishing, August 2013). “This story is set in a part of the world where my parents grew up; I’d often visited family in the area but never lived there myself — never even thought of living there. But in a strange turn of events, I moved to the town of Alpena the same month this story was first published. I sincerely hope the two aren’t linked in some inextricable, cosmic fashion as the next project I’m working on is set in outer space.”

EILEEN WIEDBRAUK is Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press as well as a writer, blogger, book reviewer, coffee addict, cat herder, MFA graduate, fantasist-turned-fabulist-turned-urban-fantasy-junkie, Odyssey Workshop alumna, designer, tech geek, entrepreneur, avid reader, and a somewhat decent cook. She wears many hats, as the saying goes. Which is an odd saying in this case, as she rarely looks good in hats. Her creative work has appeared in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, North American Review, Swink, Enchanted Conversation, and others. Find her at EileenWiedbrauk.com or @EileenWiedbrauk on Twitter. She’s working on a collection of Doctor Who inspired essays, more dark short fiction and a light space opera while her alter-ego tackles sci-fi romance. She’s editing two forthcoming anthologies: SPECTER SPECTACULAR II: 13 DEATHLY TALES and WEIRD & WONDROUS WORK: SPECULATIVE FICTION PRESENTS THE ODDEST OF ODD JOBS (we spend most of our waking hours at work, why shouldn’t our characters?) featuring stories by Alex Bledsoe, Ellen Kushner, Deliah Sherman, Douglas Cohen, Ryan Britt, and others. Both anthologies are forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

Your reader this week is Abra Staffin-Wiebe can be found at Abra Staffin-Wiebe.com and is currently bringing forth Circus of Brass and Bone, a post-apocalyptic steampunk story about a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization. People come together . . . or die. Join the Circus of Brass and Bone on its travels and witness the grand finale, coming to you this Halloween.

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

“The corn stood shoulder high on Carla as she cut through her father’s fields. At the edge of the field she stopped, took a deep breath, and forced her fists to unclench. She stared at the wooded land in front of her but didn’t set foot in it. Instead she dug the toe of her slip-on into the dry dirt, catching crumbled earth-bits in the crease between plastic and canvas, then fidgeted with the band of her bra, trying to get air to the sweat pooling beneath it. She blew out a breath. “Stop being stupid, Carla,” she muttered. It was enough of a prod for her to manage five steps out of the field and into the bordering woodland before panic seized her and she sprinted back to the sheltering rows of corn. Carla swallowed a sob. She hadn’t been able to make herself go inside the wood for three months. But she had to now. She had to. She needed to get back to the clearing–the place where she’d seen the Green Man the one and only time she’d ever seen him. If she got there, she would find him again. She was certain of it.

She scrubbed at her face and tried again. She got as far as the first pine; its thick branches reached out toward her with the rustle of the wind. Carla whimpered. She took another step. Something brushed against her forearm. She squeaked and jumped. Every muscle in her body strained. She felt her lip tremble. She couldn’t do it. Couldn’t go farther into the wood.

‘Green Man,’ she whispered to the trees. Tears and frustration choked her voice. ‘Green Man, help me.’

He’d helped her out once before, maybe he would again.”

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

Interested in an internship with Escape Pod? Email the editor!

The Eloquent Page: http://www.theeloquentpage.co.uk/

The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/10/03/pseudopod-406-breath-stirs-in-the-husk/feed/ 0 0:36:31 by Eileen Wiedbrauk “Breath Stirs In The Husk” first appeared in the URBAN GREEN MAN anthology edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine (Edge Publishing, August 2013). “This story is set in a part of the world where my parents grew up; I[...] by Eileen Wiedbrauk “Breath Stirs In The Husk” first appeared in the URBAN GREEN MAN anthology edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine (Edge Publishing, August 2013). “This story is set in a part of the world where my parents grew up; I’d often visited family in the area but never lived there myself — never even thought of living there. But in a strange turn of events, I moved to the town of Alpena the same month this story was first published. I sincerely hope the two aren’t linked in some inextricable, cosmic fashion as the next project I’m working on is set in outer space.” EILEEN WIEDBRAUK is Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press as well as a writer, blogger, book reviewer, coffee addict, cat herder, MFA graduate, fantasist-turned-fabulist-turned-urban-fantasy-junkie, Odyssey Workshop alumna, designer, tech geek, entrepreneur, avid reader, and a somewhat decent cook. She wears many hats, as the saying goes. Which is an odd saying in this case, as she rarely looks good in hats. Her creative work has appeared in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, North American Review, Swink, Enchanted Conversation, and others. Find her at EileenWiedbrauk.com or @EileenWiedbrauk on Twitter. She’s working on a collection of Doctor Who inspired essays, more dark short fiction and a light space opera while her alter-ego tackles sci-fi romance. She’s editing two forthcoming anthologies: SPECTER SPECTACULAR II: 13 DEATHLY TALES and WEIRD & WONDROUS WORK: SPECULATIVE FICTION PRESENTS THE ODDEST OF ODD JOBS (we spend most of our waking hours at work, why shouldn’t our characters?) featuring stories by Alex Bledsoe, Ellen Kushner, Deliah Sherman, Douglas Cohen, Ryan Britt, and others. Both anthologies are forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press. Your reader this week is Abra Staffin-Wiebe can be found at Abra Staffin-Wiebe.com and is currently bringing forth Circus of Brass and Bone, a post-apocalyptic steampunk story about a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization. People come together . . . or die. Join the Circus of Brass and Bone on its travels and witness the grand finale, coming to you this Halloween. **************************** “The corn stood shoulder high on Carla as she cut through her father’s fields. At the edge of the field she stopped, took a deep breath, and forced her fists to unclench. She stared at the wooded land in front of her but didn’t set foot in it. Instead she dug the toe of her slip-on into the dry dirt, catching crumbled earth-bits in the crease between plastic and canvas, then fidgeted with the band of her bra, trying to get air to the sweat pooling beneath it. She blew out a breath. “Stop being stupid, Carla,” she muttered. It was enough of a prod for her to manage five steps out of the field and into the bordering woodland before panic seized her and she sprinted back to the sheltering rows of corn. Carla swallowed a sob. She hadn’t been able to make herself go inside the wood for three months. But she had to now. She had to. She needed to get back to the clearing–the place where she’d seen the Green Man the one and only time she’d ever seen him. If she got there, she would find him again. She was certain of it. She scrubbed at her face and tried again. She got as far as the first pine; its thick branches reached out toward her with the rustle of the wind. Carla whimpered. She took another step. Something brushed against her forearm. She squeaked and jumped. Every muscle in her body strained. She felt her lip tremble. She couldn’t do it. Couldn’t go farther into the wood. ‘Green Man,’ she whispered to the trees. Tears and frustration choked her voice. ‘Green Man, help me.’ He’d helped her out once before, maybe he would again.” ***************************** Interested in an internship with Escape Pod? Email the editor! The Eloquent Page: http://www.theeloquentpage.co.uk/ The Journey Into kickstarter:[...] Podcasts, Stories Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart yes no
Pseudopod 405: A Fine Sacrifice http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/26/pseudopod-405-a-fine-sacrifice/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/26/pseudopod-405-a-fine-sacrifice/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 23:37:17 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1353 by Steve Vernon

“A Fine Sacrifice” was originally published in chapbook format and is VERY hard to find. It was reprinted in the collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS, published in 2010 by Dark Regions Press. You can pick up a copy of the collection on Kindle for a mere 99 cents here. As for the story: “I would like you to think about the sound of a baseball bat swinging for home. That hard clocking sound that a well-swung piece of Northern white ash makes as it impacts upon horsehide – or something else.”

STEVE VERNON has had stories appear in The Horror Show, Cemetery Dance, Flesh and Blood, Chthulhu Sex, Karl Edward Wagner’s YEAR’S BEST HORROR, HOT BLOOD XIII and many other anthologies, magazines and the occasional men’s room wall. Keep up with Steve Vernon’s writing at his blog YOURS IN STORYTELLING.

Your reader this week is James Silverstein was born and grew up just outside of Chicago and has been writing fiction since the age of 9, the day he was given his first typewriter (and ‘Dragonman’, the draconic superhero was born!). He has been involved in theater from the same age, including some professional Shakespeare in the 90’s and now does community theater). He has written for various role playing games, including 7th Sea, Stargate, and, most recently, Cairn. He is working with Dave Robison on his SHATTERED WORLDS project, and Antimatter Press on his own novel; NECROPOLIS, a hard-boiled private eye tale with the undead..

Philip Roberts THE FORTIS HASTATUS Kickstarter project can be accessed here.

M.F. Wahl’s DISEASE can be pre-ordered here.

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

“‘That the best you can do?’ He asked gamely.

Will took a swallow of beer, his eyes never leaving Sam’s.

‘Best he can do,’ Will said, nodding derisively towards Artie.

Artie just shrugged. He was technically the better pitcher, but it was an honest fact that he couldn’t match Will for sheer power.

Will stared up at the sun as if it were a clock.

‘You’re late,’ He said in Sam’s direction.

Sam looked up at the sun. It just looked like a ball of burning gas to him. He wondered if Will could really tell the time by the sun, or if it were all for show. With Will you never quite knew for sure. That was part of his magic.

Will grinned, and it made him look mean. He had a face like a ring seasoned boxer. His eyes looked like hard narrow gun sights. He always reminded Sam of a surly Robert Mitchum. He claimed to have been a Navy Seal as a young man, and although both Sam and Artie couldn’t swim a stroke, neither dared to say differently.

You just never could tell with Will.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/26/pseudopod-405-a-fine-sacrifice/feed/ 0 0:28:02 by Steve Vernon “A Fine Sacrifice” was originally published in chapbook format and is VERY hard to find. It was reprinted in the collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS, published in 2010 by Dark Regions Press. You can pick up a copy of the collection on Ki[...] by Steve Vernon “A Fine Sacrifice” was originally published in chapbook format and is VERY hard to find. It was reprinted in the collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS, published in 2010 by Dark Regions Press. You can pick up a copy of the collection on Kindle for a mere 99 cents here. As for the story: “I would like you to think about the sound of a baseball bat swinging for home. That hard clocking sound that a well-swung piece of Northern white ash makes as it impacts upon horsehide – or something else.” STEVE VERNON has had stories appear in The Horror Show, Cemetery Dance, Flesh and Blood, Chthulhu Sex, Karl Edward Wagner’s YEAR’S BEST HORROR, HOT BLOOD XIII and many other anthologies, magazines and the occasional men’s room wall. Keep up with Steve Vernon’s writing at his blog YOURS IN STORYTELLING. Your reader this week is James Silverstein was born and grew up just outside of Chicago and has been writing fiction since the age of 9, the day he was given his first typewriter (and ‘Dragonman’, the draconic superhero was born!). He has been involved in theater from the same age, including some professional Shakespeare in the 90’s and now does community theater). He has written for various role playing games, including 7th Sea, Stargate, and, most recently, Cairn. He is working with Dave Robison on his SHATTERED WORLDS project, and Antimatter Press on his own novel; NECROPOLIS, a hard-boiled private eye tale with the undead.. Philip Roberts THE FORTIS HASTATUS Kickstarter project can be accessed here. M.F. Wahl’s DISEASE can be pre-ordered here. **************************** “‘That the best you can do?’ He asked gamely. Will took a swallow of beer, his eyes never leaving Sam’s. ‘Best he can do,’ Will said, nodding derisively towards Artie. Artie just shrugged. He was technically the better pitcher, but it was an honest fact that he couldn’t match Will for sheer power. Will stared up at the sun as if it were a clock. ‘You’re late,’ He said in Sam’s direction. Sam looked up at the sun. It just looked like a ball of burning gas to him. He wondered if Will could really tell the time by the sun, or if it were all for show. With Will you never quite knew for sure. That was part of his magic. Will grinned, and it made him look mean. He had a face like a ring seasoned boxer. His eyes looked like hard narrow gun sights. He always reminded Sam of a surly Robert Mitchum. He claimed to have been a Navy Seal as a young man, and although both Sam and Artie couldn’t swim a stroke, neither dared to say differently. You just never could tell with Will.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Vernon yes no
Pseudopod 404: Unforgotten http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/19/pseudopod-404-unforgotten/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/19/pseudopod-404-unforgotten/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 00:25:23 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1346 by Chris Fowler

“Unforgotten” originally appeared in the LETHAL KISSES anthology edited by Elaine Datlow in 1996. Chris says: “I used to work opposite an 18th century building with an odd little window in its back. As I knew the owners, I asked about it, and they weren’t aware that there was even a window – the room had been bricked up many years before and forgotten about. As I wondered what might be in the room, the story came to me.”

CHRIS FOWLER is the award-winning author of over thirty novels and twelve short story collections. A new thriller in the Bryant & May series is out now and his latest novel, a haunted house chiller titled NYCTOPHOBIA is out Oct 2014. More details can be found on his website: Chris Fowler.com

Your reader this week is Joel Nisbet, with support from Ian Stuart and Eve Upton.

Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here.

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

“‘I don’t know why they had to turn the fucking lights off,’ moaned Marrick as he and Jonathan passed beneath the cracked AIKO sign and entered the ground floor of the building. ‘Look at it out there, ten in the morning and you’d think it was fucking midnight. Did you bring a torch?’

‘Yes. The main staircase is to the rear of this room.’ Jonathan clicked on the flashlight and raised its beam. The showroom had been stripped to a few piles of mildewed carpet tiles and some battered old shelf units. It smelled bad – damp and sickly. From far above them came the drone of heavy rain and the warble of sheltering pigeons. They reached the foot of the stairs and started up.

‘I wanna make sure they cleared everything out. Barney couldn’t get here this morning, his wife’s sick or something.’ Barney was an ex-bouncer and former prison warden whose aggressive temperament perfectly qualified him for his position as Marrick’s site manager. Unpleasant things happened in Marrick’s company that Jonathan did not know about, that he could not allow himself to discover. Not if he wanted to keep his job and his sanity.

Although Marrick was young, he was considerably overweight; the stairs were already defeating him. He reached the second-floor landing and looked up through the centre of the stairwell, catching his breath. ‘You can check out the top two floors, Jon, make sure we ain’t got any squatters in. Fucking hell, it stinks in here.’

Jonathan stopped on the staircase and stared out of the rain-streaked window into the centre of the block, where the backs of the buildings met.

Rooms. Something odd about the rooms. He studied the brick walls of the courtyard formed by the other properties. He felt as if he had a cold coming on. Getting his jacket so wet hadn’t helped matters. He should have bought himself a new umbrella. He sneezed hard, wiped his nose on a tissue. Spots of dark blood, a crimson constellation. He looked from the window again. The bricks. That’s what it was. The bricks to the right of the window. They were in the wrong place. There should have been an empty space there. It was marked on the map, but not there from the window.

There was one room too many.”

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

Get Matt Wallace’s Slingers books for FREE! Direct links to Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4. Book 5, “Slingers: Savage Weapons” is out October 8.

Pilot for Last Girl Standinggo check it out!

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/19/pseudopod-404-unforgotten/feed/ 0 0:51:08 by Chris Fowler “Unforgotten” originally appeared in the LETHAL KISSES anthology edited by Elaine Datlow in 1996. Chris says: “I used to work opposite an 18th century building with an odd little window in its back. As I knew the owners, I asked abou[...] by Chris Fowler “Unforgotten” originally appeared in the LETHAL KISSES anthology edited by Elaine Datlow in 1996. Chris says: “I used to work opposite an 18th century building with an odd little window in its back. As I knew the owners, I asked about it, and they weren’t aware that there was even a window – the room had been bricked up many years before and forgotten about. As I wondered what might be in the room, the story came to me.” CHRIS FOWLER is the award-winning author of over thirty novels and twelve short story collections. A new thriller in the Bryant & May series is out now and his latest novel, a haunted house chiller titled NYCTOPHOBIA is out Oct 2014. More details can be found on his website: Chris Fowler.com Your reader this week is Joel Nisbet, with support from Ian Stuart and Eve Upton. Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here. **************************** “‘I don’t know why they had to turn the fucking lights off,’ moaned Marrick as he and Jonathan passed beneath the cracked AIKO sign and entered the ground floor of the building. ‘Look at it out there, ten in the morning and you’d think it was fucking midnight. Did you bring a torch?’ ‘Yes. The main staircase is to the rear of this room.’ Jonathan clicked on the flashlight and raised its beam. The showroom had been stripped to a few piles of mildewed carpet tiles and some battered old shelf units. It smelled bad – damp and sickly. From far above them came the drone of heavy rain and the warble of sheltering pigeons. They reached the foot of the stairs and started up. ‘I wanna make sure they cleared everything out. Barney couldn’t get here this morning, his wife’s sick or something.’ Barney was an ex-bouncer and former prison warden whose aggressive temperament perfectly qualified him for his position as Marrick’s site manager. Unpleasant things happened in Marrick’s company that Jonathan did not know about, that he could not allow himself to discover. Not if he wanted to keep his job and his sanity. Although Marrick was young, he was considerably overweight; the stairs were already defeating him. He reached the second-floor landing and looked up through the centre of the stairwell, catching his breath. ‘You can check out the top two floors, Jon, make sure we ain’t got any squatters in. Fucking hell, it stinks in here.’ Jonathan stopped on the staircase and stared out of the rain-streaked window into the centre of the block, where the backs of the buildings met. Rooms. Something odd about the rooms. He studied the brick walls of the courtyard formed by the other properties. He felt as if he had a cold coming on. Getting his jacket so wet hadn’t helped matters. He should have bought himself a new umbrella. He sneezed hard, wiped his nose on a tissue. Spots of dark blood, a crimson constellation. He looked from the window again. The bricks. That’s what it was. The bricks to the right of the window. They were in the wrong place. There should have been an empty space there. It was marked on the map, but not there from the window. There was one room too many.” ***************************** Get Matt Wallace’s Slingers books for FREE! Direct links to Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4. Book 5, “Slingers: Savage Weapons” is out October 8. Pilot for Last Girl Standing — go check it out! horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Fowler yes no
Pseudopod 403: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XXI: The Tyranny Of Objects http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/13/pseudopod-403-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxi-the-tyranny-of-objects/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/13/pseudopod-403-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxi-the-tyranny-of-objects/#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 01:44:18 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1340 “Nothing that surrounds us is object, all is subject.” – André Breton

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“Digit” by Gabriel R. Miller.

This is the first publication of “Digit” – “I couldn’t be happier that my first publication is for the audio market, as audiobooks are what got me writing in the first place.”

GABRIEL R. MILLER lives in the Inland Northwestern United States with his alien ex-wife of 15 years and his three beautiful, half-alien children. He has a dog who loves him, a cat who needs him (her words, not his), and a guinea pig who hates him (though he says the feeling is mutual). He is the proud owner of a small collection of saws, all of which he knows how to use. He is currently working on a fantasy trilogy. He blogs and vlogs and does other things that sound like excretory functions whenever he can muster the will to do so, which isn’t often. He’s also on Facebook and Twitter, and you can find all the links to his various online personalities at Luddite With A Laser.

Your reader – Kyle Akers – has been heard on Escape Pod and previously on PP in: “Passing Grade”.
“A saw wants to cut. What else is it going to do? It’s a saw. Nobody blames the saw when a kid cuts his finger off in shop class. The kid should have payed closer attention. After all, a saw wants to cut.”

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

“File Under” by Lisamarie Lamb.

“File Under” has only appeared previously on Lisamarie’s blog.

LISAMARIE LAMB has short stories included in over thirty five anthologies, and has a collection of short stories published by Dark Hall Press, entitled OVER THE BRIDGE. She just had a children’s novel published with J. Ellington Ashton called THE BOOK OF MANDRAGORE and a short story collection, FAIRY LIGHTS. She lives on the Isle of Sheppey, UK, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She blogs at THE MOONLIT DOOR.

Your reader – Mignon Fogarty – is more widely known as Grammar Girl, and her knowledge can be accessed at Quick And Dirty Tips.com.
“It started with nothing. That is, Helen Bentley looked into the yawning maw of the empty filing cabinet and felt no emotion, no pull to it. Nothing. It was a thing, a functional, ugly, grey thing that just stared, squatly squinting at her all day long.

The pointless piece of office funiture was standing with its back to the wall behind her desk, one desk in a sea of desks, its innards spilled out across the floor, a slippery cascade of buff coloured hanging folders and nearly neat inserts. She felt like running through them, kicking them high in the air like a child in Autumn when the leaves had fallen. But she didn’t. It would be a ridiculous thing to do and besides, she would only have to pick all the paper up again, put it away tidily, file it. She would only have to be grown up about it. So instead of running, laughing, remembering the youth she had never had, she filed and filled and did her job. And when the paper and forms and memos were put back together, properly alphabetised and labelled as they should be, she patted the cabinet on its cold top right corner and heard the satisfied clanging of a job well done.

She started to feel something then.”

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

“Good Boy” by David Stevens
“Good Boy” was David’s first published story, and he is very happy it is finding a new audience. A slightly longer version was published in “Regime 03 Magazine of New Writing” in 2014.

DAVID STEVENS (usually) lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and children. Some of his other stories have appeared in Crossed Genres and Aurealis magazines.

Your reader – Graeme Dunlop – deserves boundless praise for his endless work on behalf of PSEUDOPOD!
“A red ‘7’ glowed on the telephone on his bedside table. He could not imagine seven people who would leave messages for him. Perhaps one person had left seven messages. Maybe some other combination in between. One way to find out.

Six hang ups. Then the last call. Gentle static. The noise wavered, as though it had come a long distance over thrumming lines. Wind blowing over an open microphone. The man shuddered, despite his moth eaten jumper, despite the heater kicking in. He sat in the dark with his eyes closed, the wordless message resonating with something sympathetic within him, the effect continuing after the machine had clicked off. Hands over his eyes, he heard the window rattle with a fresh splash of rain. The building stretched on forever on either side. All of the units were empty. There was only him. The TV noise was the murmuring of a distant nebula caught by a radio telescope. If he looked out of the window now, into the night, he knew that there would be no street, no sky. Just a dim hallway, thin walls rattling with the wind tunnelling though it, rain dripping from a soggy ceiling. This is all that there is.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/13/pseudopod-403-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxi-the-tyranny-of-objects/feed/ 0 0:37:37 “Nothing that surrounds us is object, all is subject.” – André Breton ************************************************************************ “Digit” by Gabriel R. Miller. This is the first publication of “Digit” [...] “Nothing that surrounds us is object, all is subject.” – André Breton ************************************************************************ “Digit” by Gabriel R. Miller. This is the first publication of “Digit” – “I couldn’t be happier that my first publication is for the audio market, as audiobooks are what got me writing in the first place.” GABRIEL R. MILLER lives in the Inland Northwestern United States with his alien ex-wife of 15 years and his three beautiful, half-alien children. He has a dog who loves him, a cat who needs him (her words, not his), and a guinea pig who hates him (though he says the feeling is mutual). He is the proud owner of a small collection of saws, all of which he knows how to use. He is currently working on a fantasy trilogy. He blogs and vlogs and does other things that sound like excretory functions whenever he can muster the will to do so, which isn’t often. He’s also on Facebook and Twitter, and you can find all the links to his various online personalities at Luddite With A Laser. Your reader – Kyle Akers – has been heard on Escape Pod and previously on PP in: “Passing Grade”. “A saw wants to cut. What else is it going to do? It’s a saw. Nobody blames the saw when a kid cuts his finger off in shop class. The kid should have payed closer attention. After all, a saw wants to cut.” *************************************************************************** “File Under” by Lisamarie Lamb. “File Under” has only appeared previously on Lisamarie’s blog. LISAMARIE LAMB has short stories included in over thirty five anthologies, and has a collection of short stories published by Dark Hall Press, entitled OVER THE BRIDGE. She just had a children’s novel published with J. Ellington Ashton called THE BOOK OF MANDRAGORE and a short story collection, FAIRY LIGHTS. She lives on the Isle of Sheppey, UK, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She blogs at THE MOONLIT DOOR. Your reader – Mignon Fogarty – is more widely known as Grammar Girl, and her knowledge can be accessed at Quick And Dirty Tips.com. “It started with nothing. That is, Helen Bentley looked into the yawning maw of the empty filing cabinet and felt no emotion, no pull to it. Nothing. It was a thing, a functional, ugly, grey thing that just stared, squatly squinting at her all day long. The pointless piece of office funiture was standing with its back to the wall behind her desk, one desk in a sea of desks, its innards spilled out across the floor, a slippery cascade of buff coloured hanging folders and nearly neat inserts. She felt like running through them, kicking them high in the air like a child in Autumn when the leaves had fallen. But she didn’t. It would be a ridiculous thing to do and besides, she would only have to pick all the paper up again, put it away tidily, file it. She would only have to be grown up about it. So instead of running, laughing, remembering the youth she had never had, she filed and filled and did her job. And when the paper and forms and memos were put back together, properly alphabetised and labelled as they should be, she patted the cabinet on its cold top right corner and heard the satisfied clanging of a job well done. She started to feel something then.” *************************************************************************** “Good Boy” by David Stevens “Good Boy” was David’s first published story, and he is very happy it is finding a new audience. A slightly longer version was published in “Regime 03 Magazine of New Writing” in 2014. DAVID STEVENS (usually) lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and children. Some of his other stories have appeared in Crossed Genres and Aurealis magazines. Your reader – Graeme Dunlop – deserves boundless praise for his endless work on behalf of PS[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Miller, Lamb, Stevens yes no
Pseudopod 402: The Recovery http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/04/pseudopod-402-the-recovery/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/04/pseudopod-402-the-recovery/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 03:55:30 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1331 by H.V. Chao.

“The Recovery” was first published in a slightly different form in Strange Tales IV from Tartarus Press, edited by Rosalie Parker. It is forthcoming in a translation by Anne-Sylvie Homassel in Le Visage Vert.

H.V. CHAO‘s fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Antigonish Review, Birkensnake, The Nashwaak Review, Epiphany, The Coachella Review, and Douglas Lain’s defunct Diet Soap. His stories have been translated into French in Brèves and Le Visage Vert. He is at work on Guises, a collection whose every story is meant to be as different as can be from the others.

Your reader – George Hrab – …oh, just go listen to THE GEOLOGIC PODCAST already!!

Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here.

As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser or PayPal to: Piercewmc@gmail.com

ALS fund can be contacted here, and Waterkeeper here.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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

Tonight, I hiked to the chapel of the town’s patron saint. On the way, you pass something like a chimney sprouting from the ground. Topped by a Madonna, it marks the spot where the saint is said to have sauvé la terre, vanquishing a dragon by throwing his ring in its mouth. The chapel is flanked by pines and had been locked against vandals. On a nearby rise are the remains of a long, low barn: the fractured roof timbers, a wall of wattle and daub still whole but reeling as if from a mighty blow. The decrepitude bespoke neither neglect nor the cheap residue of expedience, but the weight of centuries withstood. From atop the hill, I could see the cemetery.

The whole town was there, gathered by a grave. Their backs were turned to me, and a tremor passed through the group: shoulders swayed, weight shifted to the other foot. I saw the butcheress draw closer to my landlady and further from the cheesemonger. I watched until the group slowly scattered, then I skittered down the hill to the graveyard. Wrought-iron masts and crosses, plaques, shattered flowerpots. On the tomb were a shovel and a bottle of wine, but the grave was empty. I was still standing there when it began to rain.

A village is a murder mystery. The conversation of townsfolk is rich in allusion; red herrings in shared histories you don’t understand. The air of conspiracy inspires you to imagine a crime. Everyone has something to hide, but you cannot tell if it pertains to the case at hand, or if it will merely prove a false lead: another skeleton in another closet, a private and irrelevant embarrassment. Yet surely this suspicion of wrongdoing is only a hallucination of exclusion. After all these months, I was still a stranger to the town, while my neighbour had found not only love, but he would abscond with it.

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/09/04/pseudopod-402-the-recovery/feed/ 0 0:32:10 by H.V. Chao. “The Recovery” was first published in a slightly different form in Strange Tales IV from Tartarus Press, edited by Rosalie Parker. It is forthcoming in a translation by Anne-Sylvie Homassel in Le Visage Vert. H.V. CHAO‘s fiction [...] by H.V. Chao. “The Recovery” was first published in a slightly different form in Strange Tales IV from Tartarus Press, edited by Rosalie Parker. It is forthcoming in a translation by Anne-Sylvie Homassel in Le Visage Vert. H.V. CHAO‘s fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Antigonish Review, Birkensnake, The Nashwaak Review, Epiphany, The Coachella Review, and Douglas Lain’s defunct Diet Soap. His stories have been translated into French in Brèves and Le Visage Vert. He is at work on Guises, a collection whose every story is meant to be as different as can be from the others. Your reader – George Hrab – …oh, just go listen to THE GEOLOGIC PODCAST already!! Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here. As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser or PayPal to: Piercewmc@gmail.com ALS fund can be contacted here, and Waterkeeper here. Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help. **************************** Tonight, I hiked to the chapel of the town’s patron saint. On the way, you pass something like a chimney sprouting from the ground. Topped by a Madonna, it marks the spot where the saint is said to have sauvé la terre, vanquishing a dragon by throwing his ring in its mouth. The chapel is flanked by pines and had been locked against vandals. On a nearby rise are the remains of a long, low barn: the fractured roof timbers, a wall of wattle and daub still whole but reeling as if from a mighty blow. The decrepitude bespoke neither neglect nor the cheap residue of expedience, but the weight of centuries withstood. From atop the hill, I could see the cemetery. The whole town was there, gathered by a grave. Their backs were turned to me, and a tremor passed through the group: shoulders swayed, weight shifted to the other foot. I saw the butcheress draw closer to my landlady and further from the cheesemonger. I watched until the group slowly scattered, then I skittered down the hill to the graveyard. Wrought-iron masts and crosses, plaques, shattered flowerpots. On the tomb were a shovel and a bottle of wine, but the grave was empty. I was still standing there when it began to rain. A village is a murder mystery. The conversation of townsfolk is rich in allusion; red herrings in shared histories you don’t understand. The air of conspiracy inspires you to imagine a crime. Everyone has something to hide, but you cannot tell if it pertains to the case at hand, or if it will merely prove a false lead: another skeleton in another closet, a private and irrelevant embarrassment. Yet surely this suspicion of wrongdoing is only a hallucination of exclusion. After all these months, I was still a stranger to the town, while my neighbour had found not only love, but he would abscond with it. ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Chao yes no
Pseudopod 401: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/30/pseudopod-401-the-lighthouse-keepers-wife/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/30/pseudopod-401-the-lighthouse-keepers-wife/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 04:06:22 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1325 by Dave Beynon.

“The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife” was published in Oct 2013 in the anthology TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN: SPECULATING CANADA FROM COAST TO COAST COAST, edited by Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon (Edge Publishing). The story is in the exact middle of the anthology – I like to think of it as the delicious, chewy centre of the book. “Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island. It has a timeless, rugged beauty and I’d encourage anyone to visit if they have the chance. While the island boasts a number of lighthouses, each one the stuff of postcards, you’ll never find the one where William Jones so diligently kept the light burning. Misery Bay has no lighthouse.”

DAVE BEYNON lives in Fergus, Ontario with his wife, two kids and a golden retriever. He writes speculative fiction of varying lengths and genres. His work has appeared in the anthologies TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN and EVOLVE TWO. His story, “The Last Repairman” will appear in the near future on Daily Science Fiction. In 2011, Dave’s unpublished time travel novel, THE PLATINUM TICKET, was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. His website is davebeynon.com and he can be followed on twitter @BeynonWrites

Your reader – Wilson Fowlie – says if you’re in the Vancouver, Canada area – or even if you just love a good show chorus – check out The Maple Leaf Singers, the group he directs. You can find them at the link or the Maple Leaf Singers Facebook page.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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

“You’re too early,” said the owner. “No one drinks until eleven.”

The oiler pointed to William, leaning over a dram of rye whiskey.

“What about him? He has a drink in his hand.”

“He’s a special case. Mind your own business. No booze ‘til eleven.”

“I’ve never met a special case before,” the oiler said to William. “What makes you so special?”

The oiler smelled of stale sweat and grease. His trousers and shirt were filthy with weeks’ worth of spilled oil. A tattoo peeking from beneath one rolled-up shirt cuff caught William’s attention. “Show me that.”

He gestured at the tattoo with his glass, sloshing rye onto the table.

“You’re wasting good whiskey,” the oiler said, dragging back a chair. “May I?”

William nodded and tapped the cuff of the oiler’s shirt. “Show me that.”

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

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/30/pseudopod-401-the-lighthouse-keepers-wife/feed/ 0 0:41:34 by Dave Beynon. “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife” was published in Oct 2013 in the anthology TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN: SPECULATING CANADA FROM COAST TO COAST COAST, edited by Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon (Edge Publishing). The story is in the exact m[...] by Dave Beynon. “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife” was published in Oct 2013 in the anthology TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN: SPECULATING CANADA FROM COAST TO COAST COAST, edited by Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon (Edge Publishing). The story is in the exact middle of the anthology – I like to think of it as the delicious, chewy centre of the book. “Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island. It has a timeless, rugged beauty and I’d encourage anyone to visit if they have the chance. While the island boasts a number of lighthouses, each one the stuff of postcards, you’ll never find the one where William Jones so diligently kept the light burning. Misery Bay has no lighthouse.” DAVE BEYNON lives in Fergus, Ontario with his wife, two kids and a golden retriever. He writes speculative fiction of varying lengths and genres. His work has appeared in the anthologies TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN and EVOLVE TWO. His story, “The Last Repairman” will appear in the near future on Daily Science Fiction. In 2011, Dave’s unpublished time travel novel, THE PLATINUM TICKET, was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. His website is davebeynon.com and he can be followed on twitter @BeynonWrites Your reader – Wilson Fowlie – says if you’re in the Vancouver, Canada area – or even if you just love a good show chorus – check out The Maple Leaf Singers, the group he directs. You can find them at the link or the Maple Leaf Singers Facebook page. Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help. **************************** “You’re too early,” said the owner. “No one drinks until eleven.” The oiler pointed to William, leaning over a dram of rye whiskey. “What about him? He has a drink in his hand.” “He’s a special case. Mind your own business. No booze ‘til eleven.” “I’ve never met a special case before,” the oiler said to William. “What makes you so special?” The oiler smelled of stale sweat and grease. His trousers and shirt were filthy with weeks’ worth of spilled oil. A tattoo peeking from beneath one rolled-up shirt cuff caught William’s attention. “Show me that.” He gestured at the tattoo with his glass, sloshing rye onto the table. “You’re wasting good whiskey,” the oiler said, dragging back a chair. “May I?” William nodded and tapped the cuff of the oiler’s shirt. “Show me that.” ***************************** immigrant, Lighthouse, resurrection, undead Beynon yes no
Pseudopod 400: The Screwfly Solution http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/22/pseudopod-400-the-screwfly-solution/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/22/pseudopod-400-the-screwfly-solution/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:04:37 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1314 by James Tiptree Jr.

“The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then. In 2006 it was adapted by Sam Hamm and Joe Dante as an episode of Showtime Network’s Masters of Horror series. It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc..

JAMES TIPTREE JR. was the pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987). She was a photo-intelligence officer in WWII as well as a CIA agent, which formed the bulk of her career before academia. This experience was influential on her stories, including her in-depth understanding of national and international responses to crises. After her career with the CIA, she achieved a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967, and her doctoral dissertation was on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. You can see this reflected in her work and in this story. It was at this time that she started writing science fiction stories under a pseudonym to protect her new academic career, and chose a male name to fit in better at the magazines. In addition to James Tiptree, she published under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon. Tiptree also won two more Nebulas, two Hugos, and a World Fantasy Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1991, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award was named in her honor, and recognizes speculative fiction that expands or explores our understanding of gender. This story was later collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. If you only pick up one Tiptree collection, and you should, this is a great place to start.

Your readers on this special episode include Matt Franklin as Alan, Tina Connolly as Anne, Anna Schwind as Amy, Matt Weller as Barney and Rish Outfield, Eric Luke, George Hrab & Jarus Durnett in supporting roles.

Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here.

We mourn the loss of Larry Santoro. Please visit http://www.cancer.org/ and http://www.imermanangels.org/ to learn more about cancer support.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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

“AP/Nassau: The excursion liner Carib Swallow reached port under tow today after striking an obstruction in the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras. The obstruction was identified as part of a commercial trawler’s seine floated by female corpses. This confirms reports from Florida and the Gulf of the use of such seines, some of them over a mile in length. Similar reports coming from the Pacific coast and as far away as Japan indicate a growing hazard to coastwise shipping.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/22/pseudopod-400-the-screwfly-solution/feed/ 0 1:04:47 by James Tiptree Jr. “The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then. In 2006 it was adapted by Sam Hamm and Joe Dante as an episod[...] by James Tiptree Jr. “The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then. In 2006 it was adapted by Sam Hamm and Joe Dante as an episode of Showtime Network’s Masters of Horror series. It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.. JAMES TIPTREE JR. was the pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987). She was a photo-intelligence officer in WWII as well as a CIA agent, which formed the bulk of her career before academia. This experience was influential on her stories, including her in-depth understanding of national and international responses to crises. After her career with the CIA, she achieved a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967, and her doctoral dissertation was on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. You can see this reflected in her work and in this story. It was at this time that she started writing science fiction stories under a pseudonym to protect her new academic career, and chose a male name to fit in better at the magazines. In addition to James Tiptree, she published under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon. Tiptree also won two more Nebulas, two Hugos, and a World Fantasy Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1991, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award was named in her honor, and recognizes speculative fiction that expands or explores our understanding of gender. This story was later collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. If you only pick up one Tiptree collection, and you should, this is a great place to start. Your readers on this special episode include Matt Franklin as Alan, Tina Connolly as Anne, Anna Schwind as Amy, Matt Weller as Barney and Rish Outfield, Eric Luke, George Hrab & Jarus Durnett in supporting roles. Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here. We mourn the loss of Larry Santoro. Please visit http://www.cancer.org/ and http://www.imermanangels.org/ to learn more about cancer support. Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help. **************************** “AP/Nassau: The excursion liner Carib Swallow reached port under tow today after striking an obstruction in the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras. The obstruction was identified as part of a commercial trawler’s seine floated by female corpses. This confirms reports from Florida and the Gulf of the use of such seines, some of them over a mile in length. Similar reports coming from the Pacific coast and as far away as Japan indicate a growing hazard to coastwise shipping.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Tiptree Jr. yes no
Pseudopod 399: The Wriggling Death http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/16/pseudopod-399-the-wriggling-death/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/16/pseudopod-399-the-wriggling-death/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 11:10:30 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1299 by Harold Gross.

“The Wriggling Death” is a Pseudopod original. The author says: “Best listened to with a cuppa and biscuit? This piece would not exist were it not for a tour of the Monterrey Aquarium by friend and fellow author, Pat McEwan, whose explanations of the strangest of sea life inspired the story.”

HAROLD GROSS has previously published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, other magazines, and several anthologies. Currently, “The Song Giveth…” is serialized in issues 9-12 of the online magazine, Aethernet, based in the UK but also available electronically in the US. While he appears most often as Harold Gross, his collaborative alter-ego, Gordon Gross, appears in several venues. In addition to writing, Harold has also been caught in live and recorded performances on stage and screen. His blog at The 5 a.m. Critic currently contains a wide range of non-spoiler movie reviews as well as links to available reprints and current publications.

Your reader – Veronica Giguere – is a narrator of many genres, most notably for the Secret World Chronicle podcast novel series (which she narrates, produces and writes along with Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin and Dennis Lee) and the cyberpunk noir podcast novel, Broken, co-written with Cedric Johnson. She can be found at www.voicesbyveronica.com and at Amazon and Smashwords. When not behind a microphone or slaving away on words, she works to release her soul from higher education in the pursuit of her doctorate.

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

“After finding the dell, we walked homeward in a more subdued fashion. After only a few steps, the contemplative silence was broken by the rustling of leaves behind us. We stopped in our tracks. We’d outrun Deaths all our lives and, in high Season, had even gone off into the desert to protect ourselves. More than enough females were willing to accept them into themselves and breed for as long as their accelerated aging would allow. There were always those that wanted to bear young. But that wasn’t Chalen or myself, thank you. We had our voices and our music and our fans. That was enough.

Something about that sound in that place, though, froze us. Then, as we listened more carefully, we could hear that there were more on both sides of us boxing us in. We began to run toward the house and the hedges. Sanctuary.”

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

We mourn the loss of Larry Santoro. Please visit http://www.cancer.org/ and http://www.imermanangels.org/ to learn more about cancer support.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/16/pseudopod-399-the-wriggling-death/feed/ 0 0:30:20 by Harold Gross. “The Wriggling Death” is a Pseudopod original. The author says: “Best listened to with a cuppa and biscuit? This piece would not exist were it not for a tour of the Monterrey Aquarium by friend and fellow author, P[...] by Harold Gross. “The Wriggling Death” is a Pseudopod original. The author says: “Best listened to with a cuppa and biscuit? This piece would not exist were it not for a tour of the Monterrey Aquarium by friend and fellow author, Pat McEwan, whose explanations of the strangest of sea life inspired the story.” HAROLD GROSS has previously published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, other magazines, and several anthologies. Currently, “The Song Giveth…” is serialized in issues 9-12 of the online magazine, Aethernet, based in the UK but also available electronically in the US. While he appears most often as Harold Gross, his collaborative alter-ego, Gordon Gross, appears in several venues. In addition to writing, Harold has also been caught in live and recorded performances on stage and screen. His blog at The 5 a.m. Critic currently contains a wide range of non-spoiler movie reviews as well as links to available reprints and current publications. Your reader – Veronica Giguere – is a narrator of many genres, most notably for the Secret World Chronicle podcast novel series (which she narrates, produces and writes along with Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin and Dennis Lee) and the cyberpunk noir podcast novel, Broken, co-written with Cedric Johnson. She can be found at www.voicesbyveronica.com and at Amazon and Smashwords. When not behind a microphone or slaving away on words, she works to release her soul from higher education in the pursuit of her doctorate. **************************** “After finding the dell, we walked homeward in a more subdued fashion. After only a few steps, the contemplative silence was broken by the rustling of leaves behind us. We stopped in our tracks. We’d outrun Deaths all our lives and, in high Season, had even gone off into the desert to protect ourselves. More than enough females were willing to accept them into themselves and breed for as long as their accelerated aging would allow. There were always those that wanted to bear young. But that wasn’t Chalen or myself, thank you. We had our voices and our music and our fans. That was enough. Something about that sound in that place, though, froze us. Then, as we listened more carefully, we could hear that there were more on both sides of us boxing us in. We began to run toward the house and the hedges. Sanctuary.” ***************************** We mourn the loss of Larry Santoro. Please visit http://www.cancer.org/ and http://www.imermanangels.org/ to learn more about cancer support. Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help. horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Gross yes no
Pseudopod 383: Blood Women http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/12/pseudopod-383-blood-women/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/12/pseudopod-383-blood-women/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 01:26:10 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1296 by Usman T. Malik.

“Blood Women” first appeared in Chiral Mad 2 edited by Michael Bailey. This podcast is Usman’s first ‘reprint’ sale. The story made Ellen Datlow‘s Summation of 2013 for Best Horror of the Year Six. Usman has long felt the absence of Pakistani writers in speculative fiction, especially in horror and dark fantasy. The country has a solid tradition in the genre, rarely seen in the west. He hopes that will change in the next few years as more Pakistani and South Asian writers begin publishing regularly in western spec-fic markets.

USMAN T. MALIK lives in Florida, writes strange stories, and likes long walks. He is the first Pakistani graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Usman is a contributor at the South Asian webzine (and critique forum for aspiring writers) Desi Writers Lounge. He has a website at www.usmanmalik.org. If you liked the story, please consider dropping him a line at the forums.

Your reader – Saladin Ahmed – is the author of the Hugo-and-Nebula nominated, Locus Award-winning novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON.

“A Voice In The Dark” is available at Comixology!

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“You could see the blood women standing under the banyan trees any evening. All you needed was the right blink, Haider said.

This is the way we did it: we circled the graveyard three times, for three is the godly number. Haider on his father’s bicycle, me on my brother’s red and white Made-in-Pakistan tall rider, and ten-year-old Zareen on her three-wheeler clattering over stones, bird bones, and dry branches.

“Ready?” Haider would say, his eyes black as apple seeds.

We nodded, and together we blinked.

The blood women were not there.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/12/pseudopod-383-blood-women/feed/ 0 0:39:50 by Usman T. Malik. “Blood Women” first appeared in Chiral Mad 2 edited by Michael Bailey. This podcast is Usman’s first ‘reprint’ sale. The story made Ellen Datlow‘s Summation of 2013 for Best Horror of the Year S[...] by Usman T. Malik. “Blood Women” first appeared in Chiral Mad 2 edited by Michael Bailey. This podcast is Usman’s first ‘reprint’ sale. The story made Ellen Datlow‘s Summation of 2013 for Best Horror of the Year Six. Usman has long felt the absence of Pakistani writers in speculative fiction, especially in horror and dark fantasy. The country has a solid tradition in the genre, rarely seen in the west. He hopes that will change in the next few years as more Pakistani and South Asian writers begin publishing regularly in western spec-fic markets. USMAN T. MALIK lives in Florida, writes strange stories, and likes long walks. He is the first Pakistani graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Usman is a contributor at the South Asian webzine (and critique forum for aspiring writers) Desi Writers Lounge. He has a website at www.usmanmalik.org. If you liked the story, please consider dropping him a line at the forums. Your reader – Saladin Ahmed – is the author of the Hugo-and-Nebula nominated, Locus Award-winning novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON. “A Voice In The Dark” is available at Comixology! **************************** “You could see the blood women standing under the banyan trees any evening. All you needed was the right blink, Haider said. This is the way we did it: we circled the graveyard three times, for three is the godly number. Haider on his father’s bicycle, me on my brother’s red and white Made-in-Pakistan tall rider, and ten-year-old Zareen on her three-wheeler clattering over stones, bird bones, and dry branches. “Ready?” Haider would say, his eyes black as apple seeds. We nodded, and together we blinked. The blood women were not there.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Malik yes no
Pseudopod 398: Prince Of Flowers http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/08/pseudopod-398-prince-of-flowers/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/08/pseudopod-398-prince-of-flowers/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 01:53:15 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1285 by Elizabeth Hand.

“Prince of Flowers” was Hand’s first published story. It appeared in Twilight Zone Magazine in 1988, was subsequently reprinted in The Year’s Best Horror and has appeared in various anthologies since then, as well as in her story collection LAST SUMMER AT MARS HILL. “Much of the story is drawn from my own experiences working at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1970s-1980s. I was at the National Air & Space Museum, not the National History Museum, but spent as much time in the latter as I could. In those days, a Smithsonian ID badge allowed you to access all areas — not any more, alas.”

ELIZABETH HAND is the author of numerous award-winning novels and collections of short fiction, as well as a longtime reviewer and critic whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and many other publications.

Your reader – Christiana Ellis – is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey seasons 1 and 2, an audio-drama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts. Space Casey Season 2, available at spacecasey.com will have just completed by the time this posts.

As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser.

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“As she opened the box, dried flowers, seeds, and wood shavings cascaded into her lap. She inhaled, closing her eyes, and imagined blue water and firelight, sweet-smelling seeds exploding in the embers. She sneezed and opened her eyes to a cloud of dust wafting from the crate like smoke. Very carefully she worked her fingers into the fragrant excelsior, kneading the petals gently until she grasped something brittle and solid. She drew this out in a flurry of dead flowers.

It was a puppet: not a toy, but a gorgeously costumed figure, spindly arms clattering with glass and bone circlets, batik robes heavy with embroidery and beadwork. Long whittled pegs formed its torso and arms and the rods that swiveled it back and forth, so that its robes rippled tremulously, like a swallowtail’s wings. Held at arm’s length it gazed scornfully down at Helen, its face glinting with gilt paint. Sinuous vines twisted around each jointed arm. Flowers glowed within the rich threads of its robe, orchids blossoming in the folds of indigo cloth.

Loveliest of all was its face, the curve of cheeks and chin so gracefully arched it might have been cast in gold rather than coaxed from wood. Helen brushed it with a finger: the glossy white paint gleamed as though still wet. She touched the carmine bow that formed its mouth, traced the jet-black lashes stippled across its brow, like a regiment of ants. The smooth wood felt warm to her touch as she stroked it with her fingertips. A courtesan might have perfected its sphinx’s smile; but in the tide of petals Helen discovered a slip of paper covered with spidery characters. Beneath the straggling script another hand had shaped clumsy block letters spelling out the name PRINCE OF FLOWERS.

Once, perhaps, an imperial concubine had entertained herself with its fey posturing, and so passed the wet silences of a long green season. For the rest of the afternoon it was Helen’s toy. She posed it and sent its robes dancing in the twilit room, the frail arms and tiny wrists twitching in a marionette’s waltz.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/08/pseudopod-398-prince-of-flowers/feed/ 0 0:56:27 by Elizabeth Hand. “Prince of Flowers” was Hand’s first published story. It appeared in Twilight Zone Magazine in 1988, was subsequently reprinted in The Year’s Best Horror and has appeared in various anthologies since then, as we[...] by Elizabeth Hand. “Prince of Flowers” was Hand’s first published story. It appeared in Twilight Zone Magazine in 1988, was subsequently reprinted in The Year’s Best Horror and has appeared in various anthologies since then, as well as in her story collection LAST SUMMER AT MARS HILL. “Much of the story is drawn from my own experiences working at the Smithsonian Institution in the 1970s-1980s. I was at the National Air & Space Museum, not the National History Museum, but spent as much time in the latter as I could. In those days, a Smithsonian ID badge allowed you to access all areas — not any more, alas.” ELIZABETH HAND is the author of numerous award-winning novels and collections of short fiction, as well as a longtime reviewer and critic whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and many other publications. Your reader – Christiana Ellis – is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey seasons 1 and 2, an audio-drama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts. Space Casey Season 2, available at spacecasey.com will have just completed by the time this posts. As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser. **************************** “As she opened the box, dried flowers, seeds, and wood shavings cascaded into her lap. She inhaled, closing her eyes, and imagined blue water and firelight, sweet-smelling seeds exploding in the embers. She sneezed and opened her eyes to a cloud of dust wafting from the crate like smoke. Very carefully she worked her fingers into the fragrant excelsior, kneading the petals gently until she grasped something brittle and solid. She drew this out in a flurry of dead flowers. It was a puppet: not a toy, but a gorgeously costumed figure, spindly arms clattering with glass and bone circlets, batik robes heavy with embroidery and beadwork. Long whittled pegs formed its torso and arms and the rods that swiveled it back and forth, so that its robes rippled tremulously, like a swallowtail’s wings. Held at arm’s length it gazed scornfully down at Helen, its face glinting with gilt paint. Sinuous vines twisted around each jointed arm. Flowers glowed within the rich threads of its robe, orchids blossoming in the folds of indigo cloth. Loveliest of all was its face, the curve of cheeks and chin so gracefully arched it might have been cast in gold rather than coaxed from wood. Helen brushed it with a finger: the glossy white paint gleamed as though still wet. She touched the carmine bow that formed its mouth, traced the jet-black lashes stippled across its brow, like a regiment of ants. The smooth wood felt warm to her touch as she stroked it with her fingertips. A courtesan might have perfected its sphinx’s smile; but in the tide of petals Helen discovered a slip of paper covered with spidery characters. Beneath the straggling script another hand had shaped clumsy block letters spelling out the name PRINCE OF FLOWERS. Once, perhaps, an imperial concubine had entertained herself with its fey posturing, and so passed the wet silences of a long green season. For the rest of the afternoon it was Helen’s toy. She posed it and sent its robes da[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Hand yes no
Pseudopod 397: Gut Check http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/01/pseudopod-397-gut-check/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/01/pseudopod-397-gut-check/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:33:41 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1278 by Toni Nicolino.

Toni said of “Gut Check”: “Every day, human beings endure misfortunes big and small: we’re bullied, hurt, betrayed; we lose parents and children, we lose jobs, we get divorced; we miscarry. They’re widespread problems that happen to ordinary people—except that we’re anything but ordinary. Because we survive. And that alone takes guts.”

TONI NICOLINO’s short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Morpheus Tales, the Pill Hill Press Big Book of New Short Horror and Daily Flash Publications’ Daily Frights 2012. She has also been published in Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, Women’s Wear Daily, CosmoGIRL!, ELLEGirl, Budget Living, OK! and Zink magazines. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Anthony, their daughter Charlie, and their three cats..

Your reader – Stephanie Morris – is a librarian-in-training, a voracious biblio- and audiophile, an occasional writer of short stories, and a voice and stage actor. She has narrated short stories for PseudoPod, PodCastle, and Cast of Wonders, guest-blogged on subjects ranging from creative writing to zombie turkeys, and performed Shakespeare in a handful of weird churches. She is currently working toward a degree in Media Studies, which is really just a sneaky way for her to discuss her favorite fandoms in an academic context. She blogs at scribbleomania.

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

“The sun had ducked behind the overgrown trees on Twining Avenue, and she checked the time on her cell phone. She’d been meandering for almost thirty minutes, and if she went any further, she wouldn’t have the energy to trek back. She turned around and started the journey home, feeling strangely fearful of the sudden darkness. The streetlights hadn’t yet been activated and the lack of illumination made her uneasy. She picked up the pace, wondering if her protective new-mother disposition had heightened her sense of self-preservation. More likely, the recollection of her unpleasant childhood had caused the unrest.

She turned the corner onto another darkened block and tried to steer her thoughts to a more optimistic topic, like her pregnancy, but she couldn’t shake her disquiet. Bad memories seemed to follow her tonight, and Rae developed the uncomfortable suspicion that she was no longer alone on the street. She slowed, determined to eliminate the possibility that something tangible—and perhaps threatening—trailed behind her. But before she could turn around, confirmation came in the form of a blow to the legs. Pain exploded in her right kneecap and she fell to the sidewalk, her mind leaping to that day in the seventh grade when she’d been pushed in the hallway. Instinctively, her arms thrust forth to break her fall, but her fight-or-flight instincts were numbed by surprise and fear. Her attacker took advantage of the temporary shock and thrust a bare arm around her neck; the stranger smelled vaguely of cigarettes and barbeque sauce, and just as it registered that it was in fact a man—and not her bad thoughts—which had been stalking her, a cold, hard object was pressed against her temple.

“I’ll shoot if you scream,” he said, and despite the warning, Rae couldn’t help herself. The scream had formed in her throat the moment her legs had been bashed, and even though it felt like the act had transpired minutes before, in reality, only seconds had passed. The cry was on her tongue now; it was a high-speed train moving at breakneck speed, too fast to stop, and as she opened her mouth to let it pass, a white light blinded her. The pain came next; it crawled over her skull like cracks in glass, and then everything went black.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/01/pseudopod-397-gut-check/feed/ 0 0:36:36 by Toni Nicolino. Toni said of “Gut Check”: “Every day, human beings endure misfortunes big and small: we’re bullied, hurt, betrayed; we lose parents and children, we lose jobs, we get divorced; we miscarry. They’re widespread problems that happen t[...] by Toni Nicolino. Toni said of “Gut Check”: “Every day, human beings endure misfortunes big and small: we’re bullied, hurt, betrayed; we lose parents and children, we lose jobs, we get divorced; we miscarry. They’re widespread problems that happen to ordinary people—except that we’re anything but ordinary. Because we survive. And that alone takes guts.” TONI NICOLINO’s short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Morpheus Tales, the Pill Hill Press Big Book of New Short Horror and Daily Flash Publications’ Daily Frights 2012. She has also been published in Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, Women’s Wear Daily, CosmoGIRL!, ELLEGirl, Budget Living, OK! and Zink magazines. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Anthony, their daughter Charlie, and their three cats.. Your reader – Stephanie Morris – is a librarian-in-training, a voracious biblio- and audiophile, an occasional writer of short stories, and a voice and stage actor. She has narrated short stories for PseudoPod, PodCastle, and Cast of Wonders, guest-blogged on subjects ranging from creative writing to zombie turkeys, and performed Shakespeare in a handful of weird churches. She is currently working toward a degree in Media Studies, which is really just a sneaky way for her to discuss her favorite fandoms in an academic context. She blogs at scribbleomania. **************************** “The sun had ducked behind the overgrown trees on Twining Avenue, and she checked the time on her cell phone. She’d been meandering for almost thirty minutes, and if she went any further, she wouldn’t have the energy to trek back. She turned around and started the journey home, feeling strangely fearful of the sudden darkness. The streetlights hadn’t yet been activated and the lack of illumination made her uneasy. She picked up the pace, wondering if her protective new-mother disposition had heightened her sense of self-preservation. More likely, the recollection of her unpleasant childhood had caused the unrest. She turned the corner onto another darkened block and tried to steer her thoughts to a more optimistic topic, like her pregnancy, but she couldn’t shake her disquiet. Bad memories seemed to follow her tonight, and Rae developed the uncomfortable suspicion that she was no longer alone on the street. She slowed, determined to eliminate the possibility that something tangible—and perhaps threatening—trailed behind her. But before she could turn around, confirmation came in the form of a blow to the legs. Pain exploded in her right kneecap and she fell to the sidewalk, her mind leaping to that day in the seventh grade when she’d been pushed in the hallway. Instinctively, her arms thrust forth to break her fall, but her fight-or-flight instincts were numbed by surprise and fear. Her attacker took advantage of the temporary shock and thrust a bare arm around her neck; the stranger smelled vaguely of cigarettes and barbeque sauce, and just as it registered that it was in fact a man—and not her bad thoughts—which had been stalking her, a cold, hard object was pressed against her temple. “I’ll shoot if you scream,” he said, and despite the warning, Rae couldn’t help herself. The scream had formed in her throat the moment her legs had been bashed, and even though it felt like the act had transpired minutes before, in reality, only seconds had passed. The cry was on her tongue now; it was a high-speed train moving at breakneck speed, too fast to stop, and as she opened her mouth to let it pass, a white light blinded her. The pain came next; it crawled over her skull like cracks in glass, and then everything went black.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Nicolino yes no
Pseudopod 396: The Buchenwald Man http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/25/pseudopod-396-the-buchenwald-man/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/25/pseudopod-396-the-buchenwald-man/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:52:54 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1272 by Benjamin Sonnenberg.

“The Buchenwald Man” is original to Pseudopod. “Some events are so truly evil that they can never be avenged. That being said, it is important to continue to learn about the past, evil and all, as studying history is what helps us to separate ourselves from animals. ”

BENJAMIN SONNENBERG will be attending Towson University next fall, where I will be majoring in history, with the goal of becoming a history teacher and writer..

Your reader – Dave Robison – is on a mission to have his narrations permeate all of cyberspace until every PLAY button clicked produces the sultry tones of his buttery man-voice. To that end, he has achieved an Escape Artist’s narration trifecta, narrating tales for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and Podcastle, as well as countless other audio fiction podcasts and a few audiobooks. He’s also performed in several FullCast productions, most recently for Gail Carriger’s Crudrat. Dave is the founder and co-host of the newly re-launched Roundtable Podcast where writers and authors brainstorm story ideas in their endless quest for literary gold. You can find the archives and all the latest episodes at RoundtablePodcast.com. You can him on Twitter @WritersPodcast and on Facebook at roundtablepodcast. He’s also working with on a shared-world collaborative novel with Colin F. Barnes (author of the Techxorcist series), Sarah Chorn (headmistress at the Bookworm Blues review site), and Alasdair Stuart (this generation’s incarnation of Spider Jerusalem). The novel is titled CHASING THE DEVIL: MEMOIRS OF A RELUCTANT PIRATE and will be serialized beginning in early 2015. Learn more at TheShatteredWorlds.com.

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“After about two hours of lifting,slamming, grinding, and pulling, a body was found under the rocks. Stan was near the soldier who found it. The soldier had seen bodies before, they all had, and quite calmly yelled out to the corporal: “Yeah, there’s a foot here!”
Twenty men, including Stan and the corporal, immediately rushed over to oversee the excavation. There was a twisted, bleached white foot sticking out from the rubble. No one said anything about it. Instead, a few men jumped forward and grabbed the leg, while others used picks to tear away at stone that held the rest of the body down. Soon enough, and all at once, the bricks gave way and the body came free and into clear view.
It was a girl, about seventeen. It was a little difficult to tell, however, because her face had caved in quite badly. A few broken shards of teeth were lodged in her forehead, and both eye sockets were empty. Dust caked up inside the holes. The girl had been a blonde, and her hair was still tied into a fishtail. As they pulled it out, the body twisted and flopped loosely, allowing some of the dust and gravel to spill out of the eye sockets.
Stan did not shudder at this, and was surprised to see the same reaction in the others. Had he really thought he was alone in this chill? No, he was different from the others. They all had been inside the camp; this was nothing. They had seen ten-year-olds, even babies,piled in heaps like charcoal. This was nothing.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/25/pseudopod-396-the-buchenwald-man/feed/ 0 0:32:15 by Benjamin Sonnenberg. “The Buchenwald Man” is original to Pseudopod. “Some events are so truly evil that they can never be avenged. That being said, it is important to continue to learn about the past, evil and all, as studying history is wh[...] by Benjamin Sonnenberg. “The Buchenwald Man” is original to Pseudopod. “Some events are so truly evil that they can never be avenged. That being said, it is important to continue to learn about the past, evil and all, as studying history is what helps us to separate ourselves from animals. ” BENJAMIN SONNENBERG will be attending Towson University next fall, where I will be majoring in history, with the goal of becoming a history teacher and writer.. Your reader – Dave Robison – is on a mission to have his narrations permeate all of cyberspace until every PLAY button clicked produces the sultry tones of his buttery man-voice. To that end, he has achieved an Escape Artist’s narration trifecta, narrating tales for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and Podcastle, as well as countless other audio fiction podcasts and a few audiobooks. He’s also performed in several FullCast productions, most recently for Gail Carriger’s Crudrat. Dave is the founder and co-host of the newly re-launched Roundtable Podcast where writers and authors brainstorm story ideas in their endless quest for literary gold. You can find the archives and all the latest episodes at RoundtablePodcast.com. You can him on Twitter @WritersPodcast and on Facebook at roundtablepodcast. He’s also working with on a shared-world collaborative novel with Colin F. Barnes (author of the Techxorcist series), Sarah Chorn (headmistress at the Bookworm Blues review site), and Alasdair Stuart (this generation’s incarnation of Spider Jerusalem). The novel is titled CHASING THE DEVIL: MEMOIRS OF A RELUCTANT PIRATE and will be serialized beginning in early 2015. Learn more at TheShatteredWorlds.com. **************************** “After about two hours of lifting,slamming, grinding, and pulling, a body was found under the rocks. Stan was near the soldier who found it. The soldier had seen bodies before, they all had, and quite calmly yelled out to the corporal: “Yeah, there’s a foot here!” Twenty men, including Stan and the corporal, immediately rushed over to oversee the excavation. There was a twisted, bleached white foot sticking out from the rubble. No one said anything about it. Instead, a few men jumped forward and grabbed the leg, while others used picks to tear away at stone that held the rest of the body down. Soon enough, and all at once, the bricks gave way and the body came free and into clear view. It was a girl, about seventeen. It was a little difficult to tell, however, because her face had caved in quite badly. A few broken shards of teeth were lodged in her forehead, and both eye sockets were empty. Dust caked up inside the holes. The girl had been a blonde, and her hair was still tied into a fishtail. As they pulled it out, the body twisted and flopped loosely, allowing some of the dust and gravel to spill out of the eye sockets. Stan did not shudder at this, and was surprised to see the same reaction in the others. Had he really thought he was alone in this chill? No, he was different from the others. They all had been inside the camp; this was nothing. They had seen ten-year-olds, even babies,piled in heaps like charcoal. This was nothing.” ***************************** Podcasts, Stories Shawn Garrett & Alasdair Stuart yes no
Pseudopod 395: Fishhead http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/17/pseudopod-395-fishhead/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/17/pseudopod-395-fishhead/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 01:09:35 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1265 by Irvin S. Cobb.

“Fishhead” first appeared in THE CAVALIER on January 11, 1913 and can be read here.

IRVIN S. COBB (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and authored more than 60 books and 300 short stories. He was born in Paducah, Kentucky, where he began as a reporter for the Paducah Daily News at the age of seventeen. He became the nation’s youngest managing news editor two years later. His career took him to media and artistic prominence in New York City, where his Saturday Evening Post columns reached over two million readers. He was such a well-known and well-loved figure that he hosted the 7th Academy Awards ceremony.

Our reader this week is a long-time friend of the show. He was born in the swamps of south Georgia where he was orphaned as a child by a pack of wild dawgs. He was adopted by a family of gators who named him Maui Threv which in their language means mechanical frog music. He was taught the ways of swamp music and the moog synthesizer by a razorback and a panther. He provided music for the second episode ever released across the PseudoPod feed: Waiting up for Father. He also is responsible for the outro music for the Lavie Tidhar story Set Down This.

Sword & Mythos can be ordered here.

Sounds used in the soundbed for this story can be found at the following links:

Marsh ambiance track

Bullfrogs

Fishhead’s Call:

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“It goes past the powers of my pen to try to describe Reelfoot Lake for you so that you, reading this, will get the picture of it in your mind as I have it in mine.

For Reelfoot Lake is like no other lake that I know anything about. It is an after-thought of Creation.

The rest of this continent was made and had dried in the sun for thousands of years-millions of years, for all I know-before Reelfoot came to be. It’s the newest big thing in nature on this hemisphere, probably, for it was formed by the great earthquake of 1811.

That earthquake of 1811 surely altered the face of the earth on the then far frontier of this country.

It changed the course of rivers, it converted hills into what are now the sunk lands of three states, and it turned the solid ground to jelly and made it roll in waves like the sea.

And in the midst of the retching of the land and the vomiting of the waters it depressed to varying depths a section of the earth crust sixty miles long, taking it down — trees, hills, hollows, and all, and a crack broke through to the Mississippi River so that for three days the river ran up stream, filling the hole.

The result was the largest lake south of the Ohio, lying mostly in Tennessee, but extending up across what is now the Kentucky line, and taking its name from a fancied resemblance in its outline to the splay, reeled foot of a cornfield negro. Niggerwool Swamp, not so far away, may have got its name from the same man who christened Reelfoot: at least so it sounds.

Reelfoot is, and has always been, a lake of mystery.

In places it is bottomless. Other places the skeletons of the cypress-trees that went down when the earth sank, still stand upright so that if the sun shines from the right quarter, and the water is less muddy than common, a man, peering face downward into its depths, sees, or thinks he sees, down below him the bare top-limbs upstretching like drowned men’s fingers, all coated with the mud of years and bandaged with pennons of the green lake slime.

In still other places the lake is shallow for long stretches, no deeper than breast high to a man, but dangerous because of the weed growths and the sunken drifts which entangle a swimmer’s limbs. Its banks are mainly mud, its waters are *muddled, too, being a rich coffee color in the spring and a copperish yellow in the summer, and the trees along its shore are mud colored clear up their lower limbs after the spring floods, when the dried sediment covers their trunks with a thick, scrofulous-looking coat.

There are stretches of unbroken woodland around it, and slashes where the cypress knees rise countlessly like headstones and footstones for the dead snags that rot in the soft ooze.

There are deadenings with the lowland corn growing high and rank below and the bleached, fire-blackened girdled trees rising above, barren of leaf and limb.

There are long, dismal flats where in the spring the clotted frog- spawn cling like patches of white mucus among the weed-stalks, and at night the turtles crawl out to lay clutches of perfectly, round, white eggs with tough, rubbery shells in the sand.

There are bayous leading off to nowhere, and sloughs that wind aimlessly, like great, blind worms, to finally join the big river that rolls its semi-liquid torrents a few miles to the westward.

So Reelfoot lies there, flat in the bottoms, freezing lightly in the winter, steaming torridly in the summer, swollen in the spring when the woods have turned a vivid green and the buffalo-gnats by the million and the billion fill the flooded hollows with their pestilential buzzing, and in the fall, ringed about gloriously with all the colors which the first frost brings-gold of hickory, yellow-russet of sycamore, red of dogwood and ash, and purple-black of sweet-gum.

But the Reelfoot country has its uses. It is the best game and fish country, natural or artificial, that is left in the South today.

In their appointed seasons the duck and the geese flock in, and even semi-tropical birds, like the brown pelican and the Florida snake-bird, have been known to come there to nest.

Pigs, gone back to wildness, range the ridges, each razor-backed drove captained by a gaunt, savage, slab-sided old boar. By night the bullfrogs, inconceivably big and tremendously vocal, bellow under the banks.

It is a wonderful place for fish — bass and crappie, and perch, and the snouted buffalo fish.

How these edible sorts live to spawn, and how their spawn in turn live to spawn again is a marvel, seeing how many of the big fish-eating cannibal-fish there are in Reelfoot.

Here, bigger than anywhere else, you find the garfish, all bones and appetite and horny plates, with a snout like an alligator, the nearest link, naturalists say, between the animal life of today and the animal life of the Reptilian Period.

The shovel-nose cat, really a deformed kind of fresh-water sturgeon, with a great fan-shaped membranous plate jutting out from his nose like a bowsprit, jumps all day in the quiet places with mighty splashing sounds, as though a horse had fallen into the water.

On every stranded log the huge snapping turtles lie on sunny days in groups of four and six, baking their shells black in the sun, with their little snaky heads raised watchfully, ready to slip noiselessly off at the first sound of oars grating in the row-locks. But the biggest of them all are the catfish!

These are monstrous creatures, these catfish of Reelfoot — scaleless,slick things, with corpsy, dead eyes and poisonous fins, like javelins, and huge whiskers dangling from the sides of their cavernous heads.

Six and seven feet long they grow to be, and weigh 200 pounds or more, and they have mouths wide enough to take in a man’s foot or a man’s fist, and strong enough to break any hook save the strongest, and greedy enough to eat anything, living or dead or putrid, that the horny jaws can master.

Oh, but they are wicked things, and they tell wicked tales of them down there. They call them man-eaters, and compare them, in certain of their habits, to sharks.

Fishhead was of a piece with this setting.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/17/pseudopod-395-fishhead/feed/ 0 0:29:08 by Irvin S. Cobb. “Fishhead” first appeared in THE CAVALIER on January 11, 1913 and can be read here. IRVIN S. COBB (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and authored more than 60 book[...] by Irvin S. Cobb. “Fishhead” first appeared in THE CAVALIER on January 11, 1913 and can be read here. IRVIN S. COBB (June 23, 1876 – March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and authored more than 60 books and 300 short stories. He was born in Paducah, Kentucky, where he began as a reporter for the Paducah Daily News at the age of seventeen. He became the nation’s youngest managing news editor two years later. His career took him to media and artistic prominence in New York City, where his Saturday Evening Post columns reached over two million readers. He was such a well-known and well-loved figure that he hosted the 7th Academy Awards ceremony. Our reader this week is a long-time friend of the show. He was born in the swamps of south Georgia where he was orphaned as a child by a pack of wild dawgs. He was adopted by a family of gators who named him Maui Threv which in their language means mechanical frog music. He was taught the ways of swamp music and the moog synthesizer by a razorback and a panther. He provided music for the second episode ever released across the PseudoPod feed: Waiting up for Father. He also is responsible for the outro music for the Lavie Tidhar story Set Down This. Sword & Mythos can be ordered here. Sounds used in the soundbed for this story can be found at the following links: Marsh ambiance track Bullfrogs Fishhead’s Call: **************************** “It goes past the powers of my pen to try to describe Reelfoot Lake for you so that you, reading this, will get the picture of it in your mind as I have it in mine. For Reelfoot Lake is like no other lake that I know anything about. It is an after-thought of Creation. The rest of this continent was made and had dried in the sun for thousands of years-millions of years, for all I know-before Reelfoot came to be. It’s the newest big thing in nature on this hemisphere, probably, for it was formed by the great earthquake of 1811. That earthquake of 1811 surely altered the face of the earth on the then far frontier of this country. It changed the course of rivers, it converted hills into what are now the sunk lands of three states, and it turned the solid ground to jelly and made it roll in waves like the sea. And in the midst of the retching of the land and the vomiting of the waters it depressed to varying depths a section of the earth crust sixty miles long, taking it down — trees, hills, hollows, and all, and a crack broke through to the Mississippi River so that for three days the river ran up stream, filling the hole. The result was the largest lake south of the Ohio, lying mostly in Tennessee, but extending up across what is now the Kentucky line, and taking its name from a fancied resemblance in its outline to the splay, reeled foot of a cornfield negro. Niggerwool Swamp, not so far away, may have got its name from the same man who christened Reelfoot: at least so it sounds. Reelfoot is, and has always been, a lake of mystery. In places it is bottomless. Other places the skeletons of the cypress-trees that went down when the earth sank, still stand upright so that if the sun shines from the right quarter, and the water is less muddy than common, a man, peering face downward into its depths, sees, or thinks he sees, down below him the bare top-limbs upstretching like drowned men’s fingers, all coated with the mud of years and bandaged with pennons of the green lake slime. In still other places the lake is shallow for long stretches, no deeper than breast high to a man, but dangerous because of the weed growths and the sunken drifts which entangle a swimmer’s limbs. Its banks are mainly mud, its waters are *muddled, too, being a rich coffee color in the spring and a copperish yellow in the summer, and the trees along its shore are mud colored clear up their lower limbs after the spring floods, when the dried sediment covers thei[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Cobb yes no
Pseudopod 394: Summer Girls http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/11/pseudopod-394-summer-girls/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/11/pseudopod-394-summer-girls/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:58:02 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1261 by Caspian Gray.

“Summer Girls” first appeared in Black Static #35, which was their July/August 2013 issue.

CASPIAN GRAY currently lives with a tall man and a small dog in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s a copywriter for a used car dealership. He has previously worked as a funeral director’s apprentice, a pet nutritionist, and an English teacher to Korean immigrants living in Japan. His fiction has appeared in places like Interzone, Nightmare Magazine, Odyssey, and ChiZine.

Your reader – Robert A.K. Gonyo – is a voiceover artist residing in Queens, New York; when he’s not at the mic, he’s directing, acting, or playing music in New York’s off-off-Broadway theatre community. He produces and hosts a podcast on off-off-Broadway, Go See a Show!, available on the web and on iTunes. You can follow his work, and contact him for voiceover gigs, at ROBERT GONYO.com.

Kameron Hurley can be contacted at the following link: Kameron Hurley.

Matt Wallace’s Slingers can be found here!

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

“Something brushed his leg. For a moment he felt the sensation of fingers closing on his ankle. Dan started, then floundered away, panicked as a little kid at the first touch of seaweed. He composed himself in case Kayla was watching, but she was treading water further out, eyes on the horizon. Dan swam out to her, accidentally swallowing a mouthful of salt water, then splashed water on her back to get her attention. Kayla turned, pulling long strands of hair out of her eyes.

_The dead girl_, Dan signed. This was one of their home-signs, a single gesture not rendered in his bastardized ASL.

Kayla cocked her head. _Too early_, she signed. _The dead girl won’t be here ’til August._

_She touched me_, Dan signed. _She touched me._

Kayla swam closer to him. They treaded water, looking out over the dark waves for her bobbing corpse. There was no sign of her.

_Let’s swim back._”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/11/pseudopod-394-summer-girls/feed/ 0 0:36:32 by Caspian Gray. “Summer Girls” first appeared in Black Static #35, which was their July/August 2013 issue. CASPIAN GRAY currently lives with a tall man and a small dog in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s a copywriter for a used car dealership. He h[...] by Caspian Gray. “Summer Girls” first appeared in Black Static #35, which was their July/August 2013 issue. CASPIAN GRAY currently lives with a tall man and a small dog in Columbus, Ohio, where he’s a copywriter for a used car dealership. He has previously worked as a funeral director’s apprentice, a pet nutritionist, and an English teacher to Korean immigrants living in Japan. His fiction has appeared in places like Interzone, Nightmare Magazine, Odyssey, and ChiZine. Your reader – Robert A.K. Gonyo – is a voiceover artist residing in Queens, New York; when he’s not at the mic, he’s directing, acting, or playing music in New York’s off-off-Broadway theatre community. He produces and hosts a podcast on off-off-Broadway, Go See a Show!, available on the web and on iTunes. You can follow his work, and contact him for voiceover gigs, at ROBERT GONYO.com. Kameron Hurley can be contacted at the following link: Kameron Hurley. Matt Wallace’s Slingers can be found here! **************************** “Something brushed his leg. For a moment he felt the sensation of fingers closing on his ankle. Dan started, then floundered away, panicked as a little kid at the first touch of seaweed. He composed himself in case Kayla was watching, but she was treading water further out, eyes on the horizon. Dan swam out to her, accidentally swallowing a mouthful of salt water, then splashed water on her back to get her attention. Kayla turned, pulling long strands of hair out of her eyes. _The dead girl_, Dan signed. This was one of their home-signs, a single gesture not rendered in his bastardized ASL. Kayla cocked her head. _Too early_, she signed. _The dead girl won’t be here ’til August._ _She touched me_, Dan signed. _She touched me._ Kayla swam closer to him. They treaded water, looking out over the dark waves for her bobbing corpse. There was no sign of her. _Let’s swim back._” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Gray yes no
Pseudopod 393: West Gate http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/04/pseudopod-393-west-gate/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/04/pseudopod-393-west-gate/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 11:00:49 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1247 by Mitchell Edgeworth.

“West Gate” was first published in Allegory magazine in January 2013 and is still available in their paywalled archives. Mitchell notes: “The bridge does have a bit of bad mojo about it. It collapsed while under construction in the 60s and killed two dozen workers, and was notorious as a suicide bridge until a guy threw his daughter off it a few years ago and they put some fences up. It’s also a fairly ugly, modern bridge compared to the more famous Sydney Harbour Bridge (which crosses a beautiful stretch of water, whereas the West Gate crosses the port and then plunges into factories, industrial areas and the impoverished western suburbs.)”.

MITCHELL EDGEWORTH is an Australian writer currently living in London. He has fiction published or forthcoming in venues including Daily Science Fiction, Postscripts to Darkness and Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. He tweets as @mitchedgeworth and keeps a blog at Grub Street Hack.

Your reader – Ron Jon – was featured in a showcase in Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector. Ron has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature.
You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.

Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive!

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

“A dozen helicopters were hovering around the distant city, all lancing their spotlights down on the same place – by his reckoning, somewhere near the Domain Tunnel or the Arts Centre. He could see no other movement. No explosions, no gunfire, no destruction. Had it been contained?

A few other people had left their cars and were standing at the barrier, staring at the city. Some were holding up their mobile phones, trying to get a signal. “Anybody know what the fuck’s holding traffic up?” a truckie asked.

“Some dickhead must have had a smash,” someone replied. “Nothing on the radio, though.”

“Nothing on the radio at all,” the truckie said again. He was visibly agitated, pacing up and down at the railing, his hands tucked into his armpits for warmth. “What’s the fucking government doing? That’s what I want to know. Where’s the army?”

“Didn’t you see those tanks go past before?””

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/07/04/pseudopod-393-west-gate/feed/ 0 0:33:08 by Mitchell Edgeworth. “West Gate” was first published in Allegory magazine in January 2013 and is still available in their paywalled archives. Mitchell notes: “The bridge does have a bit of bad mojo about it. It collapsed while under construction i[...] by Mitchell Edgeworth. “West Gate” was first published in Allegory magazine in January 2013 and is still available in their paywalled archives. Mitchell notes: “The bridge does have a bit of bad mojo about it. It collapsed while under construction in the 60s and killed two dozen workers, and was notorious as a suicide bridge until a guy threw his daughter off it a few years ago and they put some fences up. It’s also a fairly ugly, modern bridge compared to the more famous Sydney Harbour Bridge (which crosses a beautiful stretch of water, whereas the West Gate crosses the port and then plunges into factories, industrial areas and the impoverished western suburbs.)”. MITCHELL EDGEWORTH is an Australian writer currently living in London. He has fiction published or forthcoming in venues including Daily Science Fiction, Postscripts to Darkness and Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction. He tweets as @mitchedgeworth and keeps a blog at Grub Street Hack. Your reader – Ron Jon – was featured in a showcase in Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector. Ron has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature. You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness. Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive! **************************** “A dozen helicopters were hovering around the distant city, all lancing their spotlights down on the same place – by his reckoning, somewhere near the Domain Tunnel or the Arts Centre. He could see no other movement. No explosions, no gunfire, no destruction. Had it been contained? A few other people had left their cars and were standing at the barrier, staring at the city. Some were holding up their mobile phones, trying to get a signal. “Anybody know what the fuck’s holding traffic up?” a truckie asked. “Some dickhead must have had a smash,” someone replied. “Nothing on the radio, though.” “Nothing on the radio at all,” the truckie said again. He was visibly agitated, pacing up and down at the railing, his hands tucked into his armpits for warmth. “What’s the fucking government doing? That’s what I want to know. Where’s the army?” “Didn’t you see those tanks go past before?”” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Edgeworth yes no
Pseudopod 392: The Dog’s Paw http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/26/pseudopod-392-the-dogs-paw/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/26/pseudopod-392-the-dogs-paw/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 02:22:07 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1232 by Derek Kunsken.

“The Dog’s Paw” is Derek’s first horror story and was written on a balcony overlooking Port-au-Prince six weeks after the earthquake of 2010. It first appeared in the Canadian horror anthology CHILLING TALES: IN WORDS, ALAS, DROWN I and was also selected for inclusion in Ellen Datlow’s YEAR’S BEST HORROR VOLUME SIX.

DEREK KUNSKEN has built genetically-engineered viruses, worked with street kids in Central America, served as a Canadian diplomat, and writes science fiction and fantasy in Ottawa, Canada. His work has previously appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, On Spec, Podcastle and several times in Asimov’s Science Fiction. His work has been short-listed for the Aurora Award and has won the Asimov’s Reader’s Award. His website is Derek Kunsken and he blogs at Blackgate.

Your reader – Lewis Davies – is an ex-actor turned history teacher and you can follow him @lewiskernow on twitter. He is always looking for opportunities to read aloud.

Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive!

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

“A cloud of gray smoke expanded around them. Tears leaked from Mr. Abdullah’s eyes and Lewis put his arm around him. He took Mr. Abdullah’s cigarette to tap off the ash and left both cigarettes in the ashtray.

“You are a great man,” Lewis said in Arabic.

Abdullah shook his head.

“You have a big heart,” Lewis said, “and I’ve come to help you.”

A choking sob burst from Mr. Abdullah.

“Tell me why you cut off your arm,” Lewis whispered.

Abdullah’s browned lips pressed into a damp line.

Lewis sighed. “Show me your arm.”

Abdullah turned his head sharply away.

“These marks are a sign,” Lewis said, “nothing more. Show me.”

Abdullah shook his head, but Lewis held him and lowered the blanket slowly. Mr. Abdullah’s wife squeaked and turned away. The edge of the blanket revealed a dog’s paw, furred in brown, with black pads under the foot, hugged close to Mr. Abdullah’s chest. Lewis gently pulled at the paw. He stroked the fur.

“We can fix all this,” Lewis said.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/26/pseudopod-392-the-dogs-paw/feed/ 0 0:35:04 by Derek Kunsken. “The Dog’s Paw” is Derek’s first horror story and was written on a balcony overlooking Port-au-Prince six weeks after the earthquake of 2010. It first appeared in the Canadian horror anthology CHILLING TALES: IN W[...] by Derek Kunsken. “The Dog’s Paw” is Derek’s first horror story and was written on a balcony overlooking Port-au-Prince six weeks after the earthquake of 2010. It first appeared in the Canadian horror anthology CHILLING TALES: IN WORDS, ALAS, DROWN I and was also selected for inclusion in Ellen Datlow’s YEAR’S BEST HORROR VOLUME SIX. DEREK KUNSKEN has built genetically-engineered viruses, worked with street kids in Central America, served as a Canadian diplomat, and writes science fiction and fantasy in Ottawa, Canada. His work has previously appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, On Spec, Podcastle and several times in Asimov’s Science Fiction. His work has been short-listed for the Aurora Award and has won the Asimov’s Reader’s Award. His website is Derek Kunsken and he blogs at Blackgate. Your reader – Lewis Davies – is an ex-actor turned history teacher and you can follow him @lewiskernow on twitter. He is always looking for opportunities to read aloud. Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive! **************************** “A cloud of gray smoke expanded around them. Tears leaked from Mr. Abdullah’s eyes and Lewis put his arm around him. He took Mr. Abdullah’s cigarette to tap off the ash and left both cigarettes in the ashtray. “You are a great man,” Lewis said in Arabic. Abdullah shook his head. “You have a big heart,” Lewis said, “and I’ve come to help you.” A choking sob burst from Mr. Abdullah. “Tell me why you cut off your arm,” Lewis whispered. Abdullah’s browned lips pressed into a damp line. Lewis sighed. “Show me your arm.” Abdullah turned his head sharply away. “These marks are a sign,” Lewis said, “nothing more. Show me.” Abdullah shook his head, but Lewis held him and lowered the blanket slowly. Mr. Abdullah’s wife squeaked and turned away. The edge of the blanket revealed a dog’s paw, furred in brown, with black pads under the foot, hugged close to Mr. Abdullah’s chest. Lewis gently pulled at the paw. He stroked the fur. “We can fix all this,” Lewis said.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Kunsken yes no
Pseudopod 391: Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/20/pseudopod-391-jack-the-rippers-bedroom/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/20/pseudopod-391-jack-the-rippers-bedroom/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 02:17:23 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1224 by John Paul Davies.

“Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom” is original to PSEUDOPOD. This story is inspired by the very real painting by Walter Sickert, the artist who is suspected by many to actually be The Ripper himself.

JOHN PAUL DAVIES is originally from Liverpool, and is a member of the Poised Pen Writers (see link under the name for further samples of their work). He has had stories published by Interstellar Fiction, Third Flatiron Publishing’s ORIGINS anthology, Big Pulp and Liquid Imagination, and was longlisted for the Penguin Ireland Short Story Contest 2013.

Your reader – Simon Meddings – is a writer of comedy and science fiction and writer & Director at Martian Creative, is currently working on his first novel and finishing a full length script for a satire television series. He also produced and co-presented a podcast called Waffle On and he’s a co-host on the Mash4077 podcast.

Info on “End Is Nigh” can be found at the Amazon link (music under the promo is “Meet me at the place” by Glass Boy, available at: Free Music Archive).

Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive!

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

““Come through,” the landlady said. “This will be your room.”

The lodger stood in the doorway, afraid that stepping into the room might shatter its illusion for good. For after months of searching, he had finally found the inspiration behind Walter Sickert’s masterpiece, *Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom.*

Longer and narrower than the others he had been shown, its floor slanted uneasily to the window. The same anaemic light that Sickert had bathed his room in, seen through a flexing eye recently shorn of its cataract.

The landlady gestured for him to admire the view, to look at the further world beyond the glass: a lofted city within a city, consisting of streets of rooftops, of other windows. Smoke curled from clusters of chimney pots; to the lodger, each weary fume represented a soul in ascension. Further, the serene blue of the river was captured in the channels between dark maritime warehouses, as twelve chimes rose deep and clear from an unseen chapel.

Drawing his attention away from the window, a macaw, or some other exotic breed, now stirred within its dulled bronze cage. The raw pink spindles of its feet gripped the perch as it shifted awkwardly, keeping in its blue, green and yellow feathers. He noticed a jagged hole in the drip of its beak, imagining a nail had been driven through; while eyes bruised as cobbles seemed to swell and throw back only a cold, blanked universe.

Had Sickert portrayed such a bird, hidden in some dark corner of his painting? Pecking at its small, chained mirror, he wondered if it had been changed entirely when first confronted by its own image. What the bird had imagined itself to be before.

“I can remove him if you would prefer? Though he’s been here longer than any tenant. I’d hate to issue the eviction notice at his age.””

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/20/pseudopod-391-jack-the-rippers-bedroom/feed/ 0 0:26:05 by John Paul Davies. “Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom” is original to PSEUDOPOD. This story is inspired by the very real painting by Walter Sickert, the artist who is suspected by many to actually be The Ripper himself. JOHN PAUL DAVIES is or[...] by John Paul Davies. “Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom” is original to PSEUDOPOD. This story is inspired by the very real painting by Walter Sickert, the artist who is suspected by many to actually be The Ripper himself. JOHN PAUL DAVIES is originally from Liverpool, and is a member of the Poised Pen Writers (see link under the name for further samples of their work). He has had stories published by Interstellar Fiction, Third Flatiron Publishing’s ORIGINS anthology, Big Pulp and Liquid Imagination, and was longlisted for the Penguin Ireland Short Story Contest 2013. Your reader – Simon Meddings – is a writer of comedy and science fiction and writer & Director at Martian Creative, is currently working on his first novel and finishing a full length script for a satire television series. He also produced and co-presented a podcast called Waffle On and he’s a co-host on the Mash4077 podcast. Info on “End Is Nigh” can be found at the Amazon link (music under the promo is “Meet me at the place” by Glass Boy, available at: Free Music Archive). Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive! **************************** ““Come through,” the landlady said. “This will be your room.” The lodger stood in the doorway, afraid that stepping into the room might shatter its illusion for good. For after months of searching, he had finally found the inspiration behind Walter Sickert’s masterpiece, *Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom.* Longer and narrower than the others he had been shown, its floor slanted uneasily to the window. The same anaemic light that Sickert had bathed his room in, seen through a flexing eye recently shorn of its cataract. The landlady gestured for him to admire the view, to look at the further world beyond the glass: a lofted city within a city, consisting of streets of rooftops, of other windows. Smoke curled from clusters of chimney pots; to the lodger, each weary fume represented a soul in ascension. Further, the serene blue of the river was captured in the channels between dark maritime warehouses, as twelve chimes rose deep and clear from an unseen chapel. Drawing his attention away from the window, a macaw, or some other exotic breed, now stirred within its dulled bronze cage. The raw pink spindles of its feet gripped the perch as it shifted awkwardly, keeping in its blue, green and yellow feathers. He noticed a jagged hole in the drip of its beak, imagining a nail had been driven through; while eyes bruised as cobbles seemed to swell and throw back only a cold, blanked universe. Had Sickert portrayed such a bird, hidden in some dark corner of his painting? Pecking at its small, chained mirror, he wondered if it had been changed entirely when first confronted by its own image. What the bird had imagined itself to be before. “I can remove him if you would prefer? Though he’s been here longer than any tenant. I’d hate to issue the eviction notice at his age.”” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Davies yes no
Pseudopod 390: Party Games http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/16/pseudopod-390-party-games/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/16/pseudopod-390-party-games/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:29:43 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1216 by Richard Farren Barber.

“Party Games” has never previously been published. “I am fascinated by the black/white viewpoint children often have upon life. Something is either wrong or it is right – with children there are no mitigating circumstances. This makes it so much more shocking when a child discovers that not everyone plays by the rules. Life really is unfair.”

RICHARD FARREN Barber was born in Nottingham in July 1970. After studying in London he returned to the East Midlands. He lives with his wife and son and works as a Development Services Manager for a local university. He has had stories published in Alt-Dead, Alt Zombie, Blood Oranges, The British Fantasy Society Journal, Fever Dreams, The Horror Zine, Murky Depths, Midnight Echo, Midnight Street, Morpheus Tales, Night Terrors II, The House of Horror, Siblings, The 13 Ghosts of Christmas, Trembles, Terror Scribes and many others. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio Derby and Erewash Sound. His first novella “The Power of Nothing” was published by Damnation Books in September 2013. His second novella “The Sleeping Dead” will be published by DarkFuse in August 2014. His website is Richard Farren Barber.

Your reader – Tina Connolly – lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her first fantasy novel, IRONSKIN (Tor 2012), was nominated for a Nebula, and the sequel COPPERHEAD is now out from Tor – the final book in the series, SILVERBLIND, comes out this October. Her fiction and narration has appeared on all three Escape Artists casts. She has also contributed voicework to many other projects, including the recent anthology from John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, THE END IS NIGH. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake, and her website is Tina Connolly.com.

Info on “End Is Nigh” can be found at the Amazon link (music under the promo is “Meet me at the place” by Glass Boy, available at: Free Music Archive).

Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive!

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

“As Helen walked to the front of the hall she could hear them whispering behind her back. The sound of their voices crashed on her shoulders like a wave. She couldn’t make out anything they said – a couple of times she thought she heard her name within the tidal brush of noise, but she ignored it.

‘I’m ready,’ she called.

‘Put on the blindfold.’

The voice came from so close to her ear she thought the woman was standing directly beside her. Helen was tempted to open her eyes and look, but she wasn’t a cheat.

She shook her head. ‘No.’

‘You have to put on the blindfold.'”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/16/pseudopod-390-party-games/feed/ 0 0:24:58 by Richard Farren Barber. “Party Games” has never previously been published. “I am fascinated by the black/white viewpoint children often have upon life. Something is either wrong or it is right – with children there are no mitigating ci[...] by Richard Farren Barber. “Party Games” has never previously been published. “I am fascinated by the black/white viewpoint children often have upon life. Something is either wrong or it is right – with children there are no mitigating circumstances. This makes it so much more shocking when a child discovers that not everyone plays by the rules. Life really is unfair.” RICHARD FARREN Barber was born in Nottingham in July 1970. After studying in London he returned to the East Midlands. He lives with his wife and son and works as a Development Services Manager for a local university. He has had stories published in Alt-Dead, Alt Zombie, Blood Oranges, The British Fantasy Society Journal, Fever Dreams, The Horror Zine, Murky Depths, Midnight Echo, Midnight Street, Morpheus Tales, Night Terrors II, The House of Horror, Siblings, The 13 Ghosts of Christmas, Trembles, Terror Scribes and many others. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio Derby and Erewash Sound. His first novella “The Power of Nothing” was published by Damnation Books in September 2013. His second novella “The Sleeping Dead” will be published by DarkFuse in August 2014. His website is Richard Farren Barber. Your reader – Tina Connolly – lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her first fantasy novel, IRONSKIN (Tor 2012), was nominated for a Nebula, and the sequel COPPERHEAD is now out from Tor – the final book in the series, SILVERBLIND, comes out this October. Her fiction and narration has appeared on all three Escape Artists casts. She has also contributed voicework to many other projects, including the recent anthology from John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, THE END IS NIGH. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake, and her website is Tina Connolly.com. Info on “End Is Nigh” can be found at the Amazon link (music under the promo is “Meet me at the place” by Glass Boy, available at: Free Music Archive). Please donate what you can to help Talliston House survive! **************************** “As Helen walked to the front of the hall she could hear them whispering behind her back. The sound of their voices crashed on her shoulders like a wave. She couldn’t make out anything they said – a couple of times she thought she heard her name within the tidal brush of noise, but she ignored it. ‘I’m ready,’ she called. ‘Put on the blindfold.’ The voice came from so close to her ear she thought the woman was standing directly beside her. Helen was tempted to open her eyes and look, but she wasn’t a cheat. She shook her head. ‘No.’ ‘You have to put on the blindfold.'” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Barber yes no
Pseudopod 389: The House, The Garden And The Occupants http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/06/pseudopod-389-the-house-the-garden-and-the-occupants/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/06/pseudopod-389-the-house-the-garden-and-the-occupants/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 18:27:41 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1198 by Amanda C. Davis.

“The House, The Garden And The Occupants” first appeared in the anthology TRIANGULATION:MORNING AFTER, from Parsec Ink, in July 2012. “I like the concept of ghosts as personalities locked in a never-ending ‘now’. Also, when it comes to haunted houses, one ghost is never enough.”

AMANDA C. DAVIS Amanda C. Davis is a combustion engineer who loves baking, gardening, and low-budget horror films. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Goblin Fruit, Shock Totem, and Cemetery Dance, among others. She tweets enthusiastically as @davisac1. You can find out more about her and read more of her work at her blog. WOLVES AND WITCHES is a book of dark fairytale retellings by Amanda and her sister, Megan Engelhardt, released from World Weaver Press in 2013.

Your reader – Pamila Payne – is a narrator and writer of noir horror. She’s the creator of The Bella Vista Motel series. Originally from Los Angeles, she’s currently writing in Yucatan, Mexico. She can be found on twitter, @mspamila and on her website, Vintage Vice. Her short story, “Agent Ramiel Gets The Call” will be included in EXILES, an international anthology exploring the theme of the outsider, edited by Paul Brazil and benefitting The Marfan Trust.

Links for Jason Arnopp and Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer can be found… well, at the links right under their names!

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

“This is Anne, with shreds of her gown wisping away like the edges of clouds, at the elbow of the grand staircase where the iron-framed window overlooks a patch of garden entombed in briars. She casts a glow onto the wall that reflects faintly but bestows her no shadow. She is riveted to the window; her face is watery, difficult to make out, but her posture reveals her inner workings. A clock chimes midnight. Slowly, she lowers her head. Slowly, she turns from the window. She takes a single step upstairs before she dissipates like fog under the sun.

The first time she took this path she followed it to her bedroom, to a letter-opener strewn on her writing desk, to her bath, to her grave. Now she exists only in a narrow series of moments. She only completed this path once.

Anne comes with the first stroke of midnight and leaves with the last; she knows nothing but midnight, and the word that falls from her ghostly lips, unheard, and those things have composed the full of her existence for over one hundred years.

#

This is the column of light that flares in the garden, as tall as a tree and bright as an angel, just after the last chime of midnight. It burns bright for a single blink of an eye before it collapses to the earth, leaving the night empty and dead. A pool of light lingers at its base. The garden shifts. Its shadows follow no rules.

The column of light, in its youngest years, answered to Boy, and then to Groom, and a host of careless and vicious names in between, but the only name it will answer to now is the last one it knew, the one that Anne called it. If the light speaks, it has never been heard; if it knows anything at all, it is the single moment of flaring and falling, too quick to grasp. Its existence is an eternal cycle of light and dark. It moves so fast that life from its perspective might be a single blur of light. But it will never tell.

#

This is the roil of malice that dwells in the crack above the lintel of the front door, a seething coil tight as a Gordian knot, black as blindness, in a place no light can reach.

#

This is Jacob Winterbeam, twenty-five, who has sunk the savings of his brief life into an estate that has by disrepair or disrepute been spared the indignity of subdivisions and commercial zoning.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/06/06/pseudopod-389-the-house-the-garden-and-the-occupants/feed/ 0 0:30:41 by Amanda C. Davis. “The House, The Garden And The Occupants” first appeared in the anthology TRIANGULATION:MORNING AFTER, from Parsec Ink, in July 2012. “I like the concept of ghosts as personalities locked in a never-ending [...] by Amanda C. Davis. “The House, The Garden And The Occupants” first appeared in the anthology TRIANGULATION:MORNING AFTER, from Parsec Ink, in July 2012. “I like the concept of ghosts as personalities locked in a never-ending ‘now’. Also, when it comes to haunted houses, one ghost is never enough.” AMANDA C. DAVIS Amanda C. Davis is a combustion engineer who loves baking, gardening, and low-budget horror films. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Goblin Fruit, Shock Totem, and Cemetery Dance, among others. She tweets enthusiastically as @davisac1. You can find out more about her and read more of her work at her blog. WOLVES AND WITCHES is a book of dark fairytale retellings by Amanda and her sister, Megan Engelhardt, released from World Weaver Press in 2013. Your reader – Pamila Payne – is a narrator and writer of noir horror. She’s the creator of The Bella Vista Motel series. Originally from Los Angeles, she’s currently writing in Yucatan, Mexico. She can be found on twitter, @mspamila and on her website, Vintage Vice. Her short story, “Agent Ramiel Gets The Call” will be included in EXILES, an international anthology exploring the theme of the outsider, edited by Paul Brazil and benefitting The Marfan Trust. Links for Jason Arnopp and Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer can be found… well, at the links right under their names! **************************** “This is Anne, with shreds of her gown wisping away like the edges of clouds, at the elbow of the grand staircase where the iron-framed window overlooks a patch of garden entombed in briars. She casts a glow onto the wall that reflects faintly but bestows her no shadow. She is riveted to the window; her face is watery, difficult to make out, but her posture reveals her inner workings. A clock chimes midnight. Slowly, she lowers her head. Slowly, she turns from the window. She takes a single step upstairs before she dissipates like fog under the sun. The first time she took this path she followed it to her bedroom, to a letter-opener strewn on her writing desk, to her bath, to her grave. Now she exists only in a narrow series of moments. She only completed this path once. Anne comes with the first stroke of midnight and leaves with the last; she knows nothing but midnight, and the word that falls from her ghostly lips, unheard, and those things have composed the full of her existence for over one hundred years. # This is the column of light that flares in the garden, as tall as a tree and bright as an angel, just after the last chime of midnight. It burns bright for a single blink of an eye before it collapses to the earth, leaving the night empty and dead. A pool of light lingers at its base. The garden shifts. Its shadows follow no rules. The column of light, in its youngest years, answered to Boy, and then to Groom, and a host of careless and vicious names in between, but the only name it will answer to now is the last one it knew, the one that Anne called it. If the light speaks, it has never been heard; if it knows anything at all, it is the single moment of flaring and falling, too quick to grasp. Its existence is an eternal cycle of light and dark. It moves so fast that life from its perspective might be a single blur of light. But it will never tell. # This is the roil of malice that dwells in the crack above the lintel of the front door, a seething coil tight as a Gordian knot, black as blindness, in a place no light can reach. # This is Jacob Winterbeam, twenty-five, who has sunk the savings of his brief life into an estate that has by disrepair or disrepute been spared the indignity of subdivisions and commercial zoning.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Davis yes no
Pseudopod 388: The Cotswold Olimpicks http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/30/pseudopod-388-the-cotswold-olimpicks/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/30/pseudopod-388-the-cotswold-olimpicks/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 23:44:50 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1184 by Simon Kurt Unsworth.

“The Cotswold Olimpicks” was first published in TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, published by Gray Friar Press in 2012, and it was reprinted in 2013 in Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 24. “I’d like the audience to remember that the Cotswold Olimpicks are a real event, and that the poem at the end of the story was genuinely written by Robert Dover!”

SIMON KURT UNSWORTH was born in Manchester in 1972 and has not yet given up the hope of finding that the world was awash with mysterious signs and portents that night. He lives in an old farmhouse miles from anywhere in the Lake District with his fiancée Rosie and assorted children, dogs and guinea pigs. His neighbours are mostly sheep and his office is an old cheese store, in which he writes essentially grumpy fiction (for which pursuit he was nominated for a 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story). STRANGE GATEWAYS is his third collection, following 2011’s critically acclaimed QUIET HOUSES (from Dark Continents Publishing) and 2010’s LOST PLACES from Ash Tree Press. His stories have been published in a large number of anthologies including the World Fantasy Award-winning EXOTIC GOTHIC 4, TERROR TALES OF THE SEASIDE, WHERE THE HEART IS, AT EASE WITH THE DEAD, SHADES OF DARKNESS, HAUNTS: RELIQUARIES OF THE DEAD, and LOVECRAFT UNBOUND. He has appeared in Salt Publishing’s YEAR’S BEST FANTASY and five volumes of Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR. He has a further collection due, the as-yet-unnamed collection that will launch the Spectral Press “Spectral Signature Editions” imprint. His novel THE SORROWFUL is due out from DoubleDay in the US and Del Ray in the UK in early 2015. Simon blogs here.

Your reader – David Rees-Thomas – wishes to remain an enigma wrapped inside a blanket…

Some more information on the actual Cotswold Olimpicks can be found here and here

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

“‘What do you want?’ asked Fillingham.

‘You to celebrate with us,’ she replied, holding out the cup again. The liquid inside slithering up and then down again and even in the poor light, Fillingham saw the residue it left on the clear plastic sides glistening and clinging like oil. ‘Devotions must be paid.’

‘What?’ said Fillingham. ‘Look, I appreciate you’ve got this weird acting gig at the games and you’re only doing your job, but please, it’s late and I’m tired and I don’t want to drink whatever that is.’

‘A last enquiry: you refuse?’

‘Yes! I refuse! Now, just leave me alone.’ To emphasize what he was saying, Fillingham lifted his camera and took a photograph, the light of the flash filling the corridor with a leaching whiteness that painted the woman into a colourless mass for a moment. As the dancing ghostlights cleared from his eyes, the woman nodded and then lifted the cup to her lips and drank the liquid it contained. Keeping the cup at her lips, she thrust her tongue out into it and Fillingham saw it writhe within, licking at the remaining drips of drink. It should have been erotic, he thought; he was sure it was meant as erotic, but somehow it wasn’t, it was crude and unpleasant. Her tongue was dark and looked slimy, glittering inside the clear plastic walls of the cup. Finally, she dropped the cup to the floor, lowered her head and muttered something that sounded Latin or Greek. Before she could look up at him again, Fillingham shut his door.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/30/pseudopod-388-the-cotswold-olimpicks/feed/ 0 0:38:17 by Simon Kurt Unsworth. “The Cotswold Olimpicks” was first published in TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, published by Gray Friar Press in 2012, and it was reprinted in 2013 in Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 24. “I[...] by Simon Kurt Unsworth. “The Cotswold Olimpicks” was first published in TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, published by Gray Friar Press in 2012, and it was reprinted in 2013 in Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 24. “I’d like the audience to remember that the Cotswold Olimpicks are a real event, and that the poem at the end of the story was genuinely written by Robert Dover!” SIMON KURT UNSWORTH was born in Manchester in 1972 and has not yet given up the hope of finding that the world was awash with mysterious signs and portents that night. He lives in an old farmhouse miles from anywhere in the Lake District with his fiancée Rosie and assorted children, dogs and guinea pigs. His neighbours are mostly sheep and his office is an old cheese store, in which he writes essentially grumpy fiction (for which pursuit he was nominated for a 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story). STRANGE GATEWAYS is his third collection, following 2011’s critically acclaimed QUIET HOUSES (from Dark Continents Publishing) and 2010’s LOST PLACES from Ash Tree Press. His stories have been published in a large number of anthologies including the World Fantasy Award-winning EXOTIC GOTHIC 4, TERROR TALES OF THE SEASIDE, WHERE THE HEART IS, AT EASE WITH THE DEAD, SHADES OF DARKNESS, HAUNTS: RELIQUARIES OF THE DEAD, and LOVECRAFT UNBOUND. He has appeared in Salt Publishing’s YEAR’S BEST FANTASY and five volumes of Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR. He has a further collection due, the as-yet-unnamed collection that will launch the Spectral Press “Spectral Signature Editions” imprint. His novel THE SORROWFUL is due out from DoubleDay in the US and Del Ray in the UK in early 2015. Simon blogs here. Your reader – David Rees-Thomas – wishes to remain an enigma wrapped inside a blanket… Some more information on the actual Cotswold Olimpicks can be found here and here **************************** “‘What do you want?’ asked Fillingham. ‘You to celebrate with us,’ she replied, holding out the cup again. The liquid inside slithering up and then down again and even in the poor light, Fillingham saw the residue it left on the clear plastic sides glistening and clinging like oil. ‘Devotions must be paid.’ ‘What?’ said Fillingham. ‘Look, I appreciate you’ve got this weird acting gig at the games and you’re only doing your job, but please, it’s late and I’m tired and I don’t want to drink whatever that is.’ ‘A last enquiry: you refuse?’ ‘Yes! I refuse! Now, just leave me alone.’ To emphasize what he was saying, Fillingham lifted his camera and took a photograph, the light of the flash filling the corridor with a leaching whiteness that painted the woman into a colourless mass for a moment. As the dancing ghostlights cleared from his eyes, the woman nodded and then lifted the cup to her lips and drank the liquid it contained. Keeping the cup at her lips, she thrust her tongue out into it and Fillingham saw it writhe within, licking at the remaining drips of drink. It should have been erotic, he thought; he was sure it was meant as erotic, but somehow it wasn’t, it was crude and unpleasant. Her tongue was dark and looked slimy, glittering inside the clear plastic walls of the cup. Finally, she dropped the cup to the floor, lowered her head and muttered something that sounded Latin or Greek. Before she could look up at him again, Fillingham shut his door.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Unsworth yes no
Pseudopod 387: Nightside Eye http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/22/pseudopod-387-nightside-eye/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/22/pseudopod-387-nightside-eye/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 03:27:59 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1175 by Terry Dowling.

“Nightside Eye” was a cover item for Cemetery Dance #66 along with a major interview, “Making Strange: A Gothic Conversation with Terry Dowling”, conducted by acclaimed US editor and academic Danel Olson. It was reprinted in three Year’s Bests – Stephen Jones’s Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, and Talie Helene and Liz Gryzb’s The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2012. “This hotel really actually exists in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney and still has the eerie qualities described in this story.”

TERRY DOWLING is one of Australia’s most respected and internationally acclaimed writers of science fiction, dark fantasy and horror, and author of the multi-award-winning Tom Rynosseros saga. He has been called “Australia’s finest writer of horror” by Locus magazine, its “premier writer of dark fantasy” by All Hallows and its “most acclaimed writer of the dark fantastic” by Cemetery Dance magazine. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series featured more horror stories by Terry in its 21 year run than by any other writer. Dowling’s award-winning horror collections are BASIC BLACK: TALES OF APPROPRIATE FEAR (International Horror Guild Award winner for Best Collection 2007), regarded as “one of the best recent collections of contemporary horror” by the American Library Association, AN INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE NIGHT (Aphelion 1995) and BLACKWATER DAYS (Eidolon 2000), while his most recent titles are AMBERJACK: TALES OF FEAR & WONDER (Subterranean 2010) and his debut novel, CLOWNS AT MIDNIGHT (PS Publishing 2010), which the Guardian called “an exceptional work that bears comparison to John Fowles’s THE MAGUS.” Dowling has written three computer adventures (Schizm: Mysterious Journey, Schizm II: Chameleon and Sentinel: Descendants in Time), and co-edited THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON and THE JACK VANCE TREASURY among many other titles. He lives in Hunters Hill, Sydney and his homepage can be found at the link under his names above. “The Four Darks” will be appearing this year in Ellen Datlow’s FEARFUL SYMMETRIES and Terry has a new computer game and a new horror collection in the works with such cool titles he dare not mention them.

Your reader – Graeme Dunlop – is a man of infinite patience and amazing skill AND he just had a birthday! We all wish him many, many more!

THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT Live 2005 Remake Part 1 can be found at DailyMotion

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

“‘My camera and sound people will be here soon, Sophie and Craig, my volunteer assistants and official witnesses. It’s six o’clock now. Once we’re set up, we’ll begin at 7pm, the same time Dr Rathcar did fifteen months ago. We’ll do the whole thing twice if we can, put several objects here on the mantel – a plastic bottle, a child’s wooden block, a toy train – and simply record what happens. Second time through, if we are lucky tonight and the phenomenon occurs, the moment they’re moved, disturbed in any way at all, I shift the patch from one eye to the other and see what I get. It shouldn’t take long.’

‘You do that once it happens.’

‘As soon as it happens. As close to. The first time is a control to establish parameters: event frequency and duration, lighting levels, things like that. But the second time round I stand over here by the fireplace and shift the patch, just as Rathcar did.’

‘But the camcorders will only catch your reactions. Not what you see.’

‘Right. But whatever we get may match reactions in the CCTV footage from the Rathcar attempt. Rathcar’s own footage hasn’t been made available yet, but may be released once we do this. Rathcar called out a single word – “Kathy!” – his assistant’s name. We don’t know why now, and of course he can’t tell us.’

‘Or won’t.’

‘Or won’t. But there may be some key detail or other that emerges. Later spectrographic analysis may show even more, who knows?’

‘It’s all very uncertain,’ Susan said, looking at him intently, or possibly at the eye-patch that was to play such a key role in what was about to happen.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/22/pseudopod-387-nightside-eye/feed/ 0 0:45:44 by Terry Dowling. “Nightside Eye” was a cover item for Cemetery Dance #66 along with a major interview, “Making Strange: A Gothic Conversation with Terry Dowling”, conducted by acclaimed US editor and academic Danel Olson. It[...] by Terry Dowling. “Nightside Eye” was a cover item for Cemetery Dance #66 along with a major interview, “Making Strange: A Gothic Conversation with Terry Dowling”, conducted by acclaimed US editor and academic Danel Olson. It was reprinted in three Year’s Bests – Stephen Jones’s Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24, Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, and Talie Helene and Liz Gryzb’s The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2012. “This hotel really actually exists in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney and still has the eerie qualities described in this story.” TERRY DOWLING is one of Australia’s most respected and internationally acclaimed writers of science fiction, dark fantasy and horror, and author of the multi-award-winning Tom Rynosseros saga. He has been called “Australia’s finest writer of horror” by Locus magazine, its “premier writer of dark fantasy” by All Hallows and its “most acclaimed writer of the dark fantastic” by Cemetery Dance magazine. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series featured more horror stories by Terry in its 21 year run than by any other writer. Dowling’s award-winning horror collections are BASIC BLACK: TALES OF APPROPRIATE FEAR (International Horror Guild Award winner for Best Collection 2007), regarded as “one of the best recent collections of contemporary horror” by the American Library Association, AN INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE NIGHT (Aphelion 1995) and BLACKWATER DAYS (Eidolon 2000), while his most recent titles are AMBERJACK: TALES OF FEAR & WONDER (Subterranean 2010) and his debut novel, CLOWNS AT MIDNIGHT (PS Publishing 2010), which the Guardian called “an exceptional work that bears comparison to John Fowles’s THE MAGUS.” Dowling has written three computer adventures (Schizm: Mysterious Journey, Schizm II: Chameleon and Sentinel: Descendants in Time), and co-edited THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON and THE JACK VANCE TREASURY among many other titles. He lives in Hunters Hill, Sydney and his homepage can be found at the link under his names above. “The Four Darks” will be appearing this year in Ellen Datlow’s FEARFUL SYMMETRIES and Terry has a new computer game and a new horror collection in the works with such cool titles he dare not mention them. Your reader – Graeme Dunlop – is a man of infinite patience and amazing skill AND he just had a birthday! We all wish him many, many more! THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT Live 2005 Remake Part 1 can be found at DailyMotion **************************** “‘My camera and sound people will be here soon, Sophie and Craig, my volunteer assistants and official witnesses. It’s six o’clock now. Once we’re set up, we’ll begin at 7pm, the same time Dr Rathcar did fifteen months ago. We’ll do the whole thing twice if we can, put several objects here on the mantel – a plastic bottle, a child’s wooden block, a toy train – and simply record what happens. Second time through, if we are lucky tonight and the phenomenon occurs, the moment they’re moved, disturbed in any way at all, I shift the patch from one eye to the other and see what I get. It shouldn’t take long.’ ‘You do that once it happens.’ ‘As soon as it happens. As close to. The first time is a control to establish parameters: event frequency and duration, lighting levels, things like that. But the second time round I stand over here by the fireplace and shift the patch, just as Rathcar did.’ ‘But the camcorders will only catch your reactions. Not what you see.’ ‘Right. But whatever we get may match reactions in the CCTV footage from the Rathcar attempt. Rathcar’s own footage hasn’t been made available yet, but may be released once we do this. Rathcar called out a single word – “Kathy!” – his assistant’s name. We don’t know why now, and of course he can’t tell us.’ ‘Or won’t.’ ‘Or won’t. But there may be some key detail or other that emerges. Later spe[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Dowling yes no
Pseudopod 386: The Dogs Of Ubud http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/16/pseudopod-386-the-dogs-of-ubud/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/16/pseudopod-386-the-dogs-of-ubud/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 23:54:49 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1164 by Conda V. Douglas.

“The Dogs Of Ubud” Originally published in the anthology DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES in 2010. This story comes from Conda’s travels in Bali, where she recognized how wonderfully and spiritually the Balinese treat their families, children and world..

CONDA V. DOUGLAS grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, in her folk’s funky art gallery. She’s traveled the world and her own tiny office, writing all the while. Her first and always great love is writing horror short stories. The second in Conda’s Mall Fairies trilogy, THE MALL FAIRIES: WAR will be released spring/summer 2014. For more about Conda, visit Conda’s Creative Center, for hints, tips and secrets for creative people.

Your reader – David Cummings – is the host and producer of The NoSleep Podcast, an award-winning anthology series of original horror stories. He hails from Toronto, Canada. With a background as a professional musician, he has expanded into the realm of voice actor and narrator. He has been heard on various commercial projects and speculative fiction podcasts. One of his goals is to continue supporting the many great audio fiction podcasts that dot the online landscape.

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

“Ubud, artists’ capital of Bali, teemed with tourists. Down the dirt path to the dance arena a tourist herd thundered, headed for tonight’s performance. Alongside the road, Balinese merchants sat, their wares arrayed on blankets.

Peter dodged through the crowd, through a cacophony of languages. If the Balinese could tolerate, even thrive, on this invasion, so could he. Now he hid, one among many. What he did, how he lived, was always hidden.

Not so the Balinese. Lulled by their jungle paradise, they never lost their innocence. Even the main living room in their family compounds possessed no walls, open-sided. Vulnerable.

When Peter saw the knife, the star-shaped wound etched upon his belly burned, the blood beneath his skin pulsing. The knife, a wavy-bladed kris, lay on a piece of tattered batik cloth, a store of a rag. Among the clutter of tattered straw fans and plastic “ivory,” the kris glittered, a diamond in a pot metal setting.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/16/pseudopod-386-the-dogs-of-ubud/feed/ 0 0:36:16 by Conda V. Douglas. “The Dogs Of Ubud” Originally published in the anthology DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES in 2010. This story comes from Conda’s travels in Bali, where she recognized how wonderfully and spiritually the Balinese treat the[...] by Conda V. Douglas. “The Dogs Of Ubud” Originally published in the anthology DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES in 2010. This story comes from Conda’s travels in Bali, where she recognized how wonderfully and spiritually the Balinese treat their families, children and world.. CONDA V. DOUGLAS grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, in her folk’s funky art gallery. She’s traveled the world and her own tiny office, writing all the while. Her first and always great love is writing horror short stories. The second in Conda’s Mall Fairies trilogy, THE MALL FAIRIES: WAR will be released spring/summer 2014. For more about Conda, visit Conda’s Creative Center, for hints, tips and secrets for creative people. Your reader – David Cummings – is the host and producer of The NoSleep Podcast, an award-winning anthology series of original horror stories. He hails from Toronto, Canada. With a background as a professional musician, he has expanded into the realm of voice actor and narrator. He has been heard on various commercial projects and speculative fiction podcasts. One of his goals is to continue supporting the many great audio fiction podcasts that dot the online landscape. **************************** “Ubud, artists’ capital of Bali, teemed with tourists. Down the dirt path to the dance arena a tourist herd thundered, headed for tonight’s performance. Alongside the road, Balinese merchants sat, their wares arrayed on blankets. Peter dodged through the crowd, through a cacophony of languages. If the Balinese could tolerate, even thrive, on this invasion, so could he. Now he hid, one among many. What he did, how he lived, was always hidden. Not so the Balinese. Lulled by their jungle paradise, they never lost their innocence. Even the main living room in their family compounds possessed no walls, open-sided. Vulnerable. When Peter saw the knife, the star-shaped wound etched upon his belly burned, the blood beneath his skin pulsing. The knife, a wavy-bladed kris, lay on a piece of tattered batik cloth, a store of a rag. Among the clutter of tattered straw fans and plastic “ivory,” the kris glittered, a diamond in a pot metal setting.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Douglas yes no
Pseudopod 385: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XX: Community http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/09/pseudopod-385-flash-on-the-borderlands-xx-community/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/09/pseudopod-385-flash-on-the-borderlands-xx-community/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 04:52:51 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1109 Hell is other people…



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

“Penance” by Liz Colter.



“Penance” is a previously unpublished story. “This story began, as some of my stories do, with a quick, visual flash of something odd and unexpected just before sleep. I began the story as a humorous tale, but it quickly let me know that it wanted to be a horror tale instead.”

LIZ COLTER offsets working in the mundane world by writing speculative worlds of her own. She is a winner of the Writers of the Future competition (V30, released April 2014) and her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Emerald Sky, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Enchanted Conversation, and the World Weaver Press Fae anthology, among others. Her website is THE SPECULATIVE WORLDS OF LIZ COLTER.
.
Your reader this week – Ant Bacon – was heard here last week as well and says “I’m an actor and coroners officer from Manchester, England so I love a bit of death and a bit of story telling. What else is there to know?! If anyone wants to say hello though I’m on twitter and always looking to up my followers: Antbacon.


“‘Wake,’ my ghosts said. ‘Come.’

They spoke asynchronously, like a flock of noisy birds. Their voices pulled me from sleep and I opened my eyes to the throng of them at my bedside.

‘Why?’ I asked. The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial, and mute once again.”

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

“Mallecho” by Stephen Willcott.



“Mallecho” was previously published in the print and e-book anthology, ARCANE, by Cold Fusion Media, edited by Nathan Shumate.

STEPHEN WILLCOTT‘s work has appeared in Arcane Anthologies and Silver Blade Magazine. He is interested in Old English and has been attempting to translate Beowulf.

Your reader – John Trevallian – is an English novelist, poet, shaman and award-winning author of three dystopian sci-fi novels (The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men), plus writer of many other short stories, poetry collections and travel journals. He is also creator of the Talliston House & Gardens project, which could use your help – please see: Trevillian.com & Talliston.com.


“‘Mallecho wood? Is that safe?’ My wife asks. She reminds me of my mother.

‘I told them to stay clear,’ I say. ‘They’re just going for a bit, Jan.’ She worries like that. But then her family is not from here. I smile at her and go into the garden. The sun is strong and overhead. The children have left their ball games and toys on the lawn. I go to the rose tree and watch the insects: the flies, the bees, and the ants. Behind the tree is a brown fence and behind that is the embankment. Thick bramble covers its side. It is tall, almost as high as the house. At the top is an abandoned railway line. This was my father’s house, but he never saw the line in use. This house will pass to my children one day, I hope.

The land around here is old. Old in human terms. Some of the boundaries and copses are mentioned in the doomsday book, but there are sites of pre-history too. Standing stones, earth works, barrows and the like. Sacred groves, probably. You can feel it at night. If you walk on the embankment and look at the stars, at the landscape. The weight of generations, the renewal of the seasons. Forgotten things were done here.”

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

“Jack” by Mohammad Naim Kabir.



“Jack” appears here as an original, says Jack’s editorial fore-brain.

MOHAMMAD NAIM KABIR is a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania, looking to chase down dreams of either A.) Becoming an astronaut or B.) Becoming a career storyteller. He has a manuscript in the works, and it should be something to look forward to. His FACEBOOK page is: Kabir Creates and he can be found on Twitter @KabirCreates.

Your reader – John Bell – writes, voices, and produces audio of any kind. Most recently, he has been recording audio books, including two thrillers by Michaelbrent Collings, THE LOON and APPARITION, both available at Audible.com. Buy many copies… he gets royalties. He has also narrated many of Oceanhouse Media‘s Dr. Seuss books, available as apps for the kiddos. Buy them if you want, he gets no royalties. Bummer. John Bell is the creator of “Bell’s in the Batfry“, a family-safe comedy podcast that can be found on iTunes and at Bell’s in the Batfry. Go listen… he gets ZIP for this from start to finish! If you have something you need written, voiced, and/or produced, feel free to contact John Bell at jbellvoice @ gmail.com!


“I am Jack’s inferior parietal cortex, and I know what you’re thinking. Probably that this is some lame rip-off of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

I loved that story! It sometimes had soliloquies from the point of view of _organs_! Genius. I am Jack’s makeshift temporal lobe, and I know what it is to read a good book. Now it’s mostly just road signs and maps, but you take what you can get. There’s some smooth poetry in 3 Miles to Berkley or Welcome to Alameda, you know.”

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

Larime Taylor’s “A Voice In The Dark” can be purchased here!

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/09/pseudopod-385-flash-on-the-borderlands-xx-community/feed/ 0 0:40:55 Hell is other people… ************************************************************************ “Penance” by Liz Colter. “Penance” is a previously unpublished story. “This story began, as some of my stories do, w[...] Hell is other people… ************************************************************************ “Penance” by Liz Colter. “Penance” is a previously unpublished story. “This story began, as some of my stories do, with a quick, visual flash of something odd and unexpected just before sleep. I began the story as a humorous tale, but it quickly let me know that it wanted to be a horror tale instead.” LIZ COLTER offsets working in the mundane world by writing speculative worlds of her own. She is a winner of the Writers of the Future competition (V30, released April 2014) and her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Emerald Sky, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Enchanted Conversation, and the World Weaver Press Fae anthology, among others. Her website is THE SPECULATIVE WORLDS OF LIZ COLTER. . Your reader this week – Ant Bacon – was heard here last week as well and says “I’m an actor and coroners officer from Manchester, England so I love a bit of death and a bit of story telling. What else is there to know?! If anyone wants to say hello though I’m on twitter and always looking to up my followers: Antbacon. “‘Wake,’ my ghosts said. ‘Come.’ They spoke asynchronously, like a flock of noisy birds. Their voices pulled me from sleep and I opened my eyes to the throng of them at my bedside. ‘Why?’ I asked. The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial, and mute once again.” *************************************************************************** “Mallecho” by Stephen Willcott. “Mallecho” was previously published in the print and e-book anthology, ARCANE, by Cold Fusion Media, edited by Nathan Shumate. STEPHEN WILLCOTT‘s work has appeared in Arcane Anthologies and Silver Blade Magazine. He is interested in Old English and has been attempting to translate Beowulf. Your reader – John Trevallian – is an English novelist, poet, shaman and award-winning author of three dystopian sci-fi novels (The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men), plus writer of many other short stories, poetry collections and travel journals. He is also creator of the Talliston House & Gardens project, which could use your help – please see: Trevillian.com & Talliston.com. “‘Mallecho wood? Is that safe?’ My wife asks. She reminds me of my mother. ‘I told them to stay clear,’ I say. ‘They’re just going for a bit, Jan.’ She worries like that. But then her family is not from here. I smile at her and go into the garden. The sun is strong and overhead. The children have left their ball games and toys on the lawn. I go to the rose tree and watch the insects: the flies, the bees, and the ants. Behind the tree is a brown fence and behind that is the embankment. Thick bramble covers its side. It is tall, almost as high as the house. At the top is an abandoned railway line. This was my father’s house, but he never saw the line in use. This house will pass to my children one day, I hope. The land around here is old. Old in human terms. Some of the boundaries and copses are mentioned in the doomsday book, but there are sites of pre-history too. Standing stones, earth works, barrows and the like. Sacred groves, probably. You can feel it at night. If you walk on the embankment and look at the stars, at the landscape. The weight of generations, the renewal of the seasons. Forgotten things were done here.” *************************************************************************** “Jack” by Mohammad Naim Kabir. “Jack” appears here as an original, says Jack’s editorial fore-brain. MOHAMMAD NAIM KABIR is a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania, looking to chase down dreams of either A.) Becoming an astronaut or B.) Becoming a career storyteller. H[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Colter, Willcott, Kabir yes no
Pseudopod 384: The Old Traditions Are Best http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/06/pseudopod-384-the-old-traditions-are-best/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/06/pseudopod-384-the-old-traditions-are-best/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 12:58:12 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1101 by Paul Finch.

“The Old Traditions Are Best” was first published in Shades Of Darkness, 2008, and republished in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #20, 2009. I think it’s important to remember that Cornwall is one of the prettiest and warmest corners of England, an idyllic rural peninsula surrounded by blue seas, with miles of white sand beaches, soaring cliffs, and inland green hills and rolling moors. It is a hugely popular holiday resort, famous for its traditional fishing ports and harbour towns, without a hint of cheapness or vulgarity – Padstow is a classic example of this.

PAUL FINCH is a former police officer and journalist turned full-time author. He first cut his professional teeth writing scripts for the British TV cop show, The Bill, but has since branched out into horror, fantasy and thrillers. He has penned numerous short stories and novellas across the genre spectrum. Several of his Dr Who audio scripts have gone to full audio production, two of his screenplays have been made into movies and his last two novels were official best-sellers during 2013. Paul is currently writing the fourth novel in his new cop thriller series from Avon Books (HarperCollins). The first two attained official best seller status in 2013, while the third, THE KILLING CLUB, will be published both in paperback and as an ebook on May 22 this year. Paul is also busy editing the TERROR TALES anthology series from Gray Friar Press, which includes creepy fiction and non-fiction from all corners of the UK – the next two titles due this year are TERROR TALES OF WALES, due for publication in April, and TERROR TALES OF YORKSHIRE, due in September. Full details of these and all other projects can be found on Paul’s official webpageWALKING IN THE DARK.

Your reader – Ant Bacon – is an actor and coroner’s officer from Manchester, England so he loves a bit of death and a bit of story telling – what else is there to know?! If anyone wants to say hello, though, he’s on twitter and always looking to up my followers: www.twitter.com/antbacon

The Nerdapalooza Tapes can be found HERE.

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

“‘Check this out.’ Russ read a selected passage. “In 1346, during the Hundred Years War, England’s king, Edward III, commenced a lengthy siege of the port of Calais. The French fleet was unable to break it, and thus launched a series of tit-for-tat raids on English coastal towns. One such was Padstow in north Cornwall, which was assaulted in the April of 1347. The town, denuded of defenders as the bulk of its male population was involved at Calais, could only offer resistance by carrying the town’s traditional spring-time symbol, the Hobby-Horse – or Obby Oss – down to the harbour, and threatening to invoke demonic forces with it. The French scoffed at this, but legend holds that, when they landed, the Obby Oss did indeed come to life and attack them. Several Frenchmen were borne away into the sea by it, before their comrades fled.”

Scott still wasn’t listening. He was too preoccupied with the incident earlier, and what, if anything, it might signify. As far as he understood, the ‘Safari Programme’, as the popular press scornfully termed it, was designed to provide short holidays for young offenders as an aid to their rehabilitation. It was supposed to be good for everyone: ease up pressure on the prison system, and show the offender that a different and more rewarding lifestyle was possible. But surely the people who actually lived in the place the offender was being taken to weren’t supposed to know about it? Surely the whole thing would be carried out as secretly as possible? This had worried Scott from the outset. Thoughts of mob vengeance were never far from a young criminal’s mind. Back in Manchester, he knew of one lad who’d been tied to a lamp-post and had paint poured over him. Another had been locked in a shed with a savage dog, and had almost died from his injuries.

Russ read on. “Owing to the infernal forces that allegedly worked through it on that long-ago spring day, the Padstow Oss has developed a reputation for defending the town aggressively, even cruelly. This is not entirely out of keeping with other hobby-horse legends. Scholars have suggested that the name itself, ‘hobby-horse’, derives from the old English word ‘Hobb’, which means ‘Devil’, though in the case of Padstow events have clearly gone a little farther than most. Even now, in modern times, the Padstow Oss has a disquieting appearance, and in a grim reversal of the role commonly played by fertility gods, is said to draw its power from violence rather than love.”

‘Didn’t know this place was so interesting,’ Mary said, taking a sip of lemonade.

Russ looked again at Scott, who hadn’t touched his own drink. ‘Just shows though, doesn’t it, Scott. You thought that bloke was having a go at you, but all he was doing was telling you about the history of the place.'”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/05/06/pseudopod-384-the-old-traditions-are-best/feed/ 0 0:46:32 by Paul Finch. “The Old Traditions Are Best” was first published in Shades Of Darkness, 2008, and republished in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #20, 2009. I think it’s important to remember that Cornwall is one of the pretties[...] by Paul Finch. “The Old Traditions Are Best” was first published in Shades Of Darkness, 2008, and republished in The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror #20, 2009. I think it’s important to remember that Cornwall is one of the prettiest and warmest corners of England, an idyllic rural peninsula surrounded by blue seas, with miles of white sand beaches, soaring cliffs, and inland green hills and rolling moors. It is a hugely popular holiday resort, famous for its traditional fishing ports and harbour towns, without a hint of cheapness or vulgarity – Padstow is a classic example of this. PAUL FINCH is a former police officer and journalist turned full-time author. He first cut his professional teeth writing scripts for the British TV cop show, The Bill, but has since branched out into horror, fantasy and thrillers. He has penned numerous short stories and novellas across the genre spectrum. Several of his Dr Who audio scripts have gone to full audio production, two of his screenplays have been made into movies and his last two novels were official best-sellers during 2013. Paul is currently writing the fourth novel in his new cop thriller series from Avon Books (HarperCollins). The first two attained official best seller status in 2013, while the third, THE KILLING CLUB, will be published both in paperback and as an ebook on May 22 this year. Paul is also busy editing the TERROR TALES anthology series from Gray Friar Press, which includes creepy fiction and non-fiction from all corners of the UK – the next two titles due this year are TERROR TALES OF WALES, due for publication in April, and TERROR TALES OF YORKSHIRE, due in September. Full details of these and all other projects can be found on Paul’s official webpageWALKING IN THE DARK. Your reader – Ant Bacon – is an actor and coroner’s officer from Manchester, England so he loves a bit of death and a bit of story telling – what else is there to know?! If anyone wants to say hello, though, he’s on twitter and always looking to up my followers: www.twitter.com/antbacon The Nerdapalooza Tapes can be found HERE. **************************** “‘Check this out.’ Russ read a selected passage. “In 1346, during the Hundred Years War, England’s king, Edward III, commenced a lengthy siege of the port of Calais. The French fleet was unable to break it, and thus launched a series of tit-for-tat raids on English coastal towns. One such was Padstow in north Cornwall, which was assaulted in the April of 1347. The town, denuded of defenders as the bulk of its male population was involved at Calais, could only offer resistance by carrying the town’s traditional spring-time symbol, the Hobby-Horse – or Obby Oss – down to the harbour, and threatening to invoke demonic forces with it. The French scoffed at this, but legend holds that, when they landed, the Obby Oss did indeed come to life and attack them. Several Frenchmen were borne away into the sea by it, before their comrades fled.” Scott still wasn’t listening. He was too preoccupied with the incident earlier, and what, if anything, it might signify. As far as he understood, the ‘Safari Programme’, as the popular press scornfully termed it, was designed to provide short holidays for young offenders as an aid to their rehabilitation. It was supposed to be good for everyone: ease up pressure on the prison system, and show the offender that a different and more rewarding lifestyle was possible. But surely the people who actually lived in the place the offender was being taken to weren’t supposed to know about it? Surely the whole thing would be carried out as secretly as possible? This had worried Scott from the outset. Thoughts of mob vengeance were never far from a young criminal’s mind. Back in Manchester, he knew of one lad who’d been tied to a lamp-post and had paint poured over him. Another had been locked in a shed with a savage dog, and had almost died [...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Finch yes no
Pseudopod 382: Her Face All Sharp http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/18/pseudopod-382-her-face-all-sharp/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/18/pseudopod-382-her-face-all-sharp/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:21:46 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1077 by Sara Larner.

“Her Face All Sharp” has never been published before. “I began writing this story with the intention of justifying vengeance. I wanted it to take the sort of clear but twisted moral stance that defines a fable as a fable (to me, anyway)..

SARA LARNER is a young writer living in the Bay Area with her cat, her snake, and her books. When not writing she reads, paints, dances, and acts, in about that order. She posts her poetry at: Sara Larner.

Your reader – Marguerite Kenner – can be found working her magic at CAST OF WONDERS, more of which, anon….. because I can’t seem to find a link that works….

SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here.

Lance Roger Axt’s UTOPIATES Audio Drama can be found at the link.

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

“But he had read deeply about such a creature as she, in his uncle’s old library, and had been prepared for the unlikely contingency that everything went according to plan. He threw a leather hood soaked in semen, blood, and tears over her head. He could not hear her through it, which was how it must be.

He put his fingers around her neck. Onyx and sapphire, brilliant and beautiful, her neck feathers were soft and short. He ran his thumb along her inner throat, pushing gently, just to see how it felt. She twisted her head away, in the dumb manner of a hooded bird; unwilling to move but inclined away from pain. He readjusted his hand and pushed a little harder.

He couldn’t hear anything through the hood, but he knew she must have made some sound at that, some squawk or chirp. A plea.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/18/pseudopod-382-her-face-all-sharp/feed/ 0 0:44:42 by Sara Larner. “Her Face All Sharp” has never been published before. “I began writing this story with the intention of justifying vengeance. I wanted it to take the sort of clear but twisted moral stance that defines a fable as a fable [...] by Sara Larner. “Her Face All Sharp” has never been published before. “I began writing this story with the intention of justifying vengeance. I wanted it to take the sort of clear but twisted moral stance that defines a fable as a fable (to me, anyway).. SARA LARNER is a young writer living in the Bay Area with her cat, her snake, and her books. When not writing she reads, paints, dances, and acts, in about that order. She posts her poetry at: Sara Larner. Your reader – Marguerite Kenner – can be found working her magic at CAST OF WONDERS, more of which, anon….. because I can’t seem to find a link that works…. SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here. Lance Roger Axt’s UTOPIATES Audio Drama can be found at the link. **************************** “But he had read deeply about such a creature as she, in his uncle’s old library, and had been prepared for the unlikely contingency that everything went according to plan. He threw a leather hood soaked in semen, blood, and tears over her head. He could not hear her through it, which was how it must be. He put his fingers around her neck. Onyx and sapphire, brilliant and beautiful, her neck feathers were soft and short. He ran his thumb along her inner throat, pushing gently, just to see how it felt. She twisted her head away, in the dumb manner of a hooded bird; unwilling to move but inclined away from pain. He readjusted his hand and pushed a little harder. He couldn’t hear anything through the hood, but he knew she must have made some sound at that, some squawk or chirp. A plea.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Larner yes no
Pseudopod 381: Scarred http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/11/pseudopod-381-scarred/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/11/pseudopod-381-scarred/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:01:46 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1060 by Damien Angelica Walters.

“Scarred” originally appeared in Fireside Magazine Issue 2, released in August 2012.

DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS‘ short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her debut novel, INK, was released in December 2012 by Samhain Horror. As Damien Angelica Walters, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apex, Shimmer, Shock Totem, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Nightmare, Drabblecast, and the anthologies GLITTER & MAYHEM and WHAT FATES IMPOSE. A collection of her short fiction will be released later this year from Apex Publications. She lives in Maryland but you can find her online at Damien Walters.

Your reader – Becky Stinemetze – works in marketing in San Antonio, Texas. She is married and has two dogs that are practically her children. She loves to cook, go to concerts, and of course do voice over work. She hopes to to one day be a full time voice over artist. If you wish to contact Becky about any voice over work of any kind or if you just want to follow her antics; you can find her on Twitter at @Becky_J or read her blog at beckystinemetze.com.

SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here

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

“Violet carved her hate into her flesh one name at a time.

Her skin was riddled with scars, some barely visible, others dark and ruddy. The oldest, the first name, was on her right ankle, right above the knobby bone. It revealed a halting progress, with many gaps in between the lines and curves.

He suffered for a long time.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/11/pseudopod-381-scarred/feed/ 0 0:31:43 by Damien Angelica Walters. “Scarred” originally appeared in Fireside Magazine Issue 2, released in August 2012. DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS‘ short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her [...] by Damien Angelica Walters. “Scarred” originally appeared in Fireside Magazine Issue 2, released in August 2012. DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS‘ short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her debut novel, INK, was released in December 2012 by Samhain Horror. As Damien Angelica Walters, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Apex, Shimmer, Shock Totem, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Nightmare, Drabblecast, and the anthologies GLITTER & MAYHEM and WHAT FATES IMPOSE. A collection of her short fiction will be released later this year from Apex Publications. She lives in Maryland but you can find her online at Damien Walters. Your reader – Becky Stinemetze – works in marketing in San Antonio, Texas. She is married and has two dogs that are practically her children. She loves to cook, go to concerts, and of course do voice over work. She hopes to to one day be a full time voice over artist. If you wish to contact Becky about any voice over work of any kind or if you just want to follow her antics; you can find her on Twitter at @Becky_J or read her blog at beckystinemetze.com. SLINGERS by Matt Wallace can be purchased here **************************** “Violet carved her hate into her flesh one name at a time. Her skin was riddled with scars, some barely visible, others dark and ruddy. The oldest, the first name, was on her right ankle, right above the knobby bone. It revealed a halting progress, with many gaps in between the lines and curves. He suffered for a long time.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Walters yes no
Pseudopod 380: Abigail http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/04/pseudopod-380-abigail/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/04/pseudopod-380-abigail/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:41:22 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1050 by Hunter Gray.

“Abigail” has been performed at various readings in northern New Jersey and New York but is published now here.

Hunter Gray is a poet/short-storyist living in northern New Jersey where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in English Literature and her publication credits include Chavez magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and has recently completed her first book of poems, AMERICAN GROTESQUE.

Your reader – Alethea Kontis – is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and penned the ALPHAOOPS series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including THE WONDERLAND ALPHABET and DIARY OF A MAD SCIENTIST GARDEN GNOME. Her YA fairy tale novel, ENCHANTED, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012, was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both ENCHANTED and its sequel, HERO, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie. You can find Princess Alethea online at aletheakontis.com. If you’re a fan of Grimm and Andersen, be sure to watch Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants – there is a new episode on Alethea’s YouTube channel every Monday.

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

“The sun was dipping now, and I feared for myself. My hands grew cold, like ice. And then, I felt the popcorn pop in my belly. The jelly-baby was kicking. My jelly-baby was awake and real and moving. And then I feared for her too.

The pin-prickle of fear brushed itself against the small of my back even more when I saw what lay in the street ahead of me. A perfect mountain of frosting…a cake delicately decorated in pink icing. Maraschino cherries floated around the edges and crystal sugar sprinkles peppered the top. It was beautiful, but terrifying. Why was this in the middle of the road? Who left such a thing? Instinctually, I looked around me. And behind me. For the first time, in a long time, I felt like the prey, not the predator.

But there was no one, nothing. No cars or birds or tiny children or good Samaritans trying to feed some hungry knocked-up college kid.

And then, I saw it. The most beautiful house I had ever seen.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/04/04/pseudopod-380-abigail/feed/ 0 0:30:50 by Hunter Gray. “Abigail” has been performed at various readings in northern New Jersey and New York but is published now here. Hunter Gray is a poet/short-storyist living in northern New Jersey where she teaches literature and creative [...] by Hunter Gray. “Abigail” has been performed at various readings in northern New Jersey and New York but is published now here. Hunter Gray is a poet/short-storyist living in northern New Jersey where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in English Literature and her publication credits include Chavez magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and has recently completed her first book of poems, AMERICAN GROTESQUE. Your reader – Alethea Kontis – is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and penned the ALPHAOOPS series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including THE WONDERLAND ALPHABET and DIARY OF A MAD SCIENTIST GARDEN GNOME. Her YA fairy tale novel, ENCHANTED, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012, was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both ENCHANTED and its sequel, HERO, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie. You can find Princess Alethea online at aletheakontis.com. If you’re a fan of Grimm and Andersen, be sure to watch Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants – there is a new episode on Alethea’s YouTube channel every Monday. **************************** “The sun was dipping now, and I feared for myself. My hands grew cold, like ice. And then, I felt the popcorn pop in my belly. The jelly-baby was kicking. My jelly-baby was awake and real and moving. And then I feared for her too. The pin-prickle of fear brushed itself against the small of my back even more when I saw what lay in the street ahead of me. A perfect mountain of frosting…a cake delicately decorated in pink icing. Maraschino cherries floated around the edges and crystal sugar sprinkles peppered the top. It was beautiful, but terrifying. Why was this in the middle of the road? Who left such a thing? Instinctually, I looked around me. And behind me. For the first time, in a long time, I felt like the prey, not the predator. But there was no one, nothing. No cars or birds or tiny children or good Samaritans trying to feed some hungry knocked-up college kid. And then, I saw it. The most beautiful house I had ever seen.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Gray yes no
Pseudopod 379: The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/27/pseudopod-379-the-greatest-good-of-the-greatest-number/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/27/pseudopod-379-the-greatest-good-of-the-greatest-number/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 03:40:07 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1042 by Gertrude Atherton.

“The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number” first appeared in her collection THE BELL IN THE FOG AND OTHER STORIES (1905).

GERTRUDE ATHERTON (1857-1948), a protege of Ambrose Bierce, was an American novelist, primarily of social romances, who also wrote popular histories, biographies and the occasional supernatural or dark fiction tale. Her first publication was “The Randolphs of Redwood: A Romance,” serialized in The Argonaut in March 1882 under the pseudonym Asmodeus. When she revealed to her family that she was the author, it caused her to be ostracized. She had a satirical (and sometimes harshly acerbic) wit and was an advocate for social reform and women’s rights. Her novels often feature strong heroines who pursue independent lives and she is best remembered for her California Series, several novels and short stories dealing with the social history of California. Her few contributions to the weird genre – which include “The Striding Place” (rejected by The Yellow Book as “too gruesome”) and “The Bell In The Fog” – are invariably well crafted and display a strong sense of the dramatic and a debt to Henry James. She also composed tales of psychological horror, of which this episode is one.

Your reader – George Hrab – has an astounding SEVEN albums available on iTunes AND can also be heard regularly on The Geologic Podcast, an astounding aural phenomena with not a trace of silica!

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

“‘How long can I keep it from them?’ he asked bitterly. ‘What an atmosphere for children–my children!–to grow up in!’

‘If you would do as I wish, and send her where she belongs–‘

‘I shall not. She is my wife. Moreover, concealment would then be impossible.’

They had reached the third floor. He inserted a key in a door, hesitated a moment, then said abruptly: ‘I saw in a paper that she had returned. Can it be possible?’

‘I saw her on the Avenue a few moments ago.’

Was it the doctor’s imagination, or did the goaded man at his side flash him a glance of appeal?

They entered a room whose doors and windows were muffled. The furniture was solid, too solid to be moved except by muscular arms. There were no mirrors nor breakable articles of any sort.

On the bed lay a woman with ragged hair and sunken yellow face, but even in her ruin indefinably elegant. Her parted lips were black and blistered within; her shapely skinny hands clutched the quilt with the tenacious suggestion of the eagle–that long-lived defiant bird. At the bedside sat a vigorous woman, the pallor of fatigue on her face.

The creature on the bed opened her eyes. They had once been what are vaguely known as fine eyes; now they looked like blots of ink on parchment.”

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/27/pseudopod-379-the-greatest-good-of-the-greatest-number/feed/ 0 0:28:06 by Gertrude Atherton. “The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number” first appeared in her collection THE BELL IN THE FOG AND OTHER STORIES (1905). GERTRUDE ATHERTON (1857-1948), a protege of Ambrose Bierce, was an American novelist, primari[...] by Gertrude Atherton. “The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number” first appeared in her collection THE BELL IN THE FOG AND OTHER STORIES (1905). GERTRUDE ATHERTON (1857-1948), a protege of Ambrose Bierce, was an American novelist, primarily of social romances, who also wrote popular histories, biographies and the occasional supernatural or dark fiction tale. Her first publication was “The Randolphs of Redwood: A Romance,” serialized in The Argonaut in March 1882 under the pseudonym Asmodeus. When she revealed to her family that she was the author, it caused her to be ostracized. She had a satirical (and sometimes harshly acerbic) wit and was an advocate for social reform and women’s rights. Her novels often feature strong heroines who pursue independent lives and she is best remembered for her California Series, several novels and short stories dealing with the social history of California. Her few contributions to the weird genre – which include “The Striding Place” (rejected by The Yellow Book as “too gruesome”) and “The Bell In The Fog” – are invariably well crafted and display a strong sense of the dramatic and a debt to Henry James. She also composed tales of psychological horror, of which this episode is one. Your reader – George Hrab – has an astounding SEVEN albums available on iTunes AND can also be heard regularly on The Geologic Podcast, an astounding aural phenomena with not a trace of silica! **************************** “‘How long can I keep it from them?’ he asked bitterly. ‘What an atmosphere for children–my children!–to grow up in!’ ‘If you would do as I wish, and send her where she belongs–‘ ‘I shall not. She is my wife. Moreover, concealment would then be impossible.’ They had reached the third floor. He inserted a key in a door, hesitated a moment, then said abruptly: ‘I saw in a paper that she had returned. Can it be possible?’ ‘I saw her on the Avenue a few moments ago.’ Was it the doctor’s imagination, or did the goaded man at his side flash him a glance of appeal? They entered a room whose doors and windows were muffled. The furniture was solid, too solid to be moved except by muscular arms. There were no mirrors nor breakable articles of any sort. On the bed lay a woman with ragged hair and sunken yellow face, but even in her ruin indefinably elegant. Her parted lips were black and blistered within; her shapely skinny hands clutched the quilt with the tenacious suggestion of the eagle–that long-lived defiant bird. At the bedside sat a vigorous woman, the pallor of fatigue on her face. The creature on the bed opened her eyes. They had once been what are vaguely known as fine eyes; now they looked like blots of ink on parchment.” ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Atherton yes no
Pseudopod 378: The Haunted Spinney http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/21/pseudopod-378-the-haunted-spinney/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/21/pseudopod-378-the-haunted-spinney/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:49:51 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1030 by Elliott O’Donnell.

“The Haunted Spinney” First appeared in the November issue of THE IDLER in 1904.

ELLIOTT O’DONNELL (1872-1965) preceded, in the popular consciousness, the more familiar Harry Price as one of the most widely read figures purporting to be a ghost-hunter and investigator into the unknown. Born in Bristol, O’Donnell claimed an encounter at age 5 with an “elemental spirit”, as well as his family line being cursed by a Banshee, as prerequisites for his lifelong interest in the paranormal. On graduating The Queen’s Service Academy (where he claimed to have wrestled a spectral strangler), he went to America, where he lived as a rancher in Oregon, worked as a policeman in Chicago during the great railroad strikes and also claimed to have been a journalist in San Francisco and New York, all while collecting tales of ghosts in the New World, finally returning to England in 1900 to work as a schoolmaster and traveling actor. His first occult novel, FOR SATAN’S SAKE, made no impact in 1905 so he reinvented himself as a raconteur and ghost hunter – penning dozens of popular books in which he collected folklore about spirits and bogeys and told of his visits to famous haunted sites. He possibly originated the concept of hauntings as localized “recordings” (one of a number of classifications he posited), as later seen in Nigel Kneale’s THE STONE TAPE. Luckily for us, he also wrote many novels and pieces of short fiction designated as such. He never claimed to be a psychic investigator and his writings, when presented as true, still have a highly dramatic and atmospheric style that makes them dubious as true records but very enjoyable as entertainment. “Let me state plainly that I lay no claim to being what is termed a scientific psychical researcher. I am not a member of any august society that conducts its investigations of the other world, or worlds, with the test tube and weighing apparatus; neither do I pretend to be a medium or clairvoyant — I have never undertaken to ‘raise’ ghosts at will for the sensation-seeker or the tourist. I am merely a ghost hunter. One who lays stake by his own eyes and senses; one who honestly believes he inherits in some the degree the faculty of psychic perceptiveness from a long line of Celtic ancestry; and who is, and always has been, deeply and genuinely interested in all questions relative to phantasms and a continuance of individual life after physical dissolution.”

Your reader – Alasdair Stuart – may or may not exist – until someone opens the box and a deathly hand emerges….

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

“It was a cold night. Rain had been falling steadily not only for hours but days, the ground was saturated. As I walked along the country lane the slush splashed over my boots and trousers. To my left was a huge stone wall, behind which I could see the nodding heads of firs, and through them the wind was rushing, making a curious whistling sound, now loud, now soft, roaring and gently murmuring. The sound fascinated me. I fancied it might be the angry voice of a man and the plaintive pleading of a woman, and then a weird chorus of unearthly beings, of grotesque things that stalked along the moors, and crept from behind huge boulders.

Nothing but the wind was to be heard. I stood and listened to it. I could have listened for hours. for I felt in harmony with my surroundings, lonely. The moon showed itself at intervals from behind the scudding clouds, and lighted up the open landscape to my left.

A gaunt hill covered with rocks, some piled up pyramidically, others strewn here and there; a few trees with naked arms tossing about and looking distress-fully slim beside the more stalwart boulders; a sloping field or two, a couple of level ones, crossed by a tiny path, and the lane where I stood. The scenery was desolate, not actually wild, but sad and forlorn, and the spinney by my side lent an additional weird aspect to the place, which was pleasing to me.

Suddenly I heard a sound, a familiar sound enough at other times, but at this hour and in this place everything seemed different. A woman was coming along the road, a woman in a dark cloak with a basket under her arm, and the wind was blowing her skirts about her legs. I looked at the trees. One singularly gaunt and fantastic one appalled me. It had long, gnarled arms, and two of them ended in bunches of twigs like hands – huge, murderous-looking hands, with bony fingers. The moonlight played over and around me. I had no business to be on the earth; my poor place was in the moon; I no longer thought it. I knew it. The woman was close at hand. She stopped at a little wicket gate leading into the lane skirting the north walls of the spinney. I felt angry; what right had she to be there, interrupting my musings with the moon? The tree with the human hands appeared to agree. I saw anger in the movements of its branches, anger which soon blazed into fury, as they gave a mighty bend towards her as if longing to rend her to pieces.”

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/21/pseudopod-378-the-haunted-spinney/feed/ 0 0:29:41 by Elliott O’Donnell. “The Haunted Spinney” First appeared in the November issue of THE IDLER in 1904. ELLIOTT O’DONNELL (1872-1965) preceded, in the popular consciousness, the more familiar Harry Price as one of the most wid[...] by Elliott O’Donnell. “The Haunted Spinney” First appeared in the November issue of THE IDLER in 1904. ELLIOTT O’DONNELL (1872-1965) preceded, in the popular consciousness, the more familiar Harry Price as one of the most widely read figures purporting to be a ghost-hunter and investigator into the unknown. Born in Bristol, O’Donnell claimed an encounter at age 5 with an “elemental spirit”, as well as his family line being cursed by a Banshee, as prerequisites for his lifelong interest in the paranormal. On graduating The Queen’s Service Academy (where he claimed to have wrestled a spectral strangler), he went to America, where he lived as a rancher in Oregon, worked as a policeman in Chicago during the great railroad strikes and also claimed to have been a journalist in San Francisco and New York, all while collecting tales of ghosts in the New World, finally returning to England in 1900 to work as a schoolmaster and traveling actor. His first occult novel, FOR SATAN’S SAKE, made no impact in 1905 so he reinvented himself as a raconteur and ghost hunter – penning dozens of popular books in which he collected folklore about spirits and bogeys and told of his visits to famous haunted sites. He possibly originated the concept of hauntings as localized “recordings” (one of a number of classifications he posited), as later seen in Nigel Kneale’s THE STONE TAPE. Luckily for us, he also wrote many novels and pieces of short fiction designated as such. He never claimed to be a psychic investigator and his writings, when presented as true, still have a highly dramatic and atmospheric style that makes them dubious as true records but very enjoyable as entertainment. “Let me state plainly that I lay no claim to being what is termed a scientific psychical researcher. I am not a member of any august society that conducts its investigations of the other world, or worlds, with the test tube and weighing apparatus; neither do I pretend to be a medium or clairvoyant — I have never undertaken to ‘raise’ ghosts at will for the sensation-seeker or the tourist. I am merely a ghost hunter. One who lays stake by his own eyes and senses; one who honestly believes he inherits in some the degree the faculty of psychic perceptiveness from a long line of Celtic ancestry; and who is, and always has been, deeply and genuinely interested in all questions relative to phantasms and a continuance of individual life after physical dissolution.” Your reader – Alasdair Stuart – may or may not exist – until someone opens the box and a deathly hand emerges…. **************************** “It was a cold night. Rain had been falling steadily not only for hours but days, the ground was saturated. As I walked along the country lane the slush splashed over my boots and trousers. To my left was a huge stone wall, behind which I could see the nodding heads of firs, and through them the wind was rushing, making a curious whistling sound, now loud, now soft, roaring and gently murmuring. The sound fascinated me. I fancied it might be the angry voice of a man and the plaintive pleading of a woman, and then a weird chorus of unearthly beings, of grotesque things that stalked along the moors, and crept from behind huge boulders. Nothing but the wind was to be heard. I stood and listened to it. I could have listened for hours. for I felt in harmony with my surroundings, lonely. The moon showed itself at intervals from behind the scudding clouds, and lighted up the open landscape to my left. A gaunt hill covered with rocks, some piled up pyramidically, others strewn here and there; a few trees with naked arms tossing about and looking distress-fully slim beside the more stalwart boulders; a sloping field or two, a couple of level ones, crossed by a tiny path, and the lane where I stood. The scenery was desolate, not actually wild, but sad and forlorn, and the spinney by my side lent an addit[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction O'Donnell yes no
Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/14/pseudopod-377-showcase-the-dark-audio-tone-poems-of-the-spectre-collector/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/14/pseudopod-377-showcase-the-dark-audio-tone-poems-of-the-spectre-collector/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 05:13:58 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1020 by Ron Jon.

“Barking Mad”
“Shortcut”
“From The Deep”
“Quite Mad”
“Christ, I Think It’s Death”

RON JON has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature.
You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.

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

Essay features short clips from Disney’s Thrilling Chilling Sounds From The Haunted House (1964), Terror Tales By The Old Sea Hag (1959 – date dubious), Scary Spooky Stories (1973), A Coven Of Witches’ Tales (1973), Nightmare!! (1962), Alfred Hitchcock’s Music To Be Murdered By (1958) and Silica Gel: 50) Noisy Children Party.

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/14/pseudopod-377-showcase-the-dark-audio-tone-poems-of-the-spectre-collector/feed/ 0 0:33:53 by Ron Jon. “Barking Mad” “Shortcut” “From The Deep” “Quite Mad” “Christ, I Think It’s Death” RON JON has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of [...] by Ron Jon. “Barking Mad” “Shortcut” “From The Deep” “Quite Mad” “Christ, I Think It’s Death” RON JON has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature. You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness. *************************************************************************** Essay features short clips from Disney’s Thrilling Chilling Sounds From The Haunted House (1964), Terror Tales By The Old Sea Hag (1959 – date dubious), Scary Spooky Stories (1973), A Coven Of Witches’ Tales (1973), Nightmare!! (1962), Alfred Hitchcock’s Music To Be Murdered By (1958) and Silica Gel: 50) Noisy Children Party. ************************************************************************* horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Jon yes no
Pseudopod 376: Quieta Non Movere http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/07/pseudopod-376-quieta-non-movere/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/07/pseudopod-376-quieta-non-movere/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:51:46 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1012 by Reggie Oliver.

“Quieta Non Movere” first appeared in THE EIGHTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR (Mortbury Press 2011) , then in his award-winning collection MRS. MIDNIGHT (2011), then MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 23 (ed. Stephen Jones, Constable & Robinson 2012). “This story is one of a number I have written set in the fictional English cathedral city of Morchester. I have based it loosely on the lovely old city of Salisbury.”

REGGIE OLIVER is an actor playwright and theater director, as well as being the author of two novels, a biography and six volumes of “strange” stories, of which the latest is FLOWERS OF THE SEA. His fifth collection, MRS. MIDNIGHT, won the Children of the Night Award 2012 for “best work of supernatural fiction”. Four of Reggie’s collections, all illustrated by the him, are available from Tartarus Press.

Your reader – David Moore – has read for the DARK FICTION Magazine and last appeared here giving an excellent take on M.R. James’ “Wailing Well” (his delivery of the line “they hadn’t much to call faces… but I could seem to see as they had teeth…” is one of your editor’s personal favorites in the entire back catalog) and yet, he remains an enigma!

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

“An architect was engaged and there needed only a decision to be made over the location of the chapel. The obvious place was an area closest to the crossing and facing east. This would’ entail the partial destruction of the eastern wall of the north transept, an exercise which would require the relocation of a number of funereal plaques and stones, the most significant of which was a sixteenth century memorial to a Canon of Morchester Cathedral, one Jeremiah Staveley. It was quite an elaborate affair in polished black basalt about seven foot in height overall, set into the wall some three feet above the ground. It consisted in a slab topped with scrollwork, crudely classical in feel with a niche in which was set a printed alabaster image of the Canon, standing upright in his clerical robes with his arms crossed over his chest. The figure was tall and narrow, the bearded face gaunt: a somewhat disconcerting image which looked as if it portrayed the corpse rather than the living being. Beneath this on the polished slab an inscription had been incised, the lettering picked out in white. It read:

JEREMIAH STAVELEY
Canonus Morcastriensis, obiit anno 1595 aetat 52

It was followed by these verses in bold capital letters:

BEHINDE THESE SACRED STONES IN DEATH STAND I

FOR THAT IN LIFE MOST BASELY DID I LIE
IN WORD AND SINNE FORSAKING GOD HIS LAWE

I DANCED MY SOULE IN SATANN’S VERIE MAWE
WHEREFORE IN PENANCE I THIS VIGILL KEEPE

ENTOMBED UPRIGHT THUS WHERE I SHOULDE SLEEPE
WHEN DEAD RISE UP I’LL READYE BE IN PLACE
TO MEET MY JUDGE AND MAKER FACE TO FACE
STRANGER, REST NOT MY CORSE UNTIL THAT DAYE

LEST I TORMENT THEE WITH MY SORE DISMAYE

The implication of these lines, that the body of Canon Staveley was actually entombed behind the slab, was borne out by the cathedral records and one of the old vergers whose family had been connected with the cathedral since time immemorial. Dean Coombe was disposed to be rather benevolent towards this worthy whose name was Wilby. The man was a repository of cathedral history and lore and the Dean was content to listen politely to Wilby’s ramblings, but he did not expect his condescension to be rewarded by opposition to his plans.

‘Mr Dean,’ said Wilby one afternoon, as they stood before the memorial in the north transept. ‘You don’t want to go a moving of that there stone, begging your pardon, sir.’

‘My dear man, why ever not?’

‘Don’t it say so plain as brass on that there ‘scription? ‘Tis ill luck to move the bones of the wicked. So said my granfer, and his before him.’ “

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/03/07/pseudopod-376-quieta-non-movere/feed/ 0 0:44:33 by Reggie Oliver. “Quieta Non Movere” first appeared in THE EIGHTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR (Mortbury Press 2011) , then in his award-winning collection MRS. MIDNIGHT (2011), then MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 23 (ed. Stephen Jones, Consta[...] by Reggie Oliver. “Quieta Non Movere” first appeared in THE EIGHTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR (Mortbury Press 2011) , then in his award-winning collection MRS. MIDNIGHT (2011), then MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 23 (ed. Stephen Jones, Constable & Robinson 2012). “This story is one of a number I have written set in the fictional English cathedral city of Morchester. I have based it loosely on the lovely old city of Salisbury.” REGGIE OLIVER is an actor playwright and theater director, as well as being the author of two novels, a biography and six volumes of “strange” stories, of which the latest is FLOWERS OF THE SEA. His fifth collection, MRS. MIDNIGHT, won the Children of the Night Award 2012 for “best work of supernatural fiction”. Four of Reggie’s collections, all illustrated by the him, are available from Tartarus Press. Your reader – David Moore – has read for the DARK FICTION Magazine and last appeared here giving an excellent take on M.R. James’ “Wailing Well” (his delivery of the line “they hadn’t much to call faces… but I could seem to see as they had teeth…” is one of your editor’s personal favorites in the entire back catalog) and yet, he remains an enigma! **************************** “An architect was engaged and there needed only a decision to be made over the location of the chapel. The obvious place was an area closest to the crossing and facing east. This would’ entail the partial destruction of the eastern wall of the north transept, an exercise which would require the relocation of a number of funereal plaques and stones, the most significant of which was a sixteenth century memorial to a Canon of Morchester Cathedral, one Jeremiah Staveley. It was quite an elaborate affair in polished black basalt about seven foot in height overall, set into the wall some three feet above the ground. It consisted in a slab topped with scrollwork, crudely classical in feel with a niche in which was set a printed alabaster image of the Canon, standing upright in his clerical robes with his arms crossed over his chest. The figure was tall and narrow, the bearded face gaunt: a somewhat disconcerting image which looked as if it portrayed the corpse rather than the living being. Beneath this on the polished slab an inscription had been incised, the lettering picked out in white. It read: JEREMIAH STAVELEY Canonus Morcastriensis, obiit anno 1595 aetat 52 It was followed by these verses in bold capital letters: BEHINDE THESE SACRED STONES IN DEATH STAND I FOR THAT IN LIFE MOST BASELY DID I LIE IN WORD AND SINNE FORSAKING GOD HIS LAWE I DANCED MY SOULE IN SATANN’S VERIE MAWE WHEREFORE IN PENANCE I THIS VIGILL KEEPE ENTOMBED UPRIGHT THUS WHERE I SHOULDE SLEEPE WHEN DEAD RISE UP I’LL READYE BE IN PLACE TO MEET MY JUDGE AND MAKER FACE TO FACE STRANGER, REST NOT MY CORSE UNTIL THAT DAYE LEST I TORMENT THEE WITH MY SORE DISMAYE The implication of these lines, that the body of Canon Staveley was actually entombed behind the slab, was borne out by the cathedral records and one of the old vergers whose family had been connected with the cathedral since time immemorial. Dean Coombe was disposed to be rather benevolent towards this worthy whose name was Wilby. The man was a repository of cathedral history and lore and the Dean was content to listen politely to Wilby’s ramblings, but he did not expect his condescension to be rewarded by opposition to his plans. ‘Mr Dean,’ said Wilby one afternoon, as they stood before the memorial in the north transept. ‘You don’t want to go a moving of that there stone, begging your pardon, sir.’ ‘My dear man, why ever not?’ ‘Don’t it say so plain as brass on that there ‘scription? ‘Tis ill luck to move the bones of the wicked. So said my granfer, and his before him.’ “ **************[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Oliver yes no
Pseudopod 375: The Signalman http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/28/pseudopod-375-the-signalman/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/28/pseudopod-375-the-signalman/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 04:01:08 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=1002 by Charles Dickens.

“The Signal-Man” was first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. It is The Doctor’s favorite Dickens story and has been adapted many times in many formats, including a radio drama version by Ye Olde Editor when he was in college.

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) surely needs no introduction so let’s talk a little bit about his relationship to the horror genre. Nearly everything Dickens wrote contains elements of the grotesque – exaggeration (used for both comic and chilling effects) was one of the devices most natural to him. He had a steady interest in the supernatural, albeit with reservations. Several of his stories make fun of spiritualism (“The Lawyer & The Ghost”, “The Haunted House”, “Well-Authenticated Rappings”) but Dickens thought ghost stories were especially appropriate for the Christmas season and encouraged other writers to produce ghost stories for the holidays including Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. Dickens first and best ghost story was “A Christmas Carol” (1843), which was an enormous success, and later tales include “The Haunted Man & The Ghost’s Bargain” (1848) (an allegory) and “The Trial For Murder” (1865), along with this one. In THE UNCOMMERCIAL TRAVELER (1860) he wrote that the horror stories told to him in childhood by his nurse had had a lasting effect – “If we all knew our own minds (in a more enlarged sense than the popular acceptation of that phrase), I suspect we should find our nurses responsible for most of the dark corners we are forced to go back to against our will.”

Your reader – Ian Stuart – is a writer/performer living in York. He has done work for the BBC and Manx Radio, as well as audiobooks, historical guides and promotional videos. He is also a storyteller/guide for The Ghost Trail of York, taking tourists round the city and telling them some of its darker secrets. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana. If you wish to contact Ian about v/o work of any kind , you can get in touch with him on Twitter at @yorkwriter99. His greatest boast is that he is the father of a famous son.

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

This was a lonesome post to occupy (I said), and it had riveted my attention when I looked down from up yonder. A visitor was a rarity, I should suppose; not an unwelcome rarity, I hoped? In me, he merely saw a man who had been shut up within narrow limits all his life, and who, being at last set free, had a newly-awakened interest in these great works. To such purpose I spoke to him; but I am far from sure of the terms I used, for, besides that I am not happy in opening any conversation, there was something in the man that daunted me.

He directed a most curious look towards the red light near the tunnel’s mouth, and looked all about it, as if something were missing from it, and then looked at me.

That light was part of his charge? Was it not?

He answered in a low voice: “Don’t you know it is?”

The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man. I have speculated since, whether there may have been infection in his mind.

In my turn, I stepped back. But in making the action, I detected in his eyes some latent fear of me. This put the monstrous thought to flight.

“You look at me,” I said, forcing a smile, “as if you had a dread of me.”

“I was doubtful,” he returned, “whether I had seen you before.”

“Where?”

He pointed to the red light he had looked at.

“There?” I said.

Intently watchful of me, he replied (but without sound), Yes.

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

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http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/28/pseudopod-375-the-signalman/feed/ 0 0:42:17 by Charles Dickens. “The Signal-Man” was first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. It is The Doctor’s favorite Dickens story and has been adapted many times in many for[...] by Charles Dickens. “The Signal-Man” was first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of ALL THE YEAR ROUND. It is The Doctor’s favorite Dickens story and has been adapted many times in many formats, including a radio drama version by Ye Olde Editor when he was in college. CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) surely needs no introduction so let’s talk a little bit about his relationship to the horror genre. Nearly everything Dickens wrote contains elements of the grotesque – exaggeration (used for both comic and chilling effects) was one of the devices most natural to him. He had a steady interest in the supernatural, albeit with reservations. Several of his stories make fun of spiritualism (“The Lawyer & The Ghost”, “The Haunted House”, “Well-Authenticated Rappings”) but Dickens thought ghost stories were especially appropriate for the Christmas season and encouraged other writers to produce ghost stories for the holidays including Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. Dickens first and best ghost story was “A Christmas Carol” (1843), which was an enormous success, and later tales include “The Haunted Man & The Ghost’s Bargain” (1848) (an allegory) and “The Trial For Murder” (1865), along with this one. In THE UNCOMMERCIAL TRAVELER (1860) he wrote that the horror stories told to him in childhood by his nurse had had a lasting effect – “If we all knew our own minds (in a more enlarged sense than the popular acceptation of that phrase), I suspect we should find our nurses responsible for most of the dark corners we are forced to go back to against our will.” Your reader – Ian Stuart – is a writer/performer living in York. He has done work for the BBC and Manx Radio, as well as audiobooks, historical guides and promotional videos. He is also a storyteller/guide for The Ghost Trail of York, taking tourists round the city and telling them some of its darker secrets. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana. If you wish to contact Ian about v/o work of any kind , you can get in touch with him on Twitter at @yorkwriter99. His greatest boast is that he is the father of a famous son. **************************** This was a lonesome post to occupy (I said), and it had riveted my attention when I looked down from up yonder. A visitor was a rarity, I should suppose; not an unwelcome rarity, I hoped? In me, he merely saw a man who had been shut up within narrow limits all his life, and who, being at last set free, had a newly-awakened interest in these great works. To such purpose I spoke to him; but I am far from sure of the terms I used, for, besides that I am not happy in opening any conversation, there was something in the man that daunted me. He directed a most curious look towards the red light near the tunnel’s mouth, and looked all about it, as if something were missing from it, and then looked at me. That light was part of his charge? Was it not? He answered in a low voice: “Don’t you know it is?” The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man. I have speculated since, whether there may have been infection in his mind. In my turn, I stepped back. But in making the action, I detected in his eyes some latent fear of me. This put the monstrous thought to flight. “You look at me,” I said, forcing a smile, “as if you had a dread of me.” “I was doubtful,” he returned, “whether I had seen you before.” “Where?” He pointed to the red light he had looked at. “There?” I said. Intently watchful of me, he replied (but without sound), Yes. ***************************** horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Dickens yes no
Pseudopod 374: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XIX: Blood On The Tracks – Departure, Transit, Arrival http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/21/pseudopod-374-flash-on-the-borderlands-xix-blood-on-the-tracks-departure-transit-arrival/ http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/21/pseudopod-374-flash-on-the-borderlands-xix-blood-on-the-tracks-departure-transit-arrival/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 04:01:47 +0000 http://pseudopod.org/?p=972 Going nowhere… faster….

“Midnight Express” by Alfred Noyes.

“Midnight Express” first appeared in This Week, November 3, 1935.
ALFRED NOYES (1880-1958) is primarily remembered as a poet, especially for his ballads “The Highwayman” and “The Barrel-Organ”. Aside from his poetry he wrote a large number of short stories intended to boost the national morale and small number of uncanny stories including this, “The Lusitania Waits” and “The Log of the Evening Star”. He published many novels including the post-apocalyptic THE LAST MAN (1940) and his famed trilogy THE TORCH BEARERS (1922-1930).

Read by Paul Jenkins, who has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

“It was a battered old book, bound in read buckram. He found it, when he was twelve years old, on an upper shelf in his father’s library; and, against all the rules, he took it to his bedroom to read by candlelight, when the rest of the rambling old Elizabethan house was flooded with darkness. That was how young Mortimer always thought of it.”

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

“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” by Mark Samuels.

“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” had its first appearance in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #20 edited by Stephen Jones. MARK SAMUELS (born 1967) is the author of four short story collections THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (Tartarus Press 2003), BLACK ALTARS (Rainfall Books 2003), GLYPHOTECH & OTHER MACABRE PROCESSES (PS Publishing 2008) and THE MAN WHO COLLECTED MACHEN & OTHER STORIES (Ex Occidente 2010 and Chomu Press 2011) as well as the short novel THE FACE OF TWILIGHT (PS Publishing 2006). His tales have appeared in both THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR and THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR. He has a new collection forthcoming from Egaeus Press in 2014 and has been described by Ramsey Campbell as “the British Thomas Ligotti”: A description he is at odds with, since he shares few, if any, of Ligotti’s aims either as a contemporary philosopher or writer of weird fiction. He is also literary executor for the late Edmund Bertrand. “How I came to be Bertrand’s literary executor is a convoluted affair and too long to go into here,” explains Samuels. “In any case, it’s certainly ironic, given that Bertrand (an American citizen, but of French ancestry, as his name suggests) was a staunch Anglophobe. Bertrand was born in Memphis, sometime during 1957, and died in a mysterious hotel fire whilst attending a convention in England in 2007. His stories chart the far reaches of madness, and were never collected together in a single volume. His main influences were European authors such as Stefan Grabinski, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Dino Buzzati and Jean Lorrain.”

Read by Jorn Meyer – who is new to PSEUDOPOD with this story and who is available for narration or voice work and can be reached at mail-at-joern-meyer.net

“There was no question now of keeping panic in check. Grey loped off along the aisle of the car in search of the conductor, or of the first person he encountered. A few rows further down he saw a man slouched in his seat, dressed in a rain mac and a wide-brimmed floppy hat that obscured his face. Grey hesitated before addressing the stranger, because he feared the face concealed in shadow. Would it be like that of the conductor? If it were, then he feared he would have reached a tipping point and might scream himself to death.”

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

“The Terminus” by Kim Newman.

A slightly different version of “The Terminus” appeared in the fanzine Sheep Worrying in 1981; this version appeared in Fantasy Tales in 1985. “It’s pretty much the earliest story I sold professionally.” KIM NEWMAN is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes THE QUORUM, LIFE’S LOTTERY and PROFESSOR MORIARTY: THE HOUND OF THE D’URBERVILLES; his non-fiction includes NIGHTMARE MOVIES and BFI Classics studies of CAT PEOPLE and DOCTOR WHO. He has written plays for the theatre (The Hallowe’en Sessions) and radio (Cry-Babies), is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines and reviews in Video Watchdog. His official web-site can be found here. He is also on Twitter as @AnnoDracula and his latest novel is ANNO DRACULA: JOHNNY ALUCARD, fourth in the successful ANNO DRACULA series. His next novel, AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY, will be out in late 2014.

Your reader, Siobhan Gallichan, is a voice-over artist available for work at macfadyan-at-gmail.com. Listen to Siobhan’s podcast at The Flashing Blade or watch the show on YouTube.

“‘Oh yes,’ Verdon told me, ‘disappearances from the underground are not uncommon. Every once in a while some unfortunate wanders off where he shouldn’t and meets with an accident. Sometimes our staff doesn’t come across the remains for years. Some people never do turn up. Those are the most interesting, I think. This pile.’

It was an impressive stack of manila folders. On the night of 9 October 1872 (which I like to think of as appropriately foggy) Mr Julian Selwyn-Pitt, a landscape painter, walked into Oxford Street station and was never seen again. Since 1872, fifteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four people had followed Mr Selwyn-Pitt into Verdon’s files. The figure was exclusive of all those whose disappearance was not reported and those, like Robert Webb, whose folders had not yet drifted down to settle in Verdon’s office.

‘So there are nearly sixteen thousand people lying around the tube somewhere?'”

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

Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, available from Music Alley.

Train sounds are from SoundJay.com.

Cave drips are from FreeSound.org.

]]>
http://pseudopod.org/2014/02/21/pseudopod-374-flash-on-the-borderlands-xix-blood-on-the-tracks-departure-transit-arrival/feed/ 0 0:48:44 Going nowhere… faster…. “Midnight Express” by Alfred Noyes. “Midnight Express” first appeared in This Week, November 3, 1935. ALFRED NOYES (1880-1958) is primarily remembered as a poet, especially for his ballads [...] Going nowhere… faster…. “Midnight Express” by Alfred Noyes. “Midnight Express” first appeared in This Week, November 3, 1935. ALFRED NOYES (1880-1958) is primarily remembered as a poet, especially for his ballads “The Highwayman” and “The Barrel-Organ”. Aside from his poetry he wrote a large number of short stories intended to boost the national morale and small number of uncanny stories including this, “The Lusitania Waits” and “The Log of the Evening Star”. He published many novels including the post-apocalyptic THE LAST MAN (1940) and his famed trilogy THE TORCH BEARERS (1922-1930). Read by Paul Jenkins, who has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links. “It was a battered old book, bound in read buckram. He found it, when he was twelve years old, on an upper shelf in his father’s library; and, against all the rules, he took it to his bedroom to read by candlelight, when the rest of the rambling old Elizabethan house was flooded with darkness. That was how young Mortimer always thought of it.” **************************************************************************** “Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” by Mark Samuels. “Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” had its first appearance in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #20 edited by Stephen Jones. MARK SAMUELS (born 1967) is the author of four short story collections THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (Tartarus Press 2003), BLACK ALTARS (Rainfall Books 2003), GLYPHOTECH & OTHER MACABRE PROCESSES (PS Publishing 2008) and THE MAN WHO COLLECTED MACHEN & OTHER STORIES (Ex Occidente 2010 and Chomu Press 2011) as well as the short novel THE FACE OF TWILIGHT (PS Publishing 2006). His tales have appeared in both THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR and THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR. He has a new collection forthcoming from Egaeus Press in 2014 and has been described by Ramsey Campbell as “the British Thomas Ligotti”: A description he is at odds with, since he shares few, if any, of Ligotti’s aims either as a contemporary philosopher or writer of weird fiction. He is also literary executor for the late Edmund Bertrand. “How I came to be Bertrand’s literary executor is a convoluted affair and too long to go into here,” explains Samuels. “In any case, it’s certainly ironic, given that Bertrand (an American citizen, but of French ancestry, as his name suggests) was a staunch Anglophobe. Bertrand was born in Memphis, sometime during 1957, and died in a mysterious hotel fire whilst attending a convention in England in 2007. His stories chart the far reaches of madness, and were never collected together in a single volume. His main influences were European authors such as Stefan Grabinski, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Dino Buzzati and Jean Lorrain.” Read by Jorn Meyer – who is new to PSEUDOPOD with this story and who is available for narration or voice work and can be reached at mail-at-joern-meyer.net “There was no question now of keeping panic in check. Grey loped off along the aisle of the car in search of the conductor, or of the first person he encountered. A few rows further down he saw a man slouched in his seat, dressed in a rain mac and a wide-brimmed floppy hat that obscured his face. Grey hesitated before addressing the stranger, because he feared the face concealed in shadow. Would it be like that of the conductor? If it were, then he feared he would have reached a tipping point and mi[...] horror, short, stories, stories, storytelling, scary, horror, stories, fiction Noyes, Samuels, Newman yes no