Archive for the 'Stories' Category
Pseudopod 415: Night’s Foul Bird

by Orrin Grey.

“Night’s Foul Bird” was originally printed in the 14th issue of Innsmouth Magazine which was themed around “wings.” “I’m obviously a fan of the aesthetics of early horror films, and this story was all about that, especially the portrayal of vampire lore in early films, especially silent films, though saying that in the opening might be giving the game away a bit. It’s also one of a pair of stories I wrote back-to-back dealing with early portrayals of vampires in media–its companion is a very short piece called “The White Prince” that’s in Steve Berman’s anthology of incubi stories Handsome Devil out now from Prime books, which deals more with early vampire novels and specifically Dracula, instead of film.

ORRIN GREY is a writer, editor, amateur film scholar, and monster expert who was born on the night before Halloween. He mostly writes short, spooky stories of the macabre and supernatural, and he watches a lot of movies about the same, and sometimes gets to write about them. He has a regular column on vintage horror cinema for Innsmouth Free Press and has had a couple of previous stories at Pseudopod, and some other recent or forthcoming publications include a story in Tales of Jack the Ripper and Children of Old Leech, both from Word Horde. His first collection, Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings, came out in 2012, and his newest collection, Painted Monsters will come out from Word Horde in October, 2015. It includes this story and previous pseudopod episode “The Worm That Gnaws”, as well as 11 other stories, including 3 that are original to the collection. Updates for his writing happen regularly on his website at Who killed Orrin Grey?

Your reader – Cunning Minx – is the sultry-voiced producer and host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, now with over 400 episodes in production. The podcast shares tales from the front of responsible non-monogamy from a pansexual, kink-friendly point of view. A kinky boobiesexual, Minx founded the show as a resource for the poly and poly-curious to form a community, share experiences and help guide each other on their journeys of poly and kinky exploration. A marketer by day, Minx spends most of her vacation days teaching about polyamory throughout the US but leaves a few for snorkeling about the Caribbean with her poly family. Her New ebook is, Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory.

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“Last week, a man moved into the building. He lives in the same rooms as us but on the fourth floor rather than the sixth. On the floor between is a plump-cheeked lady whose two sons both died in the War. I call her the “Widow Flowers,” because she is always drying flowers in the kitchen above her sink. She gives them out to everyone as gifts at every relevant occasion. I wonder if she loves them because they’re beautiful but already dead, unchanging, like a photograph, but Mother says I mustn’t ask people such questions.

The new man is strange, pallid and sunken, and his head seems to taper from top to bottom, as though his chin is forming like a stalactite from his face. His eyes are very pale and he has an odd way of staring at you as if he’s actually looking at whatever’s just behind you, instead. Mother says that he’s sweet and that I mustn’t judge. That many of the young men who came back from the War came back just like him. I don’t think he seems young, but Mother says that he’s not much older than me. She blames the War for that, too.

He says his name is ‘Milton,’ but in my mind, I’m already calling him “Mr. Chaney,” because there’s something about him that reminds me of Lon Chaney’s faux-vampire in London After Midnight, which I loved up ‘til the end. Maybe it’s his long coat, which he wears always draped over his shoulders, his arms not through the sleeves. Maybe it’s his shadow, which seems to cling too close to him, to hunch at his back when he stands near walls, as though it’s whispering secrets in his ears.

Mother says that I’m sensitive, but that I should keep it to myself, and that I mustn’t judge people until they’ve given me a reason to, as it says in the Bible. I don’t think that is what it says in the Bible, but I don’t contradict her.”

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Pseudopod 414: The Photographer’s Tale

by Daniel Mills.

“The Photographer’s Tale” was first published in Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction #36 in 2011 and later reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23. It currently appears in the author’s 2014 collection The Lord Came at Twilight.

DANIEL MILLS is the author of Revenants: A Dream of New England (Chomu Press, 2011) and The Lord Came at Twilight (Dark Renaissance Books, 2014). His short fiction has appeared in various journals and anthologies including Black Static and Shadows & Tall Trees. He lives in Vermont. His website can be found at Daniel Mills.net.

Your reader is George Cleveland, who previously read Cell Call for PSEUDOPOD.

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“‘Shall we proceed?’ asked Arthur.

‘Of course,’ said Lowell, nodding. He had already prepared the collodion mixture and adjusted the lens. All that remained was to open the shutter. Taking up the flash box, he slipped his head under the cover and placed his eye against the viewfinder.

The powder vanished from Mrs. Whateley’s brow. In its place he noted the swelling of an under-skin bruise. As Lowell watched, horrified, the colors deepened and spread, leaching through flesh and tissue to collect in a series of purple bruises down the woman’s neck, creating the imprint of a man’s hand around her throat.

Lowell’s stomach clenched. The air left his lungs, and he gasped for breath that would not come. She looked up at him then — perhaps only to wonder what was taking so long — and in her eyes he saw a silent suffering, such as he had once glimpsed in the eyes of another, and all at once, he understood everything.

Whateley had come to him seeking concealment. Like many clients, he wanted an image of false happiness, another mask for the violence and cruelty they both strove to hide — he with his airs and false benevolence and she with her daubs and powders. Mrs. Whateley gazed back at Lowell through the viewfinder, her eyes bloodshot, sightless.

He swallowed. ‘I’m—sorry,’ he said and withdrew from the hood. He stepped backward from the camera. ‘But I cannot go through with it.'”

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Pseudopod 413: Variations Of Figures Upon The Wall

by Silvia Moreno Garcia

“Variations Of Figures Upon The Wall” was published in Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Steve Berman.

SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA is a Mexican writer now living in Canada. Her first collection, This Strange Way of Dying was released last year. Her debut novel, set in 1980s Mexico City, is called Signal to Noise and will be published next year by Solaris. Silvia is also an editor. She has recently edited Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse and Sword and Mythos, an anthology of heroic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror. She blogs at Silvia Moreno Garcia.com .

Your reader is Claudia Smith, a video game translator who reads (and narrates) for fun. She was introduced to Pseudopod by her old university friend, Helen Keeble, and highly recommends reading her two books, Fang Girl and No Angel – especially if, as well as being a fan of the horror genre, you also enjoy a bit of light-hearted teen vampire romance parody.

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“The maid slowly buttoned the dress, her hands inching along Rowena’s back. Rowena looked out the sole window in the room – a great sheet of unbroken, tinted Venetian glass – and across the desolate, green fields.

‘What was the Lady Ligeia like?’ Rowena asked.

The maid’s fingers stilled against Rowena’s back.’

‘She was a harsh mistress,’ the girl said.

‘How so?’

But the girl did not reply.”

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Pseudopod 412: Rule Of Five

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.

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“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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