Archive for the 'Stories' Category
Pseudopod 430: Thing In The Bucket

By Eric Esser

“Thing In The Bucket” was first published in Fictionvale #1 which came out in November 2013. It hasn’t yet been reprinted. “The setting is inspired by southwestern Shropshire, and the period by the Elizabethan era. The story concept came from playing around the ideas of the Four Humours and spontaneous generation, although of course the generation I ultimately went with wasn’t really spontaneous.”

ERIC ESSER lives and writes in San Francisco with his love Courtney and their black cat Mina. When he was small he used to wander the perimeter of his elementary school soccer field every recess imagining stories set in other worlds, and for some reason no one ever made fun of him for it. He suspects they discussed him secretly. He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, a graduate of Clarion UCSD 2012, and his fiction has appeared most recently in the Awkward Robots: The Red Volume anthology, a fundraiser for the Clarion Foundation and is forthcoming in The Electronic Voice Phenomenon podcast and Fictionvale, among others. Visit him at ericesser.net or follow him on Twitter (@ericdesser).

Your reader – Andrew Clarke — is a London-based musician, writer and actor who has created work for the stage, film and radio in an ongoing quest to work out how to make any money at all. He is currently writing the second series of The Lost Cat Podcast – which details the adventures he has had while looking for his lost cat – featuring monsters, ghosts, Old Ones, several ends of the world, some cats and lots and lots of wine. The first series can be found here. He is also currently demo-ing his latest album. The previous album, called ‘Bedrooms & Basements’ can be found at Bedrooms & Basements.

Brand Gamblin can be helped here and here

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“‘Are you all right?’ he said.

She whispered, ‘I am bleeding.’

Pritcher dealt in the art of the bleed, so it was unsurprising she had come to him. ‘Can you show me?’

‘From inside.’ She pressed her belly, then brushed at her petticoat.

Pritcher considered Sarah’s young age and air of shame, and then smiled. ‘You mean it is worse than usual? Or at the wrong time?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘The time of month you bleed.’

She stared at him blankly. Was it possible she did not know? Her parents had died some years before, so she’d been raised by the barkeep, Elias Grubbs. He was well-meaning, but not the brightest man, and a widower without daughters of his own. Such subjects were not spoken of in Drumby Hole between young girls; the vicar taught them not to succumb to the corruption of flesh, to focus on God when it tempted them.

Surely someone must have taken an interest. That older barmaid, perhaps. ‘Has Lizzy never mentioned the curse?’

Sarah shook her head. ‘I’m cursed?’ Her voice trembled.”

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Pseudopod 429: Flash On The Borderlands XXIV: Femmes Fatales

“I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”
La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats

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“The Lady With The Lantern” by Charlotte Nash

Pseudopod is the first publication of “The Lady With The Lantern . The lady with the lantern is a nautical folktale. This borrows the name, but re-imagines a very different spectre.

CHARLOTTE NASH is an Australian writer with degrees in engineering and medicine. Her speculative fiction short stories are published in Australia and overseas, and range from near-future cyberpunk and science fiction to contemporary fantasy and horror. She is also the author of rural medical romance novels. Find all her works at Stories From A Life Imagined. Another mining-related dark fantasy/horror tale, “The Seven-Forty From Paraburdoo” will be published in the forthcoming NEVER NEVER LAND anthology.

Your reader – Ron Jon – was featured in a showcase in Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector. 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 see his videos and hear more of his work on The Spectre Collector Blog and you can download his albums on The Spectre Collector Bandcamp site. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.

“The mine called Callum in his tenth year. One morning, he was walking to school with the other boys; a pair of new shoes, a boiled sweet in his cheek. The next, he found a pick in his soft hand, and his feet followed his father’s to the cold, dark portal.”

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“The Bleeding Game” by Natalia Theodoridou.

“The Bleeding Game” was first published online in the June 2013 issue of 713 Flash by Kazka Press.

NATALIA THEODORIDOU is a media and theatre scholar based in the UK. She has had work published in Clarkesworld, Crossed Genres, Interfictions, The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, and elsewhere. Find her at Natalia-Theodoridou.com and @natalia_theodor on Twitter.

Your reader – Sean Sorrentino – makes his first appearance on PSEUDOPOD with this tale.

“She died two weeks ago. I found her again yesterday. She must have been around twenty when I first saw her again.

It’s not that I wanted to die–I didn’t, not really. I just needed to feel something, anything. I grabbed the x-acto knife and sliced. It was little more than a deep scratch really, just below the elbow. The sound of ripping flesh surprised me–I didn’t know we did that when you cut us open, wasn’t expecting to hear anything–but otherwise it felt good. A little pain, to make sure I was alive. Then a rush of adrenaline on seeing the blood well up, hot and red and mine. And then a flash of neon and that sound, like a record skipping, something being ripped apart, and she was there, or rather I was then.”

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“Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence” by Jeff Bowles.

“Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence” is appearing here for the first time anywhere.

JEFF BOWLES (usually) was born and bred in high country Colorado. He’s written and published everything from Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror to Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. His writing has appeared in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Nashville Review, and Penumbra eMag. Jeff is currently earning his Creative Writing MFA at Western State Colorado University. This story’s never before seen publication, but Jeff is a Pseudopod fan and can’t think of a better home for his work. Jeff lives with his wife out on the vast, wide open eastern plains of Colorado.

Your reader – Misty Dawn – describes herself as part warrior and part pacifist, owing to her Comanche and Cherokee heritage. She credits her mother with encouraging her two greatest loves…music and horror, and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King with teaching her to embrace the darkest corners of her imagination, and to coax those things living within to come out and play. She is currently working on her blog Deadtime Musings, from Dusk to Misty Dawn, to include short stories of horror, both real and imagined as well as poetry and lyrics, also of a dark nature. A Navy brat who grew up abroad, she settled in San Francisco, where she studied drama and music. She has written for and performed with several rock bands on both coasts and currently resides in a quiet suburb of Pittsburgh with 3 humans, 2 Beta fish and a Pomchi named Rose..

“Remember the first time you painted me all over your dead wife? Remember how we danced and danced, on into the night, under the leaves of the tall, ghostly aspen trees? Remember how you made love to her just as the sun rose, and though it was autumn, and though she’d been dead hours already, you somehow thought things could stay that way forever?

I think knowing you is just like knowing God.”

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Casefile:Arkham can be supported at Casefile Arkham.

Ditto for the Dragons Hoard, located here.

Brand Gamblin can be helped here and here

Pseudopod 428: When It Ends, He Catches Her

By Eugie Foster

“When It Ends, He Catches Her” was originally published in Daily Science Fiction in September 2014. Many thanks to Matthew Foster for sharing this story with us and you.

Eugie Foster was an American short story writer, columnist, and editor. Her stories have been published in a number of magazines and book anthologies, including Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, and Interzone. Her collection of short stories, Returning My Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, was published in 2009. After receiving her master’s degree in psychology, she retired from academia to pen flights of fancy.  She also edited legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time she suspected were another venture into flights of fancy. She was also a director for Dragon Con and edited their onsite newsletter, the Daily Dragon.

Eugie received the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” which you can listen to over on EscapePod. There are over twelve hours of Eugie Foster’s stories and narrations here at Escape Artists. We encourage you to (re) listen to them.

She’s also been a finalist for the Hugo, Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press, and British Science Fiction Association awards. Foster died at Emory University Hospital on September 27, 2014 from respiratory failure, a complication of treatments for Large B-Cell Lymphoma. The day Foster died, Daily Science Fiction published her last story, “When it Ends, He Catches Her.” This story has been nominated for the Nebula Award.

Your reader – Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, John Joseph Adams’ The End is Nigh series, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. SERIOUSLY WICKED for Tor Teen will be released May 5, 2015.

Music in the outro is “Cylinder Nine” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive.

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“The dim shadows were kinder to the theater’s dilapidation. A single candle to aid the dirty sheen of the moon through the rent beams of the ancient roof, easier to overlook the worn and warped floorboards, the tattered curtains, the mildew-ridden walls. Easier as well to overlook the dingy skirt with its hem all ragged, once purest white and fine, and her shoes, almost fallen to pieces, the toes cracked and painstakingly re-wrapped with hoarded strips of linen. Once, not long ago, Aisa wouldn’t have given this place a first glance, would never have deigned to be seen here in this most ruinous of venues. But times changed. Everything changed.

Aisa pirouetted on one long leg, arms circling her body like gently folded wings. Her muscles gathered and uncoiled in a graceful leap, suspending her in the air with limbs outflung, until gravity summoned her back down. The stained, wooden boards creaked beneath her, but she didn’t hear them. She heard only the music in her head, the familiar stanzas from countless rehearsals and performances of Snowbird’s Lament. She could hum the complex orchestral score by rote, just as she knew every step by heart.

Act II, scene III: the finale. It was supposed to be a duet, her as Makira, the warlord’s cursed daughter, and Balege as Ono, her doomed lover, in a frenzied last dance of tragedy undone, hope restored, rebirth. But when the Magistrate had closed down the last theaters, Balege had disappeared in the resultant riots and protests.”

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Pseudopod 426: ARTEMIS RISING Women In Horror Showcase: The Devil Inside

by Shannon Connor Winward.

“The Devil Inside” first appeared in SOMEONE WICKED: A WRITTEN REMAINS ANTHOLOGY by Smart Rhino Publications. “I did actually have a baby this past summer, but she is not possessed or evil – so far as I know.”.

Words by SHANNON CONNOR WINWARD have appeared in Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Plasma Frequency Magazine, Star*Line, Literary Mama, and Scigentasy: Gender Stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and have been awarded Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest and as an emerging artist in literature by the Delaware Division of the Arts. Her debut collection of poetry, UNDOING WINTER, is available through Amazon and Finishing Line Press. In between parenting and other madness, Shannon works to support local artists, and here and there has been intimate with a microphone. She lives and writes in Newark, Delaware. She has fiction forthcoming in Spinetingler Magazine and Stupefying Stories, and poetry in Scheherezade’s Bequest and Kaleidoscope. Her blog about writing and life, including upcoming features and literary events, can be found here.

Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. She’s also a huge fan of pseudopod and listens regularly. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

Your Guest Host this week is Nicole Suddeth who slaves away in the fiction mines at Pseudopod as an associate editor…

To find out more about Women In Horror month, please visit WomenInHorrorMonth.com.

Also check out Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror at Indiegogo.

Tim Burke is one of the best authors we’ve ever featured. His stories of Victorian mediumship and horror have been collected and expanded into the excellent The Flesh Sutra. In fact it’s so excellent that it’s been longlisted for a Stoker Award this year. So, pop along to the The HWA website and take a look at the ballot. There’s some great stuff on there and the finalists will be announced on the 23rd. So, if you’re a member, go vote and go vote for Tim, his stuff’s great. Also if you don’t own the The Flesh Sutra, pick it up, it’s brilliant

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“‘What do you mean by that, Rebecca?’ the doctor queried. ‘What did no one tell you?’

Becca studied the drops of rain on the window, little falling jewels of light.

She felt evil, just saying it. ‘I read all the books. They warn you about everything that can go wrong. Preeclampsia. Preemies. Feeding problems. But no one tells you what to do when you don’t love your baby. Like it’s … unthinkable.’

Her words hung for a time, as Dr. Marsh scribbled on his pad. ‘It’s quite common. Many women experience post-partum depression …’

‘I’m not depressed, I just don’t love him.’

‘Why is that, do you think?’

Why? Because he didn’t love her back? Because he cried? All the time, always, screeching until his little voice cracked. Because Becca couldn’t cry?

‘I just don’t feel it,’ she murmured.”

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