PseudoPod 134: Bait


by Joel Arnold

It was a cold January when Paul Robinson parked his flatbed pick-up on the edge of Shady Lake. The ice was ten inches thick. Plenty thick, yet it still didn’t compare to the rind of ice that had settled around his heart.

He let the tail-gate drop, hauled out his wooden fishing shanty and slid it over the ice to a spot a good fifty yards from the other fishermen. It was dusk, and many were already leaving, their perch, walleye, and trout packed in coolers to take home to their families.

He began to arrange the inside of the shanty, a homemade thing of clapboard and two by fours. He lit a pile of pre-soaked coals in an old coffee can for extra warmth, the flame swirling for a moment like a dervish, then settling to a comfortable glow. As he slid his Styrofoam bait bucket across the shanty’s floor, steam seeping from beneath the lid, he heard the crunch of cleated boots behind him. He turned.

PseudoPod 133: Grave of Ships

Grave of Ships

by Richard Marsden

I know you come from the States and you see this Isle of St. Mary as nothing but quaint. Well, we is a quaint folk and content to be in our cups at the Bishop n’ work the fields and tend to tourists and pull fish from the sea. But as your kin I am to say that the Scilly Isles hold secrets. Every day some of them are shown but only the wise would know it. Only an islander can tell you of it. I want you to listen because you are my kin and so you’ll be told of the Isles of Scilly.

If you look out from any portion of St. Mary’s out to the wide and gray sea you can gaze at the Grave of Ships. The isle is not friendly to outsiders who sail and never has been. It was in 1707 that a whole treasure fleet was dashed unto the rocks and drowned many a soul, including Shovell, the lord of that ill-fated expedition. Since then the Crown hasn’t much use for Scilly or the government we have nowadays. Since Shovell’s treasure spilled on our beaches, along with the bloated bodies, the isle has claimed hundreds of other vessels. Some drawn too close by storms, others lured in by Wreckers with their false lights and sharp blades.

PseudoPod 132: The Valknut

The Valknut

by Dan Dworkin

When I wake I’m craving almonds and want to die. Pretzeled in the top sheet, fighting the light… hurts when I move, go easy… something died in my mouth, breath could bring down a plane, and the light… Jesus, that’s… fuck, that’s bright. Hot too… pores fuming booze… sheets wet, what the… oh God I must’ve… I mean, I haven’t been that fucked up since… clothes on still, one shoe, nice touch… stomach in revolt, just thinking about it makes… aw Christ, I’m gonna… run for it, wait… that was close. Too close. Why do I do this? Now if only I could remem– Wait a… I catch my reflection in the mirror, one shoe on, halfway to the bathroom… I approach, stick out my neck and the new mark there… what the f…? Is that…? Aww man, what did I do? What the hell did I do?!

PseudoPod 131: Tales of the White Street Society – The Corpse Army of Khartoum

Tales of the White Street Society – The Corpse Army of Khartoum

by Grady Hendrix

It had been some time since we had last been called to a meeting of the White Street Society and all of us yearned to quench the thirst for the strange that these meetings had fostered in our souls, which is why the three of us – Drake, Lewis and myself – finally abandoned formality and stopped by the clubhouse uninvited, fully expecting Augustus to be absent, overseas perhaps, investigating some mysterious mystery. Instead, we stood frozen in surprise and dripping with February rain in the doorway of the clubroom, watching our old friend sitting by the fire and reading the papers, as cool as an oyster.

“Augustus,” cried Drake. “What are you doing here?”

“And where’s Charles?,” said Lewis, as an unfamiliar manservant helped him off with his overcoat.

For further adventures of THE WHITE STREET SOCIETY, please check out:

“Tales Of The White Street Society”.

“The Yellow Curse” in THE TRIO OF TERROR.

“The Christmas Spirits”