Flash: Rite of Atonement

Show Notes

Reading and music by W. Ralph Walters


Rite of Atonement

by Melinda Selmys


She would not be able to fly, of course, but he had run the simulations carefully, had seized his achievement in the animated projections of the contact-lens computer screen that nestled against his natural eye. She would be chased to the cliff’s edge just like all the others, but when she arrived she would not tumble graceless to the stones. She would spread wide those gossamer-green constructs of his genius and for a few precious moments that wind would fill them and she would glide until the weight of her body broke the fragile bones of the living apparatus that held her aloft. Then she would fall like a wounded bird, like Icarus as he plunged, spinning, downwards from the sun. In a tangle of broken wings, she would carry all of the terrors and tortures that he had perpetrated against her down to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Review: John Carpenter’s Halloween


Nothing makes us happier than seeing how far we can get from the campfire before we get scared. Horror cinema has been around almost as long as cinema itself and whether it’s Nosferatu walking jauntily through Bremen, Ellen Ripley discovering exactly how little she matters to her employers, or Laurie Strode running from the blank, featureless evil of Michael Myers, it’s given us some of the most enduring images of film history.

Which is where we come in. Pseudopod’s new film review section will be looking at the best new movies, the acknowledged classics, and the cult films we know you need in your life. Japanese survival horrors, very English armageddons, and masked killers bent on revenge — we’ve caught and caged the lot for your listening pleasure.

So join us, on this first episode, as we look at the slasher movie patient zero, the film that has spawned countless sequels and arguably a subgenre all of its own: John Carpenter’s Halloween.

PseudoPod 061: The Keeper

Show Notes

Happy Halloween, everyone!


The Keeper

by Ken Goldman


An intermittent brightness from above allowed Shelby a study of her captor’s lumpish face that seemed more pockmarked with each new illumination. Standing near, the man stank like raw sewage. He polished off what remained of a sandwich, licking brown grease from stubby fingers that somehow remained filthy.

Shelby struggled against the knots at her wrists and those inside her stomach. Attempting some semblance of composure she breathed deeply, filling her lungs. It didn’t help much. A rotted smell imprinted itself inside her nostrils. Near her, shelves housed a grotesque assortment of stinking pumpkin heads, maybe a dozen of them reduced to disintegrated lumps surrounding the room, one-time jack-o’lanterns whose carved smiles had long since decomposed.

Fighting the urge to gag Shelby focused outside where the black ink of the Atlantic heaved in the darkness. Distant lights of the Jersey shore towns glimmered like painted stars, but nearby no lights shone. Rotating from a pedestal above, a huge beacon scoured the circular room. Its single ray flittered upon the ocean’s whitecaps and exposed a beach that turned to marshland, impossible to traverse. A small boat had been dragged away from the surf, its tracks upbeach indented in the sand near a small shed. The bastard had removed the outboard, probably locked it inside that shack. He had tendered her to this middle-of-nowhere light house, as isolated as it was remote, dragged her to its lantern room to fuck her and then kill her.

Or maybe he would kill her first, and then . . .

Shit . . . oh shit . . . breathe . . .

Flash: Hunan Fare

Show Notes

Musical production by Toby Chappell — now available for your podcast soundtracking needs. Ask him while he’s feeling generous.


Hunan Fare

by John Hayes

 


Each night I have the same dream. I am sitting on a white donkey and a noose fashioned from strong Asian hemp is tightened around my throat by six laughing women. The smile fades from the tallest woman and she leaps onto a hickory tree and scampers along a stout limb. Carla’s sister tosses the rope to the tall woman who knots it about the limb. I lean forward and shield the donkey’s eyes. A cowgirl removes a derringer lodged between her breasts. She places the weapon against the donkey’s head and shoots. The donkey falls and my body swings in the thin night air of the third moon of the fifth planet from Being, the blazing star.