PseudoPod 123: Bone Sigh

Show Notes

Sponsored by CONTAGIOUS, by Scott Sigler.

Bone Sigh

by Tim Pratt

I sit at the table and work on my bonsai scar. I press the silver head of the meat tenderizer into my left thigh, stippling the skin. I do not feel pain; I scarcely feel the pressure. My nerves are dead, there on my left thigh, where I grow my scar. Matches, hot needles, knives, and time. I tend my scar, I do not control it. Skin and muscle are unpredictable– this is not like painting a picture, carving a piece of wood. The flesh knows its own logic, the bruises come strangely, the healing proceeds unevenly. I collaborate with my flesh.

PseudoPod 122: Let Them Bleed

Let Them Bleed

by Lilah Wild

Stosh wore his sneakers as he walked along the incoming tide, let cool water ooze over his toes. It was awkward, squishing along in the wet sand, but he didn’t want to risk stepping on a broken seashell or a needle. His shoes were already filthy, not much left for the water to ruin.

He swept his eyes over the beach, scanned among piles of trash for Liddy. Instead he spotted a skinny figure running his way.

PseudoPod 121: Blood, Snow, and Sparrows

Blood, Snow, and Sparrows

By Joshua Alan Doetsch

Desdemona used to trace the stars with her finger, connecting the dots, naming her own constellations.

I call upon her name.


I call her name when I want to remember.

Desdemona — who gave me thirty-one birthdays when I had none. Desdemona — who laughed and made snow angels on rooftops because the snow there was cleanest, the closest to Heaven. Desdemona — who made an angel of snow and blood in the dirty street on the day I lost her.

I remember this, now, as Zeek struggles in my arms, anger and fear evacuating his body in crimson spurts, and my smile dislocates my jaw. Zeek with the shroud-eye, one eye glaucoma clouded, said it was his evil eye, said he could hex a body with a stare, cast a pestilence. But, see, I knew better. I knew it was Zeek’s dirty needles that killed the kids. And the night collapses with primate shrieks as Zeek tries to lift his bloody gun and . . .


Too far.

PseudoPod 120: Iowa Highway

Iowa Highway

by Brendan Detzner

The first thing they did when they took a trip like this was pick new names. This time they were Michael and Jennifer. The house was empty when they got there; it was beautiful, the summer home of very wealthy people. The interior was an open shell, rugs on a stone panel floor with a kitchen in back and an open-sided spiral staircase that led up to a balcony bedroom and another set of stairs in back that led to a kitchen. The house was surrounded by grass, which was surrounded by woods, which were surrounded by a wooden fence.
They took their clothes off as soon as they got inside. Jennifer threw hers in the corner; Michael left a trail, starting with his shirt at the front door and ending with his underwear at the kitchen.
“Jesus, I’m hungry…” He stopped suddenly and looked at her sheepishly, like a dog that knows it’s done something wrong.
“No, I didn’t mean…”
Jennifer shook her head. “I know you didn’t. Don’t worry.”
She hoisted herself up onto the counter, put her hand on his shoulder, and tilted her head to the side.
He spit on her neck. His saliva was bright green; it hissed like oil in a frying pan, and a second later there was a swollen red mark on her neck. He nibbled on it gently, and her skin tore and split like tissue paper. She closed her eyes as he pressed his mouth against the wound.
They stayed at the house for about two weeks.