PseudoPod 051: Brothers


Brothers

by J.C. Hay


And now he was back again, wandering through what was left of the basement of the synagogue where he had huddled with his family and neighbors. Outside in the streets was a Germany gone mad, and this had been a safe place to hide. His father had announced that he knew how to protect them, if everyone stayed here. And he was right; if not for his actions, they would all have died that night, instead of just him. It was time, Jakob supposed, to settle the old ghosts haunting his memory.

He had been a boy of twelve at the time, but he would never forget. It was as indelible in his mind as the numbers tattooed on his forearm. Jakob pushed further into the dark and felt something crunch beneath his foot. The darkness gleefully filled the space in front of him as he pointed the beam of his flashlight down to find metal and broken glass reflecting back up at him whitely.

He picked the glasses up, holding them in the light for a moment. They were covered with dust, one lens cracked, the other fallen out completely. The gold wire holding the round glass in place had twisted and bent, long before his clumsy foot had found them. Jakob was surprised they had survived in the basement this long. He expected they would have been stolen by now. It had been fifty years after all.

PseudoPod 050: Everyone Carries a Shadow


Everyone Carries a Shadow

by Stephen Gaskell


My brother’s death didn’t need to meaningless. It would be my spur to reveal the cruel practices that go for treatment in our mental institutions up and down this land. I would become a patient and expose these places from the inside. This then is the true reason for my absence from these pages. For the last three weeks, unknown to all but a select few personages, I have been a resident of Bedlam. What I discovered will sound like one of Aesop’s fabulous tales, or perhaps, more pertinently, the ravings of a madman, but I swear by the light of the Lord, all that you will read ahead is a true account of events.

PseudoPod 049: Big Boy


Big Boy

by Ron McGillvray

 


Peter finally came across a channel which had a video of the smoke he’d seen, rising in the air. He looked at the TV screen in wonder as flames shot out from within the smoke. Must be a doozy, he thought as he stood mesmerized in front of the TV.

A young woman appeared on the screen with the smoke as her backdrop. She held a microphone and seemed about to speak but instead looked back at the fire as if it might be sneaking up on her. Peter thought to himself what a cool job that must be. He thought that maybe it might be something he’d like to do when he got older. He looked over his shoulder to see if any of the kids had decided to follow him in but the coast was clear.

“From where I’m standing, I can easily feel the heat of the fire,” a woman’s voice said.

PseudoPod 048: The Disciple


The Disciple

by David Barr Kirtley

 


Professor Carlton Brose was evil, and I adored him as only a freshman can. I spent the first miserable semester at college watching him, studying the way he would flick away a cigarette butt, or how he would arch his eyebrow when he made a point. I mimicked these small things compulsively. I don’t know why, because it wasn’t the small things that drew me to him at all. It was the big things, the stories people told as far away as dear old Carolina.

You heard the name Brose if you ran with any cults, and I ran with a few. Society rejected us, so we rejected them. The more things you give up, the less there is to bind your will. There’s power there. We were sure of it. But that power was damned elusive.