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.

PseudoPod 060: The Heart of Tu’a Halaita

Show Notes

Wikipedia has a nice picture of a baobab tree you can gaze upon to enhance your listening experience, if only to give you an idea of the size of the thing. (At least it’s there at the time of this writing — with Wikipedia, you never know.)


The Heart of Tu’a Halaita

by Tara Kolden


“You are a thief,” the native translator repeated. “There are two things my people say about the tree god. The first is that no one who steals from him goes unpunished.”

Heglund’s eyes narrowed. “And what is the other?”

Callala looked at the dirt floor inside the priest’s hut. His voice was quiet. “They say the taste of a man’s blood stirs the heart of Tu’a Halaita. After a single bite, he will have no satisfaction until the whole man is eaten.”