PseudoPod 075: The Mill


The Mill

by Tom Brennan


Breathless from climbing, Iwan crested the hill and looked down on his village and its fields of yellow and green. He tried to blot out the mill beside the river but the dark stone building gnawed at him, just as in his dreams.

Again he remembered the words trickling from his father’s ruined face: “A little blood, son, a little pain…”

Iwan spun away from the edge and ran to the pool under the arching trees. As forbidden as mirrors and polished metal, the pool threw back Iwan’s pale reflection. He stared at his features in the clear water as if concentration alone could seal them there forever, make them indestructible. But now a breeze rippled the water and imagination dissolved his face; he saw the mill’s grindstones descending, lower, lower, felt the altar vibrating under his body, smelled powdered grit as the whirling stones inched closer. Closer.

PseudoPod 074: Tumble


Tumble

by Trent Jamieson


“My Daniel’s out there.” Mother Beet crossed her stick-thin legs, lit a cigarillo, then offered me one. I shook my head, staring into the black hollows where her eyes should be. Black hollows that held my measure, nonetheless, and stared back. Tiny brown cockroaches nested in the right orbit. They bubbled and hissed, irritated by the smoke perhaps. “I can feel him, sure’s the memory of spittin’ the bastard, bloody and blind-eyed, out of me womb.”

I sat, and her smoke-bound mutterings washed against me. Folk like that, their words are weighty. You listen and not without fear.

PseudoPod 073: Blood, Gridlock, and PEZ


Blood, Gridlock, and PEZ

By Kevin Anderson


Blood gathered in pools around the body as the afternoon sun gave it a sickly glimmer. I remember thinking how much the dark liquid really seemed to belong on the pavement. Like oil, transmission fluid or lizard-green coolant, the blood was at home on the asphalt.

It’s amazing the things you notice when events force you to grown up in the span of a moment. But I’m getting ahead of myself. This story really starts two hours earlier, with Gina.

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PseudoPod 072: Heavy Rains


Heavy Rains

by Andrew Nicolle


The place we’re heading for is called Island Lagoon, smack-bang in the middle of the South Australian Outback. It looks like everything else out here in the bush: dry, dusty, the odd saltbush scattered along the plain. But I know this place is different.

First, the name is a bit inaccurate. You’d think a place called Island Lagoon would have some water, or maybe some swampland. It doesn’t. Not usually, anyway. Most of the year it’s just a dry saltpan, and if you blinked, you’d probably miss it.

Sometimes though… sometimes after heavy rain it turns into a salt lake. And when it does, things can get disturbed.