PseudoPod 059: Fever


Fever

By David Malki !


The sisters sat in the back seat, bundled up against winter, as the car idled in the driveway. Julie hunched low, staring at the seat in front of her; Emma slumped against the opposite window, staring at the snow that blanketed the world, staring at her friends, lying silently asleep.

“You’re such a freak,” Julie snarled. “You’re always causing such problems. Why can’t you just be normal.”

“I’m hot,” Emma croaked.

“Well, it’s like thirty degrees out there, have at it,” Julie said, and unclicked Emma’s seat belt.

Emma bounded from the car and ran to join her friends, feeling the refreshing rush of snow on her face. They cheered as she rubbed the ice into her skin, feeling weight lift from her lungs. She breathed in the cold deeply, and became more alive: she noticed the tang of pine in the air; smelled the dirty heat of the car’s exhaust.

She felt a deep hatred for her sister rise. Her friends felt it too. They didn’t need to be told what to do.

PseudoPod 058: Among Their Bright Eyes


Among Their Bright Eyes

by Alaya Dawn Johnson


They worship him. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are afraid of him. They keep him in one of their shelters, where he sits rigidly day after day, surrounded by the tiny, shriveled heads of their enemies. His dull, open eyes–two different shades of brown–stare at nothing. His stolen lungs do not breathe, his pilfered heart does not pound. Yet his crudely stitched patchwork skin does not rot any further–the monster has stopped, but he is not dead.

I despise him for being so pityingly self-assured, so brave. He descended to the darkness, but I still chased the lightning, wishing I could stop even while that surreal light coursed through my body. He says that Christians are supposed to love their creator, but how could I love mine? I am an abomination, a wild assembly of wasted, fetid things–a whore of borrowed parts. How could I want this life? And yet, how can I end it?

PseudoPod 057: Tenant’s Rights


Tenant’s Rights

by Sean Logan


Albert climbed onto the shelf in his closet and lifted the hatch to the attic. He scanned his immediate surroundings for terrorists and spiders. Clear. He hoisted himself up and crawled along the stealthway to the lockbox hidden under the insulation in Sector Alpha. He removed a small baggie and a vial of liquid, slid them into a secret pouch in the left arm of his trench coat and returned to his room.

He dumped the contents of the baggie into a silver alchemist’s mixing bowl (they said it was a dog’s water dish at the pawn shop, but that seemed unlikely). He looked closely at the fine flaky powder and thought he could detect movement, which made sense, because at a microscopic level were millions of tiny insects. Itching power, the professional kind, illegal in the United States. Those little bugs crawled under the skin and caused unbearable irritation. And when Lance showed up at dinner tomorrow, itching like a mangy dog, there was no way Sally-Ann’s grandparents would want her living in this vermin-ridden hovel with that disease-carrying hobo.

And just to make sure it was effective, Albert implemented the next phase of his plan.

Flash: Questions

Show Notes

Music mixed by Navicon Torture Technologies from recordings available from ANNIHILVS:
1. “Instrument Landing System” by Propergol, from the GPWS CD
2. “Rent Boy” by IRM, from the CD, The Cult of the Young Men
3. Gutterballads Vol II, track VI by Wilt, from the Gutterballads Vol II CD-R


Questions

by Edward Webb


“Name’s Claude,” he says. “You’re new.”

I nod again, still looking out into the empty street near the alley. It’s bad enough that I’ve lost everything in my life – my job, my home, my family. But now a chilling realization splashes over me: I am going to be trapped in this alleyway, melting snow soaking into my shoes, listening to a disfigured man with breath as stale as his conversation, forever. This isn’t just another November night. It’s a pit of hell that I’m trapped in, a punishment for my unknown crimes against the universe.

“Sometimes the innocent are put in jail, and the guilty go free.”

Surprised by the comment, I turn back to him. “What?”

Claude’s face twists into a grin, his scar stretched into a new, more hideous shape. “That’s what I like about new guys. They ask questions.”