PseudoPod 036: Liberation


Liberation

by Kevin Anderson


It had the characteristics of a spider but looked more like some underwater creature – a mutated octopus or alien squid. The arachnid’s legs were thick like tentacles, splayed out on a chalky porcelain table. Pools of blood spotted the off-white surface and a pair of forceps lay next to the spider, providing a sense of scale. The creature’s creamy white frame seemed about four inches in length. Its color reminded Caroline of the salamanders discovered in subterranean caves. Living their whole lives in darkness, the lizards looked pasty – sickly.

Leaning in, Wendy traced a finger along the picture’s caption. “It says, it didn’t have any eyes.”

“It doesn’t need them,” Caroline said, grinning. “It lives in darkness, just feeling its way around.” Just like the salamanders.

Wendy stood up. “This doesn’t prove anything, Caroline. You don’t have spiders living in your brain for god-sakes.”

PseudoPod 035: Locked Doors


Locked Doors

by Stephanie Burgis


There’s a frozen moment. Then Tyler throws himself against the door, just as the heavy body on the other side hurls itself at the wood. The bolt shifts another centimeter.

“No!” Tyler shoves the bolt with all his strength and hears it click back into locked position. He collapses, sliding down the door onto the floor. Tips his head back against the wood, breathing hard.

He hears Its heavy breathing on the other side of the door. Tyler closes his eyes.

“Please, Dad,” he whispers. “Please come back soon.”

PseudoPod 034: Bliss


Bliss

by James Michael White


He evaluated her for two months. Came from a well-to-do family. High marks in school. Brief modeling career that seemed destined never to rise above pinup calendars, low-circulation fashion magazines and catalogues. A history of self mutilation that went back to nineteen. Then, it had been called attempted suicide, but Dr. Mandrake was widely read and well educated. He knew about razors and cutting without intention to kill. Some did it for attention. Some did it for kicks. Some did it for ritual scarification significant only to themselves.

Bliss did it because she felt restricted in her skin. There was someone inside who was not the skin that everyone saw. There was someone inside who was not human, or perhaps more than human.

Schizophrenic, yes.

Paranoid, maybe.

Suicidal? No.