PseudoPod 565: Cuckoo


Cuckoo

by Angela Slatter


The child was dead by the time I found her, but she suited my purposes perfectly. 

Tiny delicate skin suit, meat sack, air thief. 

The flesh was still warm, which is best—too hard to shrug on something in full rigor—and I crammed my bulk into the small body much as one might climb into a box or trunk to hide. A fold here, a dislocation there, a twinge of discomfort and curses when something tore, stretched just too far. 

The rent was in the webbing of the right hand. Only a little rip, no matter. The sinister manus was my favoured choice of weapon anyway. I sat up, rolled my new shoulders—gently, carefully—then stood, rocking back slightly on legs too tender, too young to support my leviathan weight. I took a step, felt the world tilt, caught my balance before I fell and risked another tear; looked down at the single pink shoe, with its bows and glitter detail; took in the strange white cat face that ran around the hem of the pink and white dress; rubbed my miniature fingers against the dried brown stains that blotched the insides of my thighs. 

The child had died hard. 

The sliver of me that retained empathy ached, just a bit. But I could smell the scent of the one who’d done this and I would follow that scent. The hunt was on, my blood was up. Time was of the essence—my presence will speed decay. I pitched my head up so my nostrils caught the evening breeze and breathed deeply, filling my borrowed lungs, so the memory would remain. 

Again, I took a step, more, all steady. 

Determined. 

Forward.

PseudoPod 564: Hello, Handsome

Show Notes

MUSIC USED – This week’s music is from “Orgy of the Vampires” by TERRORTRON: a posthumous electronic orb that splatters the ears of the living with a flood of brain-washing sound waves. This is a side project of Anders Manga which involves scoring cult horror movies you’ve never seen. Pray that you only get to hear them.

 


 

Our sisters and us we whisper beneath the glass. There are so many of them, in and out, stopping to look at the case, shaking their heads and walking. Some of them hear. Some of them bend an ear or take a closer look. Some of them we reject. We are perfect and thus, we are vain. A gangly thing with a pockmarked face wants to touch us, wants to bring us home, but we hiss and I know he hears us hiss. So he keeps walking. The girl behind the counter, she looks sad, robbed of her commission. Callous bitch.
Then we see him, then we smell him, the right one. We coo to him inaudibly soft but we know that he can hear it. His face is weathered some but not displeasing, unblemished, not browned by the sun but age and a great deal of smiling. He looks smart in his grey hat and his raincoat, so very smart. The sort of man who would shop at a store like this one, where the finest is sold to the finest. The finest, that’s the sort. We cannot help but notice his hands. It is in our nature to notice someone’s hands of course.
The hands are strong, the fingers slim and exquisite. His wrists are slender, the bones of his knuckles hard. These are not the beaten hands of a man his age. These are not the hands of a working man but nonetheless hands with purpose. I barely need to let him know I’m here or to talk over our sisters. He is deep but is wonderfully legible. Wonderfully, wonderfully legible. He approaches the salesgirl and points into the case.
“I’d like to see that pair.”
Oh, yes, oh yes, you would. You would like to get to know us and let us know you. You would like to take us home. There are stories we read in the people that come and go about the things that happen when we’re taken home, the exquisite warm sensations, the adventure and delight. Some of his secrets are legible but there is so much more to know.

PseudoPod 563: Flash On The Borderlands XXXIX: Teratology


Kiss, Don’t Tell

by Cassandra Khaw


You never told me she’d be so human, so sweet. Marzipan bones and caramel hair, latte skin stretched taut over a face still new to wanting. Just a mouthful, really, a morsel, her eyes brittle as she watches us flit by, heartbeats sliding between the ribs of time.

In Europe, no one believes in kismet, but who needs faith to author fact?

Later, you joke about serendipity. I nod in silence, my fingers still glazed with her cells and her atoms, the taste of her bitter with ghosts of Sunday afternoon pasts. How many street corners have you kissed on? How many does she remember? How many times has she sat coiled by her phone, waiting, waiting, thumbing through pictures of you together, a patchwork of possibilities that should have spelled out a future?

(Continue Reading…)

Flash Fiction Contest 5 is Lurking on Your Doorstep


The stars are right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do, a band of innocent authors has accomplished. After vigintillions of years the Flash Fiction Contest is loose again, and ravening for delight. Each week, batches of stories will be released into gladiatorial pits to fight for supremacy. The floor will be churned to mud with the blood of the fallen until the mightiest stories remain for your delight and dread. Head over to the forums, take up your stone, and join us in the harvest festivals of the October Country.

It’s easy to be become a member. Sign up for a forum account and make a single post so we know you’re not a bot. This is a good thread to start with. From there, head over to “The Arcade” as the contest thread will not be visible until after you have made at least one post. Authors, encourage friends and families to come over and participate – you just can’t tell them which stories are yours. Visit our forums for rules and details.