PseudoPod 678: The Boy Who Killed His Mother

The Boy Who Killed His Mother

by Rosemary Hayes

Nobody wanted to play with the boy who killed his mother. Nick Metcalf understood why in the same way he understood why the sun rose and set. Comprehension was simple for six year olds; things just were. So even though he accepted the other kids in his class avoided walking too close to him (in case they caught whatever made him a “bad” boy), or whispered when he walked past, (that’s him, he killed his own mother) that didn’t mean he liked it. He didn’t. Not one little bit.

One time Nick arrived at school to find “killer” written on a sheet of paper and left on his desk, as if whoever left it thought he needed reminding of the day his world collapsed around him. Maybe he did. If by some miracle he forgot his crime he might start to think he was just like everyone else. For endless seconds he stared at that word scrawled with red crayon, knowing (the way the sun rose and set) this was his label for the rest of his life. If he was meant to have a different label before he killed his mother (doctor, lawyer, president) it shattered the way his mother’s skull shattered when the bullet entered her forehead at close range. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 677: When a Beast Looks Up at the Stars

Show Notes

Werewolf Ambulance Podcast:

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When a Beast Looks Up at the Stars

by Orrin Grey

“What’s the earliest memory you have of your father?” my therapist is asking. Such a tired line, something that a therapist would ask in a movie. I don’t tell him the truth, of course. I cast around for an easy lie, the same one that I would give to Kenzie if she asked, though she never does. Tell him something about my dad wrapping Christmas presents in old shoe boxes, packing them in socks, a twenty-dollar bill stuck between two bricks, wrapped in faded paper. Something that could be cute but always felt mean-spirited.

My laptop case is lying on the floor of the office. In it is a letter on stationery from the Seldon Civics Committee or somesuch, a clipping from the Seldon Herald, complete with a grainy newsprint photo of the old Gorka Theatre, with its marquee like an art deco wave. I’m driving there from here, in a rented black Accord, but I thought it would be a good idea to get one last therapy session in before I go.

No, let me stop. That’s a lie, and I know it. Kenzie thought it would be a good idea, and she’s right, but I knew it would be a waste of time, and it is. I talk about Seldon, about my childhood, about my dad, but I skim over the surface, like I’ve taught myself to do. A rock skipping across a deep, black pond, never touching the water long enough to attract the attention of the beasts that circle below. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 676: Things My Father Taught Me

Show Notes

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Things My Father Taught Me

by Rhoads Brazos

My father taught me old knowledge, not all of it useful. It was mostly platitudes that sounded profound until you realized that they were just the logic of one’s own wits. But I hold to this: If a man wants to go quickly, he travels alone. If he wants to go far, he travels with friends. Simple, direct, useful. I wanted to go far.

I was with Bwambale when he found the grenade amongst the scrapyard’s refuse. His uncle owned the business, an acre of steel skeletons rising from rust scale sheddings, and we often rooted about the new collections. His uncle was not a generous man, but if he didn’t know what it was that we had found, like the grenade, then we might pick it up cheap. Which is what happened.

And so afterwards, the three of us–Bwambale, myself, and our friend Godfrey–crouched in the dust behind the Soroti central market, looking as if we were throwing dice in its scant shade. The grenade sat between us like a squat little god. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 675: The New Mother

Show Notes

Audio used in this episode:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

The New Mother

by Lucy Clifford


The children were always called Blue-Eyes and the Turkey. The elder one was like her dear father who was far away at sea; for the father had the bluest of blue eyes, and so gradually his little girl came to be called after them. The younger one had once, while she was still almost a baby, cried bitterly because a turkey that lived near the cottage suddenly vanished in the middle of the winter; and to console her she had been called by its name.

Now the mother and Blue-Eyes and the Turkey and the baby all lived in a lonely cottage on the edge of the forest. It was a long way to the village, nearly a mile and a half, and the mother had to work hard and had not time to go often herself to see if there was a letter at the post-office from the dear father, and so very often in the afternoon she used to send the two children. They were very proud of being able to go alone. When they came back tired with the long walk, there would be the mother waiting and watching for them, and the tea would be ready, and the baby crowing with delight; and if by any chance there was a letter from the sea, then they were happy indeed. The cottage room was so cosy: the walls were as white as snow inside as well as out. The baby’s high chair stood in one corner, and in another there was a cupboard, in which the mother kept all manner of surprises. (Continue Reading…)