PseudoPod 660: Tiny Teeth


Tiny Teeth

by Sarah Hans


I risk walking to the doctor’s office from my workplace, because it’s only a few blocks, and I think the fresh air will do me some good. I don’t tell anyone I’m going alone, or that I’m walking. I know what they’ll say. Outside without an escort, without the safety of an enclosed vehicle, my heart thrums like a tap dancer’s quick steps. I should be scared or thrilled by the prospect of imminent danger, but I’m too frightened of the news waiting for me at the doctor’s office to be worried about much else. As I walk, I become more and more convinced the news reports about the gangs of feral children, with their pictures of mutilated bodies and wide-eyed reporters speaking in quavering voices, are attempts to manipulate us with fear. To keep us inside. My coworkers are fools to walk in groups, to rush from their cars to the office with Tasers and pistols clutched in their fists. There is no danger here.

But then I see the girl, and I know I’ve made a mistake. She crouches behind a bush, and when I spot her, I freeze like a rabbit. She locks eyes with me and rises out of the greenery. She’s maybe four years old, though that’s a guess. It can be hard to tell the age of a child who has been feral a long time, and I’ve never been around many children to begin with, even before the virus made them violent.

She wears a tiny pair of denim shorts and a purple t-shirt decorated with glitter hearts, both caked with gore. Her hair was once styled in pigtails, but one side droops sadly, and the other side is a crusted mass of red-brown scab in place of hair. Her face is twisted into a permanent snarl. Her front two teeth are missing, which would make the expression she wears comical if she didn’t have her hands held at the ready, fingers extended to grab, filthy fingernails ready to claw. A growl issues from low in her throat. Her eyes–bright green, shimmering like beetle wings in the sunlight–are filled with hatred and bloodlust. She smells like stale urine and blood and roadkill. (Continue Reading…)

Submissions for the Remainder of 2019


Our story calendar for 2019 is almost completely buttoned up, and we are starting to slot stories into the 2020 calendar. What follows is our plans for submissions for the remainder of 2019.

As identified on our Submissions Page, we will be open for one more review period right around Halloween: October 25 through November 3. Please see the Escape Artists Prime page for the announcement and any updates regarding the current status of Artemis Rising.


Across the globe, the dreams of the artists are causing many a restless and feverish night. Someday soon the call would come, when the stars were ready. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Flash Fiction Contest; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Flash Fiction Contest would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

A special Flash Fiction contest portal will open on Submittable at midnight Eastern on 8/10 and close at midnight on 8/31. If the portal disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 659: Lord Beden’s Motor

Show Notes

Preorder Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson. Then listen to them at the Know Fear Cast.


Lord Beden’s Motor

by J.B. Harris-Burland


A hard man was Ralph Strang, seventh Earl of Beden, seventy years of age on his last birthday, but still upright as a dart, with hair white as snow, but with the devilry of youth still sparkling in his keen dark eyes. He was, indeed, able to follow the hounds with the best of us, and there were few men, even among the youngest and most hot-headed of our riders, who cared to follow him over all the jumps he put his horse at.

When I first came to Upstanway as a doctor I thought it strange that so good a sportsman should be so unpopular. As a rule a man can do pretty well anything in a sporting county so long as he rides straight to hounds. But before I had been in the place a month I attended him after a fall in the hunting-field, and I saw that a man like that would be unpopular even if he gave all his goods to the poor and lived the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Not that he was harsh or even unpleasant, but he had the knack of making one feel foolish and uncomfortable, and there was something in the expression of his eyes that made one unable to look him squarely in the face. His manners, indeed, were perfect, and he retained all the old-world courtliness which seems to have been permanently abandoned by this generation, but I could not help feeling that underneath all his politeness and even hospitality lay a solid substratum of contempt.

It was doubtless this impression which had earned him his unpopularity, for I never heard a single one of his enemies lay anything definite to his charge beyond the fact that his elder brother had died in a lunatic asylum, and that Lord Beden was in some vague way held responsible for this unfortunate event.

But it was not until Lord Beden purchased a 12-h.p. “Napier” motor-car that the villagers really began to consider him possessed of a devil. And certainly his spirit of devilry seemed to have found a worthy plaything in that grey mass of snorting machinery, which went through the lanes like a whirlwind, enveloped in a cloud of dust, and scattering every living thing close back against the hedges as a steamer dashes the waves against the banks of a river. I had often heard people whisper that he bore a charmed life in the hunting-field, and that another and better man would have been killed years ago; and he certainly carried the same spirit of dash and foolhardiness, and also the same good fortune, into a still more dangerous pursuit. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 658: I Hate All That Is Mine

Show Notes

Title card music is “Coagula” by permission of Zeal & Ardor. We learned of this band when one of their albums appeared as a chapter heading for We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. Click through for our interview with Grady for this book. All of those referenced albums were good, but Zeal & Ardor sunk their hooks in and wouldn’t let go. Their powerful mix of gospel, blues, and metal is mesmerizing. You owe it to yourself to check out at least “Blood in the River” and “Gravedigger’s Chant.”


I Hate All that is Mine

by Leigh Harlen


The beanbag crunched and whooshed as Karla dropped into it. No one older than sixteen should have to sit in a beanbag, but she didn’t complain and did her best to get comfortable. While Hailey set up her movie, she rehearsed what she would say when it was over to cover how much she hated it. The camera work was really good. I loved the way you lit the room. That one shot was really striking. No, I’m not lying, I really liked it.

“This is going to floor you, I swear. It’s the best thing I’ve ever made.” Hailey’s hands trembled almost as much as her voice as she hooked up the cables between her laptop and the flat screen television mounted on the wall of her basement bedroom. (Continue Reading…)