Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

PseudoPod 628: A Spider Trapped in Wax

Show Notes

This story was first drafted for a Hallowe’en story contest in the Codex writers group, based on two story seeds provided by Merc Rustad and Stewart C. Baker: “A spider with legs dipped in wax sits atop yards of black lace” and “In the centre of the mansion, there is a room with windows”, respectively. The basic idea was pretty easy given such foundations, and the first draft came out suspiciously easily, but as usually happens with these things I didn’t fully realise what I was writing about until two or three drafts in. As my kids grow up into individuals, with their own challenges and celebrations, I’m increasingly aware of the way I come across as a father, and the ways in which we–I–inevitably repeat the mistakes and successes of our own parents–because what other example do we have to learn from? Some of those lessons are sunk in so deep you don’t even realise they’re there. Though I’m fortunate in never having known the sort of physical or emotional cruelty shown in the story, there are other aspects of who I am and how I react that I struggle to keep in check. It’s worth the effort, though; to be honest, I can’t think of any effort more important. How else will the chain ever be broken?


A Spider Trapped in Wax

by Matt Dovey


Lindom Hall was a cold place; a lonely place; an empty place of stone and echoes. Margaret had her servants, of course, but they hardly counted. She had grown used to the silence, perhaps, but never truly comfortable with it.

Yet now that her son was returned at last to the Hall, she took no solace in the company.

“Mother, please,” he said. “It is not so much money to ask for, is it?”

She shook her head as she crossed the entrance hall to him, her cane clicking on the hard wooden floor. “It is not the amount,” she said, brushing an autumn leaf from the felt brim of his hat. “It is that you ask at all.” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 446: Killing Puppies for Aunt Jenny


Killing Puppies for Aunt Jenny

by Robert Reed


Ms. Simmons had asked me to speak plainly about what happened from the beginning, but I was scared at first. I told her I would try and tell her everything, but July was a hot month, I have a hard time membering things when it happens in the hot.

My mom had just died a few months before, and my dad left me here. I don’t think mama ever liked dad, she said he was a liar and a cheat and, mama said you can never trust a person like that. Aunt Jenny never loved me like mama did. She came closer to liking me more than dad did, but that wasn’t much at all. I didn’t have much of anything, but some clothes and a baseball bat. I didn’t even have a ball. I use to stand in the gravel driveway and throw rocks in the air and try to hit them. I’m a real hard swinger, that’s what dad said. Aunt Jenny said I was horrible at baseball and that I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. I thought that was funny, because barns were so big that anyone could hit a barn, as long as they got close enough.

In the hot of July, Aunt Jenny said I needed to get out from under her feet and if I was going to sleep under her roof and eat her food then I needed to contribute more to the house. When Aunt Jenny used the word contribute, she meant get a job. We lived in Hyde Park Indiana, I still do I guess, but mama doesn’t, cause she’s dead. Like I was saying, it was in the hot of July, and aunt Jenny wanted me to contribute. In Hyde Park there just ain’t that many jobs, specially when your nine years old. It’s a small town. It seemed to me that everyone grew corn, everyone had a truck and everyone had a dog. And usually not just one dog, but a bunch. Aunt Jenny said it was because that all dogs do is eat your food and have sex, and that one day, I would like sex; and then she laughed. I didn’t like being compared to a dog.

Pseudopod 299: White As A Bedroom Door


White As A Bedroom Door

by Nathaniel Lee


The story she tells most often is not about any one person. In the story, Amber is a little girl, maybe five years old. She is sitting on her bed, in a darkened bedroom. The covers are thin, sometimes damp where she wet them. She smells sour sweat and urine, old cigarette smoke, spilled alcohol. The smells of home, as she thinks of them. They are almost comforting.

What isn’t comforting is the door.