Pseudopod 446: Killing Puppies For Aunt Jenny

by Robert Reed

“Killing Puppies For Aunt Jenny” is original to Pseudopod.

ROBERT REED lives in Pekin, Indiana with his wife Shelley and despite what the title of the story might imply, they love animals and have 2 dogs, 5 cats and 3 sugar gliders and are amazed that the pets let them all live together. Robert and his daughter Stephanie started NaNoWriMo in 2010 and found writing a great way to spark story ideas and spend father daughter time together. Robert can be found on Facebook by searching for Robert A. Reed, where you can also find out what projects he is currently working on. Robert and his friend Craig co-edit a quarterly magazine called Man-O-Pause where we discuss all things media and story, with the spring issue focused on Euro-Horror. It can be found at MAN-O-PAUSE.

Your narrator – Dave Thompson – THOUGHT he escaped from Escape Artists… but is currently consulting editor emeritus for Podcastle!

“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

by Nathaniel Lee

“White As A Bedroom Door” is original to Pseudopod.

Nathaniel Lee is a writer living in North Carolina with his wife, child, and obligatory cats. He puts words in order, and sometimes people give him money for them. His work, including a full bibliography, can be found at his daily writing blog, Mirrorshards (see link under his byline above) where he publishes a 100-word story every day. “Gastrohpidia” is currently available at Ideomancer. The Mirrorshards book, SPLINTERS OF SILVER AND GLASS has 100 of his drabbles, one flash fiction story (“The Lady of Tilmarine”) and one full-length short story (“Old Growth.”) It’s at Amazon (Kindle only, I’m afraid) here.

Your reader this week is the David Moore, who runs a gaming podcast called THE GAME MASTER SHOW, about sharpening your GM skills.


“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.”