Posts Tagged ‘Baum’

PseudoPod 324: Wings


Wings

by Nathaniel Lee


Fresh wails assault my ears as I leave the cell and haul the rusty door shut. The lock clicks. I wonder briefly if anyone still has the key. Well, the witch can sort it out if she wants to. I’m too tired to care.

I see the witch, standing two cells down. She seems hesitant. ‘It’s very… damp,’ she remarks.

‘Apologies, mistress,’ I say, sweeping into a bow. ‘I gave the girl water to drink.’

‘She’s losing it fast enough,’ the witch remarks. ‘What has her crying so hard?’

‘Her lost friends, mistress. And her pet. A small dog. Toto, I think.’

‘She must be calm if I am to speak with her,’ says the witch, rubbing at her chin. ‘We must have leverage.’

I close my eyes and pray for patience before speaking. If I do not offer, she will command it of me. ‘Permission to go and retrieve the child’s missing pet?’

‘Yes,’ says the witch. ‘We have Dorothy. Bring me her little dog, too.’

PseudoPod 305: Pumpkinhead


Pumpkinhead

by Rajan Khanna


Mr. P sat at the table, his sagging head leaning against one gloved hand. It was tilted slightly to the side and he was waving the free fingers of his other hand in the air.

‘Mr. P?’ I said.

He tilted his head toward me. ‘Call me Jack,’ he said, for the hundredth time. But I couldn’t. He was my employer, but more than that, he was a celebrity, and a close personal friend of the queen. In fact, if it weren’t for his imminent need, she would be the one about to carve this pumpkin for him. He was basically part of the royal family.

He held out his hands and I placed the pumpkin into them. His arms, which he kept covered at all times, were little more than wooden sticks, like broom handles, but they were strong and sturdy and he pulled the pumpkin closer, cradling it for a second before placing it on the table in front of him.

Fascinated, I longed to watch as he carved it, to see how it was done, but it was such an intimate act, so very personal, and I couldn’t bear to intrude upon it. As the knife penetrated the rind and into the tender inner flesh, I turned and left the house and returned to the field where I belonged.