Pseudopod 324: Wings

by Nathaniel Lee

“Wings” was previously published nowhere else (though not for lack of trying)

NATHANIEL LEE recently turned 31. He’s got an English degree and thus considers himself basically unemployable if he ever loses his current (unrelated) position. His son, Archimedes Lee (a.k.a. Archie) is 13 months old, and Nathaniel can’t get any work done around the house. But at least he’s not someone’s flying monkey.

He still runs MIRRORSHARDS, which is now on an erratic “whenever he gets the chance” schedule because: baby. The MIRRORSHARDS book still exists at Amazon, too. His self-described sappy little story “The Alchemist’s Children” is in Alex Shvartsman’s extremely entertaining UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS anthology.

John Bell – is your reader this week. John is the president and CEO of John Bell Creative, LLC, and is available to write, produce, and/or voice anything from radio commercials to audio dramas to you-name-it. You can contact him at
For family-friendly fun, listen to BELL’S IN THE BATFRY, a comedy podcast available on iTunes and/or at the link under the name.


“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

by Rajan Khanna
“Pumpkinhead” first appeared in the anthology, SHADOWS OF THE EMERALD CITY which came out in 2009 and is based on the L. Frank Baum Oz books.

Rajan Khanna is a writer, narrator and blogger. His website is He has a story in the forthcoming YA dystopian anthology DIVERSE ENERGIES.

Your reader this week is her supreme majesty The Word Whore, whose own podcast is AIR OUT MY SHORTS is a model of hard-working, sultry efficiency.


“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.’