“Hand Off” by S. Siporin is a Pseudopod Original. “We all have parts of ourselves we are unhappy with; the trick is to accept them as part of who you are”
“Hide” was first published in Black Static Issue 43 by TTA Press in November 2014.
“Think of the Bones” is a PseudoPod Original. It is about struggling with body image, and whether the story’s resolution is comforting or unsettling is up to the listener. Recommended additional reading is “The Skeleton” by Ray Bradbury, which is included in the October Country collection.
The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
by S. Siporin
She was wealthy; you could tell by the thick brown fur of her coat, by the elaborate, streaked hair that made her look ten years younger than she really was. Three slender fingers on her left hand gleamed smooth and ivory; they were heavy with silver and gold rings, mementoes of failed marriages. Her right hand was bare of decoration; it hung flaccid by her side, brushing against the soft fur like a sallow slab of flesh. She tried to hide it under her coat. It was defective, shriveled, half paralyzed.
Without warning, it twitched, the fingers diddling as if playing an invisible piano, as if restless, discontent. The line between her eyes deepened, darkened as if someone had drawn on her face with magic marker. Not again, she thought. Not here. Her left hand pressed its palm flat against her forehead; she felt the ache of an incipient migraine.
by Annie Neugebauer
When I met Cecilia I’d only been dead for twenty years and she’d only been alive for about as many. She was all golden-brown skin and mahogany eyes and legs that stretched longer than the last week of summer, and I was cold – so cold.
I stood several yards away in the shade watching her with her friends. We were at an outdoor concert where a local band did a shitty job of playing good songs. Cecilia sat on the grass with those legs sprawled easily in front of her, catching the sun, leaned back and propped on her elbows. She wore a big white floppy hat that should have seemed silly and out of place but instead looked perfect.
Think of the Bones
by Gary Emmette Chandler
When the bones first began to grow, David had watched them with something like lust. Each night, in his small apartment, he would sit at the edge of his bed and watch the bones shift, gradually taking form. It started with the feet: that multitude of delicate, tiny bones, slowly knitting themselves together.
It was a secret he kept for himself — a routine that kept the days in motion, swinging about in silence, with hope.
I’m here to turn up the volume. To press the stinking face of humanity into the dark blood of its own secret heart.