Posts Tagged ‘Haunting’

PseudoPod 671: Only Unity Saves the Damned

Show Notes

Click the link to pick up the collection She Said Destroy released by the excellent Word Horde.


Only Unity Saves the Damned

by Nadia Bulkin


“Dude, are you getting this?”

Rosslyn Taro, 25, and Clark Dunkin, 25, are standing in the woods. It’s evening—the bald-cypresses behind them are shadowed and the light between the needles is the somber blue that follows sunsets—and they are wearing sweatshirts and holding stones.

“It’s on,” says the voice behind the camera. “To the winner go the spoils!”

They whip their arms back and start throwing stones. The camera pans to the right as the stones skip into the heart of Goose Lake. After a dozen rounds the camera pans back to Rosslyn Taro and Clark Dunkin arguing over whose stone made the most skips, and then slowly returns to the right. Its focus settles on a large bur oak looming around the bend of the lake, forty yards away.

“Hey, isn’t that the Witching Tree?”

Off-camera, Clark Dunkin says, “What?” and Rosslyn Taro says,

“Come on, seriously?”

“You know, Raggedy Annie’s Witching Tree.”

The girl sounds too shaky to be truly skeptical. “How do you know?”

“Remember the song? ‘We hung her over water, from the mighty oak tree.’ Well, there aren’t any other lakes around here.

And First Plymouth is on the other side of the lake.” The camera zooms, searches for a white steeple across the still water, but the light is bad. “‘We hung her looking over at the cemetery.’”

The camera swings to Rosslyn Taro, because she is suddenly upset. She is walking to the camera, and when she reaches it, shoves the cameraman. “Bay, shut up! I hate that stupid song. Let’s just go, I’m getting cold. Come on, please.” But Clark Dunkin is still staring at the tree. His hands are shaking. Rosslyn Taro calls his name: “Lark!”

The camera follows Clark Dunkin’s gaze to the tree. There is a figure standing in front of it, dressed in a soiled white shift and a black execution hood. The figure reaches two pale, thin hands to the edge of the hood as if to reveal its face. And then the camera enters a topspin, all dirt and branches and violet sky, as the cameraman begins to run. Rosslyn Taro is heard screaming. Someone—the cameraman, or possibly Clark Dunkin—is whimpering, as if from very far away, “oh, shit, oh, shit.”

And then the video abruptly cuts to black. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 514: The Show

Show Notes

This story was also reprinted this month as part of Nightmare’s special issue People of Colo(u)r DESTROY Horror! Read along with the story over at their site. Listen to two more stories from this issue over on the Nightmare podcast feed, and add it to your podcatcher while you’re at it!


The Show

by Priya Sharma

 


The camera crew struggled with the twisting, narrow stairs. Their kit was portable, Steadicams being all the rage. They were lucky that the nature of their work did not require more light. Shadows added atmosphere. Dark corners added depth. It was cold down in the cellar. It turned their breath to mist, which gathered in the stark white pools shed by the bare bulbs overhead.
Martha smiled. It was sublime. Television gold.

PseudoPod 496: Nothing is Truly Yours

Show Notes

“This story is an homage to the work of Julio Cortazar, a brilliant amazing writer who wrote horror, fantasy, science fiction that a lot of genre readers miss because people think of “magical realism” as lit-fic with ghosts, instead of a unique Latin American evolution of all that is wonderful about SF/F/H. He also translated the complete stories of Edgar Allan Poe into Spanish, and those translations are magnificent. So if folks like this story they should seek him out – “House Taken Over” is the spiritual antecedent to this story, but “Axolotl” & “We Love Glenda So Much” and “Blow Up” and “The Southern Highway” and tons of his other stories, and his novel “Hopscotch” are all genius. And if you DON’T like this story, you should still seek him out, because it just means I horribly botched my homage.”


This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review


Nothing is Truly Yours

by Sam J. Miller


It started in the room you call your studio, the spare bedroom at the end of the hall, where you keep the tools of your creative trade, the room you swear you’ll start making better use of—just as soon as this work project or upcoming event is over, or your brother’s current life crisis settles down. It started late at night, in the long dark dead hours of the morning when the call of the toilet summons you from sleep, and you stagger to the bathroom in a haze of fury and fear, terrified you’ll never fall back to sleep, convinced that here, now, is the beginning of the end, of your brain and your body conspiring to finally kill you. It started in the instant after you flushed, in the space of white noise where the ear is especially sensitive to possibly-imagined sounds. What was this one: a breath sucked in? A cough stifled? No. Nothing so concrete. But a house feels different when you are not alone. Sound echoes distinctly in an empty apartment. You had felt this before. Vague blurry feelings, indistinct impressions when drunk or depressed, knowledge that came from somewhere other than reason or the senses. Adrenaline unspooled in your abdomen. Tiny hairs along your neck and arms quivered, then stood up straight.

And in that moment you knew: someone was in there. Someone was in your home, sitting at the cluttered desk of your studio, silently, perfectly still but not asleep, in darkness, eyes open, looking in your direction. And you stood at the door—put your fingers against the cold firm real non-nightmare wood—and turned and hurried back to bed.

PseudoPod 450: The Horse Lord


The Horse Lord

by Lisa Tuttle


The double barn doors were secured by a length of stout, rust-encrusted chain, fastened with an old padlock.

Marilyn hefted the lock with one hand and tugged at the chain, which did not give. She looked up at the splintering grey wood of the doors and wondered how the children had got in.

Dusting red powder from her hands, Marilyn strolled around the side of the old barn. Dead leaves and dying grasses crunched beneath her sneakered feet, and she hunched her shoulders against the chill in the wind.

‘There’s plenty of room for horses,’ Kelly had said the night before at dinner. ‘There’s a perfect barn. You can’t say it would be impractical to keep a horse here.’ Kelly was Derek’s daughter, eleven years old and mad about horses.

This barn had been used as a stable, Marilyn thought, and could be again. Why not get Kelly a horse? And why not one for herself as well? As a girl, Marilyn had ridden in Central Park. She stared down the length of the barn: for some reason, the door to each stall had been tightly boarded shut.