Pseudopod 429: Flash On The Borderlands XXIV: Femmes Fatales

“I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”
La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats

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“The Lady With The Lantern” by Charlotte Nash

Pseudopod is the first publication of “The Lady With The Lantern . The lady with the lantern is a nautical folktale. This borrows the name, but re-imagines a very different spectre.

CHARLOTTE NASH is an Australian writer with degrees in engineering and medicine. Her speculative fiction short stories are published in Australia and overseas, and range from near-future cyberpunk and science fiction to contemporary fantasy and horror. She is also the author of rural medical romance novels. Find all her works at Stories From A Life Imagined. Another mining-related dark fantasy/horror tale, “The Seven-Forty From Paraburdoo” will be published in the forthcoming NEVER NEVER LAND anthology.

Your reader – Ron Jon – was featured in a showcase in Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector. Ron Jon has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature. You can see his videos and hear more of his work on The Spectre Collector Blog and you can download his albums on The Spectre Collector Bandcamp site. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.

“The mine called Callum in his tenth year. One morning, he was walking to school with the other boys; a pair of new shoes, a boiled sweet in his cheek. The next, he found a pick in his soft hand, and his feet followed his father’s to the cold, dark portal.”

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“The Bleeding Game” by Natalia Theodoridou.

“The Bleeding Game” was first published online in the June 2013 issue of 713 Flash by Kazka Press.

NATALIA THEODORIDOU is a media and theatre scholar based in the UK. She has had work published in Clarkesworld, Crossed Genres, Interfictions, The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, and elsewhere. Find her at Natalia-Theodoridou.com and @natalia_theodor on Twitter.

Your reader – Sean Sorrentino – makes his first appearance on PSEUDOPOD with this tale.

“She died two weeks ago. I found her again yesterday. She must have been around twenty when I first saw her again.

It’s not that I wanted to die–I didn’t, not really. I just needed to feel something, anything. I grabbed the x-acto knife and sliced. It was little more than a deep scratch really, just below the elbow. The sound of ripping flesh surprised me–I didn’t know we did that when you cut us open, wasn’t expecting to hear anything–but otherwise it felt good. A little pain, to make sure I was alive. Then a rush of adrenaline on seeing the blood well up, hot and red and mine. And then a flash of neon and that sound, like a record skipping, something being ripped apart, and she was there, or rather I was then.”

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“Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence” by Jeff Bowles.

“Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence” is appearing here for the first time anywhere.

JEFF BOWLES (usually) was born and bred in high country Colorado. He’s written and published everything from Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror to Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. His writing has appeared in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Nashville Review, and Penumbra eMag. Jeff is currently earning his Creative Writing MFA at Western State Colorado University. This story’s never before seen publication, but Jeff is a Pseudopod fan and can’t think of a better home for his work. Jeff lives with his wife out on the vast, wide open eastern plains of Colorado.

Your reader – Misty Dawn – describes herself as part warrior and part pacifist, owing to her Comanche and Cherokee heritage. She credits her mother with encouraging her two greatest loves…music and horror, and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King with teaching her to embrace the darkest corners of her imagination, and to coax those things living within to come out and play. She is currently working on her blog Deadtime Musings, from Dusk to Misty Dawn, to include short stories of horror, both real and imagined as well as poetry and lyrics, also of a dark nature. A Navy brat who grew up abroad, she settled in San Francisco, where she studied drama and music. She has written for and performed with several rock bands on both coasts and currently resides in a quiet suburb of Pittsburgh with 3 humans, 2 Beta fish and a Pomchi named Rose..

“Remember the first time you painted me all over your dead wife? Remember how we danced and danced, on into the night, under the leaves of the tall, ghostly aspen trees? Remember how you made love to her just as the sun rose, and though it was autumn, and though she’d been dead hours already, you somehow thought things could stay that way forever?

I think knowing you is just like knowing God.”

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Casefile:Arkham can be supported at Casefile Arkham.

Ditto for the Dragons Hoard, located here.

Brand Gamblin can be helped here and here

Pseudopod 312: Feeding The Machine

by Hunter James Martin

This week’s episode sponsored by Audible.com; they offer Pseudopod listeners a free audiobook download of their choice from Audible’s selection of over 100,000 titles.

This story previously appeared on Hunter’s blog at FORGOTTEN MANUSCRIPTS.

Hunter James Martin comes from Scotland. He blogs at I sell exotic children to celebrities. That is all!

Your reader this week is Rich C. Girardi. A writer, producer, and puppeteer, check Lady Jane’s Lair on YouTube.

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“The moment I laid eyes on the new start I knew he wasn’t going to last. Half of it was the look on his eyes, the other half was the look on everyone else’s eyes when they watched him. A lot of people don’t make it in this line of work. Not many minds can cope with being planted deep into the ground for so long. The average new start does five days a week, while the average worker does seven. I have been doing entire weeks for longer than I remember, devoid of fresh air and sunlight. It has been a long time since I have seen my reflection, but I imagine I am not a pretty sight.

The atmosphere doesn’t help things either, the horrid gloom we work within. Even in my apathy I can taste it: the darkness that nestles within the oily depths of the shadows, the dull throb that resonates through the caverns, and the dreadful machine, always rumbling like an empty stomach. The heat too, emitted from its insides, made worse after twelve hours of working in the same suit collecting sweat and oil and dirt and sometimes piss. Then wearing it again the next day. Then for another year.

My suit smells terrible. Everyone’s does. The tough leather is falling apart and there is a tear behind my left shoulder. But we are used to it. Used to recycled uniforms and moribund tools. Used to safety equipment that is a hazard in itself. Used to the smell of ancient piss and shit. Hardly even notice it really. Only made aware of it when a new start comes down the cargo elevator twitching his nose and pretending the reek doesn’t bother them. They all do that, then they either get used to it or lose their job. Back up the cargo elevator, or worse.'”