Posts Tagged ‘monster’

PseudoPod 565: Cuckoo


Cuckoo

by Angela Slatter


The child was dead by the time I found her, but she suited my purposes perfectly. 

Tiny delicate skin suit, meat sack, air thief. 

The flesh was still warm, which is best—too hard to shrug on something in full rigor—and I crammed my bulk into the small body much as one might climb into a box or trunk to hide. A fold here, a dislocation there, a twinge of discomfort and curses when something tore, stretched just too far. 

The rent was in the webbing of the right hand. Only a little rip, no matter. The sinister manus was my favoured choice of weapon anyway. I sat up, rolled my new shoulders—gently, carefully—then stood, rocking back slightly on legs too tender, too young to support my leviathan weight. I took a step, felt the world tilt, caught my balance before I fell and risked another tear; looked down at the single pink shoe, with its bows and glitter detail; took in the strange white cat face that ran around the hem of the pink and white dress; rubbed my miniature fingers against the dried brown stains that blotched the insides of my thighs. 

The child had died hard. 

The sliver of me that retained empathy ached, just a bit. But I could smell the scent of the one who’d done this and I would follow that scent. The hunt was on, my blood was up. Time was of the essence—my presence will speed decay. I pitched my head up so my nostrils caught the evening breeze and breathed deeply, filling my borrowed lungs, so the memory would remain. 

Again, I took a step, more, all steady. 

Determined. 

Forward.

PseudoPod 563: Flash On The Borderlands XXXIX: Teratology


Kiss, Don’t Tell

by Cassandra Khaw


You never told me she’d be so human, so sweet. Marzipan bones and caramel hair, latte skin stretched taut over a face still new to wanting. Just a mouthful, really, a morsel, her eyes brittle as she watches us flit by, heartbeats sliding between the ribs of time.

In Europe, no one believes in kismet, but who needs faith to author fact?

Later, you joke about serendipity. I nod in silence, my fingers still glazed with her cells and her atoms, the taste of her bitter with ghosts of Sunday afternoon pasts. How many street corners have you kissed on? How many does she remember? How many times has she sat coiled by her phone, waiting, waiting, thumbing through pictures of you together, a patchwork of possibilities that should have spelled out a future?

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 521: The Moraine


The Moraine

by Simon Bestwick


“Hello?” I called into the mist. “Hello?”

“Anybody down there?” Diane called.

“Hello?” A voice called back.

“Thank god for that,” Diane whispered.

We started along the rattling path, into the mist. “Hello?” called the voice. “Hello?”

PseudoPod 520: Dermot


Dermot

by Simon Bestwick


The bus turns left off Langworthy Road and onto the approach to the A6.  Just before it goes under the overpass, past the old Jewish cemetery at the top of Brindleheath Road and on past Pendleton Church, it stops and Dermot gets on.

He gets a few funny looks, does Dermot, as he climbs aboard, but then he always does.  It’s hard for people to put their fingers on it.  Maybe it’s the way his bald head looks a bit too big.  Or the fishy largeness of his eyes behind the jar-thick spectacles.  The nervous quiver of his pale lips, perhaps.

Or perhaps it’s just how pale he is.  How smooth.  His skin- his face, his hands- are baby-smooth and baby-soft.  Like they’ve never known work, and hardly ever known light.  

All that and he’s in a suit, too.  Quite an old suit, and it’s not a perfect fit- maybe a size too large- but it’s neat and clean and well-maintained.  Pressed.  Smooth.

And of course, there’s the briefcase.

It’s old-fashioned, like something out of the ‘seventies, made out of plain brown leather.  He doesn’t carry it by the handle.  He hugs it close against his chest.  Like a child.