Posts Tagged ‘Original’

PseudoPod 606: The Fainting Game

Show Notes

“This story is partially autobiographical. My older cousins did, in fact, teach me how to induce a fainting spell, and I did, in fact, have some kind of seizure. Do not try this at home, in the woods, or anywhere else.”


The Fainting Game

by Nino Cipri


I held my arm out the window of the car and pretended it was a long sword slicing through the landscape. This was a game I always played on long car rides, holding my hand flat and my fingers rigid. The wind pushed the sword up, and I chopped through the tops of trees and telephone poles. Lower and I scythed through farmhouse attics and distant silos. I tried to control the sword by changing the angle of my hand, so I could hop over other cars without slicing their passengers in half. But sometimes, the wind forced my hand lower, and I’d apologize under my breath to the motorcyclist or hitchhiker I’d beheaded. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 599: The Boy with the Glass Eyes


The Boy With The Glass Eyes

By J.L. Flannery


My son arrived in a brown cardboard package, no bigger than a shoebox.

I lifted the lid to see him lying there flat on his back, eyes closed, as though he were asleep.

‘Go on,’ my Boss said, ‘lift him up.’

Nervously, I lifted him up out of the box and cradled him in my arms. His skin was velvet. His smell; pure talcum powder. I looked down at his sleeping face and put on a smile, pretending the nausea that was rising in my throat didn’t exist.

My Boss, Mr Yamamoto, stood staring, waiting for me to react.

‘It’s incredibly lifelike,’ I said in Japanese.

He nodded, ‘Just like a real baby. Go ahead. Power it up.’

I hesitated a moment. What on earth would Alice say when I bought this thing home with me?

‘It’s a great privilege to be chosen,’ Mr Yamamoto said smiling, as if he could sense my unease.

I nodded, ‘Yes, I know. Thank you. I’m very grateful about it, honest I am. It’s just…’

‘It’s just what?’

‘Nothing,’ I said, ‘it’s nothing,’ and I held down the button on the base of its spine and the baby woke up.

Slowly, his eyes opened and he turned his head to look at me with his blue eyes made of glass. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 592: Free Balloons for All Good Children

Show Notes


“This story came about because the balloon described in it drifted past my window at work.

Because a balloon floating five feet off the ground on a grey day in early October is so unlikely, my first thought was naturally that it was something horrible up to no good at all. It went away… eventually, after hanging around near a bus stop for far longer than seemed quite right. I don’t know what it was actually up to, but I’d like to thank the mystery balloon for the inspiration it provided.

The story was also an attempt to exorcise a vapour I developed about seven years ago– what if I become incapacitated while I’m the only parent on hand for my tender tot? I’m sorry to report that the exorcism has not really worked.”


Free Balloons for All Good Children

by Dirck de Lint


Tom gave the stroller a little nudge to turn Danny out of the sun.  Danny responded by wriggling around under the straps to put himself as much in the sun as possible.  Tom smiled at this, and found that he couldn’t really blame his son.  The day was a little chilly for so late in May, and if he was enjoying the warmth of the sun it stood to reason that Danny would, too.  He was very close to just putting the stroller back the way it had been.  There was some uncertainty in his heart, though, about how far Danny could be trusted to look out for his own safety even now that he was above a year old.  When, he wondered, did they stop staring right at the sun if given a chance? (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 590: Emperor All


Emperor All

By Evan Marcroft


It is like X-ray vision. Like in the comic books from when he was ten. John blinks the rain out of his eyes, and suddenly he can see through the mugger, through his shellacking of wet muscle and scaffolding of bone to the chassis beneath, to the gears and flywheels that make him move and point the knife at him. John reaches through a yielding mist of sinew and makes key refurbishments, so that the knife is aimed at the mugger’s own throat. He unscrews the man’s skull and with an easy tinkering makes him the saddest he’s ever been, plugs bright blaring red thoughts into his head.

A moment later he steps over the body and splashes across the parking lot, trembling giddily. He can’t remember where he left his car, and the city is dark. Instead he auditions the cars lined up on either side of him until he finds one that is better than his own, and makes it his.

It is unlocked when he tries the handle, and when it snarls to life (with just his touch) his favorite song is playing on the radio. The traffic lights are all green on the drive home. The police are all at other crimes as the speedometer needle roars past sixty. (Continue Reading…)