Posts Tagged ‘Rural’

Pseudopod 450: The Horse Lord


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.

PseudoPod 353: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XVII: Keeping Up Appearances

Show Notes

Things are not always as they seem…


Help Gail Carriger get CRUDRAT up and running by checking out: CRUDRAT!

Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, from Music Alley.


“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” first appeared in MASQUES (1984).

“The Demon Fields” has been performed in San Diego, and can be found at Gchatus, but Pseudopod is its first published appearance.

A shorter version of “Pawn” was a Semifinalist in the 2010 Escape Pod flash contest, where it was titled “Queen.”


“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” by Joe R. Lansdale

Down by the sea near the great big rock, they made their camp and toasted marshmallows over a small, fine fire. The night was pleasantly chill and the sea spray cold. Laughing, talking, eating the gooey marshmallows, they had one swell time; just them, the sand, the sea and the sky, and the great big rock.  (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 302: Singing By The Fire

Show Notes

“Singing by the Fire” is original to Pseudopod, though an earlier version was briefly available on the author’s website as a piece of free fiction. This story is directly inspired a decade of recurring snake nightmares and by a masterful little poem by North Carolina poet Robert Morgan, called “Mountain Bride” -but that near-decade of snake dreams underpins it like venom. He has recently had the story accepted for publication in the print anthology Hunting Ghosts, forthcoming from Black Oak Media (see link).


Singing By The Fire

by Jamieson Ridenhour


‘I don’t know that I’d call it a ghost story,” Whithers said, looking at the reflected firelight caught in his brandy glass. “I don’t think I really believe in ghosts. It’s been twenty-five years, now.’ He fell silent again, studying his drink.

We leaned forward, eagerly awaiting his next words. A potluck feast of grilled salmon, tomato and basil couscous, and oven-fresh bread was digesting comfortably in our stomachs as we settled round the fire in our accustomed places. The chairs in Whithers’ townhouse were soft and leathery. The rosy feeling in our cheeks and bellies was a combination of good food, wood smoke, and an amiable brandy that Patterson’s wife Deirdre had brought back from Ireland last fall.

The weather had suggested ghost stories; the storm outside was one of those summer gullywashers that swept down from the mountains unannounced, outing power and flooding streets. When the power had gone out we had scurried to find candles and hurricane lamps, and the fitful illumination put us in the mood for some spectral entertainment. Not that we needed any encouragement. Our monthly get-togethers often turned towards the ghostly, but until this particular night Whithers had stayed out of the story-telling sessions, becoming withdrawn and sullen when talk turned ghoulish. So when Henderson asked Withers for a ghost story, his acquiescence had surprised us all.

‘I feel sort of silly talking about this,’ he continued, not looking up. ‘I’ve never told anyone but Melinda, and I don’t think she believed me. But I assure you it is true. It’s the strangest thing that ever happened to me.’

We stayed silent, not wanting to break Whithers’ train of thought for fear he would reconsider. The candles and fireplace combined with the lightning outside to create a weird shifting of shadows across Whithers’ face as he continued.

Pseudopod 291: Lizardfoot


Lizardfoot

by John Jasper Owens


It was Rayletta that made the lizard boots what had the footprints we used to track around. I never asked, on account of Missy-Bee don’t like me talking to Rayletta, who is divorced and therefore hell-bound and has those huge boobs, but I suspect Rayletta made the LizardFoot boot bottoms by way of a gator foot, which she put on butcher paper, and traced around it to make it bigger. And as y’all also know, the swamp out back of my trailer was the ideal place to stomp around in the boots, because that marsh goes back about a hundred miles to the coast and is too shallow for skiffs, too deep and pock-holed for hiking, and impossible to drain, unless you are also willing to drain the Santeechee river what feeds it. Plus the gulf.

It seems like that swamp goes on forever, under them cypress trees.

Sometimes at night, sitting out on my deck, I watch the moonlight coming through the branches and hanging moss and then I hear a hoot owl, and I will admit I have sometimes wondered if the alleged sightings of LizardFoot have had some truth to them. Although during the day, like most people, I believed those sightings to have been moonshine and/or crank induced. My own daddy claims to have seen old LizardFoot once or twice, but mostly when in trouble with mama for gigging till dawn. And Daddy is not afraid of a drink.