Pseudopod 420: Lost In The Fog

by J.D. Beresford.

“Lost In The Fog” first appeared in the collection NINETEEN IMPRESSIONS (1918).

John Davys Beresford was a British novelist now remembered for his early science fiction like THE HAMPDENSHIRE WONDER (1911), but who wrote supernatural and macabre stories occasionally. He was affected by infantile paralysis, which left him partially disabled. Beresford also contributed to numerous publications – in addition to being a book reviewer for “The Manchester Guardian”, and was offered the editorship of the pacifist magazine “Peace News” but declined because he felt he “would be a bad editor”. George Orwell described him as a “natural novelist”, whose strength was his ability to take seriously the problems of ordinary people. Elisabeth Beresford, children’s writer and creator of The Wombles, was his daughter.

Your reader – Ant Bacon – appeared on Pseudopod recently reading Penance by Liz Colter.

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“‘Burden,’ I muttered. ‘Where in God’s name may Burden be?’

I found something unutterably sad in the sound of that name.

I felt lonely and pitiable.

It was bitterly cold, and the mist was thicker than ever.

I could hear no one. There could be neither porter nor station-master here. Evidently this station was nothing more than a ‘Halt,’ on what I presently discovered was only a single line. I was alone in the dreadful stillness. The world had ceased to exist for me. And then I stumbled upon the little box of a waiting-room, and in it was a man who crouched over a smouldering fire.

When I went in, he looked quickly over his shoulder with the tense alertness of one who fears an ambush. But when he saw me, his expression changed instantly to relief, and to something that was like appeal.

‘What brings you here?’ he asked with a weak smile ”

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Pseudopod 388: The Cotswold Olimpicks

by Simon Kurt Unsworth.

“The Cotswold Olimpicks” was first published in TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, published by Gray Friar Press in 2012, and it was reprinted in 2013 in Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 24. “I’d like the audience to remember that the Cotswold Olimpicks are a real event, and that the poem at the end of the story was genuinely written by Robert Dover!”

SIMON KURT UNSWORTH was born in Manchester in 1972 and has not yet given up the hope of finding that the world was awash with mysterious signs and portents that night. He lives in an old farmhouse miles from anywhere in the Lake District with his fiancée Rosie and assorted children, dogs and guinea pigs. His neighbours are mostly sheep and his office is an old cheese store, in which he writes essentially grumpy fiction (for which pursuit he was nominated for a 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story). STRANGE GATEWAYS is his third collection, following 2011’s critically acclaimed QUIET HOUSES (from Dark Continents Publishing) and 2010’s LOST PLACES from Ash Tree Press. His stories have been published in a large number of anthologies including the World Fantasy Award-winning EXOTIC GOTHIC 4, TERROR TALES OF THE SEASIDE, WHERE THE HEART IS, AT EASE WITH THE DEAD, SHADES OF DARKNESS, HAUNTS: RELIQUARIES OF THE DEAD, and LOVECRAFT UNBOUND. He has appeared in Salt Publishing’s YEAR’S BEST FANTASY and five volumes of Stephen Jones’ THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR. He has a further collection due, the as-yet-unnamed collection that will launch the Spectral Press “Spectral Signature Editions” imprint. His novel THE SORROWFUL is due out from DoubleDay in the US and Del Ray in the UK in early 2015. Simon blogs here.

Your reader – David Rees-Thomas – wishes to remain an enigma wrapped inside a blanket…

Some more information on the actual Cotswold Olimpicks can be found here and here

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“‘What do you want?’ asked Fillingham.

‘You to celebrate with us,’ she replied, holding out the cup again. The liquid inside slithering up and then down again and even in the poor light, Fillingham saw the residue it left on the clear plastic sides glistening and clinging like oil. ‘Devotions must be paid.’

‘What?’ said Fillingham. ‘Look, I appreciate you’ve got this weird acting gig at the games and you’re only doing your job, but please, it’s late and I’m tired and I don’t want to drink whatever that is.’

‘A last enquiry: you refuse?’

‘Yes! I refuse! Now, just leave me alone.’ To emphasize what he was saying, Fillingham lifted his camera and took a photograph, the light of the flash filling the corridor with a leaching whiteness that painted the woman into a colourless mass for a moment. As the dancing ghostlights cleared from his eyes, the woman nodded and then lifted the cup to her lips and drank the liquid it contained. Keeping the cup at her lips, she thrust her tongue out into it and Fillingham saw it writhe within, licking at the remaining drips of drink. It should have been erotic, he thought; he was sure it was meant as erotic, but somehow it wasn’t, it was crude and unpleasant. Her tongue was dark and looked slimy, glittering inside the clear plastic walls of the cup. Finally, she dropped the cup to the floor, lowered her head and muttered something that sounded Latin or Greek. Before she could look up at him again, Fillingham shut his door.”

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Pseudopod 385: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XX: Community

Hell is other people…



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“Penance” by Liz Colter.



“Penance” is a previously unpublished story. “This story began, as some of my stories do, with a quick, visual flash of something odd and unexpected just before sleep. I began the story as a humorous tale, but it quickly let me know that it wanted to be a horror tale instead.”

LIZ COLTER offsets working in the mundane world by writing speculative worlds of her own. She is a winner of the Writers of the Future competition (V30, released April 2014) and her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Emerald Sky, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Enchanted Conversation, and the World Weaver Press Fae anthology, among others. Her website is THE SPECULATIVE WORLDS OF LIZ COLTER.
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Your reader this week – Ant Bacon – was heard here last week as well and says “I’m an actor and coroners officer from Manchester, England so I love a bit of death and a bit of story telling. What else is there to know?! If anyone wants to say hello though I’m on twitter and always looking to up my followers: Antbacon.


“‘Wake,’ my ghosts said. ‘Come.’

They spoke asynchronously, like a flock of noisy birds. Their voices pulled me from sleep and I opened my eyes to the throng of them at my bedside.

‘Why?’ I asked. The long, morose faces stared back at me, gray and insubstantial, and mute once again.”

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“Mallecho” by Stephen Willcott.



“Mallecho” was previously published in the print and e-book anthology, ARCANE, by Cold Fusion Media, edited by Nathan Shumate.

STEPHEN WILLCOTT‘s work has appeared in Arcane Anthologies and Silver Blade Magazine. He is interested in Old English and has been attempting to translate Beowulf.

Your reader – John Trevallian – is an English novelist, poet, shaman and award-winning author of three dystopian sci-fi novels (The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men), plus writer of many other short stories, poetry collections and travel journals. He is also creator of the Talliston House & Gardens project, which could use your help – please see: Trevillian.com & Talliston.com.


“‘Mallecho wood? Is that safe?’ My wife asks. She reminds me of my mother.

‘I told them to stay clear,’ I say. ‘They’re just going for a bit, Jan.’ She worries like that. But then her family is not from here. I smile at her and go into the garden. The sun is strong and overhead. The children have left their ball games and toys on the lawn. I go to the rose tree and watch the insects: the flies, the bees, and the ants. Behind the tree is a brown fence and behind that is the embankment. Thick bramble covers its side. It is tall, almost as high as the house. At the top is an abandoned railway line. This was my father’s house, but he never saw the line in use. This house will pass to my children one day, I hope.

The land around here is old. Old in human terms. Some of the boundaries and copses are mentioned in the doomsday book, but there are sites of pre-history too. Standing stones, earth works, barrows and the like. Sacred groves, probably. You can feel it at night. If you walk on the embankment and look at the stars, at the landscape. The weight of generations, the renewal of the seasons. Forgotten things were done here.”

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“Jack” by Mohammad Naim Kabir.



“Jack” appears here as an original, says Jack’s editorial fore-brain.

MOHAMMAD NAIM KABIR is a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania, looking to chase down dreams of either A.) Becoming an astronaut or B.) Becoming a career storyteller. He has a manuscript in the works, and it should be something to look forward to. His FACEBOOK page is: Kabir Creates and he can be found on Twitter @KabirCreates.

Your reader – John Bell – writes, voices, and produces audio of any kind. Most recently, he has been recording audio books, including two thrillers by Michaelbrent Collings, THE LOON and APPARITION, both available at Audible.com. Buy many copies… he gets royalties. He has also narrated many of Oceanhouse Media‘s Dr. Seuss books, available as apps for the kiddos. Buy them if you want, he gets no royalties. Bummer. John Bell is the creator of “Bell’s in the Batfry“, a family-safe comedy podcast that can be found on iTunes and at Bell’s in the Batfry. Go listen… he gets ZIP for this from start to finish! If you have something you need written, voiced, and/or produced, feel free to contact John Bell at jbellvoice @ gmail.com!


“I am Jack’s inferior parietal cortex, and I know what you’re thinking. Probably that this is some lame rip-off of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club.

I loved that story! It sometimes had soliloquies from the point of view of _organs_! Genius. I am Jack’s makeshift temporal lobe, and I know what it is to read a good book. Now it’s mostly just road signs and maps, but you take what you can get. There’s some smooth poetry in 3 Miles to Berkley or Welcome to Alameda, you know.”

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Larime Taylor’s “A Voice In The Dark” can be purchased here!