PseudoPod 705: Vertep


Vertep

by Daniel Watt


The jack-in-the-box is a simple toy. It is a wooden box. The wooden box has a handle. The handle, when turned, operates a mechanism. The mechanism powers a music box. The music box plays a little tune. The little tune, as if by magic, calls (from his hidey hole) the ‘jack’—a clown, or other children’s toy. Things follow a very simple pattern in the world of the jack-in-the-box—but, despite their simplicity, they always guarantee a surprise. 

I collect jack-in-the-boxes. I repair them; sometimes I even trade in them—when money is tight. I collect other things too—don’t we all! I’m a hoarder more than anything; old records, postcards, books and magazines, but mostly records—and jack-in-the-boxes. These things—and the gathering of them—are my hobbies. It passes the time. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 704: Resilience

Show Notes

Escape Pod turns 15! Preorder the anthology! Check out the other news here: https://mailchi.mp/e7810b939179/escape-pod-turns-15

 


Resilience

by Christi Nogle


Jason gets home while I’m at the sink. He comes up behind me, holds me around the waist, and tickles the side of my face with his soft new beard. We watch the young squirrels shake a tree branch, listen to them chatter through the open window. They zoom across the front yard and across the street. 

“How was it with Dr. Emory?” asks Jason. He already realizes his slip. “Watson, sorry.”

“Watson-Newcamp, actually. She’s wonderful, just as promised,” I say.

As soon as I say it, I wonder if I mean it. The new doctor, just thirty or thirty-five, struck me as someone I might do yoga or lunch with, but she spoke just as slowly and gently as Dr. Emory. Her round eyes were so dark you almost couldn’t make out the pupils. 

“I’m glad he left you in good hands,” says Jason. I think he might stay and talk, but he has chores too. He takes the garbage and recycling bins out the back door, then our son Simon comes rumbling down the stairs. That’s all I see of either of them until dinner.  (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 703: Dream House

Show Notes

Escape Pod turns 15! Preorder the anthology! Check out the other news here: https://mailchi.mp/e7810b939179/escape-pod-turns-15

Creepy Podcast
Channel Zero: Candle Cove
Kris Straub

Dream House

By Orrin Grey


It was the last night of the Festival, and we were all sitting around one of the long tables out behind the Moon and Sixpence. It was cold enough that my feet were freezing and my hands were shoved into the pockets of my jacket when not gesturing or picking up a drink. Above us, a suitably gibbous moon dipped in-and-out behind clouds that would’ve otherwise been invisible.

There were still a couple of movies playing, so the back patio wasn’t too crowded yet, but I’d talked Simon out of watching Curse of the Crimson Altar on account of it being five minutes of awesome and an hour-and-change of people walking around in dark houses, so we were staking out the table ’til the Festival ended and the last movies let out. Simon was telling me about some French movie he’d seen this year that came off as a poor man’s John Carpenter, one that seemed to get worse every time he mentioned it.

As the table gradually filled up, the conversation twisted and turned—as conversations like that, in places like those, always do—and somehow or other we got on the subject of Lovecraft in old TV shows. Maybe there was a panel on it, or someone was suggesting one for next year. They’d showed the Stuart Gordon “Dreams in the Witch House” that year, and Nick mentioned that “Pickman’s Model” episode of Night Gallery, which I’d always loved. I told him it was my favorite adaptation of the story, and someone else—probably Ross—agreed. Sooner or later, of course, somebody brought up Dream House (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 702: At the Farmhouse


At the Farmhouse

by E.F. Benson


The dusk of a November day was falling fast when John Aylsford came out of his lodging in the cobbled street and started to walk briskly along the road which led eastwards by the shore of the bay. He had been at work while the daylight served him, and now, when the gathering darkness weaned him from his easel, he was accustomed to go out for air and exercise and cover half a dozen miles before he returned to his solitary supper.

To-night there were but few folk abroad, and those scudded along before the strong south-westerly gale which had roared and raged all day, or, leaning forward, beat their way against it. No fishing-boats had put forth on that maddened sea, but had lain moored behind the quay-wall, tossing uneasily with the backwash of the great breakers that swept by the pier-head. The tide was low now, and they rested on the sandy beach, black blots against the smooth wet surface which sombrely reflected the last flames in the west. The sun had gone down in a wrack of broken and flying clouds, angry and menacing with promise of a wild night to come. (Continue Reading…)