PseudoPod 711: Les Lutins

Show Notes

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Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Les Lutins

by Jonathan Lewis Duckworth


It began with sparrows, finches, and swallows. Little dead birds Magritte would find littering her lawn. It didn’t trouble her at first, for songbirds died all the time. But then in successive weeks she’d wake to find entire flocks of birds littered on her property, under the shady sycamores and in her rose garden, their flight feathers plucked and their delicate necks broken. These birds had menaced her garden in the past, but still she’d cry to see them killed, so pretty they were. She didn’t know what to make of it all, whether it was the work of cats or a man with a disturbed mind and brutish hands. Four years after her husband died at the Battle of the Somme, Magritte may have felt like an old woman, but with her golden hair and bright green eyes, she was still young and pretty enough to attract that sort of attention. 

She was on the verge of contacting the local police when early one morning she found a huge magpie left outside her bedroom window. There was a patch of semi-firm mud there, where she’d emptied her chamber pot the night before. Crisscrossing the muddy patch were prints—humanlike footprints no bigger than postage stamps. Seeing the prints, Magritte recalled her grandmother’s stories of the lutins, the little people of the forest. They were mischievous imps who played tricks on people, and especially loved tying women’s hair into knots as they slept. Even as a child she’d never believed the stories, despite the gravity with which Grandmother described them. 

“Never chase a lutin into the forest,” Grandmother, a crooked old woman with a frightening mole on her elbow, had said. “No matter how peeved he makes you.”  (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 710: Sandy the Tinker


Sandy the Tinker

by Charlotte Riddell


“Before commencing my story, I wish to state it is perfectly true in every particular.”
“We quite understand that,” said the sceptic of our party, who was wont, in the security of friendly intercourse, to characterise all such prefaces as mere introductions to some tremendously exaggerated tale.
On the occasion in question, however, we had donned our best behaviour, a garment which did not sit ungracefully on some of us; and our host, who was about to draw out from the stores of memory one narrative for our entertainment, was scarcely the person before whom even Jack Hill, the sceptic, would have cared to express his cynical and unbelieving views.
We were seated, an incongruous company of ten persons, in the best room of an old manse among the Scottish hills. Accident had thrown us together, and accident had driven us under the minister’s hospitable roof. Cold, wet and hungry, drenched with rain, sorely beaten by the wind, we had crowded through the door opened by a friendly hand, and now, wet no longer, the pangs of hunger assuaged with smoking rashers of ham, poached eggs, and steaming potatoes, we sat around a blazing fire, drinking toddy out of tumblers, whilst the two ladies who graced the assemblage partook of a modicum of the same beverage from wine glasses. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 709: Unhaunted House


Unhaunted House

by Richard Dansky


They huddled in the bathroom on the second floor, a family of three, afraid.
Tap. Tap tap. Tap.
The sounds came from all over the house. Everywhere glass faced the outside, they could hear the delicate impact of small branches tap tap tapping, trying to find their way in. That was why they had chosen the bathroom to flee to. It, of all the rooms, had no windows.
Tap. Thump. Tap tap. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 708: Tenderizer


Tenderizer

by Stephen Graham Jones


Brutal Is the Night: A Review

Remember The Blair Witch Project’s marketing campaign? It was an update of sorts on 1971s The Last House on the Left, except where Wes Craven would have us keep reminding ourselves that it’s just a movie, it’s just a movie, Blair Witch kept whispering that this was actual found footage. Its the same dynamic, though; it was tapping the same sensationalistic vein.

Writer/director Sean Mickles (Abasement, Thirty-Nine) knows this vein very well. And, for Tenderizer, he let it bleed.

As you probably recall, the first trailer was released as a “rough cut,” with the media outlets quoting Mickles’s grumbled objection that Tenderizer wasn’t ready, that production difficulties were built into a project like this, weren’t they?

Speculation was that he just wasn’t ready to let it go, of course.

It wouldn’t be the first time. (Continue Reading…)