Archive for August, 2012

Pseudopod 297: Of Ants And Mountains

Show Notes

“I visited the nearby city of Joplin, Missouri last year just after an EF5 tornado destroyed much of it. And before long, this story began to slither its way into my head.”


Of Ants and Mountains

by Charlie Bookout


 

‘I thought it would be worse,’ I said as we ascended College Lane. ‘But it’s…’ My words caught in my throat. I stomped the brake pedal. Directly in front of us was a red minivan that had come to rest on its top. It was crumpled like tissue paper and was bleeding fluids onto the street. And beyond it was what old Mrs. Cropley must have already seen. The devastation was complete: bricks and cars and furniture… all jumbled together as if some great machine had bit into the earth and churned away for miles. No landmark was recognizable. Here and there the trunk of a tree remained, denuded of its bark. There were fires burning in half a dozen places. And there were people, everywhere in the streets, all in a hurry and accomplishing nothing. From a distance, they looked like ants searching for a pheromone after someone smashed their hill.

A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 1 to 100


Submitted for your approval, or perhaps just to induce madness, a small reminder of what PSEUDOPOD has brought you these last few years, as we rapidly close in on Episode #300. Dare you attempt to listen to this fast-forward through our first 100 episodes?

(*medical note* -Bleeding nose, not too bad. Bleeding ears, bad. Bleeding eyes, very bad indeed!)

….ENJOY?

Pseudopod 296: The Squat


The Squat

by Sean Logan


The floor underneath him was sticky, as if it was covered in warm honey, and it made the skin on his hands and the side of face sting slightly where he’d touched it. All around him he heard the wet sounds of sliding, a thousand separate sounds, a thousand entities sliding toward him in the darkness. And all of these sounds seemed to echo down through a vast space, along with a deep, distant rumbling.

The sliding noises were closer now, and there was a wet, fleshy slapping against his feet, and creeping up his legs, under the pantlegs, thick coiling muscles, like long slugs or smooth tentacles, up and around his torso and arms, his neck and covering his face.

The old man felt himself being stretched and pulled and smothered, but the panic that had been rising in his mind was melting away. He didn’t remember how he’d gotten himself here, but for the first time in a long, long while he knew exactly where he was going. And he found comfort in that as his body and its extremities were pulled asunder.

Pseudopod 295: Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls


Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls

by Brian Hodge


She seemed not to have heard me even though I knew she had, and I started to feel bad for asking it at all. While at first I’d found her not very nice to look at, I began to wonder if I wasn’t wrong, because now it seemed I’d only been misled by a trick of light and her annoyance. I wondered, too, if she might jump from the window, or lean forward and let herself fall. In that other world three floors down, the neighbors’ house was ringed with square slabs of stone to walk on. Nobody could survive a fall like that.

“I draw,” I told her, volunteering a distraction to save her life. “Want to see?”

I’d sneaked up some old ones, at least, even if I couldn’t make new ones.

“Later, maybe,” she said, and pulled away. Like before, her hand went to the bottom of the window, lingering a few moments, but as she moved back into the room she again left it open.

That night after the lights were out I lay in my bed and imagined her doing the same. I fought to stay awake as long as I could in case there were other songs to hear, or a repeat performance of the first one. Barring that, it seemed possible that she might cry instead, because that’s what I’d done the first night they’d moved me up here, but just before I fell asleep I wondered if the reason I hadn’t heard anything from her was because she was lying in the dark listening for some sound out of me.

Pseudopod 293: Flash On The Borderlands XII – (Black) Arts & (Dead) Letters

Show Notes

“Dancing” is a PseudoPod original and was written at Odyssey 2011, inspired by Ben Bova’s “Leviathan” and owes a lot to the feedback it got from Evil Overlord Jeanne Cavelos and her Minions.

“Lost For Words” was won first place in FANTASY MAGAZINES 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction contest, which was overseen by writer Rae Bryant and under the ezine’s publisher, Sean Wallace. It can be read here.

“Music on the Michigan Avenue Bridge” was originally published in Mort Castle’s 2002 anthology NATIONS OF THE LIVING, NATIONS OF THE DEAD. Originally was a story in the comic book NIGHT CITY (with art by Mark Nelson).


Three flash fictions about the creative impulse that drives and maddens…


Dancing

by Donna Glee Williams


“I do not pay you to tell me what cannot be done.” They used to call her Freedom on the Wing. And now… This fool said it could not be fixed.

“But this… This isn’t an illness, Diva,” he creaked. “This is natural. You’re maturing.”

The dancer hated being soothed. “I’m hardening,” she snapped. “I’m losing my range of motion. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, but suddenly my turn-out is shrinking. My forefoot extension is down. Do something. Why do I keep you if you can’t do something?” (Continue Reading…)

Pseudopod 294: Demon Rum


Demon Rum

by Charles M. Saplak


The scene on the other side of the glass resolved itself. Spangler’s suspicions were confirmed; he made out men bent over scattered tables; behind a bar at the far wall a man handled bottles.

Spangler felt his way along the stone wall (unsteadily, for his drinking had started hours ago) to a place where an unmarked door stood slightly ajar. From inside came the sounds of glass against wood, and the smells of tobacco smoke and stale sweat.

There were no signs or outside lights. As a bar this place struck Spangler as just what he needed. No frills, no B-girls, no blaring bands or flashing lights, just a place where a seaman could get one last drink before returning aboard.

It was just what Spangler was looking for on this cloudy Mediterranean night. It was just what he had been looking for on most nights of his life, these past ten years.