Hell is other people…
“Penance” is a PseudoPod original. “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.”
“Mallecho” was previously published in the print and e-book anthology, ARCANE, by Cold Fusion Media, edited by Nathan Shumate.
“Jack” appears here as an original, says Jack’s editorial fore-brain.
Larime Taylor’s “A Voice In The Dark” can be purchased here!
Hell is other people…
by Liz Colter
‘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.”
by Stephen Willcott
‘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.
by Mohammad Naim Kabir
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.
About the Authors
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.
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.
About the Narrators
John is an award-winning British author of the dystopian A-Men trilogy – The A-Men, The A-Men Return and Forever A-Men start with a classic mix of Mad Max and The Matrix – and this is a future with it’s fair share of urban undead and nightmarish storylines. It also contains a pitch for a movie called Nighties of the Living Dead… so there’s much here for the modern horror reader! Available in print, audiobook and ebook formats, the first novel is also downloadable as a free dramatized podcast. Trevillian’s work is informed as much by the roles of magazine editor, technology writer and IT journalist as his training in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and Native American shamanism. Check out his blog.
He’s also founder of the Talliston House & Gardens project – basically the transformation of an ordinary house into thirteen unique rooms from different times and places in history. Medieval Watchtower living room? Check. Cambodia bamboo treehouse attic? Check. Art Nouveau Scottish haunted bedroom? Check! Take a look for yourself at Talliston House & Gardens.
Ant is based in Manchester in the UK with his husband Neil. He is a screen and voice performer as well as a digital content creator, editor and very occasional writer. In short; he is a control freak who wants to do ALL the creative jobs. When he isn’t cursing at editing software, he can be found walking his miniature schnauzer Hugo or immersing in obscure indie horror films.
Voiced by John Bell, a former radio guy who has extensive experience in writing/voicing/producing commercials, audiobooks, video game characters, and so on. Currently, he writes/voices/produces the comedy podcast, “Bell’s in the Batfry“, available at iTunes, various other sources, and at http://thebatfry.com.