PseudoPod 412: Rule Of Five

Show Notes

“Obsessive compulsive disorder is far from the trivial, quirky condition it’s often made out to be. It’s a serious psychiatric disorder that can massively impact the lives of its sufferers. Through this story, I wanted to explore it in a psychological horror context whilst trying to convey the pressure and intensity of living with OCD.”


Rule Of Five

by Eleanor Wood


Adam clicked the light off. He clicked it on again. Off again. On again, once more, and then, finally, off. Sighing, he closed his apartment door and turned the key before unlocking it, opening it just to check that the light was off (it always was, by the very nature of the Rule of Five), and closing and locking the door once more. He walked, in elongated steps, the five paces to the head of the stairs, and then trotted down them briskly, counting them in his mind. Fourteen steps, of course. There would always be fourteen, unless he failed to count them. But in that event, the number of steps would be the least of his worries.

About the Author

Eleanor Wood

ELEANOR WOOD‘s stories have appeared in Bete Noire, Plasma Frequency, Bastion, and Crossed Genres, among others. She writes and eats licorice from the south coast of England, where she lives with her husband, two marvelous dogs, and enough tropical fish tanks to charge an entry fee.

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About the Narrator

Alasdair Stuart

Alasdair Stuart is a professional enthusiast, pop culture analyst, and writer. He is a Hugo Finalist for Best Fan Writer, and a British Fantasy Society Best Non-fiction finalist for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid.

His nonfiction can be found at numerous genre and pop culture venues, including regular columns at the Hugo Award-winning Ditch Diggers and Fox Spirit Books. His game writing includes ENie-nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and After The War from Genesis of Legend.

He co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror podcast, PseudoPodalong with the Hugo Award nominated science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. He is a frequent guest and presenter on podcasts, with voice acting credits including the 2019 AudioVerse Award-winning The Magnus Archives.

His second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod, The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, is available from Fox Spirit Books.

A frequent awards judge including the Arthur C. Clarke, The Kitschies, Brave New Words and the BFS, he blogs at www.alasdairstuart.com and is on Twitter @AlasdairStuart.

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