“The Lady With The Lantern” is a PseudoPod original. The lady with the lantern is a nautical folktale. This borrows the name, but re-imagines a very different spectre.
“The Bleeding Game” was first published online in the June 2013 issue of 713 Flash by Kazka Press.
“Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence” is a PseudoPod original.
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
La Belle Dame sans Merci, John Keats
The Lady With The Lantern
by Charlotte Nash
The mine called Callum in his tenth year. One morning, he was walking to school with the other boys; a pair of new shoes, a boiled sweet in his cheek. The next, he found a pick in his soft hand, and his feet followed his father’s to the cold, dark portal.
The Bleeding Game
by Natalia Theodoridou
She died two weeks ago. I found her again yesterday. She must have been around twenty when I first saw her again.
It’s not that I wanted to die–I didn’t, not really. I just needed to feel something, anything. I grabbed the x-acto knife and sliced. It was little more than a deep scratch really, just below the elbow. The sound of ripping flesh surprised me–I didn’t know we did that when you cut us open, wasn’t expecting to hear anything–but otherwise it felt good. A little pain, to make sure I was alive. Then a rush of adrenaline on seeing the blood well up, hot and red and mine. And then a flash of neon and that sound, like a record skipping, something being ripped apart, and she was there, or rather I was then.
Making Paint As A Means Of Impermanence
by Jeff Bowles
Remember the first time you painted me all over your dead wife? Remember how we danced and danced, on into the night, under the leaves of the tall, ghostly aspen trees? Remember how you made love to her just as the sun rose, and though it was autumn, and though she’d been dead hours already, you somehow thought things could stay that way forever?
I think knowing you is just like knowing God.
About the Authors
Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative short stories are collected in Godling and Other Paint Stories, Fear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like PodCastle, Black Static, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars.
CHARLOTTE NASH is an Australian writer with degrees in engineering and medicine. Her speculative fiction short stories are published in Australia and overseas, and range from near-future cyberpunk and science fiction to contemporary fantasy and horror. She is also the author of rural medical romance novels. Find all her works at Stories From A Life Imagined. Another mining-related dark fantasy/horror tale, “The Seven-Forty From Paraburdoo” will be published in the forthcoming NEVER NEVER LAND anthology.
Natalia Theodoridou is a media & cultural studies scholar, the dramaturge of Adrift Performance Makers, and a writer of strange stories. Natalia’s work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, and elsewhere
About the Narrators
Sean D. Sorrentino lives in the Raleigh, North Carolina area with his wife and his dogs.
Misty Dawn describes herself as part warrior and part pacifist, owing to her Comanche and Cherokee heritage. She credits her mother with encouraging her two greatest loves: music and horror, and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King with teaching her to embrace the darkest corners of her imagination, and to coax those things living within to come out and play.
She hopes to create a YouTube channel and is working on redesigning her blog, Deadtime Musings, from Dusk to Misty Dawn, to include short stories of horror, both real and imagined as well as poetry and lyrics, also of a dark nature. A Navy brat who grew up abroad, she settled in San Francisco, attending UC Berkeley, where she received a BA in Drama/Communications.
Ron Jon is a creator of haunted atmospheres – melding loops, field recordings, synths, library music, found sounds & home made instruments. He is a narrator, musician, singer, student of parapsychology & the supernormal. He is a writer of disturbing micro-fiction for adults & children’s books. He has a new album out titled – ‘Cosmicism’. The music is inspired by the literary philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft called ‘Cosmicism’. The premise being that there is no recognisable divine presence, such as God, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence. The album cover art is an original illustration of Cthulhu by Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Want to listen? Go to the bandcamp site: https://thespectrecollector.bandcamp.com Or go to the blog: http://thespectrecollector.blogspot.com
With this new set of micro-horrors the spectre collector went back to basics.
Nothing too tricky, nothing too fancy. Just keep ‘em short, sharp and creepy.
The album’s called “Demons Like Us” and it’s a bumper crop of small yet perfectly formed aural disturbances to fright and delight your senses. Give it a spin, like it on your socials, what the hell spoil yourself and buy it. You’ve been cooped up long enough, you deserve it. You’ll find it on Bandcamp here – https://thespectrecollector.bandcamp.com/