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PseudoPod 723: Silver as the Devil’s Necklace

Show Notes

La Llorona Wiki Page

Old Gods of Appalachia

La Llorona Folk Song

Silver as the Devil’s Necklace

by Isabel Cañas

A black wail of wind curls around the house, la Llorona’s cold embrace, as Ruth opens the dresser drawer and takes her father’s pistol. Its weight is an old friend, the handle nestling into her palm like it was made for her. It was already an heirloom when Da brought it to Montana, when he immigrated from the old country in his youth.

It is strictly off limits.

Ruth slams the drawer shut with her free hand. Damp wood scrapes and sticks; the flick of the hurricane candle shudders. The waxy complexion of la Virgen glowers at her as she clicks the pistol open and checks the chamber with trembling hands.

A silver bullet gleams in the flickering light of la Virgencita’s flame. Silver, Da said, was for killing the devils that lurked in the wetlands of the old country. Or so the superstition goes. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 722: Teeth – Part 2

Show Notes

Part 2 of 2

Listen to the first part here:

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by Matt Cardin


The words on that page signaled the end of my journey through the dark corridors of Marco’s obsession. Rather than trying to see what lay past page forty-six and risking another encounter with that awful picture, I closed the notebook and shoved it far back into a drawer, wishing fiercely that it could be equally easy to bury the memory of it. But try as I might, I could not stop my thoughts from returning to it and gnawing on it like a trapped animal might gnaw off its own leg. That was exactly the way it felt: as if  I had become ensnared in some vile trap and grown so desperate to escape that I might willingly do violence to myself. But no matter how many times I examined and reexamined and struggled violently against the notebook’s all-encompassing message of horror and despair, I could find no way to extricate myself from it, no loose spring or faulty trigger in its mechanism that might allow me to slip free. Its internal coherence and emotional power, as well as its universal scope, made it the perfect prison for mind and spirit.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 721: Teeth – Part 1

Show Notes

Part 1 of 2


by Matt Cardin

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

— Ecclesiastes 1:18

Consciousness is a disease. — Miguel de Unamuno


My first and decisive glimpse into the horror at the center of existence came unexpectedly during my second year of graduate school.  I was earning a doctorate in philosophy and had stopped by the library between classes for some extracurricular research—or rather to pursue what I had long considered to be my true curriculum, regardless of whatever official degree program I might be enrolled in at the time.  The object of my quest was a copy of Plotinus’ Enneads.  I had only heard of the man and his book an hour earlier while browsing the Internet in my rented house.  A fortuitous combination of search terms had yielded an excerpt from his treatise on beauty, and I had experienced a flashing moment of metaphysical vertigo as I read his description of “the spirit that Beauty must ever induce, wonderment and a delicious trouble, longing and love and a trembling that is all delight.”  These words and their effect upon me had made it instantly clear that a printed copy of this book was definitely in order. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 720: Seance


by Donyae Coles

I have not performed since that evening, and even now I do not know if it is merely psychological or if there is some greater, unseen force at play. I cannot tell, nor do I have the means to explore the matter. It is my hope that perhaps penning a recollection of that evening will cure me. I miss the work. It was mine. I miss that small part of myself, and I have so little left to hold on to now.

In any case, I know these two things to be true: that I have not performed since that night, and that what I witnessed then was as real as the nose on my face. As real as anything can be real. (Continue Reading…)