Archive for Flash

PseudoPod 832: Flash on the Borderlands LXIII: Respect Your Elders


Proverbs 16:31 – Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.


When I Was Young, I Did Not Need Magic

by Kat Day


I suggest you don’t try to struggle, my dear.

I’m sure you thought this would be easy. What danger is an old woman, all alone? In and out, simple. Help yourself to the purse on the kitchen table. Grab some jewellery – probably just lying around. Perhaps the Hummel figurines if you’ve any sort of an eye. My shopping bag, to put it all in. Leave the television – it’s too bulky, and who watches television these days anyway, hm?

It’s gone rather differently, hasn’t it? The best laid plans, and all that. Not that, I suspect, you planned very much. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 818: Flash on the Borderlands LXII: Flash Fiction Contest 7 Winners


Overnight Home Companion

by Frank J. Oreto


Position: Overnight home companion for shut in. Must be able to read. Lack of imagination a plus. 

Salary: 250 dollars a night. I’ve never seen who pays. But the cash is there every morning at sunrise. A brown paper bag in the mailbox, twenties and tens. Good money, right? But I need to explain some things. I don’t want you coming in blind like I did.  (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 804: Flash on the Borderlands LXI: Dead Man’s Party (April Fools’ Version)

Show Notes

“The Tentacle and You” was originally published in Nature Futures back in 2019.

“Backers” is a PseudoPod Original

“Your Honor, My Undead Client Opposes the Application to Probate His Estate” is a PseudoPod original.


“Backers”: “My wife and her friends are obsessed with podcasts about serial killers – something I find it hard to understand. My kids are fans of various chirpy YouTube personalities – something I find it hard to understand. This story is essentially me as an old, out-of-touch man in his mid-30s bashing the two together and seeing what falls out. I do suspect, though, that relentlessly cheerful vloggers might have some hidden dark sides to their personalities.”



“Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door”


The Tentacle and You

by John Wiswell


Congratulations on your new tentacle! You’re probably one of the first people in your entire civilization to get this gift, and we know how overwhelming that can feel. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to coach you early adopters through the first days of the rest of your lives. Welcome to the fold.

Day one

Already you should feel unprecedented vigor. Pursue whatever naturally drives you. Go body surfing. Wrestle a bear. Sky dive without a parachute. Do sex if that’s your thing. Thanks to the tentacle’s restorative properties, no injury or infection will last more than a few seconds. It’s pretty cool, right? That durability is going to help you over the next week.

The contact area of your tentacle may itch. Refrain from scratching or trying to remove it. Within the first three hours, the tentacle will have bonded with your nervous system such that agitation will cause it to override your motor control. Nobody likes walking around in public with deactivated arms. Spare yourself the embarrassment and embrace your new self. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 804: Flash on the Borderlands LXI: Dead Man’s Party

Show Notes

“Backers”: “My wife and her friends are obsessed with podcasts about serial killers – something I find it hard to understand. My kids are fans of various chirpy YouTube personalities – something I find it hard to understand. This story is essentially me as an old, out-of-touch man in his mid-30s bashing the two together and seeing what falls out. I do suspect, though, that relentlessly cheerful vloggers might have some hidden dark sides to their personalities.”



“Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door”


The Tentacle and You

by John Wiswell


Congratulations on your new tentacle! You’re probably one of the first people in your entire civilization to get this gift, and we know how overwhelming that can feel. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to coach you early adopters through the first days of the rest of your lives. Welcome to the fold.

Day one

Already you should feel unprecedented vigor. Pursue whatever naturally drives you. Go body surfing. Wrestle a bear. Sky dive without a parachute. Do sex if that’s your thing. Thanks to the tentacle’s restorative properties, no injury or infection will last more than a few seconds. It’s pretty cool, right? That durability is going to help you over the next week.

The contact area of your tentacle may itch. Refrain from scratching or trying to remove it. Within the first three hours, the tentacle will have bonded with your nervous system such that agitation will cause it to override your motor control. Nobody likes walking around in public with deactivated arms. Spare yourself the embarrassment and embrace your new self. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 791: Flash on the Borderlands LIX: Down in the Park


“We are not lovers. We are not romantics. We are here to serve you.”


Feast for Small Pieces

by Hailey Piper


Never underestimate the seductive power of a woman who’s minding her own business.

“There’s just something about her,” they say. I see myself splashed across a pulp magazine cover, a distraught man in the background. The tagline reads, “He met a woman he Could. Not. Resist.” As if that’s my problem.

These writers don’t realize it’s me they’ve placed in their stories. I’d hoped to escape them when I left England, but their tide is unending. They scarce remember passing me on the street, only the fire I’ve lit in their minds, hearts, and other places. Later they sit with their notebooks or keyboards, tapping out the story of how a man’s peaceful life was shattered when he met me in some chance romance.

Sometimes I’m cast as a vampire. Other times I’m the half-human spawn of an elder god. I might be Eve. Never the same, but always me. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 777: Flash on the Borderlands LVIII: Graveyard Smash


“Devil on your back, I can never die”


The Family

by Margaret St. Clair


“Perhaps David really loves her,” Mother said indecisively. “We wouldn’t want our boy made unhappy, you know.”

Kate threw back her head and laughed. The lamplight glinted brightly on her long, strong teeth. “Of course he does,” she cried in her raucous voice. “Of course he does. Desperately, enormously. Otherwise, why would he want to marry her?” From the ceiling of the dim, raftered room came the obedient echo, “marry her … marry her …”

“Kate’s always been in love with her brother,” Lance said from the other side of the room. Lance was thin; David had never known anyone as thin as Lancelot. “She really must learn to watch out for it. Our family name’s Vlchek, not Volsung, Katharine.”

Everyone laughed. A bright glance of understanding, of shared, familiar mirth rippled from face to face. Only Kate, rumbling in her throat, refused to see the joke.

“No offense meant, Katharine,” Lance said with a touch of haste. “None at all. But it was agreed long ago that David was the only one of us who could pass for more than a day in the outside world. He has certain qualities which make him remarkably, outstandingly, attractive to the opposite sex. There’s no occasion for heartburning. Whatever it is he does, he does for us.”

“But if he really loves her—” Mother repeated, staring down at the worn greenish webs on her hands. “If he really does …” (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 772: Flash on the Borderlands LVII: The Loving Gaze of the Abyss

Show Notes

“Five Films Reviewed by Dr. Frankenstein’s Creature” was originally published in Weird Tales in 2012.

The poem “Advice I Wish I’d Been Given When I Was a 12-Year-Old Girl about to Watch The Exorcist for the First Time”” was originally published in Vastarien Volume 3, Issue 2 in 2020.

“A Short Story in Seven Looks” is a PseudoPod original and is Sarah’s first professional sale


Spoiler

The following sounds were used (and altered/distorted) from Freesound.org

Cameras:

https://freesound.org/people/ultraone/sounds/505476/

https://freesound.org/people/camexch/sounds/100681/

https://freesound.org/people/Jormarp/sounds/142634/

Applause:

https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/189836/

https://freesound.org/people/peridactyloptrix/sounds/196097/

https://freesound.org/people/joedeshon/sounds/119027/

Crowd Murmur:

https://freesound.org/people/jentlemen/sounds/432331/

https://freesound.org/people/Processaurus/sounds/440098/

Bow & Arrow:

https://freesound.org/people/Erdie/sounds/65733/

Runway Music:

https://freesound.org/people/kingpin7474/sounds/417215/

https://freesound.org/people/dronemachine/sounds/421861/

https://freesound.org/people/gunnbladez/sounds/351955/

https://freesound.org/people/Victek/sounds/541746/

https://freesound.org/people/zagi2/sounds/193886/

https://freesound.org/people/kickandclap/sounds/235823/

https://freesound.org/people/Adhanith/sounds/398625/

https://freesound.org/people/univ_lyon3/sounds/442664/

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“There’s nothing in our eyes — As lonely as a moon”


Five Films Reviewed by Dr. Frankenstein’s Creature

by Evan J. Peterson


I. Little Pine Eye
Pinocchio, 1911

In Collodi’s original tale, the unborn log feels the burn of the scalpello, crying out. Some endure chisel and adze just to look human. We massage the grain to soften it to flesh, but the termites are already in. The nose dry-rots off of the face. Carpenter ants take off with our lips shared in their pincers. Pray, fantoccino, that some blue, asphyxiated fairy will hear your mulch of tears hitting the earth floor and pity you, grant you mortality. Pray to live long enough to die a man. How many paths to that eternal forest fire? Choking on an acorn, or boiling in your own sap, soul divorced from stump, but take comfort. Recall that fire is a miracle, the gift of Prometheus who, like Film, stole light. Fire blasts your shadow into sudden cleansing drama, a flood of shine into a darkened wood.

(Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 757: Flash on the Borderlands LVI: The Heart’s Filthy Lesson

Show Notes

“Three Years Ago this May” was my attempt to write a short story with a strong finish. Both Jack Ketchum’s “The Box” and Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory” inspired the tale. The question at the center of it all is how do we go on without the one(s) we love.


The Wikipedia on the history of “The Hearts Filthy Lesson”


With her hundred miles to hell


The Woman the Spiders Loved

by Couri Johnson


There was a woman who the spiders fell in love with. You knew her in high school, but you weren’t friends. She was plainish. She still is.

But that didn’t matter to the spiders. They thought she was beautiful. It was something about her hair. It’s long. She’s never cut it, and it’s very blonde. A spider saw her waiting for the bus one day, and it fell in love just as it was laying its eggs. When its young hatched and ate their mother’s corpse, they also ate that love. (Continue Reading…)