Archive for Flash

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PseudoPod 743: Flash on the Borderlands LIV: Stage Three: The Bargain

Show Notes

“The Kid Learns” was first published in the New Orleans Times Picayune on May 31, 1925 

“The Sputtering Wick of the Stars” was originally published in Halloween Forevermore in 2015

“If It Bit You” is a PseudoPod original


The Kid Learns

by William Faulkner


Competition is everywhere, competition makes the world go round. Not love, as some say. Who would want a woman nobody else wanted? Not me. And not you. And not Johnny. Same way about money. If nobody wanted the stuff, it wouldn’t be worth fighting for. But more than this is being good in your own line, whether it is selling aluminium or ladies’ underwear or running whiskey, or what. Be good, or die.

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PseudoPod 729: What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country & The Halloween Parade

Show Notes

Please head over to the Escape Artists Patreon for information about the parade clues.

Audio notes:


What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country

by Jamie Grimes, Kitty Sarkozy, and Jessica Ann York


Transcript of What’s on the Table, Episode 92:

What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country


BERTRAND COBB, host:

This is What’s on the Table. I’m Bertrand Cobb. If you’re like me, the past few months have challenged your culinary capabilities. Anyone who’s listened to this show is aware that I’ve dabbled in the sweet science of baking. I have produced a number of edible breadbox basics. This includes current instagram favorites sourdough and banana bread. However, I’m no maître pâtissier. 

But our guest today, Pricilla van Pelt, is a master baker. She recently published her first book at the tender age of seventy-five, collecting recipes and personal stories from her award-winning blog. It’s called What I’m Talking About When I Talk About Cooking Country. Her book has generated a lot of buzz on pinterest and instagram, as well as the discussion boards of reddit since publication.

I’m still working from my home studio and connected with Ms. van Pelt via Zoom from her grandson’s home in Buford, Georgia.

Pricilla van Pelt, can you tell us What’s on the Table?

 

PRICILLA VAN PELT:

Well, Mister Cobb, there’s a pretty little centerpiece my great-grandbabies put together, wildflowers mostly, and this computer. We don’t need much more than that.

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Home Harvest Cookies


It’s these cookies I’m always coming back to this time of year. The pumpkin, the spice, the little tea frosting. I started making them back in, oh it had to have been ’89. I was trying to figure out what to do now that the kids were finally all off on their own.

My quilting guild tried to put it in my head that I was good enough to start up a bakery on my own. I’d sometimes whip something up and take it down to Leonard’s showroom. His flooring customers and employees loved them, but who doesn’t enjoy free cookies? I didn’t think they’d be worth selling. Thought I’d be a fool to waste time on anything like that. But I did like baking and my friends loved eating. I started working on my recipes and testing them out on the ladies at our weekly meetings. Then I’d try them out at the counter of Leonard’s store. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 724: Flash on the Borderlands LIII: What Dreams May Come

Show Notes

“The Funeral Coat” is a PseudoPod original.

“Cherry Wood Coffin” first appeared in Apex on May 29, 2018

“Grave Mother” was first published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal and The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, 2014.

Alasdair Birthday List (because why not, right?)
Story notes:
Spoiler

The Funeral Coat: “I wrote “The Funeral Coat” specifically for Pseudopod’s flash fiction contest. I remember seeing someone tweet about having a specific coat for funerals, which led to me brainstorming various “what if” scenarios. I also was interested in the origins of family traditions. Together, that sparked a whole mythos I wanted to explore. Some stories are grueling to write, like pulling teeth, but this one just bled out onto the page. It was a really fun story to write, and I hope write more set in this world someday.”

Cherry Wood Coffin: “This is a story that sprang from a prompt I read in Codex’s Weekend Warrior competition in 2017. Suddenly I was stuck with this very strong image of a talking coffin and wondered what the coffin would say or ask. The answer while pretty obvious didn’t clue me in on what the plot should be about, so I let the idea shimmer for a weekend and speed-wrote the story at the last minute in its complete form.”

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To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause.


The Funeral Coat

by Lyndsie Manusos

narrated by Carlie Bergey


When I was five, my grandmother took me to Macy’s to buy my first funeral coat. It’s tradition in my family to have a separate coat for funerals. Something black, sleek, with sharp edges and elaborate buttons. A coat with high collars, to hide our pulse and the tender arc of throat to shoulder. By the end of the day I was crying, exhausted from trying on dozens of coats. My grandmother had to carry me out of the store with the coat she chose wrapped in tissue paper under her arm.

Grandmother bribed me back to calm with a frosted cookie at a nearby bakery.

“It’s a sensible matter,” she said while I stuffed myself. “Only wear it to funerals and on holy or sacred ground.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Different coats for different weather,” she said. “You wouldn’t wear a rain coat in a snowstorm. Don’t wear your funeral coat to a birthday party.”

Perfect logic for our family. Later on I discovered not every family took funeral coats so seriously, or even owned funeral coats, for that matter. Nor did people go to as many funerals as we did. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 712: Flash on the Borderlands LII: You Know What You Are

Show Notes

https://junjiitomanga.fandom.com/wiki/The_Enigma_of_Amigara_Fault


The Boy in the Mirror

by Drew Czernik


Jack was four the first time he told me about the boy in the mirror.
Shannon and I were watching TV when we heard the scream from upstairs. I sprinted up to Jack’s room, sure there’d be blood, but he was fine. Physically, at least. He dragged me to his closet door, sobbing about the boy who was watching him through the mirror.
I looked at the mirror, saw the two of us looking back. I told him it looked normal to me. He shook his head, pointed at his reflection. “That’s not me” he whispered, “that’s him.”
That’s how it started. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 699: Flash on the Borderlands LI: Quaint and Curious Forgotten Lore

Show Notes

Spoiler

Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room:

“I started my publishing career writing about Edgar Allan Poe, who has been a formative influence on my work since I was a child. I wrote an article in which I coined the term Poepathy to describe the uncanny and infectious influence he seems to have not only on US letters, but throughout the world. In writing it, I realized in diagnosing others I was diagnosing myself, and so “Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room” became the satirical “therapy notes” for my own Poepathy.”

Alasdair’s Notes:
Beneath the Rising
Premee’s twitter
Preemie’s interview on Breaking The Glass Slipper

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A Dark Bird

by Bradley H. Sinor


She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.  The words of the poems echoed in her head.

She hesitated for only a moment before crossing the threshold, as the blue flames wrapped around her, sending a tingling cold into the deepest bits of her.

For the longest time there was nothing, finally in the distance came the sound of water gently lapping against the piers of a dock, the cold December winds reaching out onto the water. A dark bird of her desire circled near her.

“The one you seek is near,” said the creature.

Two men in the heavy jackets and caps of seamen shivered as she passed, one crossing himself and drawing deeper within his jacket. The other crossed himself, glancing up into the sky at the full moon.

“Why do you torment me?” she asked the bird. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 697: Five Fridays During Lent

Show Notes

Spoiler

“The Greek countryside crawls with legends of undead. They are a blend of what we today call vampires, ghouls and zombies, and they almost always meddle with the living. I have a book with such folktales by my desk for reference. So when during a writing challenge I was required to reach for the three nearest books to find inspiration for a story, my hand went for that particular book on its own. (The other two were a recipe book for traditional Greek dishes and a psychology manual on the five stages of grief. I guess they mixed well).”

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Five Fridays During Lent

by Christine Lucas


You beg your son to try just one spoonful. He doesn’t. He sits rigid, his palms on his thighs, his almost-glassy, bloodshot eyes fixed ahead. There’s nothing there, only the old armoire filled with mothball-smelling clothes from three generations back. You try passing the spoonful beneath his nose. He loved your magiritsa, your son.

Perhaps a story will do the trick, just like when he was a child? The war robbed you of husband, brothers, savings, dignity, even fairytales. So instead you tell him about your day: how the butcher gave you the stink-eye when you asked for lamb’s offal. Lent has just started, and you’re making Easter Sunday soup already? When you mention it’s for your son, the war hero, he nods and brings what you asked. His own son returned from the war damaged as well—more than yours, and this simple knowledge fills your heart with guilt and relief in equal parts.

Your boy didn’t return wearing his shroud. When he slurps a spoonful of barely-cooked lamb’s innards, you tell yourself that all will be fine. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 693: Flash on the Borderlands L: Flash Fiction Contest 6 Winners

Show Notes

Third Place: The Animals Are Becoming by Chantal Beaulne narrated by Hugo Jackson

Second Place: In the End We Will All Be Loved by Avery Kit Malone narrated by Kitty Sarkozy

Spoiler

“Most of my childhood happened in the American South. Something that I really noticed in the rural communities was this idea that authoritarian violence is a sort of act of love. You see it in their conception of god, and you see it emulated in how people raise their children.

This is what I was thinking about when I wrote this story: this equation of violence to love, god to parent, in the backdrop of an alien invasion.”

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First Place: Heart of Gold by Lauren Ring narrated by Alexis Goble

Spoiler

Lauren encourages listeners to research the true nature of kintsugi for themselves

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The Animals Are Becoming

by Chantal Beaulne


It all went wrong when my cat started walking on two legs.

He fell, over and over again. Yet each time he got back up on two feet.

At the time I thought it endearing. Mittens always knew when I needed a laugh.

Then I saw a deer standing in the woods. A proper deer should have run when seeing a human. But this one just stood there like some strange, stretched giant and stared back. (Continue Reading…)