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PseudoPod 681: A Night of Many Months


A Night of Many Months

by C.L. Holland


He’d wondered, when he started the job, why he needed a belt with so many holes.  Now he knew–it fitted around him twice and felt like it needed tightening again.  It took months to visit every home in one night and he’d lived every minute, surviving on what was left for him.  In some houses it was mince pies and a glass of sherry.  In others milk and cookies, and a carrot for the reindeer.

In most, it was nothing at all. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 672: In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience and The Halloween Parade

Show Notes

Effie Seiberg: “As a card-carrying wuss, this is the first horror-eque piece I’ve ever written. This story finally lets me say that my work can be found in every single Escape Artists podcast, which is very exciting because I’m a wuss when it comes to horror and never thought this day would come. Perhaps the scariest part, to me, is how we have a culture where it’s somehow ok to treat customer service folks like trash even when they’re not responsible for whatever mishaps you experienced.”


In Regards to Your Concerns About Your ScareBnB Experience

by Effie Seiberg


Dear Mrs. Axelthorpe,

I’m so sorry to hear your family had a negative experience at our ScareBnB. While we aim to provide an atmosphere of family-friendly spooky overnight fun, I see that with your family’s unique experience we’ve missed the mark.

You’re right, the blood dripping down the stairs to the abandoned attic was a slipping hazard. However, we did have signs clearly stating that guests should not go up the abandoned attic stairs for precisely this reason. You’ll be glad to know that the stains will eventually come out of your family’s clothes with a little bit of bleach, but unfortunately the curse we use to keep the bloodflow going is non-removable, and your clothing will continue to drip.

After their arrival into the (closed off) attic, I understand that your children were distressed by the sounds of our attic ghost. However, after reviewing the logs and interviewing the performer on shift, Alex of the Screeching Chains, it appears that the upsetting sounds were of Alex weeping after your offspring doused him in several cans of WD-40 and tried to set him on fire. We encourage our performers to stay in character and will send him an appropriate reprimand once he’s out of the hospital. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 668: Flash on the Borderlands XLIX: Dirty Deeds

Show Notes

“Baby Fingers” is a PseudoPod original

“Polaroid, 1979” is a PseudoPod original 

“Metal, Sex, Monsters” was originally published in Gamut #5 in May, 2017

Metal, Sex, Monsters: “As you might be able to tell, this story was written with a Judas Priest soundtrack in mind. While writing it, I listened obsessively to all of Judas Priest’s back catalogue, so that is its main inspiration.”


Baby Fingers

by Pierce Skinner

narrated by Austin Malone


Curt stares out the into the dark beyond the jaundiced light of the motel sign. He’s got the sawed-off resting across his lap, hands shaking, face white as drywall behind his wild red beard.

I set my helmet down on the dresser, lean myself against the wall. The wallpaper smells like bleach. A fly thrashes between lightbulb and lampshade. TVs cackle through the walls and somehow, over all of this, behind it, the chittering, scratching. Like ants crawling over a microphone. It’s the sound the thing in the bathtub made before it killed Travis.

“You’re hearin’ it too.” He says, “We’re fucked.”

“No I ain’t.”

Curt’s eyes go red, wet. He looks down at his shaking hands, at the shotgun.

“Hey!” I growl. He don’t look up at me. “Christ, Curt! You a Mongol or ain’t you?”

Curt nods. “Yeah. I’m a Mongol, Dennis. But I ain’t never seen no shit like that before.” He looks up at me like he’s about to cry. “It…killed Travis.”

A headache builds behind the scratching sound. I try to tell myself that it’s just hearing damage. That emptying twelve rounds in an underground bunker did a number on our eardrums. But that don’t explain everything else. Not even close.

“What’s gonna happen to us?”

“Nothin’, Curt. Whatever it was, we killed it. Now I’m gonna call Mr. Senator. We’re gonna get our money, get out of the state. That’s it.” I pull the door open. “Stay here,” I tell him. “I’ll be right back.”

Soon as the door shuts behind me, the scratching sounds stop. The night is silent.

The headache don’t go nowhere. I light a cigarette. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 654: Flash on the Borderlands XLVIII: Parts & Maintenance

Show Notes

“A Real Death” is a PseudoPod Original

“Kintsugi” is a PseudoPod Original — Kintsugi: “I wrote the story for a contest on Codex Writers forum. So much fun to join with more than a hundred people in getting a story done each week for a month!”

“How to Construct a Gun from Your Own Flesh” was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of Vastarien.


this isn’t meant to last
this is for right now


A Real Death

by Kurt Hunt

narrated by Graeme Dunlop


“Find a real death. But there is no real death any longer. There are bodies that break down the way the cars do.”

–Antoine de Saint Exupery, Flight to Arras


Bad luck. Voice went first. Hard enough to communicate with it, but without? Gesticulation. Exasperation.

The woman at the repair shop snaps her gum and raises an eyebrow at me. I signal again for something to write with. “Vocal cords,” I want to say. “Mute now. Graft? Transplant? Help a guy out?” But of course I say nothing.

She sighs and flips her visor down to block her eyes. Some vid, or maybe chatting with a boyfriend. Whatever. No help here. I’m invisible. Scansorted when I walked in: (1) warranties expired; (2) credit unsatisfactory; (3) accounts canceled; (4) nothing to barter.

As people used to say: “broke.”

I leave.

Fuck.

Bad, bad luck. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 644: Flash on the Borderlands XLVII: Horror Comedy Showcase

Show Notes

This episode of PseudoPod is brought to you by AMC Shudder. Check out Shudder’s great content at shudder.com and use promo code pseudopod for a free 30-day trial. What’s waiting for you in this trial? Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving fans of all degrees with the best selection of horror and thrillers. Not only classics you know and love, but a couple less visible gems that we want to draw your attention to.

Firstly, The Old Dark House is a classic horror film created just before the Hays Code dropped, so there’s some content that is particularly shocking for its 1932 release date. This also was inspirational for a young Ray Bradbury and his Uncle Einar stories, which were inspirational for the artist Charles Addams. Secondly, Murder Party is an exceptional entry in the black humor end of the genre, made all the more striking if you know any struggling creatives. I first saw this at a horror film festival wearing my Army of Darkness shirt. One of the filmmakers greeted me at the door, and noting the shirt, assured me I would love their film. They were not wrong.

The thing I’m most looking forward to is the Shudder original series released this week — Critters: A New Binge. I have an arguably unreasonable affection for the Critters franchise, as they indelibly scarred me as a kid. Head over to shudder.com and use promo code pseudopod for a free 30-day trial.


“…and now, some excerpts from Cacophonus Audio’s forthcoming dramatic audiobook adaptation of Buzz Dixon’s 1980s horror classic…THE GERUNDING…”


 “It is precisely because we fear that which we fear that we are afraid of it. ”

—Larimo Kurlius, Intellecto Pretentioso


PROLOGUE

Luckinbill, Maine, 1807 B.C.

Konomoro, wisest of the witch doctors in the seven tribal councils, felt uneasy deep in his red heart. The Norseman standing before him was stark naked and drenched in blood that gushed from hundreds of ornate, foreboding runes carved in his body.

Surely this was an evil sign… (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 634: Flash On The Borderlands XLVI: The Accursed and the Monstrous

Show Notes

“Ecdysis” was previously published at Kaleidotrope (Spring 2016)

“Viens Jouer Avec Moi” and “End of the Line” are Pseudopod originals.


Music credits for “Viens Jouer Avec Moi”:


“End of the Line”:

Spoiler

In the summer, my daughter and I rode our bikes to the library. She sat on the grass while I returned some books. It only took a moment, but when I came back she was gone, and my heart dropped. I called out her name but couldn’t find her. I shouted louder and she appeared from behind a bush where she was looking at bees. For that brief time however, I felt a terrible, visceral fear. It made me think of how a parent might respond if their child disappeared unexpectedly. Just as she had gone looking for bees, I began to imagine a story where something nefarious tempts the child, spiriting her away and leaving just enough of a lure for the parent to ignore rational thought and to follow her.”

[collapse]


Ecdysis

by Kurt Hunt

narrated by Hollis Munroe


Only one rule: do not speak to them.

Even when they crawl into your room at night, their claws gripping the floorboards — do not speak to them. Even when their breath is hot on your tightly closed eyes, their double-jointed elbows braced against the headboard above you — do not speak to them. Even when they chitter about their loneliness — do not speak to them. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 624: Flash On The Borderlands XLV: Personal Narratives

Show Notes

“Ten Things I Didn’t Do” is a PseudoPod Original – “This was a story that I struggled with while writing it. I wanted it to have a happier, more heroic ending, but the story refused to bend: it stubbornly held on to its darkness.”

“Egg” was first printed at Aug 12, 2016 – Out of the Gutter Online

“People Watching” is a PseudoPod original  – “This story is, a little bit, about people who write stories.There’s something predatory about watching people as they go about their day and trying to extract inspiration from them.”


Ten Things I Didn’t Do

By Maria Haskins


  1. I didn’t die.

I promised you I wouldn’t, so I didn’t. I know you said the words in jest when you dropped me off at school, “Don’t die, honey!”, with that hoarse laugh and sideways wink you do, but I rolled my eyes and said “OK, mom, I promise,” and I don’t break my promises. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 619: The Ghost Guide’s Tale & The Halloween Parade


The Ghost Guide’s Tale

by Ian Stuart


Outside the Minster, every eventide,
You’ll see him wait- the smiling Ghostly Guide.
Top hat on head, dressed in Victorian fashion,
He’ll tell you stories full of gore and passion.
“For just three pounds I’ll chill your blood,” he cries.
And people pay him, though they know he lies.
At half past seven by the Minster clock
He’ll gather them to him, like a dog his flock
And fleece them.Then when all have paid him money,
He’ll charm them with a voice as sweet as honey.
Dead Romans,phantoms, corpses limp and gory
Drag bloodstained footprints through each shocking story.
From Minster on to Bedern and the Shambles
He’ll lead his nightly paranormal rambles.
Then, at the end, he’ll finish with a joke-
A jolly, cheerful, normal sort of bloke. (Continue Reading…)