“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.”
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…)