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PseudoPod 616: Flash On The Borderlands XLIV: Objectification

Show Notes

FEINSTEIN: How did you decide to come forward?

FORD: Ultimately because reporters were sitting outside my home and trying to talk to my dog through the window to calm the dog down, and a reporter appeared in my graduate classroom and I mistook her for a student, and she came up to ask me a question, and I thought she was a student and it turned out that she was a reporter.

So at that point, I felt like enough was enough. People were calling my colleagues at Stanford and leaving messages on their voicemails and on their e-mail, saying that they knew my name. Clearly, people knew my address because they were out in front of my house.


The Stripper

by Heather N. Thomas

narrated by Nika Harper


She was living in squalor. At least, that’s what her friends had said and now she never saw them anymore. Their looks of disapproval with undertones of disgust were displaced, undeserved. It was bullshit.

She’d let some things go. Her apartment certainly needed a clearing of clutter and a good bleaching to get rid of the smell. Empty boxes and rancid food containers piled up along each wall. She couldn’t remember the last time she had taken out the garbage. She couldn’t be bothered. The place had been a shit-hole long before she’d signed the lease.

The pale blue glow of her computer screen was the only source of light. Her shuttered windows covered by thick black curtains blocked out the rest of the world. Her time was consumed with packages. So many packages. All she had to do was point, click, and they’d be taken away.

This had all started with her panties. A friend had once mentioned that she knew of girls that sold theirs for serious money. The idea was so absurd and degrading that they’d just laughed it off. Later her curiosity got the best of her and she searched online. Turns out lots of women did this and they were making serious money indeed.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 601: Flash On The Borderlands XLIII: The Grinding of Gears

Show Notes

stick my hands thru the cage of this endless routine

just some flesh caught in this big broken machine


Suicide Vending Machine: “I was in the crisp white gleam of the car showroom with a coffee machine and a stopped clock, and I couldn’t imagine anyone ever being allowed to leave.”


Suicide Vending Machine

by Thomas Welsh


Good morning sir. I see from my paperwork that you have a budget of ten thousand dollars, but I’m pleased to announce that you can benefit from our “recommend a friend” discount scheme. Yes sir, it’s another three thousand, and you should certainly thank them the next time you see them. Or perhaps allow us to send them a message of thanks  on your behalf?

I am glad you asked! You absolutely can make a referral too. Don’t worry; I’ll remind you when we finalize our documentation. Just the name and location is all we need, we will pick them up.

Alright then, let’s begin! (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 589: Flash On The Borderlands XLII: Misanthropes

Show Notes

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone


Sam Gorenstein: “I’d like to dedicate ‘Edgar’ to my late uncle Conan Gorenstein, who passed away in 2013.”


A Bar Story

by Melissa Snark


The gangly youth scurried on long legs and over-sized feet. He stumbled on a cracked tile, but righted himself. Shoulders squared, Daniel Hollar ran a hand through his long orange hair, finger combing the frizzy mess. Hundreds of freckles peppered his pale face, and his green eyes were bright behind wire-rimmed glasses.

He slapped on a polite smile for the middle-aged man crouched on a stool at the end of the L-shaped bar. The customer’s arms rested on the counter, the diamond frame forming a protective barrier about the shot glass cradled between his hands. Sweat bullets lined the customer’s blotchy red forehead. A scraggly crown of damp hair stuck to the collar of his white dress shirt. His gut overhung belted dark trousers. He wore a clean gold band on his left ring finger and his clothing was made from fine fabric.

“Evenin’, sir. What’s your poison?” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 576: Flash On The Borderlands XLI: Flash Fiction Contest 5 Winners

Show Notes

Third Place: The Taking Tree by Evan Dicken narrated by Karen Bovenmyer

Second Place: Legal Tender by Stephanie Malia Morris narrated by Alexis Goble

First Place: Two Step by Drew Czernik narrated by Austin Malone


The Taking Tree

by Evan Dicken


Governor Porter,

I deserve to die for what I’ve done, just please don’t bury me.

I’m reaching out because I got no one else. Even my lawyer keeps asking where the bodies are buried. I wish I knew. Then I could chop the damn thing down, but the tree don’t work like that.

I see it sometimes–out in the yard, beyond the prison fence–waiting for me. At night, I dread the moment when the heater clicks off and all that’s left is the rustle of leaves in the vents.

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 566: Flash On The Borderlands XL: Halloween Street


This Flash on the Borderlands is a set of stories by Steve Rasnic Tem, all set on Halloween Street.

 

“Halloween Street” is narrated by Alasdair Stuart.

“Masks of Me” is narrated by Daniel Braum.

“Butcher Paper” is narrated by Setsu Uzume.

“Tricks” is narrated by Brian Lieberman.

The music accompanying the Halloween Parade is “Creeper” from the album “Necrophiliac Among the Living Dead” by Terrortron, a side project of Anders Manga.

 

PseudoPod 563: Flash On The Borderlands XXXIX: Teratology


Kiss, Don’t Tell

by Cassandra Khaw


You never told me she’d be so human, so sweet. Marzipan bones and caramel hair, latte skin stretched taut over a face still new to wanting. Just a mouthful, really, a morsel, her eyes brittle as she watches us flit by, heartbeats sliding between the ribs of time.

In Europe, no one believes in kismet, but who needs faith to author fact?

Later, you joke about serendipity. I nod in silence, my fingers still glazed with her cells and her atoms, the taste of her bitter with ghosts of Sunday afternoon pasts. How many street corners have you kissed on? How many does she remember? How many times has she sat coiled by her phone, waiting, waiting, thumbing through pictures of you together, a patchwork of possibilities that should have spelled out a future?

(Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 549: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVIII: Letting Go


“When you let go, you are truly free.”


Good Boy

By Ruth E.J. Booth


I’d wanted a dog ever since I was little. So when I finally moved out, I was bound to end up with my own. This scratty wee scrag of soot. I say he’s mine, I think we sort of found each other. Well, they say the dog picks the owner. I say he found me when nobody else wanted me.

He doesn’t do tricks or owt. He’s more a companion, really. Likes being talked to, taken for walks, that sort of thing. He prefers the quiet parts of town – the old industrial estate, or that scrap of trees down by the railway tracks – though he’s well-behaved in crowds, a stilling presence in all that madness. (Continue Reading…)

NASA aurora image from April 10, 2015, Delta Junction, Alaska

PseudoPod 538: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVII: Higher Beings Command

Show Notes

“Higher Beings Command…Their Powers To The Ground….”
Coil


“Behold, The Drowning” was first made available to the public via the “No Sleep” section of reddit.com.

“I would like the audience to consider, while listening to this story, the implications of sensory deprivation on fear. Loss of sight has been explored many times over; it is pivotal to our primordial fear of the dark. Loss of sound, however, receives far less attention and is, potentially, more horrifying for reasons stated by the story’s protagonist.”


“Bring The Moon To Me” was first printed in 2015 in the anthology SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS (later renamed “CTHULHU’S DAUGHTERS”), edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles


“The Hole At The Top of the World” is a PseudoPod Original.

“The story is about equal halves me imagining a character given his own space when, in many other stories, he’d be relegated to a minor role; and me thinking about depression.”


“This Creature, This Creature, This Wonderful Creature” first appeared in the short story collection SING ALONG WITH THE SAD SONG in 2016.


Behold, The Drowning by John Purfield

I once wished I could give both my eyes for a pair of ears that worked. My world is experienced through the narrow window of my vision. I hear no birds sing, nor waves crash on rocks. The intricacies of music are lost on me, but for the vibrations of a particularly obnoxious bass line. In the animal kingdom, there are many blind animals, but precious few deaf creatures. The deaf die fast and young, for hearing is the only sense that gives you full scope of your environment. You can hear a predator creep behind you, but you cannot see it unless it is in front of you. (Continue Reading…)