Archive for Holiday

Pseudopod 259: To My Wondering Eyes Did Appear


To My Wondering Eyes Did Appear

by Larry C. Kay


A figure obscured the flames of the fireplace: a man. Bettia sat up quickly, blinking away sleep, thinking it was her father. But this man was shorter, rounder, and part of her groggy mind considered Santa Claus, and that she must have slept for days.

Her eyes adjusted and she could see that the man indeed wore a red shirt. Not like a dumb mall Santa, but a working man’s shirt: rough and stained darker red on top of the red. And not any fire engine red, but crimson; just like his Converse All-Stars. His jeans were black or maybe just covered in soot. His face was dirty like a coal miner’s, but Bettia thought he was a white man.

He carried a black bag slung over one shoulder, an empty bag, but Bettia knew this man was no burglar. This shaggy buffalo of a man smiled when he noticed Bettia, and showed his sharp fighting-dog teeth. Bettia heard a whimper, and shame crinkled her face as she realized it was she that sounded like a whipped mutt.”

Pseudopod 253: Trying To Stay Dead

Show Notes

The Parade music is “Restless Spirits – Underscore – Halloween 2” by Film Composer David Beard. Music from Music Alley.


Trying To Stay Dead

by Richard S. Crawford.


Doctor Bell’s assistant led me into the tiny exam room and gestured at the leather-padded chair in the center. ‘Are you ready to do this?’ she asked, smiling.

I hesitated. I’d been psyching myself up for an animectomy for two months, but now the exam room gave me pause. It reminded me of a dentist’s office: The chair in the center of the room sat benignly beneath a single circular lamp that could be moved and aimed in any direction, while beside it lurked a movable desk with a tiny computer and a single instrument that looked like a dentist’s drill. ‘I suppose.’

‘You’re nervous, I can tell.’ The assistant wore a simple pink smock, the kind dental and mental hygienists all over the world wore. Her teeth gleamed an almost unnatural shade of white, and her silky brown hair cascaded lushly over her shoulders. She looked like a model.

And why not? The tiny scar on her left temple and the ever so slightly unfocused look in her eyes told me she’d already had the Snip. She acted happy and well adjusted and was unaware of anything she or I were saying or doing.

Pseudopod 218: Flash on the Borderlands V

Show Notes

“The Snow-White Heart” was originally published in Talebones #39, Winter 2009.

‘M’ Is for Manhattan and “Hoofprints in the Snow” are PseudoPod originals.

 


On the third day of Christmas, the Devil brought to me…


‘M’ Is for Manhattan

By A. Nathaniel Jones
Narrated by Ben Phillips

As I walk home, I hear crackling bones under my feet. I smile thinking of everyone who died so that I may have something to walk on. Every dead body built this city with whatever small pieces of themselves they left behind.


The Snow-White Heart

By Marie Brennan
Narrated by Ben Phillips

“Cut out her heart and bring it to me,” the queen said, and so the huntsman did. He brought no deer’s heart in its place, for the huntsman was loyal to his queen. He brought her the heart, and she ate of it, and the blood stained her lips like dye. Her wrinkled skin grew pale and smooth, her greying hair blackened, and she laughed as she finished the last bite.


Hoofprints in the Snow

By Nathaniel Tapley, writer-director of the free monthly podcast In the Gloaming
Narrated by Alasdair Stuart

Christmas used to be a day of church, nuts, tangerines and charades. Now it’s defrosted pre-stuffed boneless turkey joints, DVD box sets, and crippling debt. I had to take a stand.

 

PseudoPod 166: Something There Is


Something There Is

by Joe Nazare


As if reading Montresor’s thoughts, Luchesi reached down toward his feet; his hand came back proffering a long-necked bottle. “Here,” he spoke in a conspiratorial whisper, after shooting a look towards the palazzo’s attendant-less hallway. “Medoc — what I just happen to have handy with me, you understand. But it should serve as a worthy substitute.”

“Substitute?”

“In your sleep, just now: you were calling out for Amontillado.”

Vestiges of his nightmare shrouded Montresor’s thoughts. Dry-mouthed, he attempted to swallow nonetheless. “You must have misheard me, I’m sure.”

Flash: Stepfathers


Stepfathers

by Grady Hendrix

Read by Nerraux


He’d spent his free period reading up on the Lurker at the Threshold, the All-in-One and the One-in-All, the Opener of the Way, and now he tried to detect the signs of Its presence. But nothing smelt like the stench of the grave. No hideous ichor was seeping out from underneath his bedroom door. The upstairs hall was painted the same robin’s egg blue that it’d always been and it was not suffocating beneath an encrustation of poisonous mold that glowed a deathly, bioluminescent green. He took a deep breath and opened the door to his bedroom. Yog-Sothoth sat at the end of his bed, absorbed in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.

“Hey,” Billy said, dropping his book bag.

“Hold on,” Yog-Sothoth said without looking up. “I have almost… accomplished my… Pro Challenge.”


Happy Father’s Day!

PseudoPod 017: Upon The Midnight Clear

Show Notes

Music provided by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society


Upon The Midnight Clear

By Stephen Dedman

She was mercifully quiet for a while, as though thinking of something to say. “Must be difficult, though, travelling on your own. Dangerous, even.”

I laughed, probably for the first time since the plane landed. I’d heard that too often before, too. “Dangerous? This place?” She looked and sounded sincere enough, though it was hard to be sure with that make-up and accent. “I teach jeet kune do and self-defence. The scariest thing I’ve seen since I got here was Phantom of the Opera. I admit, I didn’t actually plan to be making this trip alone, but my fiance dumped me in November, and I was stuck with the ticket. I’m enjoying it more than I expected. So, what have you got around here that’s dangerous? Serial killers? Or just drunks?”

She was silent for a moment. “Are you superstitious?”

I laughed. “I’m not even Californian.”

“Do you believe in ghosts?”

“No.”

Flash Fiction: From Famine to Feast

Show Notes

Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appetit!


From Famine to Feast

by Stephanie Campisi

The boy’s face was a thick, fluid rendering of blowflies. They crusted his eyes like false lashes, and crawled around his chapped, broken lips, their shimmering wings vibrating against their fat black bodies. The boy’s stomach was distended; he looked like a spoon, with the bulging, swooping curve of his gut leading into his rail-thin upper body. His ribs protruded; it were as though he had swallowed a birdcage that was pushing out from within.