Archive for Stories

PseudoPod 696: The Fog


The Fog

by Morley Roberts


The fog had been thickening for many weeks, but now, moving like a black wall, it fell on the town. The lights that guided the world were put out—the nearest were almost as invisible as the stars; a powerful arc-lamp overhead was but a blur. Traffic ceased, for drivers could not see; screams were heard in the streets, and cries for help, where none could help themselves.

“I’m blind,” said Tom Crabb, as he leant against the pillar outside the Café Français in Regent Street. He said it with a chuckle, for he, alone of a street full of the lost, did not feel lost. “I’m blind, but know my way home!”

Day by day and night by night he patrolled the street with a placard upon his breast marked in big letters, “Blind’. People with eyes saw him. Out of a thousand one gave him a penny; out of ten thousand one gave him sixpence. The millionth, or some charitable madman, made it half a crown. The red-letter day of his blind life was when he found a sovereign in his palm, put there by a soft little hand that touched his. He heard a gentle girl’s voice say, “Poor blind man.” He had a hard life, and was a hard and lonely man, but he remembered that voice, as he did all voices. (Continue Reading…)

CatsCast 289: The Thing in the Basement


All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this…”

It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 695: Muse


Muse

by Sarah Gribble


I noticed him on a Saturday morning. He was fingering tomato plants across the square, nodding every so often at whatever the stall operator was saying. His eyes crinkled when he smiled, but too much, like he’d read the cliché about smiles not meeting eyes too many times and decided to reverse the idea—his never quite reached his mouth.

He didn’t buy a tomato plant. I followed him the rest of the morning; he didn’t buy anything.

Whether or not I had been drinking that morning is of no importance. What is important is when I returned to my dilapidated two-bedroom ranch, I wrote more than I had in months. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 694: Robin’s Rath


Robin’s Rath

by Margery Lawrence


‘So ye’re goin’ to buy Robin’s Rath, young lady?’

Ellen Vandermyl raised her arched brows with a touch of hauteur at the old man’s tone. Not the daughter of a hundred earls, but of one immensely wealthy pork-packer who could deny her nothing, even to the purchase of Ghyll Hall, she had, as have so many American women of bourgeois birth, the tiny feet and delicate complexion that is generally considered the heritage of the aristocrat alone. Now she tapped a smart brogued shoe with an equally smart cane as she answered old Giles’s question, with a little note of asperity in her voice:

‘Of course I am—I have—it goes with Ghyll Hall! Besides, when I get a path made it will make a perfect short cut to the golf-links.’

There was a sudden stir and rustle among the group of villagers; with one accord they looked at old Giles—and there was a pointed little silence. Flushing with annoyance, Ellen glanced from one face to another. Her one wish was to get on well with the villagers of this tiny lovely village, Ghyllock, which seemed to live in the shelter of the old manor-house, Ghyll Hall, for centuries the seat of the Ruddocks, and now passing, like so many other many-memoried old houses, into the hands of the stranger. An only child, her father wax in her hands, the pretty spoilt American beauty had passed through Ghyllock only once, on a motor tour, and seeing the wonderful old house set in miles of green woods and meadows and fields, had given her father no peace till he offered to buy it for her—much as he would have endeavoured to buy the moon, had she wanted it! The grounds ran down to a narrow belt of woodland, thick with undergrowth, the tangling green luxuriance that had never known shears or pruning knife—Robin’s Rath. Beyond lay the golf links, within easy walking distance of the Hall when the path mentioned should be cut—certainly it seemed a good idea, and there was some reason for Ellen’s puzzled annoyance at the sudden silence that greeted her remark. Even the landlord of the picturesque inn, The Goose with the Golden Eggs, lounging in the shadow of his own doorway to listen to the gossip under the great elm tree outside, put down his mug of beer and stared at her curiously. She spoke sharply, addressing old Giles, whose heavy white brows were drawn down over his intent old eyes in a heavy frown.

‘What in the world’s the matter? You all look as if I’d threatened to kill somebody!’ (Continue Reading…)