Archive for Stories

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PseudoPod 43: Everything Is Better with Zombies


Everything Is Better with Zombies

by Hannah Wolf Bowen

“You don’t know that she’s a zombie,” Lion says as we walk our bikes back up Salt Hill. The side that sweeps down to the cemetery is steep and we’ve no momentum to carry us up. Instead, we’ll trudge to the top of the hill and remount there to go zipping down. “She could be a ghoul or a ghost or a skeleton. We could’ve made her up.”

“You saw the footprint,” I remind him. “We didn’t make her up.” We’d followed the trail to the highway. We’d paced along the shoulder, searching for the spot where she’d stepped back off the pavement. We hadn’t found anything. But even Lion had agreed that the print by the creek was beautifully clear. “And if she’d been a skeleton, it would have just been bone. And ghosts wouldn’t leave any prints at all.”

“They might,” Lion says, “if they were acting out their deaths.”

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PseudoPod 42: Full Moon Over 1600


Full Moon Over 1600

by Christopher Michael Cummings

Suddenly someone shoves a baby at him for a photo op; reflexively, the President hauls the chubby little kid into the air, making a funny face at him. The baby’s eyes flash amber in the morning light as he coos, then clamps down on the President’s nose with a mouthful of gums and two tiny front teeth. The President curses inside as he chuckles for the cameras.

Today: The President huddles in the Cabinet Room with his inner circle and a strange sensation crawls down his nose into his throat; his nostrils flare as he tries to fight it off and focus on the conversation in the room.

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PseudoPod 41: Fingerbones Hung Like Mobiles


Fingerbones Hung Like Mobiles

by Paul Jessup

“These woods are filled with spirits,” she said, “Not like the spirits of the dead. Older spirits. My grandma told me about them. She said that once these spirits used to help people, they were noble and good. And then people stopped praying to them. Stopped giving them food and friendship. Now the spirits are sick, and they wander these woods looking for companionship.”

Brad laughed and drank some of the vodka.

“What a load of shit,” Brad said, “Is that supposed to be scary, huh Carla? I don’t buy it. Not one bit.”

Little Man looked nervous. It was hard to reconcile this story with what we saw only a few hours ago. “Don’t worry Little Man,” Brad said, “Carla’s just pulling our legs. Ain’t that right?”

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PseudoPod 40: Wanting to Want


Wanting to Want

by Eugie Foster

She was wide-awake, alert to every jangle of hyped-up nerves. Rolling to all fours made the twitches worse, like red-hot pins jabbing her insides. The pain in her neck flared hot as a match–a sharp, ragged sting that begged for scratching. It was the bad spot, the abscess next to her shoulder where it chaffed and rubbed against her shirt. She’d tried shooting up under her tongue to give that area a rest, but it wasn’t the same; the tongue hit too slow. The neck, with the vein so close to the surface, was the best place for the needle, even if the area burned, weeping blood and pus on some days, bringing fever on others.

Narrated by Tabitha Smith

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PseudoPod 39: Some Things Don’t Wash Off


Some Things Don’t Wash Off

by Joel Arnold

Finally I looked at him. Bald, thin, muscular and his body covered with tattoos. I mean everywhere. On his face. His ears. All up and down the front of his back. He wore jeans and suspenders. No shirt. Just suspenders.

I caught myself staring at his teeth.

“Scrimshaw,” he said, widening his smile to expose more detail. “An art practiced for centuries by sailors.”

Each tooth was etched with a picture of a man hanging from a tree. The etchings disappeared into his throat.

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PseudoPod 38: Hell’s Daycare


Hell’s Daycare

by D. Richard Pearce

With literally his last dollar, he bought a lottery ticket. That night, Beth called twice, but he ignored the phone. He curled up on the couch, gorged on chips, and watched as the lottery numbers dropped, in precise order, and matched his ticket.

With the weirdness of the last couple of weeks, winning the lottery didn’t surprise him at all. Not only that, he didn’t feel the least bit hopeful. He expected something to go wrong between now and the time he collected. Either the numbers were wrong, or he’d lose the ticket — something.

Nor was he disappointed. He did win, and Satan’s collectors allowed him to keep the decorative memento cheque, and not much else. He suspected a pattern was emerging.

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PseudoPod 37: We Are All Very Lively


We Are All Very Lively

by Richard A. Becker

The really big cities had already been given the military treatment anyway, and that was mostly just plain stupid. Hallelujah, we used fuel-air explosives on the things! Nuked ’em! Genius! We destroyed ourselves to save ourselves, and if only they’d completely vaporized the targets it would’ve been fine. Well, apart from the fallout and the millions who died by friendly fire, that is.

You know, you really ought to make sure you move around a little bit more. It’s not our shift’s sleep time yet.

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PseudoPod 36: Liberation


Liberation

by Kevin Anderson

It had the characteristics of a spider but looked more like some underwater creature – a mutated octopus or alien squid. The arachnid’s legs were thick like tentacles, splayed out on a chalky porcelain table. Pools of blood spotted the off-white surface and a pair of forceps lay next to the spider, providing a sense of scale. The creature’s creamy white frame seemed about four inches in length. Its color reminded Caroline of the salamanders discovered in subterranean caves. Living their whole lives in darkness, the lizards looked pasty – sickly.

Leaning in, Wendy traced a finger along the picture’s caption. “It says, it didn’t have any eyes.”

“It doesn’t need them,” Caroline said, grinning. “It lives in darkness, just feeling its way around.” Just like the salamanders.

Wendy stood up. “This doesn’t prove anything, Caroline. You don’t have spiders living in your brain for god-sakes.”