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PseudoPod 804: Flash on the Borderlands LXI: Dead Man’s Party

Show Notes

“Backers”: “My wife and her friends are obsessed with podcasts about serial killers – something I find it hard to understand. My kids are fans of various chirpy YouTube personalities – something I find it hard to understand. This story is essentially me as an old, out-of-touch man in his mid-30s bashing the two together and seeing what falls out. I do suspect, though, that relentlessly cheerful vloggers might have some hidden dark sides to their personalities.”



“Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door”


The Tentacle and You

by John Wiswell


Congratulations on your new tentacle! You’re probably one of the first people in your entire civilization to get this gift, and we know how overwhelming that can feel. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to coach you early adopters through the first days of the rest of your lives. Welcome to the fold.

Day one

Already you should feel unprecedented vigor. Pursue whatever naturally drives you. Go body surfing. Wrestle a bear. Sky dive without a parachute. Do sex if that’s your thing. Thanks to the tentacle’s restorative properties, no injury or infection will last more than a few seconds. It’s pretty cool, right? That durability is going to help you over the next week.

The contact area of your tentacle may itch. Refrain from scratching or trying to remove it. Within the first three hours, the tentacle will have bonded with your nervous system such that agitation will cause it to override your motor control. Nobody likes walking around in public with deactivated arms. Spare yourself the embarrassment and embrace your new self. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 803: Them At Number Seventy-Four


Them At Number Seventy-Four

by Lindz McLeod


When body number four is discovered, Mrs Patterson thinks that surely now she and her husband will be caught. Days creep past, then a week. 

Two. 

Three.

Their excitement and relief begins to fade. Once again, the desire blossoms, delicate at first, but growing bolder as the hours and days pass. Over a dinner of chips, peas, and gammon steaks, Mrs Patterson ventures a suggestion that perhaps it’s time they do another. Her husband chews for a moment, points out that there’s another James Bond marathon on this weekend they won’t want to miss. She cedes the point. Seeing her disappointment, he suggests he can’t rule out the possibility they might kill again sooner, if someone suitable pops up. Play it by ear, he says. Pass the salt, please. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 802: Laughter Among the Trees


Laughter Among the Trees

By Suzan Palumbo


The highway to the campground cuts through the granite Laurentian Plateau like a desiccated wound. It’s been twenty five years since I’ve retraced this road and, though the comfort stops along the route have been expanded and stream lined, the forest and rock remain the same; Ancient, silent and unflinching.

I was fourteen when we retreated South West on this stretch to the suburbs of Toronto – me in the back of my parents’ station wagon, the emptiness of Sab’s seat corroding our ability to speak. I couldn’t look through the rear window as we sped away. I didn’t want to acknowledge we were abandoning the search — leaving Sab behind.

 Now, as I pull into a rest stop a hundred kilometres before the park, the nauseating mix of hamburger and exhaust churning my stomach, I know going back for my sister is all I have left. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 801: The Bear Across the Way


The Bear Across the Way

by Emily Rigole


I paid no more attention to the bear than I would have any new neighbors. Despite what my husband might tell you, the fact that he was a bear played into my curiosity very little. It was his behavior that concerned me. The same behavior that would have concerned me of any new member to our community. And if people had listened to me a little earlier, instead of tiptoeing about trying not to—God forbid—offend the bear, then maybe all this could have been avoided. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 800: The Parricide’s Tale


The Parricide’s Tale

by Charles Robert Maturin


It was in the midst of one of his most licentious songs, that my companion suddenly paused. He gazed about him for some time; and faint and dismal as the light was by which we beheld each other, I thought I could observe an extraordinary expression overshadow his countenance. I did not venture to notice it. “Do you know where we are?” he whispered.

“Too well;—in the vault of a convent, beyond the help or reach of man,—without food, without light, and almost without hope.”

“Aye, so its last inhabitants might well say.”

“Its last inhabitants!—who were they?”

“I can tell  you, if you can bear it.” (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 799: February Moon


February Moon

by Josh Rountree


Something killed our rooster and three of our brown hens during the night. Thin ice crusts the ground, and it breaks in delicate patterns as I step toward the scattering of feathers and bones. Blood lies dark against the earth. It rarely snows here in the winter like at home. Only ice and gray rain that settles on the trees and pulls their limbs toward the ground like they’ve lost the will to fight for their own lives. These are gnarled, fearful trees, nothing like the commanding black forest of my youth, but their shadows still grow long enough to hide monsters.

The chicken coop door has been pulled from the hinges, and the splintered remains stand evidence to the force with which it was removed. If I were a stupid or fearful woman, I might convince myself that a rawboned coyote was to blame; they forever haunt these hills with their hunger. But I’m neither of those things, and I know how a wolf attacks.

I’ve lived among them my whole life. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 798: Flash on the Borderlands LX: Words Like Violence

Show Notes

“Human Body as Compendium”: “In moments of high anxiety I like to imagine that I can crack my skull open and take my brain out and put it somewhere else for a while. “Human Body as Compendium” carries this impulse to its natural conclusion.”

“Never Enough Pockets”: inspired by both what happened to Sarah Everard and the shocking conduct of the police during the subsequent vigil on 13th March 2021, see here for some info


“Words are very unnecessary; They can only do harm”


Sometimes Boys Don’t Know

by Donyae Coles


“Bonnie,” I say. He asked my name! I should have thought of something, but I wasn’t expecting him to notice me. Talk to me. “Bonnie,” I repeat, fighting down nerves, ignoring the fluttering in my middle, hoping I sounded closer to those other girls, the ones he likes. I’ve been practicing.

“Bonnie,” he repeats, smooth as his smile, and my insides tickle and shudder. Bonnie was good. Simple. He liked simple. I could be simple. For him, I could be anything.

My eyes feel too wide, and I blink to try to make them normal. I pull my lips into a smile, tell my body to be still, relax.

“Where are your friends? Did you come alone?” He’s looking around now and those flutters in me drop, turn into a pit. I want him to look at me. Just at me.

“I came by myself,” I offer. Is this the right answer? I don’t know. (Continue Reading…)