PseudoPod 763: Charged

Show Notes

The reader,  Joe Williams, would like to dedicate the reading to their Father who recently passed away: “Allan Williams was Joe’s hero. Never short of experiences to share or advice to give he had been a merchant seaman, a kangaroo hunter, and a movie extra, among other things. As an example of how to live no-one could have asked for better, even up to his final days, and his passing on the third of May has left a void. He will be missed.”


Charged

by Leanna Renee Hieber


My first memory is of being struck by lightning. It was exquisite.

I was standing in my grandfather’s field just before the storm broke. White hot arcs threaded across the whole of the charcoal English sky. Trembling with thrills, I wanted to reach up and touch the delicate vein-like threads of light. It would seem they wanted to touch me too.

“There’s nothing more wondrous than a good, riotous thunderstorm, my boy,” grandfather had said with a gamesome punch to my shoulder that landed too hard. But I learned that’s how one shows affection to a male child; with a touch of force.

That’s when the bolt anointed me. I stood riveted as my bones rattled and crackled, my blood boiled and a thousand angels screamed in my ears. When it was over, small wisps of smoke curled up from my hair and coat.

Grandfather stared at me in horror. “You should be dead, child.” He clapped me again on the back, a sting of shock passing between us upon contact, and walked away.

I wasn’t dead but he was right about one thing; I’ve yet to see or feel anything more wondrous than a sky full of electricity.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 762: The Thought Monster


The Thought Monster

by Amelia Reynolds Long


The first of the series of outrages was the case of Welton Grimm. Grimm was a retired farmer with a little place about three miles from town, who apparently had not an enemy in the world; yet one morning he was discovered dead in a patch of woods near his home with a look of horror on his face that made the flesh creep on those who found him. There were no marks of violence upon the body; only that expression of horrified revulsion at unspeakable things. Two doctors, a coroner, and a jury puzzled over it, and at last gave out the statement that he had been the victim of a heart attack—which nobody believed. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 761: The Black Stone Statue

Show Notes

We can’t help but wonder what Counselman would think of Annihilation.


The Black Stone Statue

by Mary Elizabeth Counselman


Directors,
Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston, Mass.

Gentlemen:

Today I have just received aboard the S. S. Madrigal your most kind cable, praising my work and asking—humbly, as one might ask it of a true genius!—if I would do a statue of myself to be placed among the great in your illustrious museum. Ah, gentlemen, that cablegram was to me the last turn of the screw!

I despise myself for what I have done in the name of art. Greed for money and acclaim, weariness with poverty and the contempt of my inferiors, hatred for a world that refused to see any merit in my work: these things have driven me to commit a series of strange and terrible crimes.

In these days I have thought often of suicide as a way out—a coward’s way, leaving me the fame I do not deserve. But since receiving your cablegram, lauding me for what I am not and never could be, I am determined to write this letter for the world to read. It will explain everything. And having written it, I shall then atone for my sin in (to you, perhaps) a horribly ironic manner but (to me) one that is most fitting.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 760: Akiko’s Legacy


Akiko’s Legacy

by Eugie Foster

narrated by Kara Grace


“Mother, why are Grandma and Gramps ashamed of Father?”

Akiko smoothed back the unruly curls from her son’s face. Robert needed a haircut. The tips of his brown hair had begun to feather up around his ears. His father’s hair had done that. Martin had called it his “bozo-the-clown look” and had the offending locks lopped off as soon as possible.

“Why do you think they’re ashamed of him, darling?”

Robert tolerated her ministrations, although she saw a glimmer of impatience behind his eyes. “They don’t like talking about him,” he said. “Every time I ask about him, they change the subject or get sorta quiet and weird.”

“People sometimes don’t like to talk about the deceased.” Akiko forced herself to stop fussing with her son’s hair. “It makes them uncomfortable.”

“It’s more than that.”

(Continue Reading…)