PseudoPod 767: Death Has Red Hair

Death Has Red Hair

by Greye La Spina

We three men were hugging the open fire closely. The raw chill of that November night had closed in around us and the blazing logs yielded grateful warmth.

Peter Murray was leaning forward in his chair, looking absentmindedly into the leaping flames that sent flickering shadows to dancing on the walls behind us. Hank Walters was staring at Peter and I was watching both my guests with curious speculation that had risen in me since that afternoon’s encounter.

I could have sworn that Hank’s black eyes held an expression at once envious and inimical as he bent his gaze sourly on Peter’s handsome, perplexed young face. I was both dismayed and sorry, for the older man possessed a weapon that might cut the brightness out of Peter’s life; Magda Farrar was his. foster-daughter and his ward, and to young Peter she symbolized and embodied everything desirable in life.

“Come out of it, you two,” growled I, irritated and uneasy at their silence. “This is a shooting party, not a wake.”

Peter’s bright blue eyes turned from the fire. He met my gaze and chuckled. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 766: Knock, Knock, Wolf

Knock, Knock, Wolf

by P.G. Galalis

It was time to kill the sparrows.

Every autumn, after the last leaves fell and the bare trees rattled their bone song to an empty sky, the widow Clarabel started baking. Five parts flour, three parts water, a pinch of salt and emptins for leavening, plus a handful of the devil’s blend, finely ground. She would let the loaf go stale for a day, then scatter it about the field between her cottage and the forest.

A knock on the door was the worst sound in the world if you asked Clarabel, when beggars and travelers and all kinds of wretched, needy folk would flee winter in the high peaks. Fortunately, Clarabel had discovered that a lone cottage in a field of dead sparrows seldom received any visitors.  (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 765: The Child Feast of Harridan Sack

The Child-Feast of Harridan Sack

By Kaitlyn Zivanovich

I plant a whisper in my daughter’s hair when her shoulders shake and hunch up to her ears. It’s only a story, I say. I turn the page; I’ve resolved her fears. It’s only a story. That is what mothers say to their daughters. 

What kind of comfort is that?

It’s not a reassurance, or a consolation.

It’s a warning.

It’s a story, child. Pay attention, it is a story. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 764: The Hollow Tree

Show Notes

Sevatividam would let to give a shoutout to Dan of Groundcrew Studios in Charlotte NC.  She recorded “The Hollow Tree” and “Grave Mother” there and he did a spectacular good job on both of these episodes.

Schitts Creek

Smallville (comics)

Books of Blood

The Hollow Tree

by Jordan Kurella

There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others, and those we keep from ourselves. 

My mother told me this after one of her too-silent nights with my father. She told me that the worst ones, the ones too terrible to believe, are the second kind. She told me she hoped I’d never have one of these kinds of secrets, as she leaned over and kissed my forehead. Only then did she go to her bed. Three days after that, my second sister came out of her, unbreathing. That time, she did not cry.

She told me, “Pira, you won’t cry either.”

She told me, “Pira, you have to be strong for me. I need you to always be strong.”

And so I was.

I was strong every day as my father served my mother’s pies through our bakery window, telling all our neighbors in Stowe that they were his. He smiled through his thick black beard, dripping with sweat and grease, joking with each person who came by each day. My father’s smile was a smile I had grown to hate. But the town hadn’t. They always said: “Silas Baker has such a wide smile to go with his sad eyes.”  They always said: “There are no pies sweeter than Silas Baker’s pies.” They always said: “He must make his pies so sweet for his lost daughters.” (Continue Reading…)