“Step Down, Step Down” is a PseudoPod original
“Snip Snip Snip” is a PseudoPod original
“My Guests” appeared in a slightly different form on the SFF Chronicles website
Step Down, Step Down: “I’ve always been fascinated by the tradition of murder ballads that are still sung and passed down where I live in the southern Appalachian mountains. The haunting songs call out from that murky territory where good and evil, beauty and cruelty mix to be reinterpreted and made into something both ancient and new.”
“Snip Snip Snip” was inspired by ‘The Finishing Line’.
“My Guests”: “This story emerged after I read an article about termites titled ‘A giant crawling brain’. It talks about how the termite mound could be considered a composite animal, with constructed lungs, a warrior caste immune system and the workers as mouth and blood supply. I tried to write it a few times, but I could feel my subconscious still chewing on the idea. Eventually, properly masticated and probably digested by a symbiotic fungus, the story emerged on its own. I don’t normally work like that.”
A fantasy the way it could. A picture of us in a dream.
Step Down, Step Down
by Alexandra Duncan
You’ve heard the ballads of young women murdered, drowned down by the river banks. I am one such maid.
He asked me once to be his love
He asked it two and three
I ne’er knew my answer would
Be the death of me.
Sometimes we are killed by brigands. Other times by a cruel sister. But most often by our lovers. We are always rosy-cheeked and demure. We die beautiful and tragic, and our murderer sings his lament from the gallows. He regrets it, but he had no choice. Fate drove his hand. Perhaps he even placed a posy in our cold grip as a we lay among the long grass.