PseudoPod 687: The Yellow Cat


The Yellow Cat

by Michael Joseph


It all began when Grey was followed home, inexplicably enough, by the strange, famished yellow cat. The cat was thin with large, intense eyes which gleamed amber in the forlorn light of the lamp on the street corner. It was standing there as Grey passed, whistling dejectedly, for he had had a depressing run of luck at Grannie’s tables, and it made a slight piteous noise as it looked up at him. Then it followed at his heels, creeping along as though it expected to be kicked unceremoniously out of the way.

Grey did, indeed, make a sort of half-threatening gesture when, looking over his shoulder, he saw the yellow cat behind.

“If you were a black cat,” he muttered, “I’d welcome you—but get out!”

The cat’s melancholy amber eyes gleamed up at him, but it made no sign and continued to follow. This would have annoyed Grey in his already impatient humour, but he seemed to find a kind of savage satisfaction in the fact that he was denied even the trifling consolation of a good omen. Like all gamblers, he was intensely superstitious, although he had had experience in full measure of the futility of all supposedly luckbringing mascots. He carried a monkey’s claw sewn in the lining of his waistcoat pocket, not having the courage to throw it away. But this wretched yellow cat that ought to have been black did not irritate him as might have been expected.

He laughed softly; the restrained, unpleasant laugh of a man fighting against misfortune.

“Come on, then, you yellow devil; we’ll sup together.” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 686: The Phantom Rider


The Phantom Rider

by Otis Adelbert Kline


Big Bill Hawkins laid the trap with admirable precision. Every little detail had been worked out with the utmost nicety.

The care-free manner of his partner, Seth Ormsby, indicated that he suspected nothing, though he did seem somewhat puzzled by Big Bill’s unwonted loquacity and unprecedented joviality. He had shown a strange lack of enthusiasm when, after a summer of unrequited toil, the prospectors had stumbled on the vein that promised to make them both independently wealthy: During the days spent in preliminary work with a view to replenishing their depleted larder, he had been unusually taciturn, even sullen at times.

As they rode abreast along the trail, followed by the two pack-mules, the foremost of which bore in its saddlebags enough gold dust to purchase the entire general store at Red Dog, Big Bill outdid himself in his efforts to be agreeable. At the same time he was thinking, planning. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 685: The Loved Dead


The Loved Dead

by C.M. Eddy Jr. & H.P. Lovecraft


It is midnight. Before dawn they will find me and take me to a black cell where I shall languish interminably, while insatiable desires gnaw at my vitals and wither up my heart, till at last I become one with the dead that I love.

My seat is the fetid hollow of an aged grave; my desk is the back of a fallen tombstone worn smooth by devastating centuries; my only light is that of the stars and a thin-edged moon, yet I can see as clearly as though it were mid-day. Around me on every side, sepulchral sentinels guarding unkempt graves, the tilting, decrepit headstones lie half-hidden in masses of nauseous, rotting vegetation. Above the rest, silhouetted against the livid sky, an august monument lifts its austere, tapering spire like the spectral chieftain of a Lemurian horde. The air is heavy with the noxious odors of fungi and the scent of damp, moldy earth, but to me it is the aroma of Elysium. It is still–terrifyingly still–with a silence whose very profundity bespeaks the solemn and the hideous. Could I choose my habitation it would be in the heart of some such city of putrefying flesh and crumbling bones; for their nearness sends ecstatic thrills through my soul, causing the stagnant blood to race through my veins and my torpid heart to pound with delirious joy–for the presence of death is life to me! (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 684: The Most Dangerous Game


The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Connell


“Off there to the right—somewhere—is a large island,” said Whitney. “It’s rather a mystery—”

“What island is it?” Rainsford asked.

“The old charts call it ‘Ship-Trap Island,’ ” Whitney replied. “A suggestive name, isn’t it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. I don’t know why. Some superstition—”

“Can’t see it,” remarked Rainsford, trying to peer through the dank tropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht.

“You’ve good eyes,” said Whitney, with a laugh, “and I’ve seen you pick off a moose moving in the brown fall bush at four hundred yards, but even you can’t see four miles or so through a moonless Caribbean night.”

“Nor four yards,” admitted Rainsford. “Ugh! It’s like moist velvet.”

“It will be light enough in Rio,” promised Whitney. “We should make it in a few days. I hope the jaguar guns have come from Purdey’s. We should have some good hunting up the Amazon. Great sport, hunting.”

“The best sport in the world,” agreed Rainsford. (Continue Reading…)