PseudoPod 755: Exquisite

Show Notes

On the Eyeball Floor” by Tina Connolly




by Alan Baxter

Tim Rinneman had never met a lock he couldn’t pick. It was his expertise, his pride. And his curse, as it had become a compulsion he could not resist. He grinned as he worked at the front door of his latest target, hidden in the night shadows of the porch. He had cased the joint for nearly a week, established it was occupied by a lonely but wealthy-looking man in his late forties or early fifties, who went drinking at the Blakeley Hotel every night from seven until around nine. Easy mark.

The lock barrel turned and Tim let out an almost silent, “Yes!” He slipped his lock picks back into the pocket of his dark grey jacket—everyone knew you didn’t wear black to be camouflaged at night—and pushed the door open. His wool cap was low over his brow and a grey bandana masked the lower half of his face. Tight, rubber surgical gloves kept his fingerprints private. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 754: Flash on the Borderlands LV: The Easily Digested Hurt

Show Notes

“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.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 753: The Boulevardier

Show Notes

Each of the neighbours the boulevardier refers to in this story have appeared in their own published tales, as have others who live around the gully he refers to. David coincidentally lives across the street from a very similar gully, frequented by wallabies, goannas, echidnas and the occasional snake. His neighbours may be odd, but not quite as odd as the boulevardier.

The Boulevardier
by David Stevens

My love,

I sit on your floor. The silk wrapped bodies sway as though a zephyr blows, their feet tracing the darkness just above my head. The chatterer has ceased for now. He kept it up for hours though, barely audible, much less discernible. He has ceased his attempts to communicate, his attention no longer on the outside world. Something in his interior has caught his attention.

I wait patiently. I can wait forever. However, as the mock zephyr becomes a faux breeze, and the movements of the bodies grow quicker, less regular, your need, my love, grows urgent.

I am tired, I am hurt, but I am oh so excited. Expectation fills me as I wait to see what will pass. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 752: It Rises From Between My Bones

It Rises from Between My Bones

By Donna J. W. Munro

Sitting on the toilet for the first sleepy morning pee, I felt my ovaries twist as a little piece of me trying burst through in a micro-explosion of tissue, born into my desert of a womb.

It made no sense.

I sat staring at my bald head and face in the mirror hanging across from the toilet. If I weren’t the one making my features screw up in twisting confusion it would have been hilarious. Chemo makes your face strange. No hair. Not one brow or lash. It’s like looking at one of those big-eyed aliens that the tabloids are forever finding, autopsying, and giving breathless reports about probes and pregnancies. I looked just like that only not so green and way more dumbfounded.

How could my ovaries be spitting out an egg? I’d been in a chemically induced menopause since this whole mess started. Since I’d found that little lump in the same place they’d found Mom’s so many years ago.

My whirlwind started in the office of the doe-eyed technician running the ultra-sound. She’d murmured in positive little half notes until her hand froze. She stopped and pulled the wand out of my armpit, glooped on more warmed gel that honestly felt like it had been harvested from inside a body cavity instead of the little bottle warmer next to her keyboard.

Then she said, “Oh.” (Continue Reading…)