Posts Tagged ‘Original’

PseudoPod 584: ARTEMIS RISING 4: The Drowned Man’s Kiss

Show Notes

“The Drowned Man’s Kiss” is inspired by the works of the Greek Poet Nikos Kavvadias:

In his poem “Esmeralda” there’s this verse: “Come sweet dawn, the drowned man kissed you.” And the story was born from that, playing as it went with the theme of the cursed dagger, which also features in another of Kavvadias’ poem, “To Machairi” (The dagger).

Longtime listeners or backers of our Pseudopod 10 Year anniversary will be familiar with the artistic work and madcap visions of Jonathan Chaffin of Horror In Clay.  He makes fine horror-themed tiki mugs, art, and ephemera. He made a Cthulhu tiki mug, before that was a thing, and a cask of Amontillado and an Innsmouth Fogcutter.  Now, he has a warning for you. Somewhere in the infinite multiverse, or just on the other side of this shadow, the King In Yellow awaits. “The Pallid Mask” from Horror In Clay is a 8in tiki mug inspired by love for the linked short stories of Robert W. Chambers, and every subsequent writer caught by that fateful play.

The mug is available on Kickstarter, and will ship in August. The mug is part of a collection with companion pieces like a custom-written D6 tabletop RPG module and a Mai Tai glass from the mythic “Shores of Carcosa” restaurant.  Learn more on Kickstarter by searching for “Pallid Mask” or at Horror In Clay.

The Drowned Man’s Kiss

by Christine Lucas

Last night, I dreamt of the drowned man again.

It starts with a murmur. A prayer, slithering through a sleeping shipmate’s lips. Or perhaps a confession, or a memory caught in the fog of the ghostly hours before dawn. It lingers little down here, in the stale air heavy with the stench of urine and unwashed bodies. Soon it rises higher, amidst the sails and the riggings, hungry for fresh air. Then comes the scratching against the ship’s hull. Grip by grip, claw-like hands dig into the wood dragging upwards God knows what.

I lay still on my hammock, squeezing my eyes shut. I don’t dare to steal a peek at the narrow stair leading upwards, to the main deck. But I hear the slow drip of water—stagnant, black water mixed with putrid drool and I gag at the stench. Once, when I was a young fool, I did dare a glimpse. Never again. I’ve seen enough of the corpse sprawled across the upper steps, its torso reaching downwards, the rest out of sight. Grey, bloated flesh bathed in the milky light of early dawn. Bone grinds on bone as he turns to seek me out amidst the slumbering sailors. One eye dangles on its decaying cheek, the other socket a dark nest for crabs. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 579: All My Nightmares Are Named Heather

Show Notes

One night I woke up talking to myself, whispering the title of this story. That was the embryo, and now you’re reading the full creature. This is for those who know insomnia and what it is to never have a dreamless night.

Dedicated to Marcos. Sleep well, my friend.

All My Nightmares Are Named Heather

by Mário Coelho

She’s always this close when I wake up, less than a palm’s distance bridging our noses. Big eyes, darker than this penumbra. Pupils lightly flickering, like the TV static behind us. In these roadside motel rooms, everything rustles and murmurs. The carpet is pregnant with aborted cigarette butts and dead smells—sweat and barely washed bedding.

“You were dreaming,” she says.

“I was.” My voice, hoarse. Blind fingers reach out for the bedside table, grab the glass. A bit of water left overnight. Tastes like dust.

I was. Running along a creek. Bare feet cut. Biting my cheeks. Breath heaving. Dry tongue lapping out her name. Heather.

“Who’s Heather?” she asks.

“I told you.” These post-nightmare conversations of ours, dirty laundry beating against the washing machine. Cycling. Hushed, like the drowned out buzzing of the late-night driving outside. “She’s no one. Nothing. A bad dream I don’t know.”

“We only dream of things we know.” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 578: Alarm Will Sound

Show Notes

As mentioned by Alasdair:

Art Bell-The Frantic Caller

The Peoria Plague

Uncanny County-The Boy Who Cried Martian

The Hugo Awards have these things they call nominations tallys but they are commonly referred to as The Long Lists. These include the top fifteen nominees, and show who just missed making the finals. For example, Escape Pod, PodCastle, and Mothership Zeta all made the long list last year for Semiprozine.

One of the great values of these long lists is that it allows readers even more excellent works to add to their “to read” pile. David Steffen has worked to make mining those lists significantly more convenient for you. For the third year in a row, David has published a volume of The Long List Anthology. In this most recent version are included works from names familiar to fans of Escape Artists. Lavie Tidhar, Ursula Vernon, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Ken Liu, among a host of amazing others.

Want to know what sort of story makes it to this anthology? Go listen to episode 607 of Escape Pod and catch Red in Tooth and Cog by Cat Rambo. Been procrastinating picking up Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw or Run Time by Escape Pod’s S.B. Divya? This anthology will assuage your guilt. You can find The Long List Anthology Volume 3 at all the usual purveyors of books. If you’re already the proud owner of this book, become a subscribing supporter of Diabolical Plots which is also edited by David Steffen. Subscribing there puts you in line early for not only the ebooks of the original stories published in Diabolical Plots, but also gets you in line early for The Long List Anthology Volume 4. Go support this fantastically creative human being.

Alarm Will Sound

by Christopher Shultz

And we’re back. This is hour two of Talk it Out. I’m your host, Gabrielle Esposito. If you’re just tuning in, in our first hour on the air we talked at length with Mary from Poughkeepsie, New York, who has been having suicidal thoughts. She was able to talk through a lot of what’s been bothering her, and I think overall we left things in a good place.

Now of course, if this is your first time listening to the show, I want to reiterate that I am not a licensed therapist, nor do I behave like one. What we provide on this show is an avenue for people just to talk. I listen, and the rest of you, the audience, listen too, and we share messages of positivity and encouragement from you listeners, which you can send via email or post to our Facebook page. I always recommend that anyone experiencing things like suicidal thoughts, like Mary, or any other psychological issue, to seek out counseling. Now, Mary definitely wanted help, and we gave her several numbers of therapists in her area to call. My producer Michelle just told me that Mary was okay with a callback live on the air next week, so for those of you concerned for her well-being, be sure to listen in. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 576: Flash On The Borderlands XLI: Flash Fiction Contest 5 Winners

Show Notes

Third Place: The Taking Tree by Evan Dicken narrated by Karen Bovenmyer

Second Place: Legal Tender by Stephanie Malia Morris narrated by Alexis Goble

First Place: Two Step by Drew Czernik narrated by Austin Malone

The Taking Tree

by Evan Dicken

Governor Porter,

I deserve to die for what I’ve done, just please don’t bury me.

I’m reaching out because I got no one else. Even my lawyer keeps asking where the bodies are buried. I wish I knew. Then I could chop the damn thing down, but the tree don’t work like that.

I see it sometimes–out in the yard, beyond the prison fence–waiting for me. At night, I dread the moment when the heater clicks off and all that’s left is the rustle of leaves in the vents.

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. (Continue Reading…)