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Author Topic: Pseudopod 523: Kashrut, or, the Ortolan  (Read 827 times)
Pseudopod Tiger
Posts: 4842

Mmm. Tiger.

« on: January 01, 2017, 01:40:19 AM »

Pseudopod 523: Kashrut, or, the Ortolan

by Andrew Paul.

Kashrut, or, the Ortolan is a Pseudopod Original.

Andrew Paul’s recent fiction work is included in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as the anthologies, “Mississippi Noir,” published by Akashic Books, and “Thuglit: Last Writes.” His nonfiction has been featured in numerous online and print publications, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, Hazlitt, VICE Media, The A.V. Club, and Tablet. He currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and online at and @anandypaul.

Your Narrator – Brian Lieberman (oh snap, that's me!) is an associate editor of Pseudopod. By day, he’s a froody copywriter who always remembers his towel. By night, he fights various evils with his friends. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, a brooding rat, a roommate, a school of fish, and a cat with no patience for his tomfoolery.

He asks that if you’re feeling particularly generous, you donate to a small project he’s quite fond of. You might have heard of it, it’s called Pseudopod

Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.

“Compassion is what’s most important here,” Schulman tells his son.  

He shows him the sakin, turning it over in his hand, highlighting each angle.  

“The blade is sharpened again and again. There cannot be a single imperfection. Do you see?” Schulman asks.  

He lightly guides his youngest’s fingers across the metal edge. Jacob’s hesitance ebbs when he sees in his father’s care that there is no room for error, no chance of injury.  

“The sakin‘s edge is straight, not serrated. There can be no unnecessary tearing, just one precise and deliberate cut.”

Schulman motions to the heifer’s neck, pausing at every essential location along the knife’s route.  

“Esophagus. Trachea. Jugular. Carotids. Vagus,” he lists.  

Jacob swallows instinctively. Schulman nods.

“It may seem excessive. But this ensures the slaughter to be as painless as possible. Compassion. That’s what’s most important.”

Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 02:42:01 PM by Bdoomed » Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Sir Postsalot
Posts: 8660

« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 10:40:16 AM »

Hmmm...  interesting! 

I wasn't sure what to think of it, I wasn't super into it as it was going on, but I ended up really liking the contrast between the efficient and intentionally humane methods of the protagonist and his father, contrasted with the intentionally inhumane methods of the killer.  I liked how the faith of the protagonists played a role, and that extended even to the disposal of the killer at the end.
Posts: 50

« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 08:01:30 PM »

I think it was the things left unsaid that made this story truly terrifying, the hints of a lived past darker than anything Pseudopod's ever shared, how Jacob lost his voice, and what happened to the rest of the family.

That ending, though. It's not often that a horror story so beautifully shows compassion, faith, and mercy. Well done, all around.

Sent from my RCT6303W87M7 using Tapatalk

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