Escape Artists
December 15, 2017, 10:37:04 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: PseudoPod 545: Indiscretions  (Read 575 times)
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4816


Mmm. Tiger.


« on: June 04, 2017, 11:42:58 AM »

PseudoPod 545: Indiscretions

by Hillary Dodge.

“Indiscretions ” is a Pseudopod Original. “The author invites you to sit back, close your eyes, and picture a deserted suburban neighborhood, lawns brown and tangled, the sky a bleak shade of yellow-gray…”

HILLARY DODGE is a writer and editor based out of Santiago, Chile. She has a Masters degree in Library and Information Sciences which is probably one of the coolest degrees out there – no joke. She enjoys shooting zombies like a boss, reading over a cup of steaming coffee, goat cheese on everything, and supporting fellow authors and creators.

Last year, Hillary and her husband quit their jobs and relocated their family to South America to collaborate on a cookbook entitled The Chilean Family Table. Throughout the next year, they will travel the length of this thin country, exploring the food culture of Chile while researching their book. You can follow their travels online at www.gourmetfam.com. She is also the nonfiction editor for Gamut Magazine and if you don’t know what that’s about yet, it’s about time you visited www.gamut.online, don’t you think?

This week’s reader – Christiana Ellis – is an award-winning author and producer of fiction podcasts Nina Kimberly the Merciless and Space Casey, as well as a constantly bubbling stew of other podcasts. Christiana is currently acting as the Dungeon Master in a real-play Dungeons and Dragons podcast, called SO MANY LEVELS, available in both video and audio formats at christianaellis.com.



For supporting our Kickstarter, we’d like to give a very special thank you to Stacy Frazer.



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



During the full pound and punch of her morning run, in the steadily lifting gloom, Mary sees a figure, indistinct and blurry, at the end of the broken street where no one ought to be. She skids to a stop and blinks. The figure is gone.

Most of her neighborhood is undeveloped and has been for some time. There are wide open tracts of weeds, cracked flats of dirt, and animal holes in abundance. There are also three foundations, gaping holes, really, and another with a rotting timber frame above. It is as if the contractors went out for lunch and never returned. Even the For-Sale signs have disappeared, perhaps toppled by wind or kids and eventually buried.



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 11:44:30 AM 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?
Scuba Man
Peltast
***
Posts: 138


Drabblecast, Pseudopod, Escapepod, Podcastle


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 03:44:06 PM »

Our protagonist gets her memory reset every night...  yeesh.  She never learns. She just remains on autopilot until she dies of old age.  While I wanted to know WHAT the cataclysm was & why she had that scar, it's beside the point.
The rotting, compost smell wafting from the unfinished basement was a nice touch.
Logged

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
clashingcolors
Extern
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 07:39:38 AM »

I liked this story, but once I realized where it was going, I got thrown off by the timeline. Our protagonist has aged visibly, buildings and construction in the neighborhood have collapsed, and her husband's corpse has completely disintegrated. But she still seems to have running water, as well as enough food, shower gel and athletic gear to continue the daily cycle. Even if amnesia and denial interlock perfectly, she would have to have run into some logistical problems by now, right?
Logged
GreySkies
Palmer
**
Posts: 22



« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 01:14:28 PM »

Very well done; reminded me of the best Twilight Zone episodes.
Logged
Katzentatzen
Peltast
***
Posts: 106



« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 04:51:49 PM »

Time loop stories without time travel, that's one I haven't run across in awhile. Realizing one's place in a machine is terrifying, best not to think about it.
Logged

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
--LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN
HillaryDodge
Extern
*
Posts: 5


« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 12:11:43 PM »

Our protagonist gets her memory reset every night...  yeesh.  She never learns. She just remains on autopilot until she dies of old age.  While I wanted to know WHAT the cataclysm was & why she had that scar, it's beside the point.
The rotting, compost smell wafting from the unfinished basement was a nice touch.

Yeh, it's a pretty bleak scenario. I was imagining a flu pandemic of some kind in the background. And the scar was actually the reason for her continual short term memory loss. Remember the broken step stool?

Thanks for reading, Scuba Man.
Logged
HillaryDodge
Extern
*
Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 12:28:13 PM »

I liked this story, but once I realized where it was going, I got thrown off by the timeline. Our protagonist has aged visibly, buildings and construction in the neighborhood have collapsed, and her husband's corpse has completely disintegrated. But she still seems to have running water, as well as enough food, shower gel and athletic gear to continue the daily cycle. Even if amnesia and denial interlock perfectly, she would have to have run into some logistical problems by now, right?

A lot of good points, clashing colors. The way I imagined it working was like this...

Maybe one day she gets up and the milk is all gone. So on that particular day, she drives to the nearby grocery store. She's confused by the parking lot, how everyone has just parked willy nilly, ignoring the yellow lines. She rushes through the mess, grabs a milk and maybe some canned stuff, mimicking the other frantic shoppers. She knows something bad is happening and returns home to flip on the news. What she sees is terrible, devastating. But, after a rough night tossing and turning, her REM cycle resets her brain and she wakes up the next morning without any memory of the insanity at the grocery the day before.

So, she goes about her business; going for a run, making coffee with milk, and grinding her teeth at the fact that her husband never comes home. Out with his disgusting mistress again, she thinks.

A few days later she's out of milk again but this time the supermarket is abandoned. Aisles are cluttered with dumped boxes and rotting fruit. Shattered glass crunches underfoot as she makes her way to the back of the store, using her cell phone to light the way. She hasn't had service in days but she knows what's going on in the world and now she has proof of just how bad it is. She returns home with some powdered milk and spends all day trying to call her parents on the phone but only gets a busy signal. She decides to drive up to their house the next day to see if everything is ok. But, after a night's sleep, she ties on her shoes and goes for a run...

I know, it's not the perfect scenario that she never gets out of her house, that she never just hops in her car to drive right away to her parents' house. But, life is made up of all sorts of decisions and maybe hers are always weak ones, stupid ones. Maybe she's the kind of person that always puts stuff off until tomorrow. Even when the water eventually stops and the electricity cuts off...

Thanks for reading. Smiley
Logged
HillaryDodge
Extern
*
Posts: 5


« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 12:28:51 PM »

Very well done; reminded me of the best Twilight Zone episodes.
I can't ask for a better comment than that! Thanks, GreySkies!
Hillary
Logged
HillaryDodge
Extern
*
Posts: 5


« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 12:31:00 PM »

Time loop stories without time travel, that's one I haven't run across in awhile. Realizing one's place in a machine is terrifying, best not to think about it.
Right? I was in a strange place while writing this story. Taking morning runs in my own half-finished neighborhood, getting ready to quit my job to relocate to the other side of the world. It felt strange to be thinking about a life outside of the ordinary. Maybe some of those emotions were bleeding off into the story?

Thanks for reading,
Hillary
Logged
Ichneumon
Peltast
***
Posts: 100


« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 12:37:09 PM »

I could feel the dread building up. I knew she was going to realize something terrible, even if she couldn't face it. Putting together all the clues and trying to figure out what happened along with the protagonist kept my interest in the story. What a curse, waking up every morning with a family, and losing them every night.
Logged
HillaryDodge
Extern
*
Posts: 5


« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 05:50:09 PM »

I could feel the dread building up. I knew she was going to realize something terrible, even if she couldn't face it. Putting together all the clues and trying to figure out what happened along with the protagonist kept my interest in the story. What a curse, waking up every morning with a family, and losing them every night.

I know, it would be absolutely terrible. For me, the saddest part was when she goes back into her son's room and sees the dust accumulating. As a mom, that just breaks my heart. Thanks for reading!

Hillary
Logged
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4816


Mmm. Tiger.


« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 10:10:41 AM »

Always love when the author stops by for some insight! Thanks, Hillary!
Logged

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!