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Author Topic: PseudoPod 565: Cuckoo  (Read 3848 times)


  • Pseudopod Tiger
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on: October 21, 2017, 02:43:45 AM
PseudoPod 565: Cuckoo

by Angela Slatter
Narrated by Victoria Winnick

“Cuckoo” originally appeared in A Killer Among Demons, Craig Bezant (ed.) Dark Prints Press, May 2013. It was reprinted in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2014, Paula Guran (ed.), Prime Books.

MUSIC USED – This week’s music is from “Orgy of the Vampires” by TERRORTRON: a posthumous electronic orb that splatters the ears of the living with a flood of brain-washing sound waves. This is a side project of Anders Manga which involves scoring cult horror movies you’ve never seen. Pray that you only get to hear them.

The child was dead by the time I found her, but she suited my purposes perfectly.

Tiny delicate skin suit, meat sack, air thief.

The flesh was still warm, which is best—too hard to shrug on something in full rigor—and I crammed my bulk into the small body much as one might climb into a box or trunk to hide. A fold here, a dislocation there, a twinge of discomfort and curses when something tore, stretched just too far.

The rent was in the webbing of the right hand. Only a little rip, no matter. The sinister manus was my favoured choice of weapon anyway. I sat up, rolled my new shoulders—gently, carefully—then stood, rocking back slightly on legs too tender, too young to support my leviathan weight. I took a step, felt the world tilt, caught my balance before I fell and risked another tear; looked down at the single pink shoe, with its bows and glitter detail; took in the strange white cat face that ran around the hem of the pink and white dress; rubbed my miniature fingers against the dried brown stains that blotched the insides of my thighs.

The child had died hard.

The sliver of me that retained empathy ached, just a bit. But I could smell the scent of the one who’d done this and I would follow that scent. The hunt was on, my blood was up. Time was of the essence—my presence will speed decay. I pitched my head up so my nostrils caught the evening breeze and breathed deeply, filling my borrowed lungs, so the memory would remain.

Again, I took a step, more, all steady.



Listen to this week's PseudoPod.

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  • Palmer
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Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 04:01:33 PM
Disturbing as hell and utterly unnerving. Beautifully done. This story is horror at its best.

Scuba Man

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Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 04:33:17 PM
Disturbing as hell and utterly unnerving. Beautifully done. This story is horror at its best.
Sweet mother of god! I actually found myself looking at my player in disbelief. This was TWISTED and terrifying. Holy sheepshit. I did NOT see that ending coming. Alistair, thanks for that outro. It brought me back to the present. Excellent plot. The narrator was a good fit. I’m happy to know my $10/month helped spawn this story. <:-)

I'm a stand-up philosopher until 2024. Then, I move onto my next gig. I'm a gentleman forester and farmer. I also enjoy jumping into Lake Huron and panicking the fish.

Michael W. Cho

  • Palmer
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Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 06:35:25 PM
Startling good writing. I did find it hard to buy an ancient horror could be terrified of the banality of evil, but perhaps that's just my own limits talking.


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Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 01:39:51 PM
I was confused as to the motives of the creature, but Alasdair’s post-script made it clearer. His thoughts at the end of each story are part of why I regard this podcast so highly.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


  • Extern
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Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 04:45:35 AM
This was outright amazing. I needed something to give me some chills and this one actually did it. As noted above, Alasdair's comments were spot-on. People can be much more terrifying than any creatures Lovecraft created.


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Reply #6 on: December 18, 2017, 02:04:32 AM
Wow, what a monster!


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Reply #7 on: December 12, 2019, 10:34:07 PM
I have to admit that I found the ending of this one darkly comic.