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Author Topic: PseudoPod 592: Free Balloons for All Good Children  (Read 3556 times)


  • Pseudopod Tiger
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on: April 29, 2018, 05:35:52 AM
PseudoPod 592: Free Balloons for All Good Children

by Dirck de Lint
Narrated by Rish Outfield

Show Notes

“This story came about because the balloon described in it drifted past my window at work.
Because a balloon floating five feet off the ground on a grey day in early October is so unlikely, my first thought was naturally that it was something horrible up to no good at all. It went away… eventually, after hanging around near a bus stop for far longer than seemed quite right. I don’t know what it was actually up to, but I’d like to thank the mystery balloon for the inspiration it provided.

The story was also an attempt to exorcise a vapour I developed about seven years ago– what if I become incapacitated while I’m the only parent on hand for my tender tot? I’m sorry to report that the exorcism has not really worked.”

Tom gave the stroller a little nudge to turn Danny out of the sun.  Danny responded by wriggling around under the straps to put himself as much in the sun as possible.  Tom smiled at this, and found that he couldn’t really blame his son.  The day was a little chilly for so late in May, and if he was enjoying the warmth of the sun it stood to reason that Danny would, too.  He was very close to just putting the stroller back the way it had been.  There was some uncertainty in his heart, though, about how far Danny could be trusted to look out for his own safety even now that he was above a year old.  When, he wondered, did they stop staring right at the sun if given a chance?

Listen to this week's PseudoPod.

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

Michael W. Cho

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Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 07:52:03 PM
Creepy! Loved the elegant simplicity of it all.


  • Extern
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Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 12:35:16 AM
At the end of this episode Alasdair promises to attach a link in the show notes for a  very brief video called desserts. I can't find it and I really want to see it can anyone show me the link? Please


  • Editor
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Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 12:00:50 AM
Sorry, links should be going up on the page soon, but anyway, here it is:


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Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 03:06:04 AM
This story strikes me as a deeply Junji Ito type of horror, particularly the kind featured in his anthologies- it's never explained exactly what the balloons are, or where they came from, or even why they're there (though plenty can be inferred). The implications with that last scene are, as a certain scientist Salarian might say, unpleasant. What a creepy little bow to top it all off with.
It's one of my favorite types of horror, and made me shudder even before the story came to an end. Bravo.

Scuba Man

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Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 12:33:24 AM
Christ on a cracker! It wasn't even that scary, yet I couldn't finish it. I didn't know what to think (carnivorous balloons?).

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


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Reply #6 on: May 11, 2018, 03:31:37 AM
The ending just before all chaos descends is smart, so all the unspeakable blood and gore happens in our minds instead!

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


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Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 08:26:55 PM
Loved this story!!


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Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 01:25:18 AM
Wonderful.  Creepy, disturbing & wonderful.  Delightfully horrid & unexpected ending.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." A.Einstein


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Reply #9 on: September 22, 2018, 05:05:08 PM
I wish I had a recording of my facial expressions while l was listening to this story. It was so terrifying and so engaging.