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Author Topic: Flash: Garbage Day  (Read 9150 times)
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« on: January 01, 2008, 02:42:57 PM »

Flash: Garbage Day

By Russell L. Burt

Read by Elie Hirschman

Kenneth was twelve when the significance of garbage day first struck him. That’s when it became his job to patrol the household’s trash bins, bag their contents, and then toss the bags into the huge plastic garbage can outside his kitchen door. Well, now it was a huge blue can. Back then it had been a couple of smaller, metal cans. But superficial differences aside, the result was always the same. The detritus that had accumulated over the week was gone, disappearing while you slept, as if by magic.



Listen to this Pseudopod Flash.
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Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 02:47:36 PM »

hahahaha i loved this one
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eytanz
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 03:06:14 PM »

Heh. Quite amusing.
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DarkKnightJRK
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 03:32:01 AM »

I can only imagine what happens next, because the cops would look through that garbage can...

COP: Freeze! Get out of the trashcan!
GUY: You can't see me! I don't exist!
COP: Yes you do. Get out of there.
GUY: NO!
COP: Alright, if you want to do this the hard way...*takes out tazer*
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Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 12:10:29 PM »

id hate to be in the court proceedings for that guy once he's caught.
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600south
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008, 08:57:26 PM »


aw... the best thing about a Russell L. Burt story is when Russell reads it himself!
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 11:03:53 PM »

Wow, that was a great flash piece.

Ususally I don't find myself applying that g-word to flash.  Sure, "amusing," or "fun," or "chilling," and this also was both of those.

Also, it helped me realize something about myself as a reader.

I've had a boilerplate argument I've made since I was a teenager that goes something like this: Horror which is purely psychological is by nature the best horror.  My favorite King story, for example, was always Secret Window, Secret Garden.  The argument ran along lines of "it's better because it doesn't have to resort to the crutch of the supernatural, and is thus more immediate."

As I thought about my response to this story, I realized there was a much better explaination.

A truism of horror, and one which almost seems like it goes without saying, is that the best horror is that which touches on what the reader finds genuinely terrifying.  It makes sense that an arachnophobic person would get much more of a rise out of a story about evil spiders than one about evil chinchillas.

I have a pretty healthy relationship with fear.  I have a natural, healthy fear response, but I'm usually pretty in control of fear, and I try not to dwell on it.

But perhaps the very rationality that allows the former accounts for my intense terror at the idea of my own mental processes becoming unreliable.  About a week ago I ran into an old friend who was pretty clearly delusional, probably paranoid schizophrenic, and I was floored by the experience for the rest of the day.

It was probably the story coming in such close proximity to that highly unpleasant meeting that led to this realization: I most probably find psychological horror, espescially the kind told by an unreliable narrator who doesn't recognize his own delusion, so effective because that's what most scares me.

Also, I love it when a writer takes you one step beyond the punchline you thought you saw coming.
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 11:41:15 PM »


A truism of horror, and one which almost seems like it goes without saying, is that the best horror is that which touches on what the reader finds genuinely terrifying.  It makes sense that an arachnophobic person would get much more of a rise out of a story about evil spiders than one about evil chinchillas.

Heh, heh... evil chinchillas:

http://www.youtube.com/v/E6_hACHwYRI&rel=1
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Yossarian's grandson
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2008, 03:18:19 PM »

What can I say. Seriously funny indeed. I could just see the main character sitting in the garbage bin, going " I'm no longer here, you cannot see me...". It all reminded me of Terry Jones as King Arnulf in the movie Erik The Viking, you know, slowly sinking under the waves while assuring everyone that ' none of this is actually happening' ... Cheesy
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contra
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2008, 04:15:55 PM »

I liked all the ideas here.  That someone believes something doesn't exist cause its not in sight is a world view a worrying number of people have.  This was it taken to a funny and brilliant extreme
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deflective
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2008, 07:26:25 PM »

a fun twist on murder suicide! (just one of those things you never expect to say)

this story puts a cap on an interesting pseudopod flash trend. the last five/six episodes have all featured people trying to avoid consequences. whether through scapegoat or stealth people want to get away without facing the results of their actions, or dreams.

of course this is an old standby in horror (the genre that centers on the feelings that literally create taboo) but it's unusually prevalent recently. there are reasons why it would resonate strongly with america's national psyche atm but i can't help but wonder if there isn't some personal reason why the editors keep choosing these stories.

the bodies beginning to pile up on you guys?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 08:13:11 PM by deflective » Logged
Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2008, 07:56:51 PM »

... there are reasons why it would resonate strongly with america's national psyche atm ...



Hmmmm... a psychotic A.T.M.... that could make a good Pseudopod flash piece, doncha think?
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This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!
sirana
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2008, 04:24:33 AM »

funny dat...
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DDog
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2008, 10:21:26 PM »

Also, I love it when a writer takes you one step beyond the punchline you thought you saw coming.
Indeed, I thought I knew where it was going about halfway through but was still excited to see it get there because the voice of the character grabbed me. And it did go there—and then just a little bit farther. Smiley
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 03:09:25 PM »

This was GREAT, probably one of the best flash stories I've ever read/heard.

It took me a little while to figure out what was going on, until he started listing out the details of the wife, and then explained he'd never had a wife.  I was like "wait, he said... ooooooohhhhhhh."  And was even better the rest of the way.  I laughed out loud at the ending.

I was at the post office at the time waiting in line to put postage on a package, so I have a bit of a cross-image with a USPS receptacle.  Tongue
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Millenium_King
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2010, 07:19:29 PM »

This one was fantastic.  I loved the "They'll never catch me!" bit at the end when he's crawling into the garbage can.  Just brilliant.
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