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Author Topic: PseudoPod 652: He Dies Where I Die  (Read 460 times)


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on: June 15, 2019, 12:17:00 AM
PseudoPod 652: He Dies Where I Die

Author: Michael Harris Cohen
Narrator: Phil Lunt
Host: Alasdair Stuart

‘He Dies Where I Die’ was first published in The Dark in 2018.

Content Warning:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Dion spun back to the oval of daylight and said a prayer. He didn’t pray to Jesus or Qamata. He prayed to his father, ten years lost and dead in the mines.

Watch over me. Lead me to gold and back to the light.

He sniffed his last lungful of fresh air, jasmine and pending rain in it. He pulled on the dented hardhat—a hand-me-down from his father—flicked on his headlamp and descended.

Two hours down, back squawking from the constant crouch, the tall man’s misery in the mine, he thought of Thabo though he tried not to.

Thabo’d be pissed if he found out. When. Thabo’d know, he always knew, and it wouldn’t be about gold—he’d cut his boet Thabo a share of that. He’d be pissed about the Zama’s code, how Dion broke it going under alone.

“I die where he dies. He dies where I die.” That was Thabo’s mine entrance prayer and Dion’d heard it a hundred times. Always together. Down for days and even weeks in the abandoned shafts and dark. Digging. Trading jokes and joints and dreams, ready to die together. Because a Zama Zamas never goes or dies alone.

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Scuba Man

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Reply #1 on: June 16, 2019, 01:02:03 PM
Christ almighty! Where did you find this piece of golden horror? This was an awesome, awesome monster tale. I have a friend from South Africa (husband of my wife's childhood friend). I'm chancing a >25GB file and sending it to him. Claustrophobic? Yep. African sense of humour? Possibly. Seemingly inconsequential facts sprinkled through the story... that made sense at the story's end? Yep. Two, count 'em, 2 climaxes?! Oy. Nope, didn't see that coming!

I appreciated the absence of sound effects. My mind filled in the pieces (I scuba dive Lake Huron, and can feel in the 'closed in effect'). BTW - the old miner's trick to figure out which way's up... in SCUBA, we're told to follow the bubbles. It's no joke -- I'm a big guy and can be whipped around like a rag doll in swift current... or if the lake silt gets kicked up and my visibility goes to zero!  ??? ??? ??? ;D

Bravo, Mister Cohen. And Mister Lunt... I'm hoping my friend can explain some of the slang, inflections, and possible inside jokes you peppered your narration of this story.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 01:04:10 PM by Scuba Man »

"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 #2 on: August 25, 2019, 09:27:28 PM
This was extremely solid.  I felt like it was emphasizing some of the hints a little hard, but I'm the sort of reader who, the second the story mentioned a "random fact" about ants communicating with scent, said to myself, "Ah, obviously there's going to be an evil insect monster of some kind luring people with smells."  I may read too much genre fiction.

The character voice was well structured, and the tone kept it interesting throughout.  I particularly enjoyed the careful, almost lawyerly introduction of the Transgression that marks a character for death in Horror World.  Top marks, would recommend to others, etc.

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