Author Topic: PseudoPod 754: Flash on the Borderlands LV: The Easily Digested Hurt  (Read 557 times)


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PseudoPod 754: Flash on the Borderlands LV: The Easily Digested Hurt

Authors: Matt Thompson, Glynn R. Forsythe, and Alexandra Duncan
Narrators: Kat Day, Karlo Yeager Rodriguez, and Tina Connolly
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

“Step Down, Step Down” is a PseudoPod original“Snip Snip Snip” is a PseudoPod original“My Guests” was put up as an earlier draft for criticism on the SFF Chronicles website,

Show Notes
Step Down, Step Down: “I’ve always been fascinated by the tradition of murder ballads that are still sung and passed down where I live in the southern Appalachian mountains. The haunting songs call out from that murky territory where good and evil, beauty and cruelty mix to be reinterpreted and made into something both ancient and new.”

“Snip Snip Snip” was inspired by ‘The Finishing Line’.

“My Guests”: “This story emerged after I read an article about termites titled ‘A giant crawling brain’. It talks about how the termite mound could be considered a composite animal, with constructed lungs, a warrior caste immune system and the workers as mouth and blood supply. I tried to write it a few times, but I could feel my subconscious still chewing on the idea. Eventually, properly masticated and probably digested by a symbiotic fungus, the story emerged on its own. I don’t normally work like that.”

A fantasy the way it could. A picture of us in a dream.

You’ve heard the ballads of young women murdered, drowned down by the river banks. I am one such maid.

He asked me once to be his love

He asked it two and three

I ne’er knew my answer would

Be the death of me.

Sometimes we are killed by brigands. Other times by a cruel sister. But most often by our lovers. We are always rosy-cheeked and demure. We die beautiful and tragic, and our murderer sings his lament from the gallows. He regrets it, but he had no choice. Fate drove his hand. Perhaps he even placed a posy in our cold grip as a we lay among the long grass.

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Álex Souza

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I liked Snip Snip Snip, for it reminded me of the German fairy tale Little Suck-a-Thumb, which was originally released in a 1848 collection called Shaggy Peter. It's about children who misbehave and get severely punished for it, and the punishments are carried out by the Scissorman. I read on Wikipedia researched thoroughly and, after my studies, found out that these children's behavior are related to a bunch of mental disorders.

I'm afraid I didn't like the other stories very much though. I didn't find any reason for the MC in My Guests want these insects inside him, except for "just because". Step Down, Step Down's ballad feels bland because there's no aftermath to the murders. It's pure sorrow. Better would be if it escalated to the likes of the urban legends, like that of the Kuchisake Onna, which the women come back as hauntings.

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.


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One assumes that the insect creatures of "My Guests" are utilizing some of those infamous pheromones.  That sort of infiltration is actually pretty common for parasites, where they suborn a colony organism's defenses and live rent-free, treated like one of their young.  These seem pretty good-natured for parasites, even; they work to defend and protect their stolen hive, and they go out of their way to make him feel happy and fulfilled.

I loved the dark social implications in "Snip Snip Snip."  Kids pick up on a lot more nuance and subtlety than we give them credit for; the careful measuring of what sins make what marks and how others will view this felt extremely realistic.