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Author Topic: PseudoPod 766: Knock, Knock, Wolf  (Read 311 times)

Bdoomed

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on: July 21, 2021, 05:06:10 AM
PseudoPod 766: Knock, Knock, Wolf

Author: P.G. Galalis
Narrator: Rish Outfield
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

“Knock, Knock, Wolf” was originally published in Flame Tree’s Gothic Fantasy anthology, Footsteps in the Dark, in October 2020



It was time to kill the sparrows.

Every autumn, after the last leaves fell and the bare trees rattled their bone song to an empty sky, the widow Clarabel started baking. Five parts flour, three parts water, a pinch of salt and emptins for leavening, plus a handful of the devil’s blend, finely ground. She would let the loaf go stale for a day, then scatter it about the field between her cottage and the forest.

A knock on the door was the worst sound in the world if you asked Clarabel, when beggars and travelers and all kinds of wretched, needy folk would flee winter in the high peaks. Fortunately, Clarabel had discovered that a lone cottage in a field of dead sparrows seldom received any visitors. 




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JDuckworth

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Reply #1 on: August 29, 2021, 03:02:23 PM
Just listened to this one while driving back from Wichita Falls. Great buildup, good tension throughout, beautifully simple structure. I figured the
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
, but it was still a satisfying turn and reversal anyhow.

I disagree with the endnote re: the main character doing "Everything right." She clearly makes a massive mistake of judgment, and then makes a few smaller mistakes that ultimately undo her, and throughout her selfishness undermines her judgment.



Álex Souza

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Reply #2 on: August 29, 2021, 05:20:46 PM
Just listened to this one while driving back from Wichita Falls. Great buildup, good tension throughout, beautifully simple structure. I figured the
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
, but it was still a satisfying turn and reversal anyhow.
I theorize that the first visitor being easy to figure out was written like that on purpose. It was to hide the real twist.

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


Scattercat

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Reply #3 on: September 02, 2021, 08:05:44 AM
I appreciate a character who is both justifiably confident and provably incorrect.  It's an unusual tone to hear. 

I'm a little at a loss about Clarabel's ending; it didn't scan for me that she ended up a wolf.  She was not particularly repressed or particularly bloodthirsty, and just didn't seem... very lycanthropey.  It is a particularly unkind end for her, so anxious to retain control in her life, to be forced into living as something else entirely.  I think she'd probably have been happier overall as a victim to her own hubris than as a follower in a wolf pack. 



Lorna

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Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 12:42:00 AM
I usually listen to PseudoPod either while walking or on long drives up into the mountains. This was definitely a good pick for the latter, it wasn't scary but the suspense was incredible. And I always love a twist on a fairy tale idea.