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Author Topic: Pseudopod 127: The Garden and the Mirror  (Read 5731 times)

Bdoomed

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on: February 02, 2009, 09:58:07 PM
Pseudopod 127: The Garden and the Mirror

By Tim W. Burke

Read by Alasdair Stuart

She asked me, “Will you teach the secrets of the soul and flesh?”

Her eyes glowed like onyx in the gaslight. Her skin seemed translucent, but the young man fidgeting beside her on my drawing room sofa was paler still. His fine suit and shirt sagged on him; the cadaver in him emerging.

The young man blanched at her boldness, “My wife has always been an enthusiast for mysticism. Back home in Atlanta, we tried homeopathy, faith healing, and God knows how many quacks. But the tumor grows. My fevers are getting worse. I can’t even travel home because my head aches –”

“Mr. Alecsandri,” the young woman, Olivia Spalding, leaned to me, “Our friends here told us that you cured their little boy of consumption.”

“I remember the case. I taught the boy to banish it.”



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?


gelee

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Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 05:36:26 PM
Excellent.  Very moody victorian horror piece.  Well written and well read.



Sgarre1

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Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 04:13:44 AM
I thought this was excellent as well.  Good idea, nicely executed, correct length for the idea - just runs in, punches the clock and runs out.  The opening reminded me a bit of Poe's "Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar"

I like how the writer's control of language and diction, and the mention of the occasional historical event, let us know this is the past without hitting us over the head with it.  The betrayal of the man's wife is nicely done as well, seeing as she's willing to assure her husband a lingering, painful death, and is obviously fixated on power over love.  And the final image/line was a nice play on the earlier use of the title.

This may be too quiet for some, but I liked it a lot.

Thanks for listening.

“There’s no reason to live, but there’s no reason to die, either. The only way we can still show our contempt for life is to accept it.  Life is not worth the bother of leaving it. Out of charity, one might spare a few individuals the trouble of living, but what about oneself? Despair, indifference, betrayal, fidelity, solitude, the family, freedom, weight, money, poverty, love, absence of love, syphilis, health, sleep, insomnia, desire, impotence, platitudes, art, honesty, dishonor, mediocrity, intelligence – nothing there to make a fuss about. We know only too well what those things are made of, no point in watching for them.”
Jacques Rigaut



MacArthurBug

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Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 04:58:03 AM
Exellent and mood altering.
I went through an absolute slew of emotions. Glee- Al was reading after all. Sort of turned on by the general ideas- the way the charactors interacted the semi romance- then disgust and a serious "eeehheeheeew" moment, then again glee. It pulled together so very very well.  One of my new favorites. Quiet, moody and delightful.

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Coffee_Zombie

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Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 08:14:33 PM
Yar I found myself on the fence about this one.  I enjoyed the idea of evil meta-physical stuff which was great, sorta like yogies gone bad.  I just didn't find the story that gripping not like some in the past I really liked, like clockwork, living tattoo one with the scottish Loc's and stuff, skull faced boy, and that maniac in traffic one with the axe(I enjoy vague descriptions).  This one just didnt do it for me.  Also lets have at least one good action horror story per month.  You know all horror doesn't have to be subtle sometimes it can just hit me over the head with an axe.

"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. " -Tyler Durdan


Listener

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Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 03:08:23 PM
Alisdair has a great way of inserting pauses into his reading that really move the story along well.

I liked the story, but after Our Hero was dead, I felt a little lost.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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goatkeeper

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Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 08:58:27 AM
Aw man, just couldn't get into this thing.  The reading was fine, I was in my usual routine, fine mood, good writing.  Who knows.  I just can't elevate this from the 'meh' stack.  Wasn't dynamic enough, needed more action.



Unblinking

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Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 07:05:06 PM
This one was really good, well-drawn characters, and ending with a bang.  I hadn't quite seen the ending coming, though I had had a hypothesis that turned out to be wrong (but not completely wrong).  I really liked it.



Millenium_King

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Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 09:56:02 PM
I listened to this one after I listened to "The Mother and the Worm."  I have to say that I liked it, but I liked it less.  There was much more exposition here, a bit more telling in some parts and much less going on.  The premise also felt a little thinner and, while interesting as a backstory which is hinted at, it doesn't stand on its own too well.

Loved the idea of him BECOMING the tumor though.  When I listened to "The Mother and the Worm," I assumed he was a worm too.

Visit my blog atop the black ziggurat of Ankor Sabat, including my list of Top 10 Pseudopod episodes.


Unblinking

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Reply #9 on: June 15, 2010, 01:39:17 PM
Loved the idea of him BECOMING the tumor though.  When I listened to "The Mother and the Worm," I assumed he was a worm too.

I love the final image of this story with the tumor fetus bursting out of the skull.



TimWBurke

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Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 09:16:37 PM
Hi, author here:
Again, the Pseudopod fanbase is the most insightful.
This was one of my first really "good" stories. There is a bit of exposition compared to the later Alecsandri and Olivia stories. But I had compared the style with stories written during the Fin De Cycle (sp?) and found the tone comparable. Maybe too dated, though?
I'm sorry i did not write sooner. I was being shy, but I think I'm over it.



Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 02:57:58 PM
Hi, author here:
Again, the Pseudopod fanbase is the most insightful.
This was one of my first really "good" stories. There is a bit of exposition compared to the later Alecsandri and Olivia stories. But I had compared the style with stories written during the Fin De Cycle (sp?) and found the tone comparable. Maybe too dated, though?
I'm sorry i did not write sooner. I was being shy, but I think I'm over it.

Welcome, welcome!  It's always good to see authors here.  This is still one of my favorite Pseudopod stories, definitely one that lingers on the mind.