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Get your 500 word fantasy stories ready! We'll be open for submissions through the month of March, and starting the voting sometime in early April. Full details on Podcastle's website

Author Topic: Pseudopod 235: Flash On The Borderlands VIII - Warped Love  (Read 8437 times)


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Pseudopod 235: Flash On The Borderlands VIII - Warped Love

Three flash fictions about the strange shapes love can bend us into

(sorry, Valentine’s Day has already passed!)


By Matthew Chrulew
Click his name for some “Negentropy”. This story was originally published in Shadowed Realms 8 in 2005, and is available to read at the link, and the podcast of another story can be found at Terra Incognita Speculative Fiction 16 from 2010. His novella from Twelfth Planet Press, “The Angælien Apocalypse” is a finalist in the Aurealis Awards’ science fiction short story category. Click the title to purchase a copy.

Narrated by Philippa Ballantine.

“She approaches the spot and pulls into the gravelly emergency lane. It is still there, like always, in the traditional place to the side of the road - her husband’s memorial cross, attesting his memory in some little way to the passing drivers. Still bearing the wreath of carnations she left last week.

She visits at that interval. She remembers his life, his weekend surprises, and his stupid jokes.

And she remembers his death, as it must have happened - that shrieking scratch of metal, that infinite slide, that smash into the tree.”


By M.C. Funk
Under his name came be found what he’s responsible for…

Narrated by Donna Lynch.

“I knew your demon would be hungry the moment I found it. How it crouched toad-like behind the cleaning products under our sink. From its eight-ball eyes to the mouth that spread atop its stomach, your demon’s shape was fat with appetite.

I came to you terrified and smelling of bleach. “Oh yeah.” You had sad-dog eyes. “I was meaning to tell you about that.”"


By Bint Arab
Click his name and satisfy your “Bibliophilia”.

Narrated by our forum’s own Marshal Latham!

“‘”I made you young, Mother, so you won’t have to worry about your heart problems any more.” He swiped some of the dirt off her face and wrapped her in the towel so he wouldn’t have to touch her as he guided her to the house.”

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?


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Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 12:08:33 PM
pieces... that is the most horrible thing I have heard in a while.


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Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 11:14:07 PM
Glad to hear it!


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Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 11:17:14 PM
Oh yeah, "Pieces" is definitely the creepiest story I've heard or read in a long time! I still have goosebumps.



  • Palmer
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Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 02:00:30 AM
Pieces - What a great analogy to spousal abuse. When listening to the story I kept thinking how I was reminded of a battered spouse, slowly losing herself to an abusive husband all the while in love with him.

The best flash fiction in a while.


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Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 07:41:30 AM

That was a fun, clever, mean little horror story. I enjoyed the inverted imagery of the sad white cross by the side of the road and the ugly, black, inverted cross in the hollow in the woods. I probably won't remember this story forever, but I certainly enjoyed listening to it.


Oh, God. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I listen to stories narrated by Donna Lynch? Does she just always land the creepiest stories? Is her voice really that terrifying? I don't know. I just know that I won't be sleeping for a while. A long while. I guess I'll stay up, listen to Ego Likeness, and paint my tiny plastic spacemen instead. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Sounds like my mother, only worse. And that's hard. My mother is pretty bad. I absolutely wouldn't put it past her. Not for a minute.

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.


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Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 01:31:36 PM
A good group of stories, well chosen for their common theme.

"In Memoriam"
This story didn't get me as much as the others.  It certainly felt authentic, and the twist caught me off guards, which is a good thing.  But it just really makes me wonder why she does it.  If he's dead, he doesn't care that she's crapping on his grave.  All she's doing is prolonging her own hate, for someone who isn't around anymore.  Though, I like what Alasdair said about having to admire her dedication.

Oh my God, this story was horrible in the best kind of horror way, a perfect analogy for a parasitic relationship.  The best relationships leave you stronger than you would've been by yourself, and then there's this kind which makes you give away yourself piece by piece until it kills you.  I'm not sure which part was creepier, the end where he still insisted on saying "I love you", or the point in their decline where she took his tongue without evening asking.  *shudder*  Well done.

"Home is Where the Heart Is"
Ah, family.  Another parasitic relationship, this time with an overbearing mother and equally overbearing son.  I didn't see the second revival coming.  Creepy!


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Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 03:22:58 AM
Folks have mentioned the "parasitic/abusive relationship" analogy for "Pieces". I'm glad I'm on the forums! See, I'm quite a literal person and that analogy escaped me. Now that it's mentioned it seems entirely obvious and exactly how such a thing would play out (minus the demon). Thanks folks. And nice one, M.C. Funk.

(I gotta wonder about that name, though -- sounds a bit too hip-hop to be real. And I'm damn sure I'm not the first to make that observation :-)


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Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 08:38:06 AM
I've tried searching for audio for the ABC story, "A Is For Arthur", but no luck. Can someone post a link?


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Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 04:33:50 PM
I've tried searching for audio for the ABC story, "A Is For Arthur", but no luck. Can someone post a link?

The alphabet stories will be released to donors after July 1 - they're not out yet.


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Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 04:48:07 AM
Oh man, I can't but shudder at Pieces. Love it. I've absolutely felt like I was in this relationship....


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Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 08:06:45 PM

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


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Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 03:35:56 AM
I love horror.  I love nasty, scary, terrifying stories about terrible things happening to all sorts of people and I pride myself on finishing each and every story, movie or book I start in the genre no matter how bad it gets.  (Fantasy, now, that's another story...)

I had to stop "Pieces."

The minute she said "You didn't even ask when you took my..." I jabbed that pause button.  Suffice it to say I've been somewhere far too close to the narrator's perspective to get through without some very deep breaths.

The story is elegant and concise, the narration perfect in it's almost numb tone of voice.  Definitely going on my top 5 list for 2011.

Alea Iacta Est!


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Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 03:32:49 PM
Pieces - right up there with Bliss in the total-creep-out-give-me-nightmares category. awesome...

Home is where the heart is: when she grabs the knife... MAN!

In Memoriam: was walking through Target while listening tot his one, Target will never be the same for me ...

well done pseudopod

and Al, you are my Hero

Enjoy and be nice to each other, because "WE" is all we got.


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Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 05:35:00 PM
In Memoriam: Felt a little too pat to me -- unthoughtful person does something bad, survivor gets him back and makes sure not to get caught, shits on the grave.  Not much set it aside from the large pile of revenge fantasy.  Would have loved a "whoops, wrong guy" twist, even if that would have been no less cliche'd...

Pieces: This one knocked me to the mat.  I've watched very close friends in this kind of relationship, and the way the narrator talked about her situation felt chillingly authentic.  To me this will always be where supernatural horror is at its best: The scariest thing isn't the biggest bogeyman or the shamblingest zombie horde or the most unpronouncable old god, it's the human reactions to said, and the knowledge that supernatural evil, while a useful device for exploring those reactions in distilled form, is in no way necessary to bring about such behavior.

I'll be honest, I couldn't quite get in to Home... -- probably partially beacuse I was still coming off Pieces, partly because I was right at the end of my commute and thinking about getting home.  Might give it another try in a bit.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 05:45:05 PM by bolddeceiver »


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Reply #15 on: July 21, 2011, 12:52:07 AM
AAAAHHHHHHH .... the borderlands ...... nice

Enjoy and be nice to each other, because "WE" is all we got.


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Reply #16 on: July 28, 2011, 06:35:19 PM
Pieces reminded me a bit of Linda's Appointment except more horrible. This one got a physical reaction from me. Nicely done!

Mod: fixed link :)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 07:35:29 PM by Bdoomed »

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”