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Author Topic: Pseudopod 271: Flash On The Borderlands X - Demonica  (Read 4553 times)
Talia
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« on: March 02, 2012, 12:06:48 AM »

Pseudopod 271: Flash On The Borderlands X - Demonica


Three flash fictions about those darker spirits we know so well…

DOG

By Stephen Hodgkinson.


Stephen lives & works in Manchester, United Kingdom. He is working on a collection of short stories that he hopes to publish by Summer 2012.

Read by Eve Upton, who previously starred as the mushroom in “Tippler’s Bane”.


“The girl stared out of her bedroom window. Her neighbour, the little boy was playing alone in his garden. She hated him, she hated his constant happiness, and she hated the confident way he dealt with his own company.

She hated him and she was very lonely.

“You could kill him” said a tiny voice lurking somewhere in the room.”




ANNOTATIONS

by Brady Golden.


Brady lives in Oakland, California with his wife and daughter. Click the link under his name to visit his website and find him on Twitter at @bradiation.

Text read by David Michel.

Numbers read by Melissa Bugaj. Click her name to hear her host original children’s stories at the Night Light Stories podcast.



“There are any number of books containing illustrations of the runes to be inscribed at the ritual’s onset. Some exist only in the private collections of reclusive eccentrics, while others are as close as your local library, misfiled at the ends of dimly lit aisles that smell like public toilets.”


“Annotations” uses this chime sound from Freesound.

crystal_glass” by reinsamba



THE DROWNER

By Peadar O Guillin


Click his name to sample some FROZEN STORIES. Random House published his first novel, THE INFERIOR, in 2007 (2008 in North America). The translation rights have since been sold to ten different markets. A sequel called THE DESERTER will be appearing in the U.S. and Canada in March 2012. He is also the author of numerous short stories, the most recent of which is “Heartless” over at BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES (December 2011), “Fairy Gold”, due out in LORE in March 2012 or “The Dowry” in the next issue (#16) of BLACK GATE.

Read by Cian MacMahon. Click the link under his name to visit his blog.

“As they sank together, Sean continued to stare into the strange white face of the Drowner. It hadn’t decayed too badly. The hair must have kept growing after he’d been lost. Bits of twig lay tangled there and tiny fry swam in and out of it as the walls of the island’s roots kept rising away from them. The eyes were whole too and Sean fancied he saw a flicker of recognition in them as well as a slight, shy smile on the rotted lips.”

“The Drowner” uses these water and seascape sounds from Freesound.

“bajo_agua_LOOP” by plagasul

“Water1″ by pushtobreak

“Water2″ by pushtobreak

“Water4″ by pushtobreak

“Water” by Halion

“ELEMENTS_WATER_01_Underwater” by suonho

“Water” by Batuhan

“Herring & Great Black backed Gulls 2 edited” by genghis attenborough

“bubblesrealslow (2)” by Rhedcerulean

“SplashEdit” by duckboy80

“Lapping Waves and Sea Gulls 2″ by digifishmusic

“Scuba 1″ by digifishmusic

“Underwater (small river)” by melarancida

“Pirate Ship at Bay” by CGEffex

“01650 underwater bubbles” by Robinhood76

“Credo” by cormi

“03_Lanes_Island_Water_2_LowBoat_48_24″ by tomtenney




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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cianmm
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 11:54:54 AM »

I'd just like to thank everybody at Escape Artists for giving me the chance to read for them (The Drowner) again. It was great fun!

- Cian
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 08:03:37 AM by cianmm » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 01:37:45 AM »

I'd just like to thank everybody at Escape Artists for giving me the chance to read for them again. It was great fun!

Well, I'd just like to say what an outstanding reading it was! The clarity, the intonation, the feeling in the narrative was superb -- may there be many more!
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 09:27:32 AM »

Dog--
I loved this one.  Funny, in an evil kind of way.  The voice used for the dog was perfect, especially since it was pretending to be guileless while just trying to get the house to itself. 
I will point out though, that dogs can wink.  My dogs wink all the time.  I'm not sure why they wink exactly--presumably they know something that I don't and they enjoy messing with me.   


Annotations--
I didn't really get the appeal in this one.  2nd person is annoying as ever.  And the plot itself seemed to be pretty much a by-the-book summoning. 

The Drowner--
A pretty good story.  I was digging it a lot in the beginning until the POV withholding was revealed, and then it was pretty good.  It bugs me when POV character lies to me, because it kills the immersion I like to cultivate.

I'd just like to thank everybody at Escape Artists for giving me the chance to read for them again. It was great fun!

Well, I'd just like to say what an outstanding reading it was! The clarity, the intonation, the feeling in the narrative was superb -- may there be many more!

Seconded!  And welcome!

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Seekerpilgrim
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 04:26:10 AM »

Another good batch of snacks to tide us over until the next full meal.

"Dog"; entertaining, but the ending seemed a little too much of a TWILIGHT ZONE twist...and, besides, I always thought cats were the evil plotters.

"Annotation"; this was just fun, and got me thinking about checking out eBay....just in case.

"The Drowner"; quite moving for such a short piece, and made me feel very sad for the little boy who just wanted a friend. Don't we all? Even if we ARE dead...
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 09:17:04 AM »

"Dog"; entertaining, but the ending seemed a little too much of a TWILIGHT ZONE twist...and, besides, I always thought cats were the evil plotters.

That's just what Dog wants you to think.  How better to plot evilly, but when no one suspects you of doing so.  Cats are such obvious plotters that they must be amateurs at best.  I think cows are the real masterminds, though.  Always staring at you as they chew...  They're just waiting until they have every detail plotted out and then POW.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 08:34:56 PM »

My God, you're right! That's...brilliant! (slowly turns to look at the dog...wondering.)
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 08:48:52 PM »

My dog often just sits there staring at me. I modestly assumed it was in adoration; now I'm worried.
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 09:26:11 AM »

My dog often just sits there staring at me. I modestly assumed it was in adoration; now I'm worried.

You're telling me!  Like I said, my dogs wink sometimes!  And we have more dogs in our house than humans!
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 04:03:48 PM »

My favorite was definitely "Annotations".  I thought the format of presentation was VERY engaging, especially the bell sound effect (great choice, Graeme!). 

"DOG" was adorable and others have done a better job of praising it - the voice for the dog really did it for me.

"The Drowner" I think suffers a bit from being compared to these other two strong stories. I thought it was enjoyable and sad, but it didn't seem to ring true with "demon" to me. The creature felt more like a emotionally strong spirit trapped in a body. The sensation was especially reinforced by the little scene the Drowner recreated with other victims.
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 05:35:50 PM »

Quote
I thought it was enjoyable and sad, but it didn't seem to ring true with "demon" to me. The creature felt more like a emotionally strong spirit trapped in a body. The sensation was especially reinforced by the little scene the Drowner recreated with other victims.

Very true but, in my defense, finding themes for the flash collections is a tricky business... and, if this had been the story of that little girl (and not a survivor) she would have definitely considered The Drowner a "demon!"
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 08:28:26 PM by Sgarre1 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 09:44:22 PM »

My favorite was definitely "Annotations".  I thought the format of presentation was VERY engaging, especially the bell sound effect (great choice, Graeme!). 

Thanks, but the FX are all Shawn. I just stick all the bits together Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 09:17:09 AM »

Quote
I thought it was enjoyable and sad, but it didn't seem to ring true with "demon" to me. The creature felt more like a emotionally strong spirit trapped in a body. The sensation was especially reinforced by the little scene the Drowner recreated with other victims.

Very true but, in my defense, finding themes for the flash collections is a tricky business... and, if this had been the story of that little girl (and not a survivor) she would have definitely considered The Drowner a "demon!"

I think it was a reasonable choice.  By the end of the story we understand the Drowner better, but from the world's perspective she certainly appears to be a demon.
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 01:43:33 AM »

I actually saw "Annotations" as the heavyweight in this trio. "Dog" was fun, "Drowner" was interesting, but "Annotations"—despite its comic format—had some real emotional depth. The hints about what had happened to the man's family struck me as really gut-wrenching, and all the more so because they were never fully explained. The flippant tone seemed to be hiding a loss so devastating that it has caused the man to give up on everything. Sometimes, things are so awful that comedy is the only option; however, it's not the kind of comedy that makes you laugh genuinely, more the kind that makes you laugh with wild desperation.

It reminded me of that classic Pseudopod story—one of my favorites of all time—whose title I can only remember now as "Werewolf Questionnaire" (not the real title). Seriously disturbed emotions masked by sarcastic flair.

Also, I thought the second-person was appropriate in this one, because the narrator was basically taunting the protagonist/victim and saying, "You, yes you, have more darkness and despair in you than anyone could imagine, and you are going to do this terrible thing because you're too weak to stop yourself."
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 07:48:04 AM »

It reminded me of that classic Pseudopod story—one of my favorites of all time—whose title I can only remember now as "Werewolf Questionnaire" (not the real title). Seriously disturbed emotions masked by sarcastic flair.

That would be "Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Question #7" from Ep 141, the very first Flash on the Borderlands (though not the first flash piece). I'm surprised you didn't remember the full title. ;-)
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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 07:49:05 AM »

"Exit Exam" remains one of my favorite horror stories of all time, full stop.  That and "Devote Your Life to Beauty."
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 06:03:14 PM »

It reminded me of that classic Pseudopod story—one of my favorites of all time—whose title I can only remember now as "Werewolf Questionnaire" (not the real title). Seriously disturbed emotions masked by sarcastic flair.

That would be "Exit Exam, Section III: Survival Skills, Question #7" from Ep 141, the very first Flash on the Borderlands (though not the first flash piece). I'm surprised you didn't remember the full title. ;-)

That's it!! What a brilliant and amazing story.

Also, great reading on "The Dark and What It Said," Graeme.
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2012, 10:02:45 PM »

Can somebody help me find out what the song playing between the stories is? I just tried to find it by skimming through all of "Hopeful Machines"' tracks but didn't succeed in identifying it. Am I even correct in assuming it is by "Hopeful Machines"?
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2012, 02:54:01 AM »

Can somebody help me find out what the song playing between the stories is? I just tried to find it by skimming through all of "Hopeful Machines"' tracks but didn't succeed in identifying it. Am I even correct in assuming it is by "Hopeful Machines"?

I can tell you exactly. I took it from Music Alley. The track is called "Terror", the band is Zekinash.
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2012, 10:11:59 AM »

Cool. Thanks a lot.
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