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Author Topic: Pseudopod 294: Demon Rum  (Read 1622 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: August 10, 2012, 03:50:34 PM »

Pseudopod 294: Demon Rum

By Charles M. Saplak

“Demon Rum” was first published around 1995 in the fiction magazine Pirate Writings, and was written by request of the editor, using a painting of a mouthless man holding a glass of a distilled spirit as a prompt. It is included in Charles’ fiction collection QUIET YET SOMEHOW WRONG, along with 16 other horror stories. Click the link under the title to purchase from Amazon.

Charles M. Saplak was, for a time, a sailor in the Sixth Fleet, and traveled to Naples many times. He irregularly blogs about books and writing (click his byline link above for his blog) , and also “tweets” @CMSaplak.

Your reader this week is the Dominick Rabrun. Dominick is an artist living in the DC metropolitan area. You can see his work at his websites Sketch Banquet and Count Blackula net.


“The scene on the other side of the glass resolved itself. Spangler’s suspicions were confirmed; he made out men bent over scattered tables; behind a bar at the far wall a man handled bottles.

Spangler felt his way along the stone wall (unsteadily, for his drinking had started hours ago) to a place where an unmarked door stood slightly ajar. From inside came the sounds of glass against wood, and the smells of tobacco smoke and stale sweat.

There were no signs or outside lights. As a bar this place struck Spangler as just what he needed. No frills, no B-girls, no blaring bands or flashing lights, just a place where a seaman could get one last drink before returning aboard.

It was just what Spangler was looking for on this cloudy Mediterranean night. It was just what he had been looking for on most nights of his life, these past ten years.”



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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countblackula
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 08:26:58 AM »

Guess I'll start this discussion?

I had a lot of fun reading this one, but I think that I had a bit of trouble with the story's content. I didn't feel like the main character really deserved to have his ears magicked away. I'm also not quite sure what's happening to him in the end.

I think usually there would be a long and intense torture scene to make someone pay for their crimes. The story ended about 200 words too short.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 08:58:17 AM »

So what were the things nibbling on everybody?  The demon's in the titular rum?

This story was okay.  The part before drinking the rum got pretty repetitive.
Barkeep:  I want a story, like one about somebody who does terrible thing A to another person.
Customer:  Sorry, I don't know any story like that.
Barkeep:  What about a story where somebody does terrible thing B to another person.
Customer:  nope.
It was clear from very early on that the protagonist did indeed do these things, and so it was just a matter of waiting for the reveal.

then at the reveal, terrible things start happening to him, but it wasn't really clear WHAT exactly that was supposed to be.  Demons nibbling away his ears because he didn't choose to listen I guess?  I don't know.  I

I think the main body of the story was too bland for me, and though the ending contrasted with it, I didn't really feel like it was well connected as part of the same story.
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Coolbreeze44105
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »

I was never in the Navy. And I never traveled to a foreign country. But if I did, and I came across an out of the way dive...I would think twice before accepting a free drink from ANYONE now that I've listened to this story.
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countblackula
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 06:26:59 AM »

Coolbreeze, that's wise thinking on your part.  Grin
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Scattercat
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 10:08:01 PM »

I enjoyed the idea of the Rum of Lethe.  The narration was top-notch, as ever.

But the ending just didn't do it for me.  "Oh, no, I are deaf now."  His ears didn't seem particularly important to him; it's not like he was a hardcore music-lover.  I get that he "didn't listen" and thus the penalty is poetic justice or whatever, but it just wasn't horrific to me.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2012, 02:39:11 AM »

But the ending just didn't do it for me.  "Oh, no, I are deaf now."  His ears didn't seem particularly important to him; it's not like he was a hardcore music-lover.  I get that he "didn't listen" and thus the penalty is poetic justice or whatever, but it just wasn't horrific to me.

I think you meant, "O noes, I are def now."

You're welcome.
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