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Author Topic: Pseudopod 303: Flash On The Borderlands XIII - Responsible Parties  (Read 3022 times)


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Pseudopod 303: Flash On The Borderlands XIII - Responsible Parties

A Murder Of Crows by Tres Crow.

Tres Crow lives in Atlanta with the two people he loves most in the world. He’s been published in decomP, Emprise Review, Full of Crow, The Foundling Review, as well as the website Check out his blog, Dog Eat Crow World, at the link under his name above.

Read by Malcolm Charles

I grab him by his shirt and yank him to his feet. He is so thin, a bird, just like his mother, and the reek of liquor from his pores and breath stings in my nostrils. I shake him.

“John…” starts my wife, dropping the shovels, but I wave her away.

“Stop your whining. It’s your fault we’re out here. If you weren’t such a goddamn idiot,” I yell at him and I shake him and I stamp my feet.

Magnitude Seven by David Glen Larson.

This story was originally published in Niteblade, December 2011.

After leaving the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, David worked as a screenwriter and television writer for several years before writing his first short story, which recently appeared in Daily Science Fiction. He has also published speculative poems in magazines like Niteblade, Ideomancer, and the British Fantasy Society Journal (formerly Dark Horizons).

Read by Patrick Bazille. Patrick “The Voice” Bazille is a new and fresh sound in the voice over industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patrick has voiced everything from PSA’s to major product brand commercials and movie trailers to documentaries. With a deep, commanding voice often referred to as “The Voice of God” Patrick demands attention.

Levoy found a road at the bottom of the stairs, and followed it to a city of blue and white tents. There were strange people all around him: dog people, pig people, tin-can people, people with legs made of tires and arms of twisted steel, and rat people too. All of them had no eyes.

There were also children making masks from scraps of wood and other broken things for tourists that would never come here. The children had no eyes.

One of them called out his name. It was Marta, a friend from the school Magnitude Seven destroyed. Marta had no eyes.

Always Grinning by Nathaniel Lee

Nathaniel is a writer living in North Carolina with his wife, child, and obligatory cats. He puts words in order, and sometimes people give him money for them.  His work, including a full bibliography, can be found at his daily writing blog, Mirrorshards (see the link under his name above) where he publishes a 100-word story most days.  HIs short story “Gastrohpidia” is currently available at Ideomancer.  The Mirrorshards book, “Splinters of Silver and Glass” has 100 of his drabbles, one flash fiction story (”The Lady of Tilmarine”) and one full-length short story (”Old Growth.”)

Read by Rikki LaCoste. Rikki is the creator and co-host of the metaphysical and esoterically flavoured podcast, Kakophonos Internet Radio available for free from iTunes.  His odd, informative, and provocative show often collapses into the silly and the absurd whenever it begins to get a little too serious.  Rikki is a writer of strange articles on occult subjects, a musician (involved in the projects Panthea and Wychwood Children), the creator of a cartoon strip about Aleister Crowley, a Hermetic Philosopher, a Ceremonial Magician, a summoner of daemons, and teaches piano to happy little children.  He currently lives in Toronto, alone, and in a basement that is dubiously avoided because of the strange sounds and eldrich odours that regularly waft from it.

With an audible thump, a man threw himself at the glass, arms splayed. Jay jumped before his conscious mind caught up with his reactions. Some asshole office-clown playing a prank.  But there was something wrong with the man’s head.  Jay peered up at the window as he resumed walking, then stopped dead barely ten feet away from the building. The man wasn’t moving, hadn’t thrown himself at all.  He was dead.  He had to be, couldn’t still be alive.  Could he?  Jay saw bones jutting from one limp leg, saw the bruises and black smears of blood across the man’s pudgy, gray-haired face.

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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--This was a good bunch overall, but my absolute favorite was Magnitude Seven. I LOVED everything about this story--the content, the narration, and the super-creepy final line. Fun stuff!  :D

This sentence serves no purpose, so you don't have to read it if you don't want to.


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A good piece of flash fiction is like a good piece of music.  It builds to an inevitable but ultimately satisfying crescendo, and one can no more avoid seeing it approach than imagine any other way for the story to end.

Even if you have no eyes.

Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book


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"A Murder of Crows".  Not a bad story, but it seemed like it was all based on putting together a story which used the phrase but had an alternate meaning for "Murder" and an alternate meaning of "Crow".  It struck me as more of a writing exercise for that reason, and built around that and that alone.

"Magnitude Seven" was definitely the best of the group, though I'm sure a great deal of that came from the real emotions of the real-life event.  I'm not sure that I totally followed everything, especially about who was dead and who wasn't, but I didn't find that a problem.

"Always Grinning" was scary enough, but  it seemed to be a too-transparent metaphor of the impersonal nature of city life, where people are more inclined to look away from a crime on their own street than take action.  Like the first story, but for different reasons, this struck me too much as a writing exercise rather than a story.


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I always enjoy these Flash on the Borderlands episodes. And I felt this episode in particular fit together well. While I agree with most everyone here that "Magnitude Seven" is the stand out story,  I actually found myself enjoying "Always Grinning" more if only the raw nature of the monster and what I took it to mean. The bit about its skin looking like freshly chewed bubble gum really got to me. And if anytyhing, it seemed to be a story about guilt/remose.

Author, Artist, Twisted Mentat.
Read the first chapter of my biotech noir novel free online:
My personal website:
Or me just ranting into the ether: @josh_finney


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I'm thrilled that people enjoyed my story, and I just wanted to drop by and tip my hat to the other authors. They did a great job, as did all the readers. Pseudopod and the other Escape Artists sites are amazing venues for spec writers and readers. Cheers.