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Author Topic: PseudoPod 469: Hunger  (Read 2399 times)

Bdoomed

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on: December 19, 2015, 11:00:21 PM
PseudoPod 469: Hunger

by Caitlin Marceau

Hunger” was published through Sanitarium Magazine, issue no. 23, in July of 2014. The text can be read at Shadows At The Door.

“I’m Canadian and winters can be long and rough up here, and that was sort of the inspiration for this story. It wasn’t uncommon for people in rural areas not all that long ago to get horribly lost during a whiteout (a heavy and unrelenting snowstorm). People would leave their home to get something in their barn, and they’d be found a few days later in a pile of snow because they couldn’t find their way back. I always thought it was a terrifying idea, and I really hope the listeners at home think so too!”

CAITLIN MARCEAU is an author and professional editor living and working in Montreal. She prefers to focus her time on journalism and works of horror, but has also been published for poetry as well as creative nonfiction. When she’s not covered in ink or wading through stacks of paper, you can find her ranting about issues in pop culture or nerding out over a good book. She has a play coming out at the end of the year called SHADOW PUPPETS. Her work can also be found at at Sanitarium Magazine, Shadows At The Door, and Morpheus Tales. Look for her to be featured in “The Women in Horror Annual” issued by the Horror Writers Association. For more information on how to support this project visit: WOMEN IN HORROR ANNUAL and WOMEN IN HORROR ANNUAL. Caitlin blogs here.

Your narrator – Brian Rollins – is a voice actor living in Denver, Colorado where does double duty as a web developer and voice actor. Brian is probably best known in audiobook circles as the voice of the Glen & Tyler series. You can find out what he’s working on next or hire him for your next project at The Voices In My Head.



Jean pulls a pine needle from inside his coat pocket and slowly begins to gnaw on it. “It’s better than dying lost in a forest, or being eaten by starving wolves.”

“I’d welcome the wolves, Jean. At least then I’d have a chance to bite some meat off one of them, and die with a full stomach. Besides, the dogs had enough brains to get out of here a long while ago.”

“There’s still some. How else do you account for the howling outside our cabin all night?”

“The wind,” he shoots back dismissively.

“Or a wendigo,” Jean says quietly, in a voice a whisper.
“Wendigos?”

“Wendigos. Mom used to tell me stories of how your father’s ancestors lived in these woods during the time of them. She said to me her, your, great grandfather was almost tricked into becoming one, but he saved himself from them in time.”

“My grandfather-”

“My great grandfather-”

“Was almost a wendigo?” Pierre laughs bitterly.

“It’s true! Mom told me when he was a young boy he was tracking a moose with some men from the tribe, when he and his friend got separated from them. The moose lead them all through the woods, for many days, until both of them were lost and hungry. The moose tracks had disappeared days before and there wasn’t any game to hunt. They grew so hungry, that one day an evil spirit overcame him. Mom told me he was possessed by the urge to eat his frie…”





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?


Scuba Man

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Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 04:02:53 PM
“I’m Canadian and winters can be long and rough up here, and that was sort of the inspiration for this story. It wasn’t uncommon for people in rural areas not all that long ago to get horribly lost during a whiteout (a heavy and unrelenting snowstorm). People would leave their home to get something in their barn, and they’d be found a few days later in a pile of snow because they couldn’t find their way back. I always thought it was a terrifying idea, and I really hope the listeners at home think so too!”

===========
I enjoyed the overall story.  I did find the accent a little off-putting (my hang-up, not yours).  Would it have been possible for it to be told in Quebecois with an English translator slightly superimposed over it.  Or, have it as an audio-video presentation with a series of stills and have English subtitles?

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


Sgarre1

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Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 07:37:13 PM
Quote
I enjoyed the overall story.  I did find the accent a little off-putting (my hang-up, not yours).  Would it have been possible for it to be told in Quebecois with an English translator slightly superimposed over it.  Or, have it as an audio-video presentation with a series of stills and have English subtitles?

Honestly? On a podcast that offers it's product for free - not really.



Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 03:15:18 PM
Wendigo!  I find wendigos to be very interesting mythical beasties that haven't gotten a lot of play in horror circles compared to other monsters. 

When he killed the "Wendigo" after he himself partook of human flesh, I had the twist figured out at that point, but I suspect most people probably did?  The actions of what he saw as a monster seemed so transparently not-aggressive that it was hard to give credence to the claim that it was a horrible monster, and his own hyper-aggressive reaction to it marked him more clearly as the monster, which all made sense with the premise.

In a starvation situation I don't personally have an ethical issue with the possibility of eating the dead to survive--that person isn't using the body anymore and if it can mean the difference between living and not living it strikes me as very pragmatic to do what can be done to sustain oneself. I'm not saying I'd do it myself, necessarily, and I would still feel extreme revulsion toward the act.  The concept of the Wendigo is more troubling to me not because it represents cannibalism, but that the existence of the myth seems to teach the moral that one should choose to starve to death.




Fenrix

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Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 10:20:30 PM

In a starvation situation I don't personally have an ethical issue with the possibility of eating the dead to survive--that person isn't using the body anymore and if it can mean the difference between living and not living it strikes me as very pragmatic to do what can be done to sustain oneself. I'm not saying I'd do it myself, necessarily, and I would still feel extreme revulsion toward the act.  The concept of the Wendigo is more troubling to me not because it represents cannibalism, but that the existence of the myth seems to teach the moral that one should choose to starve to death.


I'm reading a fascinating academic book on horror right now, and there's a whole chapter dedicated to cannibalism and the wendigo. Part of the point of the wendigo myth was explicitly that it is better to starve than to devolve to the savagery of eating man. Very much an ends-justifies-the-means argument.

The chapter also goes into great length regarding how the cannibalism of Jamestown and the Donner Party has informed our fears of pushing into unknown territories and westward expansion. Which ties into  another fascinating bit regarding the simplest mechanism for "othering" is to paint them as cannibals. This was a key strategy of colonialism and westward expansion, by establishing the righteousness of the activities.

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TrishEM

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Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 09:30:51 AM
Wendigo!  I find wendigos to be very interesting mythical beasties that haven't gotten a lot of play in horror circles compared to other monsters. 

When he killed the "Wendigo" after he himself partook of human flesh, I had the twist figured out at that point, but I suspect most people probably did?  The actions of what he saw as a monster seemed so transparently not-aggressive that it was hard to give credence to the claim that it was a horrible monster, and his own hyper-aggressive reaction to it marked him more clearly as the monster, which all made sense with the premise.

I suspected at that point and considered it confirmed when the next encounter began.

In a starvation situation I don't personally have an ethical issue with the possibility of eating the dead to survive--that person isn't using the body anymore and if it can mean the difference between living and not living it strikes me as very pragmatic to do what can be done to sustain oneself. I'm not saying I'd do it myself, necessarily, and I would still feel extreme revulsion toward the act.  The concept of the Wendigo is more troubling to me not because it represents cannibalism, but that the existence of the myth seems to teach the moral that one should choose to starve to death.

I suppose it's a slippery slope issue; once you eat dead people to survive, you might be tempted to help along people on the edge (X can't survive a compound fracture in the wilderness, no sense feeding him, and if we wait for him to die, then a lot of potential sustenance will waste away), or even sacrifice healthy people.

That wouldn't necessarily happen, though, and I can think of at least one incident when it didn't, the 1972 Andes plane crash.
Here's a quote from a survivor: "Shortly after our rescue, officials of the Catholic Church announced that according to church doctrine we had committed no sin by eating the flesh of the dead. As Roberto had argued on the mountain, they told the world that the sin would have been to allow ourselves to die. "



Marlboro

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Reply #6 on: December 27, 2019, 04:16:47 PM


In a starvation situation I don't personally have an ethical issue with the possibility of eating the dead to survive

I make it a point to tell my fellow passengers the exact same thing every time I get on the bus. It's a real icebreaker.






I suppose it's a slippery slope issue; once you eat dead people to survive, you might be tempted to help along people on the edge (X can't survive a compound fracture in the wilderness, no sense feeding him, and if we wait for him to die, then a lot of potential sustenance will waste away), or even sacrifice healthy people.




I agree. It's one of those "How many inhuman acts can you commit before you aren't really human anymore?" situations.


 Like Unblinking, I too find the Wendigo to be a sadly underused monster in horror fiction. I also feel the same way about quality werewolf stories. For anyone looking for more hot Wendigo action I'd recommend the episode of Theater 10:30 "The Wendigo." The actor/ horror podcaster Larry Fessenden also seems to have a soft spot for Wendigo tales so you might want to keep an eye out on what he's working on.



P.S. Kids in the Hall!

[Scene: A courtroom with jury of extras in background]
Kevin: [approaching witness stand] Mr. Lucic, do you still maintain that your actions concerning Flight 138 are somehow justified?

Dave: [intensely] What would you have done? None of you can understand because none of you were there. You don't think about what's right and wrong when you're just trying to survive. Right and wrong, those are just words... they don't mean anything! When you look around at you and all you can see is death! And all you can feel is the hunger. What would you have done?

Kevin: [removing glasses] We're not talking about a plane crash in the Andes here, sir. You never got off the runway. We are talking about a delay! You are the sole survivor of a 35 minute delay!

Dave:[sobbing a bit] 35 minutes I will never forget!

Kevin: You ate 112 of your fellow passangers. You could have eaten just one, but no, you ate a little bit of each passagner.. WHY?!?

Dave: [turing to Judge]Your honor, I am not an experienced cannibal! I did not get on that plane expecting to eat ANYONE! I simply tasted a little of each in the hopes that the next one would taste better! I'm sure your honor has done the same thing with a box of chocolates.

Scott: No, I haven't. My wife does and I hate it when she does that!

Dave: [off camera] Oh.

Scott: I suppose I wouldn't mind so much if I still loved her, but let's face it.... I NEED SOME TIME TO MYSELF!!! [breaks down crying and bangs his gavel] Case dismissed.


« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 04:32:40 PM by Marlboro »