Author Topic: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition  (Read 2919 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« on: December 25, 2014, 09:18:22 PM »
Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition

by L.M. Ball

“Tradition” is original to Pseudopod! “It was at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia that I founded a member group for sci fi, fantasy and horror writers to meet and support each other. It’s a fantastic group and they helped motivate me to write, edit and submit this piece. Winter holidays are usually such a happy time, I wanted to try and do something seasonal that was a lot darker. I’ve always liked the pagan tradition of bringing in evergreens to give nature spirits a place to live during the cold weather and this story really came out of that idea- manifesting the rituals into something a lot more sinister and corporeal. I find the loss of control and fear that comes with this setting quite unsettling”

L.M. BALL is a British expat living in the East Coast of America as a full time Microbiologist. She started writing Star Trek fan fiction as a child and eventually evolved into creating my own stories.

Your reader – Isis LaCoste – is the pre-teen daughter of Rikki LaCoste, a regular narrator for Pseudopod. Isis is an aspiring young actress, a prolific artist and musician, a chip off the old block, really, and a lover of scary stories and movies. Isis and her father live in Toronto Canada.



“It always starts when the leaves change colour. At first they’re yellow, then golden before fading to a russet brown. I like the red ones the best, even though you could say they are the most obvious sign of what’s to come. They give you a rake and they tell you to make piles of the leaves. Your parents I mean, not the leaves. Though that wouldn’t be all that strange, considering. Sometimes when they aren’t watching we play in them, making big piles and knocking them over. It should be fun and it is, when you can forget that winter’s coming.

I think they started it all off, with the weird traditions, cutting down trees and bringing them indoors. Decorating everything in red and green, something about berries. Didn’t they notice that blood’s red too? Mamma says she remembers a time when winter was exciting, decorating a tree with glitter and ornaments to make it pretty. We don’t decorate our tree. Before, people believed that bringing foliage indoors was to provide a home for nature spirits, now that’s its purpose. I guess if you believe in something strongly enough, you can make it manifest. When the ornaments started to fall off by themselves and shatter on the floor, when it happened more than once, people started to notice. That’s what Mamma says. She said it was hard not to feel nervous that something else was going on when your entire tree had thrown off its decorations like an unwanted layer of skin.”




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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adrianh

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2014, 04:48:58 AM »
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. ++ all round.

bounceswoosh

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Re:
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2014, 09:10:22 AM »
I thought the reading was great, as well.

SpareInch

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 07:50:53 AM »
I hate to sound patronising, but is Isis LaCoste the youngest EA narrator?

I really feel quite inadequate now... Excuse me while I go and slash my wrists and rid the world of a talentless waste of space.
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Fenrix

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 09:23:12 AM »
Loved the grim inversion on this one. Deliciously brutal.

The narrator on this one...wow. Isis did a great job. EA should recruit her talents again.
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

Dwango

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 02:55:31 PM »
You better be good for goodness sake... or the fact that it may come.   :o  This will sure make the kids behave.

Unblinking

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 10:01:57 AM »
You better be good for goodness sake... or the fact that it may come.   :o  This will sure make the kids behave.

It's the old school strategy of childrearing--the monsters that lurk in the darkness to gobble you up if you're a naughty kid.

I enjoyed it well enough, though I didn't feel like it covered a lot of new ground.  Great narration by Isis--I hope she'll narrate more. :)

davidthygod

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 04:15:01 PM »
This one was entirely my sort of thing.  Be good or be fed to the mysterious beings.

I like this one a lot, though I would still give a slight edge to last years Christmas Flash special where we learn where elves come from.  Can't remember the name but that story still sticks with me very clearly a year later, which is the sign of a good story.

The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.

Moritz

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 08:14:42 AM »
I usually don't like Christmas stories, because I don't really care for Christmas and have read too much Hobsbawm (The Invention of Tradition) to like traditions. That being said, the story was creepy, especially read by a child...

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 10:10:51 AM »
This one was entirely my sort of thing.  Be good or be fed to the mysterious beings.

I like this one a lot, though I would still give a slight edge to last years Christmas Flash special where we learn where elves come from.  Can't remember the name but that story still sticks with me very clearly a year later, which is the sign of a good story.

I think you're referring to "Helpers" by me. 
And, thanks.  :)

Rikki LaCoste

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Re: Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2015, 02:57:27 PM »
Hi everyone.  My daughter Isis, who narrated this story, says that she would be absolutely delighted to narrate again.  She and I had a great experience together recording the tale.  Thank you so much for the comments. ~Rikki