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Author Topic: Pseudopod 513: Flash on The Borderlands XXXIV: Interstices  (Read 1708 times)


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Pseudopod 513: Flash on The Borderlands XXXIV: Interstices

They walk serene / in spaces between

All three of these stories are runners up from the PSEUDOPOD flash fiction contest

Zipper by Murf Freedmont

Original to Pseudopod. “Zipper was written entirely on my smart phone (in the middle of the night…in bed…when I could not sleep). I intended it to be a writing prompt for a story to be finished later, but when I counted the words the next morning I decided to submit it to the Pseudopod contest without significant changes. Since it fared much better than my other submission, perhaps I should limit all my writing to my phone … but I hate touch screens so much.”

MURF FREEDMONT lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and 3 daughters and is an information technologist.

Your narrator – Spencer DiSparti -is a published poet and voice actor from Phoenix, Arizona. You can find most of his work at SKELETOPIA.

Have you ever tried to open a sleeping bag zipper silently?

Subcutaneous” by Nicholas Conley

This is a Pseudopod Original.

NICHOLAS CONLEY’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. His a science fiction thriller novel PALE HIGHWAY (available now from Red Adept Publishing) is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox and PALE HIGHWAY is the story of Gabriel Schist, a genius Nobel Prize winner plagued by Alzheimer’s, who must find a cure for a terrifying new virus before his mind declines past the point of no return. When not busy writing, Nicholas resides in New Hampshire and spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. To learn more about him, take a stroll over to Nicholas

Your narrator – Rock Manor – has been a performer featured on The NoSleep Podcast, Chilling Tales For Dark Nights, StarShipSofa, and Tales To Terrify. He is the producer of Manor House: The Podcast, a horror anthology hosted by The Phantom Collector. Best selling author Brian Keene says “it’s like Tales From The Crypt. It’s really fucking cool.” Manor House: The Podcast is entering it’s third season which will feature stories by authors such as Adam Cesare and Stoker Award winner Eric J. Guignard. Sign up for Manor House’s free Fantom Zone membership to receive their monthly newsletter containing exclusives not found anywhere else. You can also become a premium Fantom Zone Access member to get full access to episodes not found on the regular podcast or webseries. For more details and for more info about the show, visit them online at (currently having server problems – please try back!).

I like the way that skin feels.

The Void” by Thomas Vicinanzo

Pseudopod original. “The most terrifying thing is a life devoid of intrinsic meaning, and a universe which does not and cannot understand us.”

THOMAS VICINANZO works in Mount Vernon, NY and writes fantasy and horror when he gets the chance. Some day his fantasy novel will be done (not the bad one, the good one), and all his true friends will read it and say it’s nice.

Your narrator is Laurice White, who last read “Awaiting Redemption” for Pseudopod, part of episode 347 – Flash On The Borderlands XVI: Trial & Discipline.

I tripped on a little ridge where the turf was bunched up like a carpet. It was early morning and the park was empty, so I pulled at the grass, and it came up, revealing soil blacker than fresh asphalt. Then I saw it wasn’t soil but black empty space.

Pseudopod will be launching their own Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Visit our YEAR 10 page for more details.

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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Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 06:03:13 PM
No comments on this one yet?

To be honest, this Flash was a little underwhelming for me. I'm not sure why. I think, as far as Zipper was concerned, I was put off by the narration. Emotion can be good in a reading when it's done right, but for this one I found it more distracting than anything.

With Subcutaneous, I actually quite liked it at first, but I think it dragged on too long. Personally, I'd have preferred it if it had ended with 'I miss having skin'. That was the perfect wham line for me. I didn't think it needed all the exposition, and actually preferred it when the narrator's identity and what happened were more ambiguous.

As for The Void, that's just a difference in philosophy. I don't find the idea of an uncaring universe with no intrinsic meaning scary at all; I find it reassuring. If your life, and the universe, have no set meaning, then you're free to make your own. The world is what you decide it is. I think that's incredibly liberating.

Anyway, that's just, like, my opinion, man.


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Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 03:52:44 PM
No comments on this one yet?

Might be in part because many of us have commented on these stories already when they were in the flash fiction contest.  That and, if anyone is like me, they've been distracted trying to catch up on the Cast of Wonders flash fiction contest for a while.

This one I still really like.  Such a simple premise, we don't really know exactly what's happening, but we feel the terror of it, in the simple clash of man against zipper, and the moment when the velcro is discovered, pure despair.

I generally like this one, with the poor guy stuck under the house while the creepy bodysnatcher is in his place and maybe doing a better job with his life than he had been.  The only part that feels a bit weird is when he's thinking about the thing in bed with his wife it's a little bit hard to shake the feeling that he's upset because his wife has been stolen from him as a posession, though perhaps it is meant to be empathy for his wife who is being unknowingly raped (in that she is having sex with someone, and though she has consented she has consented to have sex with her husband not this thing).

The Void
I don't find this one scary, but I do find it interesting. To me it makes me think about the way graphics are rendered in 3-d games, where they are all surface but no substance, peel away that skin layer and there is void underneath.  I'm not particularly bothered by the idea, mind you, I find it interesting.