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Author Topic: Pseudopod 517: Into The Penny Arcade  (Read 589 times)
Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« on: November 20, 2016, 01:14:22 PM »

Pseudopod 517: Into The Penny Arcade

by Claire Dean.

“Into The Penny Arcade” was originally published as a chapbook by Nightjar Press in 2012 and reprinted in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR: VOLUME FIVE.

CLAIRE DEAN‘s stories have been published in Beta-Life (2014), Spindles (2015), Thought X, The Best British Short Stories, Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds, Still Shadows & Tall Trees and elsewhere. Marionettes and Into the Penny Arcade are published as chapbooks by Nightjar Press. She lives in Lancashire with her two young sons. She tweets at @claireddean and maintains her web presence at GATHERING SCRAPS.

Your narrator – Eve Upton – would just like to point out that she was framed, it was just an apple tree, and will no one cut a girl a break now?.



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Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.



“She walked down the same street every day on her way home from school. There were no houses along there, just old warehouses with boarded-up windows and rubbish-plugged holes. Red brick dust crumbled from the walls and made patterns on the pavement. Greyish-green moss grew in all the cracks.

The lorry hadn’t ever been there before. It was dark blue with no writing on the side. She crossed away from it, walked faster. Her rucksack dug into her right shoulder, textbooks bounced against her spine, her heels snapped on the pavement. There were no other sounds. The street was like a tunnel; the wind sucked her along it.

She emerged into the real world at the other end: cars bombing past, chip shop smell, a mum with a buggy yelling at a kid who was lagging behind.

The lorry was there again the next day. She crossed over. There were girls who got snatched. Men who did things to girls. It would be dark inside that lorry. Was it always going to be there now? Had it moved during the day whilst she was at school, or at night after she’d passed it? And then come back.”





Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Metalsludge
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 01:46:02 PM »

I will admit this one was a bit of a head scratcher for me. But as an arcade history fan, I couldn't help but love the setting in any case. The real horror of this story was hearing of all those classic arcade machines being left busted up. Even the no doubt creepy Jolly Jack laughing sailor machine would have been a loss. As I recall, one of those made a scary appearance in Christopher Fowler's "Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside", which was featured on another podcast last year.

I wonder what would have happened if she hadn't gotten her wish per the prediction of the machine.
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 04:06:57 PM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh
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danooli
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 04:54:00 PM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh

Not knowing is my favorite part.
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 09:09:32 AM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh

Not knowing is my favorite part.

Damn, this story is right in the vein of Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes". [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Something_Wicked_This_Way_Comes_(novel) ].
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"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Fenrix
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 07:16:38 PM »

The rattles and knocks at the end from the murder machines were delightful!
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dagny
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 07:56:47 PM »

Oh no! I thought I commented on this one already.

I really liked this story. And it reminded me of Something Wicked, too--I just didn't realize it at the time. One of my all-time favorites. No wonder I liked it so much! Smiley
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DerangedMind
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 05:46:13 PM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh

Considering she found a different girl's backpack when she went back, I find it difficult to believe his intentions were good....
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 01:09:10 PM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh

Considering she found a different girl's backpack when she went back, I find it difficult to believe his intentions were good....
Eeeeek.  Good point.
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"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
EA Staff
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Posts: 3496


Have you found the Yellow Sign?


« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 05:32:19 PM »

Creepy, creepy, creepy. Was the old guy malevolent, a benefactor, or just a merchant?  Who knows.  Huh

Considering she found a different girl's backpack when she went back, I find it difficult to believe his intentions were good....
Eeeeek.  Good point.

He could just be a punishment figure and only doling out retribution to those who deserve it. Good children get candy, bad children get magically folded inside a perpetual torture machine.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
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