Author Topic: PseudoPod 646: Home and Hearth  (Read 2243 times)


  • Pseudopod Tiger
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5891
  • Mmm. Tiger.
on: May 07, 2019, 01:59:33 AM
PseudoPod 646: Home and Hearth

Author: Angela Slatter
Narrator: Robin McLeavy
Host: Alasdair Stuart

“Home and Hearth” was originally published in the Spectral Press Chapbook Series, March 2014 and the story won the Aurealis Award for Best Short Horror Story 2014.

Caroline held the door open, listening to the keys make that gentle clink-clank as they hung from the lock. He pushed past her and she could smell the peculiar odour he gave off now: puberty and a state institution. As he crossed the threshold, his too-small shoes leaving mud on the new welcome mat (she’d thrown out the one exhorting a universal power to ‘Bless this mess’), the house seemed to sigh.

Then again, maybe it was her, but she couldn’t remember the air leaving her lungs.

Then again it might have been the heating system as it puffed out warmth.

‘Coke?’ she asked, following him down the long hallway. ‘Or hot chocolate? Crisps? Marshmallows? I baked your favourite biscuits. They’re not hot but I can warm them in the microwave. There’s a cake, too. Banana. Or—or—what would you like?’

She knew she was overcompensating, had schooled herself not to during the weeks and months, but he was back in the house not five minutes and already she was failing. She reached out and touched his face.

It was a mistake. The feeling against her palm, the slight sweatiness, the burgeoning pimples beneath the skin, combined to make her shudder. She hoped he didn’t notice.

Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

Follow us on YouTube and Spotify!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1745
    • Who Doesn't Love Stories?
Reply #1 on: May 11, 2019, 06:02:45 PM
Oh my. That one line did indeed grab me. This was chilling.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 03:39:50 PM
Really enjoyed this one, thanks!


  • Caution:
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4904
  • Amateur wordsmith
    • Mirrorshards
Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 02:05:56 AM
On the other hand, you don't get attitudes like that about minorities from nowhere.  Even if you're a child sociopath, someone taught you about who was valuable and who wasn't.


  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Reply #4 on: October 24, 2022, 10:51:11 AM

It's like a Mashup of Thinner and We Need to Talk about Kevin.