Author Topic: PseudoPod 784: American Remake of a Japanese Ghost Story  (Read 587 times)


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PseudoPod 784: American Remake of a Japanese Ghost Story

Author: Laird Barron
Narrator: Kaitlyn Zivanovich
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

“American Remake of a Japanese Ghost Story” was originally released by Crystal Lake Publishing in the anthology There Is No Death, There Are No Dead

There’s a curse in folklore known as a geas. That’s when a witch, or a fairy, or the supernatural entity of your choice, compels a hapless mortal to undertake duties on the creature’s behalf. Woe betides the mortal who shirks the quest; increasingly worse calamities befall them until they relent or die. 

Somebody, somewhere, laid one on me.

A much younger, blissfully ignorant, Jessica Mace would’ve glibly asserted that fairytales are bullshit hoodoo made up by gullible peasants. Problem is, when I neglect to investigate the various mysteries in my path, I get epic migraines and nightmares. The more I rebel, the more intense my misery until it becomes debilitating. “Debilitating” sounds dry—I suffer projectile vomiting induced by the sense fire ants are hollowing my skull. Exactly as the legends describe, right? Call it a form of madness or a kind of placebo-effect. Odds are Hamlet told Horatio the truth about the denizens of his undreamt philosophy. Whatever, whichever, however: the world shows you its dark side, you take notice. That fucking needle starts skipping, you’re a true believer.

Beasley, a boon comrade and sometime lover, once questioned my motives. We were dumping the corpse of a serial killer down a mineshaft in eastern Montana. The killer, a Richard Ramirez lookalike, had picked me up at a roadside tavern. RR Jr. chauffeured me to his favorite dump site while I batted my lashes and stroked his thigh. Thank whichever patron saint is in charge of such details that I’d managed to open the passenger door and light the cab for Beasley to take his shot. I’d only been half-strangled before the bullet came through the windshield. As the late, great Al Davis would say, just win, baby.

In the aftermath, we recovered with a bottle. Beasley said, Jessica, you’re a bright woman. You got an education. Why schlep all over the USA looking for horrors to battle? Why live your life as bait in a trap?

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