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FP365 – Coffin: Misfire, The Very Brief Tale of the Romance of Josephine Hart and Edward Love

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Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and sixty-five.

Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Misfire, The Very Brief Tale of the Romance of Josephine Hart and Edward Love, Part 1 of 1

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by Tales from the Archive

 

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age - three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight, we hear a tale of feverish love as told by a feverish, but sobering, drunk.

 

Coffin: Misfire, The Very Brief Tale of the Romance of Josephine Hart and Edward Love

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

Between the snow and Bunny’s ongoing withdrawal, Coffin was pretty much done with February.

As a younger man he’d taken every chance he could to be in a warm locale during the month, but the duties of his office, and the sort of entanglements that settle around old men, now limited his travel.

He’d once faced a headless goblin whose flesh was speckled with writhing tongues, but even a shaman of his experience did not relish moving from the heat of his blankets on so bleak a morning.

It had not helped that his dead wife had spent the evening slapping the remnants of her bloodied hands on the glass balcony door at the far end of the apartment. He’d denied her the satisfaction of a confrontation, but he’d lain awake most of the night staring at the shadows on the ceiling, and he knew she knew it.

Coffin was surprised, then, to discover Bunny sitting on the counter reading when he finally managed to touch down on the floor and enter the kitchen to swat at his ancient coffee maker.

He was doubly stunned to find there was also already coffee made.

“What’s that?” he asked in an attempt to fill the time until his mug cooled.

“A Blackhall book,” answered Bunny without looking up, “‘Frontier Magic: An Occult Journey Through the Canadas During the ‘30s and ‘40s.’”

She was wearing a clean Led Zeppelin t-shirt and a pair of jeans that were probably threadbare intentionally. Her box-dyed hair, weeks overdue, was pulled back in a ponytail, and she’d managed not to drop any abrasive language through the entirety of her first sentence of the day.

With a nod, Coffin considered that she might just be finding her feet.

Taking a leaning position against the stove, he said, “I skimmed it way back. It’s not really a book of magical instruction, it’s more like a travel journal about things he encountered. I think he maybe briefly actually considering publishing - but of course he couldn’t. Maybe he was hoping he could do it after solving the problems he caused.

“Anyhow, I thought you found his Victorian stylings painful?”

“Those long ass titles remain ####in’ ridiculous, but - well, it’s a lot easier to understand if I read everything in Dick Van Dyke’s #### accent from Mary Poppins.

“Do you remember the bit about Josephine Hart and Edward Love?”

Before answering Will blinked twice - slowly. “I’ve only been standing for five minutes and all of the caffeine I possess remains outside of my body. You’ll have to remind me.”

Bunny pulled her legs out from under her and let them dangle from her countertop seat, then began the tale.

“She’s traveling west and he’s headed east when they meet at this, you know, hotel. Not a sneakin’ in the back door so you can sneak it in the back door sorta place, though - a classy ####in’ joint.

“They didn’t know each other, had never met, and would only be in the same place one night.

Coffin: An occult podcast about an urban shaman and his mouthy companion“Now, apparently back then Cupid was an actual thing? Like, there was this armed semi-invisible imp wandering around Hunger Games-ing people into bed?

“Blackhall seems to think that in his old age the love-dispensing little bugger was either growing lazy, senile, or sentimental - whatever the case, he got to firing away because he thought their names looked real ####in’ cute together.

“I swear I’ve met ####in’ yuppies who’ve married for the same reason. The little ####-sack wearing arrow chucker probably thought it was poetic.

“It’s the Victorian era though, so things start slow. They eye-fondle from across the parlour. He moves to a table closer to hers, she drops a hanky so he has an excuse to begin a conversation. She had a head of black hair so thick she could tie a man up in it, and he had the body of a farm boy used to carrying stubborn calves from the barn to the dinner table.

“They sit around chit chatting a while, and Josephine’s head is swimming. Thing is, she’s not much of a go-with-the flow kinda lady. Her brain is telling her that a fellow who spends the exciting moments at the opening of an apparent relationship discussing the finer details of horse maintenance is not the sort she would normally be interested in, and somehow she manages to pull herself away to her room.

“Fully consumed by her, however, Eddie followed looking for a little make-out action.

“She couldn’t help herself, but, again, Victorian era in a proper proper spot, so they tongue wrestle for a minute at her door and then she locks herself inside, alone.

“They go to bed, both probably wank furiously, then, the next day, they decide to elope.

“It’s not what she wants, but, without Edward on hand to ruin his own chances, her imagination has spent the night being pushed by the mind-controlling prick of that little ####in’, uh, #####.

“First, though, she’s gotta go meet his parents. Worse, he pretty quickly starts yelling at her.

“I guess love has a different definition for different people.

“They’d decided that the pony he rode in on wasn’t going to cut the entrance they were looking to make, so they pitched in equally to hire a wagon and driver who could bring them out to the Loves. To keep costs down, though, they agree to share the space with another fellow who’s headed about half the distance in the same direction. While they’re waiting, Josephine starts chatting with the guy about how late their ride is - you know, the small talk any strangers make - but Ed puts a hand on her elbow and pulls her aside.

“He gives her the speech - I guess it hasn’t changed much from then till when Tim gave it to me.

“Thing is, sure, Edward’s a dick - but he’s also kind of right. There’s a knife on the man’s hip and he smells of quality whiskey, which makes him exactly the sort of gent that Josephine usually prefers.

“She almost says something, but the carriage arrives and he basically shoves her in; hurts her ribs squishing her into the corner, and sets their stuff on the opposite bench so that the supposed competition has to sit at the furthest possible distance.

“Cupid’s poison is still doing its damndest, but she’s having none of it. They start whisper fighting and it quickly escalates. She shouts, he shouts harder. She sticks a finger in his face, he slaps her. You know how it goes - same ####, different year.

“The driver is chuckling to himself about it, but the other passenger, Mordecai Brown - a name the baby archer would’ve seen no ####ing poetry in at all - tells Edward to lay off.

“Edward responds with a suggestion involving the man’s mother and an array of farm animals, and Mordecai just shrugs.

“By then Eddie’s pissed, but he’s taken to trying to subtly squeeze the #### out of her arm while hissing at her to shut the #### up.

“He’d told her he had a nickname back at home: The Bull. He’d made some awkward #### jokes about it during their short courtship, but with his thick fingers around her wrist she understands how he really got the name.

“‘Haw haw,’ laugh’s the driver, holding out his lash, ‘trouble with the new bride? You outta try one of these - always fixes my missus.’

“Well, that’s it, she’d had about e-####in’-nough.

“See, Josephine had a nickname too: Death’s Duchess.

“They also had classier names for their serial killers back then, I guess.

“She had these panels she’d carefully crafted into her dress, almost like big pockets, that were held closed by magnets. Underneath, holstered below the frame of her crinoline, were a ####ton of monster pistols. She’d used them plenty to rob carriages, at least until she became uncomfortably well known on the far side of the ocean.

“Now, you gotta remember the era - these weren’t Glocks, they weren’t even six-shooters, they were single shot pistols with howling dog mouths - and she always strapped on eight of them.

“She used four on Edward - the first two out of a lover’s rage, the second two because he was killed instantly, the spell was broken, and she was generally in a ####ty mood.

“Josephine was surprised to discover Mordecai covering the driver, who had a blunderbuss held loosely to his chest and the tip of Brown’s knife under his left eye.

“‘There are a couple ponies pulling,’ Brown says, ‘I’m happy to surrender my comfortable ride if you want to split ‘em.’

“They didn’t though, they took the whole god#### wagon and left the wagonman with piss down his legs and the corpse at his feet.

“By the time Blackhall heard their story they’d taken to inviting well bankrolled man-hunters north, with news of recaptured slaves, then murdering them for their money.

“####ed up, but still kinda romantic.”

Coffin nodded, but said little. In truth, his attentions had drifted away mid-telling.

The slapping at the glass had begun again.

 

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Intro and outro work provided by Jay Langejans of The New Fiction Writers podcast.

Freesound.org credits:

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to comments@flashpulp.com - but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

- and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.

FC98 – Missing Ingrid

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FC98 - Missing Ingrid

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 98.

Prepare yourself for: Viking beard code, media consumption considerations, fake Satanists, a missing poet, and Cleavage.

* * *

Huge thanks to:

* * *

* * *

* * *

FC97 – Old Home Week

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FC97 - Old Home Week

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 97.

Prepare yourself for: The Michigan Protectors, canoe chases, gender swapped Star Trek, mummification, and Kar’Wick.

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Huge thanks to:

True Crime Tuesday: Bite Outta Crime Edition

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Spicy Mystery Stories, June 1936 - angry cat and angry woman pulp cover - The Cat Tastes Blood
Given my terrible flu I thought it best to inoculate us all with a triple-shot of true crime.

First the bad news, then the good news, then the best news:

We begin in the familial home of Yevgeniy Bolshakov, 26, as reported on by the SF Gate.

Bolshakov lives in an apartment with his parents, and when he came home from an outing Saturday, he asked about the cat, which had recently undergone surgery.

There's no mention of why the cat was in for surgery, but, given my foreknowledge of the conclusion of this article, I might suppose it was recuperating from broken ribs after Yevgeniy hugged it too tightly.

That's as far as I'd be willing to guess though.

His parents told Bolshakov that the cat was recuperating and that he couldn’t see the pet, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

His parents seem to agree.

By the way, do you feel a bit like The Walking Dead is influencing contemporary criminal practices? It's a subtle shift, but I really think it's there.

Why do I ask?

Oh, nothing.

Without warning, Bolshakov punched his 64-year-old father repeatedly in the head, Wagstaffe said. Then he “viciously” bit his father on the arm, ripping out a chunk of flesh, the prosecutor said. Bolshakov also allegedly bit his father twice on the elbow and once on the chin.

When his mother tried to intervene, Bolshakov punched her in the head and bit her on the hand, Wagstaffe said.

Better Homes and Gardens, November 1926 - cats with flowers pulp cover
In better news, the Star Tribune reports a Rochester sporting goods store Hooked on Fishing, was recently broken into...

But the intruder appeared to have left in a hurry, without stealing anything -- not tackle nor cash that had been left in "a very visible spot," Sgt. Tom Claymon said.

My first assumption, of course, would be that a well armed proprietor made for a short attempt at robbery - but no, it wasn't firearms that saved the day: It was a robot - a robot fish.

The novelty bass, which had been hung near the door and would start singing "Take Me to the River" whenever someone entered the shop, was found on the floor after the intruder knocked it down as part of breaking the door to get in, according to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.

[...]

[The shop] showed evidence that a burglar [was] scared off by [the] motion-activated, singing bass, authorities said.

At least someone, somewhere, now feels their novelty Christmas purchase was justified.
Fantastic Adventures - Slaves of the Fish Men
Easily my favourite bit of true crime news this week, however, comes from the Sun Times.

Police said Bacon approached his victim Saturday in the 3000 block of North Long. He repeatedly demanded she give him the keys to her car, authorities said.

Any man named Andre Bacon should be leading a better life. A man named Andre Bacon should be running a hipster cooking blog or leading a Wednesday evening crime show I wouldn't watch - whatever the case, he certainly shouldn't be badly attempting to carjack people.

Now Bacon, 21, of 113th and Harvard in Chicago, is charged with attempted vehicular hijacking and theft. Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Bacon held Sunday in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Especially not people as badass as our unnamed victim.

When Andre Bacon repeatedly demanded [the] woman give him the keys [...] she did so.

[...]

She handed them over, police said, then closed the garage door, ran away and called police.

Officers later met the victim, and she opened the garage door for them. Inside they allegedly found the car, with Bacon in the driver’s seat, and the keys in the ignition.

The Girl in the Death Seat - pulp cover

FPSE21 – Cleavage

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Welcome to Flash Pulp, Special Episode Twenty-One.

Flash PulpTonight we present Cleavage, Part 1 of 1

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Download MP3

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by Nutty Bites

 

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age - three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight we relay a brutal urban legend from the back alleys of Capital City.

 

Cleavage

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

A Skinner Co. Podcast

 

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Intro and outro work provided by Jay Langejans of The New Fiction Writers podcast.

Freesound.org credits:

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to comments@flashpulp.com - but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

- and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.

Research Fodder February 9, 2014

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  • Googler Wants to Kickstart a ‘Nonviolent’ Occupy Wall Street Militia | Betabeat
    Ms. Tunney insisted that “you can be militant and nonviolent,” and the militia would create “a disciplined group of 100+ in NYC who can show up in a minute for hard, effective direct actions.” The money would go towards paying militia members and purchasing body armor to protect against the NYPD. Read more at http://betabeat.com/2013/09/googler-wants-to-kickstart-a-nonviolent-occupy-wall-street-militia/#ixzz2srmdmFi0 Follow us: @betabeat on Twitter | betabeatNYO on Facebook

FP364 – Beating

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Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and sixty-four.

Flash PulpTonight we present Beating, Part 1 of 1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download MP3

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by Talk Nerdy 2 Me

 

Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age - three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Tonight, we take you to war through the ears of three men.

 

Beating

Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

Annan missed the fire back at the camp.

Things hadn’t seemed so bad when he’d been able to close his eyes and pretend its warmth was that of his own home’s hearth. He could almost convince himself that Newlyn’s lippy snoring, across the timbers, was actually his father’s familiar burr.

Now, at the edge of this soon to be bloody field, there was no room for illusion. There was only dew-damp feet and fear.

Newlyn elbowed him with a grin. The idiot had heard the same rumours about the Romans’ supposed new suits of iron, yet he’d slept like it were a feast night.

“It’s like my mother always said, if you’ve got to die it’s best you do it for reasons you but vaguely understand and on ground you’ve never seen before. No one builds a legend around your name for defending your sister’s honour outside your front door.”

With a sigh, Annan simply raised his instrument to his lips.

He really hadn’t even wanted to join the army, he’d only done it for the music.

From the treeline across the grassy plain, a high and sweet blast of brass carried to his ears.

Annan frowned.

This was not proper accompaniment for battle - this was the shrill shrieking of children.

The response was obvious.

He raised his long stemmed wolf headed horn, and its bleating was low and mournful and filled with death.

* * *

“Tell a man to march twenty miles and he’ll groan. Make him do it with a pipe and drum at their back and they’ll arrive with their toes tapping,” Abner was saying.

It was meant as a compliment, but it was too close to what Theodore had been thinking on even as his arms had kept at their motions.

Raising his water skin to his mouth, he cast a look towards how much attention Rorke, the man nearest their chosen resting spot, was paying to their discussion.

Deciding the private was far more interested in a brief nap, Theodore leaned close to Abner’s ear and said, “when I first arrived here, before the call to arms, I took some whiskey and followed a local bush clearer to the plot of swamp he’d briefly rented to Cherokee - quite possibly the very same we now hunt.

“I’ve heard their drumming. I’ve seen their dancing. I am not sure there is as much separating us as we tell ourselves to justify this march.”

The conversation ended there. If music had been their ally, then silence had been their enemy’s, and a sentry’s dying screams marked the point at which the two met.

Despite the surprise attack the line formed with the practiced speed of men long far from home, and Abner was soon carrying a staccato across his hide.

His tempo, though ever maddening, was paced by the crack and roll of firing muskets.

* * *

It was the sort of day that left Everett glad he worked in an air conditioned box.

He was sure no one was meant to live in Nevada in July, but the pay was good.

“They’re in the next room,” he was murmuring into his headset. He couldn’t help but whisper as if the turbaned men on the far side of his computer monitor might hear. “We could hit the building with a couple hundred pound chunk of sky, but they’ve built a daycare two floors down that’ll wipe out any happy headlines we get from killing so many at once.”

“Yeah, yeah,” came the reply, “I hear you. You’re due for a break in twenty, you sure you’re not tired? I could take over.”

Everett chuckled. “Uh huh. I’ll have this cleared in ten, but I’d do this on unpaid overtime if I had to - I ain’t letting you run off with my points on the big board. This month’s Starbucks gift certificate is all mine.”

“Fine, go hot with just the onboard pop guns, but remember that this isn’t a Call of Duty level, and don’t forget to log your brief before you wander off to the break room to bump your score and brag.”

Hearing the line go dead, the technician smiled to himself and pulled up the operating system window that contained his audioplayer.

He wished he could tap it into the remote speakers, but he knew that to foolishly risk the weapons platform was also to foolishly risk his venti mochas.

As he sent the command to disengage safeties, Bangarang, a classic Skrillex tune, hit his ears.

Fire through the wall or slide over to the open door?

Everett was considering simply doing both when his view began to shake. His first thought was that someone had grabbed ahold of the quadrotor platform, but he soon realized that the drone was maintaining its position - it was everything else that was moving around it.

Kar'Wick“Earthquake?” he asked his empty cubicle.

Though he couldn’t hear it over the bass, the air conditioner answered with its same old tune, at least until the quaking truly began.

Though, in a panic, he repeatedly posed the question to his empty headphones, Everett could not rectify how the disturbance on his viewscreen, thousands of miles away, related to the slamming and bucking of his cargo-container office - and, afterwards, he would not care, for the beat and thrum that had prepared his blood for battle was not unlike the rise and falls of a thrashing victim upon a spider’s web.

Within moments all was made clear, as the Arachnid Lord’s appetite was without end, and Kar’Wick’s hunger, announced by a new rhythm driven into the very earth, would not be denied.

 

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Intro and outro work provided by Jay Langejans of The New Fiction Writers podcast.

Freesound.org credits:

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to comments@flashpulp.com - but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

- and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.

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