Categotry Archives: Flash Pulp

FP362 – Chances

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

Flash PulpTonight we present Chances, Part 1 of 1

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Skinner Co. store!

 

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 tell the future stories of Cornelius, and the tragic tale of his mother, Marilee.

 

Chances

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

 

Cornelius the First had always been a sickly boy.

His presence in any classroom was ever notable due to his unshakable dry cough, and his sallow skin seemed to stubbornly refuse any aid from sunlight or nutrition.

Every day his brown bagged lunch contained a tuna or salmon sandwich, a well considered array of vegetables, and enough money for milk taped to a lovingly crafted note. Every day he would crumple the note, toss it in the garbage, and buy himself a coke.

Secretly, Mr. Cabada, Cornelius’ homeroom teacher, blamed the soda for the boy’s condition. The rest of the staff simply shrugged, assuming his lot in life lay in accounting.

By his eleventh birthday, however, any such existence appeared unlikely. He was missing more class than he was attending, and his relationships with his fellow students extended no further than the occasional “Get Well Soon” art project.

It was luck, then, that he was in attendance, seated in his often necessary wheelchair, the morning the ceiling erupted.

Leaky gas pipes and budget cuts would eventually be identified as the culprit, but thoughts of blame were far from Cornelius as adrenaline and willpower pushed him from his awkward, but fortunate, position at the edge of Ms. Shen’s music class.

Ms. Shen herself, who’d until recently been standing at the blackboard, had not been so favoured. From his vantage point Cornelius caught the last twitching, then decline, of her right leg.

Still, the toppling of metal, stone, and tile left the majority of what remained of the room coated in dust, sparing the boy the extent of the disaster. Pulling the nearest coughing form from beneath a hundred pound sliver of roof beam, he placed the girl - Adrianne Hazel, who had spent fourth grade calling him Pornelius - in his chair, then he reached for the next. Stacking his classmates three high, he managed to save a dozen injured children by the time the first responders arrived to deal with the increasingly dense smoke and flame.

As latex gloved hands and whirring news drones began to flood the scene, Cornelius collapsed into his seat.

His mother arrived moments after a paramedic, intending congratulations, had noticed the boy’s passing.

Taking in his clearly ill body, and tasked with inspecting a dozen more petite corpses, the coroner quickly released Cornelius to his hero’s funeral.

The grainy images of ruin captured by the flock of drones, looped endlessly on every cable news channel, had made him famous, and the swarming clouds of tiny quad rotors that took in his sun drenched burial doubled his reputation.

Marilee, his only family, was well familiar with weeping and pitying attention, as many had been touched at the sight of her son’s plight even before the rescue.

Her appearance on Oprah 3.0 was enough to sway popular opinion, pushing through a major education and infrastructure bill that would supposedly prevent any such future incidents. It was also then that she drew the attention of New Youth Limited.

NYL had recently obtained the sole corporate American human cloning license, and, though the product was still quite expensive, a marketing boy wonder quickly pitched the idea of a pro bono project for a worthy cause.

Chances: A Skinner Co. PodcastThe media again went wild the day Marilee accepted.

Calls and emails from lab coat wearing technicians suggested that they could subtly alter their collected DNA, leaving the outcome looking more like a close twin than an exact duplicate. She insisted otherwise.

She would have Cornelius, but a different Cornelius - Cornelius the Second.

Just as the boy always had, they did what she demanded.

The second child lasted four years longer than the reality show that revolved around his life. By the age of five, however, he was no longer novel, and his bookish habits were not cute enough to maintain his viewership. Even as he sickened, the program was cancelled.

By nine, two years ahead of his predecessor’s decline, the familiar signs were already well in place.

Pity, and the responding officer’s familiarity with their once beloved television show, again swayed the investigation - or lack thereof.

Though entertainment reporters announced the passing with stoic faces, the second funeral was considerably less well-attended than the first.

Marilee purchased Cornelius the Third herself, using the last of her saved syndication money.

The lab techs could only look at each other and shrug when she entered. A paying client was a paying client

History seemed destined to repeat itself until, at the age of seven, the new Cornelius, living in relative obscurity in a California duplex, displayed intelligence beyond his age and bravery to rival his original.

The sickness had begun to take hold again, but the boy, always a voracious reader, now had access to chronicles his identical brothers simply hadn’t had.

At eight he could watch his previous self grow at the pace of one episode a week, and he could read the online media reports about his habits at eleven that had been publicized after his original death. His mother had many of these printed out and handy, just in case a visitor should ask about her problems.

It was summer break, and most of his mornings were spent seeking the backwater cable reruns that kept his mother from having to find a day job. Cross-legged on the carpet, with the screen nearly pressed against his nose, he analyzed his precursors for any clue to change his seemingly inevitable course.

Things unraveled the Tuesday his televised mother delivered a salmon sandwich to his televised duplicate just as he re-read a finger-worn fluff piece about Cornelius the First. It claimed his favourite TV show was something long off the air, that his favourite pastime was people watching - which remained true - and that his favourite sandwich was salmon or tuna.

It was not that he hated salmon and tuna, but neither was his favourite. He ate them because it seemed important to his mother.

TV Mom’s smile was still lingering in the air when lunch arrived on the usual blue-trimmed plate.

He looked at the quad-sliced white bread, then to Marilee’s face.

With a squint to his eye he said, “I’m ok, thanks.”

“Not feeling well?” she asked.

“I’m ok. I just don’t want it,” he answered.

Marilee would realize later that it might have been nothing more than a child’s random and passing concern if she’d let it go, but, in the moment, her eyelids fell low and her lips pulled tightly into a solid shelf.

“Eat it,” she said.

He thought he heard both surprise and anger in her tone - and so began a siege that lasted nearly two days.

She shouted, he shrugged. He could not turn up the source of her poison, but her rage was all the proof he needed. It helped though, when the hunger truly began setting in, that he seemed more spry, and that the headache - the constant and unending throb that counted the seconds of his day - had stopped.

Allowed to think again, he wondered how it was he had never considered simply saying no - but then, he supposed, neither had his doppelganger siblings.

Finally, having skipped another supper, Marilee lost what remained of her control. The blow across his cheek was awkward, but delivered with the full force of an adult’s swing.

Immediately he knew the bruise was something Cornelius the First and Second had never had, and he wore his difference with pride.

With his fingers still on the ever-growing welt, he sprinted from the house and towards the convenience store phone from which he would call Child Services.

 

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.

FC95 – Rich’s Chocolate Moon Pie

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FC95 - Rich's Chocolate Moon Pie

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 95.

Prepare yourself for: Cossacks, revenge porn arrests, the value of thumbs, and Operation Judgement.

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Huge thanks to:

FC94 – Road Couch

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FC94 - Road Couch

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 94.

Prepare yourself for: Citizen Christmas, slash fan fiction anger, undead mailmen, Ms. Jackson, and Coffin.

* * *

Huge thanks to:

* * *

* * *

* * *

FP361 – Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 2 of 2

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

Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 2 of 2

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Skinner Co. store!

 

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, Will Coffin, urban shaman, recounts the arcane tale of a deadly Christmas parade vehicle to his increasingly sober roommate.

 

Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 2 of 2

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

 

Resettling on the edge of the bathtub, Coffin noted the shaking in Bunny’s arms and asked, “all good?”

From her position on, and across, the toilet seat, she curled her fist into a waving middle finger.

As such, Will returned to his story telling.

“Marie Elise Boucher’s front lawn, all eight square feet of it, was dominated by a massive shrine to the Virgin Mary. Behind the poured-cement mini cathedral sat a squat bungalow, and, as we arrived, there were two fifty-ish guys coming down the plastic-grass carpeted stoop. Both had ball caps on and nylon coats - the kind that always came in only red or blue and had white stripes on the trim? Like low-rent varsity jackets.

“They were all part of a community of relocated meat packers and pig farmers who’d become Marie Elise’s first adherents. Every wannabe prophet has to start somewhere I guess.

“Anyhow, I was about to wonder aloud if they’d seen the killer in question when Sandy threw me her shut up elbow. She’d caught that they were locking things down in a hurry and figured that it might be easier to just follow instead.

“Our crap borrowed Pinto managed to mostly stay behind their pickup till we reached a downtown brick-and-boarded-windows warehouse, and a quick bit of illegal parking even left us discreetly close enough to watch the main entrance slam closed behind them.

“Now, listen, we’d already heard about what we’d find inside.

“See, one of the wannabe-tough-guy frenchmen had gotten into an occult pissing match with one of the mouthier stoners. Feeling like he had to outdo the student's sleepy-eyed apparition, he’d told the kid the story of watching a parade float Marie Elise had ‘enchanted’ flatten a Volkswagen Rabbit.

“He insisted the whole thing was an accident, and apparently the guy inside the car, Etienne, didn’t think much of the float wandering at his rust bucket at half a mile an hour. Someone had left it in neutral and it was literally barely moving. Still, it kissed the side of the Rabbit and kept going. Pushed it across the warehouse floor and pinned it against a wall - then it began simultaneously crushing and running it over.

“Poor Etienne was inside screaming and screaming, watching the frame twist and crumple around him in slomo. I’m sure whatever was left of his body eventually found its way into one of the farmers’ pig troughs.

“It was only when the wall started to buckle that someone thought to put the thing in park.

“This was no halfassed affair either, as we discovered after we pried open a fire exit. It had a little enclosed cab for the driver, so there didn’t have to be a vehicle pulling it, from which rose a set of tiered stages large enough to hold a full choir. Above the platforms towered a fake tree, over whose peak flew Rudolph. The rest of the reindeer team followed behind him in a downward arc, and Santa’s heavy sleigh, clearly an actual antique, sat at the back of the rig.

“They were well into stacking on the wreaths, presents, staging, and whatever, but in places you could see that, across the bodywork beneath the cloth covers and fake cheer, Marie Elise had chalked on every religious, occult, and arcane symbol she could think of - and a bunch she made up to look impressive.

Coffin: Occult Audiofiction Podcast“I don’t know what those French meat handlers were worried about, they were probably having a bad year and pinning their hopes on the success of that expensive bit of advertising. Whatever the case, they were doing their best to take no chances. There were even two guys with shotguns and big grins wandering around avoiding doing any lifting.

“Cramming ourselves into a shadowy corner behind a palette full of boxes, we waited two hours.

“When they were done with the last minute priming and painting, Marie Elise herself arrived. She’d come to dedicate the thing, I assume, and she wafted in with two of her burlier faithful behind her. That brought the count to nine guys with rough hands and Ms. Boucher herself.

“Shrugging off a fur coat you definitely couldn’t get away with wearing these days, she climbed up beside Claus and talked for a while. I didn’t understand most of it, but I got the impression that, if it didn’t work as a promotional tactic, she was suggesting they might still use their new found tank to flatten whichever jerks they felt opposed them. At least, that’s what I think she meant with her squishing hand motions and forced laughter.

“When her mouth finally ran dry she moved around to the driver’s hatch and used the juggernaut to shove around a forklift a bit. I guessed any engine strong enough to carry a float was probably tough enough to do the job without mystical assistance, but it looked done with such ease that it really was sort of graceful and terrifying.

“When Marie Elise got out her smile had grown so large it cracked her thick red lipstick.

“With the engine still running, she started walking around the vehicle. I imagine such dramatic little tours were common, as her flock fell into a trailing semi circle and did their best to look attentive.

“They’d barely cleared the rear tail light when Sandy started sprinting.

“There was no warning, no whisper talking first, she just hit the cement with her sneaks on full.

“I was behind her like the IRS on a Jeopardy winner, and we crashed into the cab without slowing. Being first, she took the seat, and there was so little extra space I was left literally sitting partially on her lap. It still beat riding on top with old man Kringle.

“Sandy wasted no time in making an exit either. Her faith in Marie Elise’ markings was apparently greater than my own, because she immediately gunned the engine to a screaming twenty miles an hour, and, like a sloth pushing into a spiderweb, we exited via the eastmost wall.

“The meat men were in their pickups and on our ass almost immediately. Marie Elise pulled alongside screaming that we’d rot in hell for stealing her float - that she’d curse us and our children and our children’s children, and that she’d call down the wrath of God, Kar’Wick, Cthulhu, and H.R. Pufnstuf to smite us on the spot.

“She screamed until they took a shot at us, but the guy behind the wheel temporarily lost his nerve after it went wide and beheaded Blitzen.

“In the end, Sandy plowed into a closed Shell station simply to get away from her.

“Now, fun fact, unstoppable does not mean nonflammable. A flying bit of scrap must have sparked off of the sleigh struts, because, after being sprayed in gas, the fat man’s ride immediately burst into an inferno that crept its way along the harness and turned the whole thing into a reindeer barbecue.

“We popped through one side of a shuttered Chinese place, which then partially collapsed onto us. It didn’t slow our rampage, but it did go a long way towards scraping the ornamentation off the back.

“We were getting some speed by then too, and the ballcappers were starting to remember what had happened to poor Etienne.

“Now, maybe if Marie Elise had any real idea what she was doing, she could have pulled out some bad mojo and stopped us. As it was, she’d basically accidentally stumbled into exactly the right line work in one of her thousands of symbols she’d sketched - and if it wasn’t for the mystic juice she’d stored from hanging out with Roderick even that wouldn’t have been enough.

“Sandy ended it by slamming us into the side of a carwash and hitting the brakes. It was like a jet had crashed behind us - flaming wreckage and shattered masonry was everywhere - but she’d known she’d likely dislodge a pipe, and within seconds Marie Elise’s only working piece of craft was nothing more than a river of chalk pooling on top of a clogged drain.”

Bunny, who, based on the puddle of drool that had begun to form on the toilet seat adjacent to her mouth, Coffin wasn’t entirely sure was awake, lifted her head.

“The #### are you trying to say? If I work hard and eat my Wheaties instead of taking shortcuts I too can one day be a bat#### insane cult leader with a disregard for human life?” she asked.

“No,” he replied, “but I guess you could think of the liquor like that float - nothing anyone takes seriously at first, but it just keeps rolling and rolling without consideration for consequences because it seems so empowering in the moment. Or whatever.”

“I ####in’ knew it,” she said, “I shoulda had the ###damn The More You Know sound ready.”

Though its face was hidden behind a curtain of unrushed snowfall, outside the bathroom’s tiny window the moon had risen. Despite the hour, however, Bunny knew her body would continue to refuse to give her any rest.

Taking a sip of her water, she said, “tell me another.”

 

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.

FP360 – Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 1 of 2

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Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and sity.

Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 1 of 2

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 the Skinner Co. store!

 

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, Will Coffin, urban shaman, and Bunny Davis, his recently sobering roommate, find themselves beside an ever-consuming maw.

 

Coffin: Many Happy Returns, Part 1 of 2

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

 

"I used to be able to tell myself I was being punished for overdoing it, but the ####'s the point of all this withdrawal puking and shaking if I don't even get to drink first?" asked Bunny.

Dressed in a fuzzy pink bathrobe, a pair of black track pants, and a lizard-adorned t-shirt that read "In Godzilla We Trust," she was resting her forehead against the cool porcelain of her apartment’s questionably cleaned toilet.

Coffin, still wearing his constant uniform of jeans and the leather jacket of his office, leaned back on his bathtub perch.

"Well," he said, "as Socrates was supposedly fond of saying -" but his thought was interrupted by another bout of guttural grinding emanating from his roommate's throat. The noise was soon chased by a fresh stream of yellow phlegm and stomach acid.

When Bunny was done she said, “shut up,” took in two ragged breaths, then, in a much smaller tone, added “tell me a story.”

“Let’s see,” answered Will, “In the winter of ‘83 or ‘84 Sandy and I were cooling off in Toronto after a kerfuffle with a murderous Santa manifestation - but that’s a different tale for a different time: the important thing is that we were wandering the mean streets of the great white north ahead of Christmas.

“You familiar at all with the Santa Claus Parade they put on? Kind of like Macy’s Thanksgiving without all the balloons.”

Bunny’s response was to groan and set her cheek on the flat expanse of the toilet seat, but with the hand that wasn’t supporting her weight she waved him on.

“Actually,” said Coffin, “let me step back: Sandy and I had read about these pothead cultists in a local rag. They weren’t proper cultists, really, but you’ve got to remember that real mystical incidents were extremely rare in the early ‘80s. Still, for some reason a dead guy by the name of Roderick had managed to make himself heard in the second bedroom of a student-ghetto apartment, and his booming otherworldly demands were fairly straight forward: He wanted the room hotboxed. The terrified, but fascinated, freshmen renting the place would hang out in there with red eyes and ragged throats, constantly smoking, but even their Cheech & Chong wannabe leader couldn’t keep up. Sometimes they’d just place joints next to fans and have them burn down like incense.

“Funnily enough, I doubt Roderick was feeling anything more than an ethereal placebo effect - but, after reading a mention of the situation in a photocopied zine Sandy bought for a quarter from a poetry major and tracking him down, we were certainly feeling the contact high.

“It was this tiny white room with a Battlestar Galactica blanket acting as a curtain for the single window and a black futon set against the wall. The only illumination was, I kid you not, a black light that lit up the galaxy of star stickers that had been scattered across the ceiling.

Coffin: An Occult Podcast“Walking into that box was like stepping into a greasy smelling cloud bank.

“‘What gifts have you brought?’ the room asked us, and it sounded like one of those movie trailer announcer guys talking. You know - ‘In a world where one hero will rise to change everything magical that was inside us all along,’ or whatever.

“Hell, I gotta admit, it had me suckered for a minute. Burning bushes and all that.

“Sandy had none of it though.

“Out came the ghost hook, and with one swoop she pulls this corduroy pants wearing, bowl-haircutted lanky goof from the floor.

“I felt for old Roderick; he had a stab wound in his neck, the shadow of a moustache, and the posture of a collapsed tree. Still, when he said, ‘let me go,’ I almost started laughing.

“It was like Shaggy from Scooby Doo had stolen James Earl Jones’ voice.

“We formed a little palaver circle, me, Sandy, Roderick, and the two students who’d met us at the door, and wasted the afternoon talking, drinking, and inhaling the atmosphere of the room.

“I’ve spent holidays in worse ways.

“Now, see, I would have tried weaning the pot first - see if proving to himself that he could go without his crutch would push him into moving on, but that would have taken weeks. It would have also been wrong.

“Sandy was always better at figuring people’s brains.

“She never forced the conversation, she would simply nudge it in the right direction. Finally Roderick broke down. It was his girlfriend who did him in with a knife in her hand after he couldn’t be roused to explain how he’d smoked his half of their month’s rent. He’d been trying to end it for months, and I guess it was his passive-aggressive attempt at convincing her to get angry enough to leave.

“After maybe an hour of passing the peace pipe, Sandy put on her Hear Me Now tone and ended the giggling.

“‘Accountability is a tough gig,’ she said, with her red-eyes focused entirely on Roderick. ‘You spend your days chuckling and craving twinkies, but you think these kids can afford to keep this room fogged like it’s a set from Frankenstein? You need to straighten up, take responsibility for yourself, and get your ass to the other side.’

“That was all it took, seconds later he’d said his Darth Vader goodbyes and disappeared.

“Frankly, I think the undergrads were relieved. She was right that it couldn’t have been a cheap haunting to maintain. Poor schmucks, if they’d been the ones to have the talk and make him feel bad maybe they’d have sent him off before he’d burned down their bank accounts. They were friendly enough delinquents, but they couldn’t seem to take responsibility for the situation. Tough to make that sort of effort when you’re worried about the unknown I guess.

“Anyhow, they rolled in celebration, of course, and chatter turned to how they were happy that, though they’d lose some notoriety around campus, at least Marie Elise Boucher wouldn’t be making further visits.

“That’s when we first heard about the imposter and her cadre of hard-faced French farmers.

“Marie Elise and her murderous Christmas float are really what I’m trying to get at.”

“Yeah,” replied Bunny, “I’m sure all that bull#### about needing to make effort and take responsibility was nothing but a diverting sidetrack, Aesop.”

“Wait till I get to the flaming reindeer,” answered Will.

First, however, he paused to refill her curly strawed water glass.

 

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.

MMN2 – Six-String Samurai

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MMN2 - Six-String Samurai

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Download MP3
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Skinner Co. broadcasts are 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.

FCM014 – Bananas

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Welcome to Flash Pulp Minisode 014 - Bananas.

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Plague and an unappealing peeling incident.

  • Damu Gupta's in deep
  •  

    A Skinner Co. Production

    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.

    FP359 – Joe Monk, Emperor of Space: The New Guy

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    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and fifty-nine.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Joe Monk, Emperor of Space: The New Guy

    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 Mac of BIOnighT

     

    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, Joe Monk, Emperor of Space, considers the nature of change and forward time travel.

     

    Joe Monk, Emperor of Space: The New Guy

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

     

    There came a time, before his rise to Emperor, when Joe Monk’s reputation in war and justice had spread to the stars as fresh adventure in a stale universe. His passion seemed a cure to the bureaucracy of the era, and, as the last human, his voice seemed to hold the total weight of his dead world.

    Stepping from the shelter of a cave adorned with well-worked pelts, the neanderthal shielded his eyes against the bright yellow glare of Sol.

    Joe Monk, Emperor of Space, a Science Fiction PodcastThe hillock on which he stood had a single well trodden path leading downwards, and, at its midpoint, a barrier of wood and stone had been constructed to narrow the approach as added defense against predators.

    Atop his ledge the almost-man tracked the drawing near of a small cluster of ten figures.

    This was no war party - no, simply a man and woman trailed by their brood of unwashed youths.

    Still, the difference was unmistakable: These were not neanderthals at all, but homo sapiens drifting in from some distant grubby hole.

    The shelf of the homeowner’s brow fell to a new low and he grunted thrice.

    Time slid by, and it was 54 BC.

    A Roman galley, bristling with oars, was bearing down on the British coast, its drumbeat moving with sure and steady purpose even as it rose and dove amongst the waves.

    The light upon its stern had drawn the eyes of a filthy faced child of twelve who’d been wandering the cliffs in search of a mislaid sheep, and the lad’s long thin legs were soon pounding towards the hut he called home.

    Within moments his family and extended clan were beside him at the drop’s edge, pacing the bobbing landing.

    Spitting, his taut-faced father laid a blow across the boy’s right ear and said, “gonadh inimriche.”

    Time again took on an unlikely momentum, pausing in Earth year 1997 AD.

    A man of sixty was sitting on a worn wooden bench that looked to have been built even before the crumbling gas station it sat in front of.

    Cracking open a peanut the slouched grandfather tossed the shell amongst the dust at his feet.

    From his right came the ringing bell that marked an exiting customer, and a stout figure in blue overalls emerged from the area that housed the loafer’s wife’s cash register.

    Stepping back into his rusting white and red pickup, the driver offered a, “gracias,” then turned over his vehicles reluctant engine.

    The truck rolled onto the highway, lingering but a moment on the horizon.

    The man on the bench said, “goddamn immigrants.”

    The landscape shifted a final time, now settling on Joe Monk’s increasingly renowned ship as seen through the viewscreen of a law enforcement tug. A too-round Smegmarian in a Solar System Traffic Cop uniform punched in his scan but could find no contraband on Monk’s approaching space egg.

    Dropping a news printout with Joe’s face and vessel splashed across the front, the entity scratched at the pant seat of his uniform - universally hated due to its speed limiting bureaucracy - and grunted, “shhhpffdd ferfferl.”

    Monk’s craft became the focus, and the length of speckled black behind it lit up with massive letters.

    “Kwarvox has been Planduck’s Senator for the previous 324 years,” they said before being replaced by: “Change Happens. Get Used To It.”

    A much smaller addendum floated over Joe’s uppermost engine strut. “This Message Endorsed by the Committee for the Election of Beethbo for Galactic Senate.”

    The holoscreen went black.

    As illumination returned to the cramped boardroom, the trio of Planduckians that made up the Committee for the Election of Beethbo for Galactic Senate smiled. It was generally very difficult to license the history of an entire people, but Joe’s lone survivor status meant that the collected cultural heritage of the human race had been bequeathed to his estate. It was their hope that Monk’s celebrity status, mixed with their own people’s past as stellar nomads, would strike a chord.

    Meanwhile, across the small conference table, Joe’s companion’s mind raced. Macbeth knew it was essential to remain mindful of diplomacy while stringing together his polite mouthful of titles, false compliments, and refusals.

    Before he could embark on his finely honed rejection, however, Joe’s jaw finally flapped shut.

    “I’m in!” he blurted, and thus began his political career.

     

    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.

    FPGE23 – A Visit With Sour Thistle by David “Doc Blue” Wendt

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    Welcome to Flash Pulp guestisode twenty-three.

    Flash PulpTonight we present A Visit With Sour Thistle by David “Doc Blue” Wendt

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    (RSS / iTunes)

     

    This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Mob

     

    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’re lucky enough to hear the return of Doc Blue’s Holiday touch - and right on time for the appearance of an old friend, too.

    Many thanks, Doc!

     

    A Visit With Sour Thistle

    Written by David "Doc Blue" Wendt
    Art and Narration by Opopanax
    and Audio produced by Jessica May

     

    A Pulpy Christmas Entry

     

    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.

    FC93 – The Appendix

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    FC93 - The Appendix

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    Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 93.

    Prepare yourself for: Teenage exorcists, time travel, horror flicks, and Coffin.

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    Huge thanks to:

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