FCM016 – The Pizza Underground

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FCM016 - The Pizza Underground
Welcome to Flash Pulp Minisode 016 - The Pizza Underground.

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  • The Average Doll
  • Misplaced police password
  • Determined pitbull husbandry


  •  

    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.

    Trollololo

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    So, last week a fellow scrolling by my Facebook wall tried to step forward and defend Arizona's now defeated SB 1062.

    As he explained, "being an American means having choice, including the choice to deny service to those who stand against [the store owner's] personal beliefs." (His words.)

    I'm no American, but I'm pretty aware of America's history regarding choices.

    Facebook Fail

    Pro-tip: If you immediately fall into a spiral of defensive shame because someone pointed out that an unintended consequence of your proposal makes you seem like (more of) a heartless monster, you may want to reconsider your position.



    FCM015 – Costa Coffee

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    A Skinner Co. Podcast
    Welcome to Flash Pulp Minisode 015 - Costa Coffee.

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  • Kevin Li to be released
  • Sean Ludwick retcons his art.
  •  

    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.

    Sunday Summary: Revenge of the Summary

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    Saturday monster invasion with Gigantor & the kids

    From Instagram: Saturday monster invasion with Gigantor & the kids


    From Instagram: Long winter

    From Instagram: Long winter


    From Instagram: Vet chart. How to train your animal to find the tasty bits?

    From Instagram: Vet chart. How to train your animal to find the tasty bits?


    FP366 – Coffin: Vision

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Vision, 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 find ourselves locked into a conversation with a vagrant as our urban shaman, Coffin, his apprentice, Bunny, and perhaps even the creeping dead, watch on.

     

    Coffin: Vision

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

     

    Bunny was finding some hours better than others, but it was cold outside and her denim jacket felt like little more than a pair of pasties as the north wind elbowed its way along Capital City’s sidewalks.

    She’d been trailing her shaman roommate, Will, to Czech It Out, a West Slavic restaurant that was actually better known for its broad red-brick patio than its menu. The fact that her tongue had regained the ability to taste a palette beyond fried and salted items was one of the few comforts she’d been able to latch onto since finding sobriety, and she was determined to fill her time with new tastes even if she had to sit at the tiny interior tables the place used in the winter.

    They’d just stepped off the bus, a block from their destination, when Bunny had begun to seek something to focus on other than the approaching woman.

    CoffinThe lower quarter of her beige raincoat was covered in a spray of mucky snow, and her legs, beneath, were lost in layers of faded jogging pants. The frayed sweater collars that were visible behind her jacket’s missing top button seemed to have been selected from similar running sets, but not the same ones.

    If she asked for some change, Bunny decided, she’d give it to her - but the nouveau gourmand knew that if she could get away with looking like she hadn’t noticed the thickly-lined eyes and trembling fingers she gladly would.

    Then the story had come in a relieved rush, and Coffin had done nothing to stop it.

    “I was coming out of the McDonald’s,” said the woman, “and I noticed him in the crowd crossing at the walk. It’s nothing but waves of people rolling back and forth, like the tide, down by the mall, but I couldn’t miss him. He looked surprised. I’ve never seen anyone so wide eyed. Scared too, like he’d watched someone kill his dog and he wasn’t sure if he was next.”

    The chronicler - who, upon a further inspection, appeared to be a rough-worn forty and not the sixty Bunny had originally guessed - stopped her high energy recital and turned a full circle, scanning the distant sidewalks and slush-heavy road.

    With the stranger’s back turned, the hungry ebriate tossed her roommate a questioning brow, but Will simply pushed the the black leather that made up his office’s uniform into a shrug. Every one of his multitude of zippers was as tightly shut as possible, but she could tell from his stance that it was his intention to wait the newcomer out.

    However, she’d also just seen him thumbing a rare message into his cheap phone, and, together, the two actions convinced Bunny that he knew something she didn’t.

    Squinting, she did her best to find warmth at the bottom of her shallow pockets.

    The woman continued. “It startled me because, even though he was on the other side of the crosswalk he was staring right at me. I don’t have much to spare for clothes lately, so sometimes people judge, but it wasn’t a look like that. It was like he recognized me. It was like I’d done something.

    “My first thought is to turn back and go inside, but then the light changed and the messenger bags and the briefcases were coming at me and I felt like he was in the swarm somewhere, getting closer.

    “I started walking away, towards downtown. Fast. My legs ache fierce on a day like this, but I can still jackrabbit when I want to.

    “Three blocks down I ducked into a Whole Foods to catch my breath and get some warmth in my toes. A clean cut college kid started following me around though. I know I’m not the the type that’s supposed to in there, but I explained that when it’s cold, it’s cold. He blushed, but he still told me to leave.

    “Wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked to leave. Wasn’t even the first time I’ve been asked to leave that Whole Foods.

    “I turned to go, though, and there was the scared man, standing on the far side of all the organic meats behind the butcher’s glass display. His face was terrified. Ugly terrified. His chin was low and he was screaming without noise and every part of him was trying to pull away, like he was at a rollercoaster drop and realizing he hadn’t done up his seatbelt.

    “That’s not the worst of it though. It was as if an invisible giant had placed the palm of their hand against the little bit of bone at the top of his nose and started pushing. His skull hadn’t shattered, exactly, but it had buckled and bent, causing him to stare in two different directions.

    “I’m not a drinker, or I try not to be, but that was too much for me. I bolted and didn’t look at anything but my feet till I was digging out my change bag to pay for a bottle of Bacardi.”

    The tale drifted into the wind as the haunted woman’s gaze settled on a form on the horizon.

    Bunny was nearly convinced the figure would be carrying the smashed features of the story, but, when he finally turned from the door through which he’d apparently exited, he was no more damaged than a mild case of acne that any sixteen-year-old might carry.

    As the distant boy was joined by a friend in a puffy black parka the storyteller found her thread.

    “I couldn’t drown the ghost, though I tried pretty hard. If I kept moving it wasn’t so bad, I’d see him in the reflections of shop windows or across the subway platform, but when I stopped he’d creep as close as he could. Sometimes I get distracted, and I think he knew it, ‘cause he’d wait until I was lost in a bit of news scrolling across an on-sale big screen TV or checking an outdoor ashtray for leftovers, and he’d step up right between my shoulder blades.

    “You can’t hear him, but you can - you can hear his lack of noise, if that makes sense. You can hear the emptiness on your neck.

    “Your ears tingle with the nothing.

    “I - my memory plays tricks on me a lot, but I remembered your bench. Your benches. Your stores. Your offices. Whatever you want to call them. It took me a long time to figure how to get to there, and they were both gone when I arrived.

    “That’s why I’m so glad to have bumped into you like this. He’s - I think he’s right behind me. I think he knows we’re talking and he’s hiding in my shadow.

    “It’s worse now. I mean, it’s been getting worse the whole while. His face is coming apart. He - he had blue eyes, but they’ve both popped. Shards of bone are pushing through brain and the yellow fat beneath his skin - I don’t even know that he means me harm, but just looking at him…”

    A braying laugh came from the teens, who were now waiting out the crossing light some ten feet off. The leftmost, in the puffy parka, seemed embarrassed that they’d been noticed, but the other, the first they’d seen, gave the trio a broad smile and an invitation to make something of it.

    Bunny turned from the wet cheeked woman to the worn lines on her partner’s face then to her own cracked Doc Martens.

    She felt like a teetering glass statue. She felt like a lopsided tower in a high wind. She felt like a rag doll on the cusp of a cliff face.

    She felt like a goddamn drink.

    “Hey, you grimy mouthed dog-ball juggler,” she said to the lingering grinner, “clear the f##k out or I’ll lodge my boot so deep in your d##k hole you’ll be pissing polish.”

    As they watched the boys retreat into a welcomed change of lights, Will cleared his throat and asked, “Georgiana, do you remember why you know where I used to set up shop?”

    The woman’s pale lips flushed. “No, I’m sorry, I know - I know you’re sort of a sorcerer or something, but my mind is full of holes these days and sometimes things slip away. Honestly, I don’t even really recall how I know you are who you are, I just do.”

    Coffin nodded. “Do you remember Donna?”

    Her tongue said, “I’d have to see her,” but her wrinkled forehead said “no.”

    “I’ve already, uh, summoned her,” continued Will. “The last few times you were here we learned that I’m just not powerful enough to help you. Donna’s talents, though, are greater than my own.”

    As if on command, a Volkswagen Jetta pulled tight around the corner and came to a stop along the damp curb. Its driver, Donna, exited, her thick and wavy halo of hair silhouetting her features against the street’s gleam of ice and white frost.

    A nod from Coffin was enough to convince Georgiana towards the passenger seat, and the shaman exchanged nothing more than a silent wave with the newcomer before the illegal parking maneuver ended and the pair pulled away into traffic.

    “What kind of magic man bulls##t was that?” asked Bunny. “Who was she and when the f##k have you ever not gotten your g#dd##n Egon Spengler on and busted some ghosts?”

    Will chewed at this thumbnail, then replied, “Georgiana had been with her husband for nearly twenty years before the accident. Nice couple, no children but a lot of love for each other. Apparently collecting old radios was their big hobby. It was a head-on coming back from a swap meet. She got cracked up pretty badly too; plenty of brain damage but most of the insurance money went to getting her legs stapled together enough to allow her walk again.”

    “She doesn’t remember anything from before?”

    “Sometimes, sometimes not. I think it’s the crash, in slow motion, that she’s seeing play out. I take the time to listen when she finds me, because a friendly ear beats a blade when fighting fear, and Donna, her social worker, appreciates the calm when she arrives.

    “Respect is all the comfort I can offer, though. We’re not equipped to exorcise spooks that solely exist in someone’s head.”

    Blowing heat into her numb fingers, and coming to the surprising realization that she regretted not having a chance to invite Georgiana along, Bunny pushed her feet towards the restaurant.

    The cup jiggling man she passed along the way was terrified at the sheer force of her eye contact, but he gladly accepted the fiver she tossed on top of his collection of change.

    By then she was only feeling hungry enough for soup anyhow.

     

    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.

    True Crime Tuesday: Better Late Than Never Edition

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    Bunny Lake is Missing
    If it's Tuesday - even a little later than normal on Tuesday - it must be True Crime Tuesday.

    Today I bring you two tales of feminine wiles and fury. To start off, I'd like to note that, as a group of people living a pro-blade lifestyle, figure skaters are a surprisingly gentle lot - well, most of the time, as Vice reports.

    A figure skating feud is brewing in Sweden.

    To my mind that means impending triple Lutzes, but "Christine", a member of the Landskrona Figure Skating and Sport Club (LKSK) feels that a competing group, GF Sport Figure-Skating, is truly taking things to a new level.

    Christine had a hand in organizing LKSK, specifically as an antidote to GF's monopoly on [local] figure skating education. Over the past few months, however, what could have been a spirited competition between two organizations with differing principles quickly turned bitter.For instance, LKSK provided loaner equipment to youngsters, contravening a longstanding GF policy.

    This still seems like Bring It On on Ice, until:

    GF responded by allegedly stealing the loaner equipment from Christine's car. She's certain GF-ers were the culprits because they disregarded her laptop during their burglary.

    Okay, stolen equipment, could be a coincidence, could be the act of a misguided youth, I'm sure LKSK responded with a biting but well choreographed ice dancing routine, right?

    It was supposedly LKSK thugs who upped the ante next by sending a letter to the GF's treasurer Pauline Kronvall in which they ordered her to leave the GF board, or her children would be murdered.

    - and someone stepped forward to make peace and bring reason back to an after-school activity for children, RIGHT?

    [...]and last Wednesday a pet bunny was ripped to shreds in a late night raid on an organizer's house.

    [Christine's] pet rabbit was decapitated, disemboweled, and had all its paws severed and laid out in a gruesome, Manson Family-style tableau.

    On second thought, we may want to re-think sending these kids out with knives strapped to their feet.
    Classic Usagi Yojimbo #2
    At least, as NBC-2.com reports, Maria Montenez-Colon is a lover and not a fighter:

    Police say the initial 911 call happened just after 6 p.m., when Maria Montenez-Colon complained that she wanted her Corvette back.

    When the officer arrived at the Almar Drive home, he said Montenez-Colon was very drunk.

    Of course, even drunken folks may have their corvette stolen - what they may not do, however, is fondle justice.

    The 58-year-old immediately told the officer he was sexy and asked if he was married, according to the incident report.

    While it's not to my own taste, I understand that there's a certain appeal to a uniform - so, how did Maria make her play to be held in the long arms of the law?

    Montenez-Colon allegedly told the officer, "I haven't been penetrated in years," and "I am so horny."

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, Maria - subtlety is the secret to seduction. Try again.

    The officer tried to steer the conversation back to the topic of the call, asking what he could do for her.

    Montenez-Colon's response was "You can [expletive] me," according to the report.

    In an incredible act of patience, the officer managed to get back to something that vaguely resembled a complaint, then he departed.

    At least, until...

    Less than an hour later, Montenez-Colon called 911 again, complaining the officer who was at her home "pissed her off."

    The original officer arrived, along with a second officer.

    Having had time to think about it, however, I'm sure the second visit was considerably more appropriate.

    Montenez-Colon reportedly complained about the original visit to the second officer, saying, "He was a perfect gentleman[...]"

    - yes, good, good -

    "[...]but when I asked him to [expletive] me, he turned me down so that made me angry."

    Bad, Maria! BAD!

    When asked by the original officer if she remembered the conversation about misuse of 911, Montenez-Colon allegedly said, "I do, but how else am I going to get you to [expletive] me?"

    Montenez-Colon was arrested for Misuse of 911 and booked into the Charlotte County Jail.

    "When people continue to abuse the 911 system you gotta take a stand, you gotta take a position," explained Lt. Joe King, Punta Gorda Police Dept.

    Maria was pretty specific about just which position that should be, but it's not something we should get into here.
    Police Detective

    FC099 – A New ’70s Slasher

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    FC99 - A New '70s Slasher

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    Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 099.

    Prepare yourself for: Wild packs of chihuahuas, trigger warnings, Tatu, educational zombies, and Coffin.

    * * *

    Huge thanks to:

    * * *

    * * *

    * * *

    Research Fodder February 24, 2014

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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.

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