FCM013 – Half Time

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Skinner Co.

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast Minisode 013

* * *

  • Satan House!
  • * * *

    Also, many thanks, as always, Retro Jim, of RelicRadio.com for hosting FlashPulp.com and the wiki!

    * * *

    If you have comments, questions or suggestions, you can find us at http://flashpulp.com, or email us text/mp3s to comments@flashpulp.com.

    FlashCast is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

    FPSE20 – Seeing the Light

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    Welcome to Flash Pulp, Special Episode 20.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Seeing the Light

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Bourbon Lounge podcast!

     

    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 at the scene of an execution, with only moments till the axe falls.

     

    Seeing the Light

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

     

    Skinner Co.

     

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

    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: Excuses, Excuses Edition

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    Jaws 2 Marvel Comic Pulp Cover
    A life of crime is rarely a glamorous undertaking. Just ask career criminal, and culinary critic, Andrew Palmer.

    As the HuffPo reports:

    The Baltimore man dubbed the "Dine and Dasher" by police is at it again, authorities and restaurant owners say.

    [...]

    Andrew Palmer, 46, notorious for racking up food and drink tabs at area restaurants [...] was arrested early Monday after owners said he refused to pay a $50 bill at Viccino Jay's Italian Gourmet on Charles Street.

    Palmer is apparently a man with a demanding palate, as he's got a long history of this sort of behaviour - but how does this hungry hooligan avoid being apprehended for his appetite?

    Well, he doesn't.

    It's not that prosecutors haven't been able to win convictions against Palmer. It's that the crime -- in most cases, theft under $100 -- doesn't carry a large enough penalty to deter someone with a taste for good food and drink who's willing to do jail time. And because it's a nonviolent offense, those who are found guilty serve only a fraction of their sentences.

    So, what does his technique look like?

    In January, police say, he went large at Sullivan's Steakhouse, ordering the chicken piccata with a lobster add-on, a 22-ounce ribeye steak, four Blue Moon beers, three Bacardis and, for good measure, a coffee. It led to his second arrest of the week.

    "Palmer's seizure occurred when he was confronted about his unpaid bill as he exited the restaurant," Officer Michael McGrath wrote in a statement of probable cause.

    This is definitely a case in which forewarned is forearmed. Just ask the paramedics.

    The night before, he went limp at upscale barbecue restaurant Oliver Speck's in Harbor East when it was time to settle up on a $90 tab, according to the owner and a patron.

    "The paramedics showed up and said, 'Looks like our guy's back,'" said Oliver Speck's chef Jesse Sandlin. "He would not wake up, and they were like, 'Come on Andy, stop faking.'"

    Tattle Tales November 1936

    The only thing worse than a career criminal, of course, is an amateur one.

    It all started with a (I assume drunken) Halloween brawl, as the Naperville Sun reports:

    Krakowiak allegedly instigated the trouble by shoving a woman whose daughter then came to her aid, the report read in part. Krakowiak then allegedly shoved the younger woman into the southbound lanes of Washington Street, where she “landed on her back,” according to the report.

    Nino, identified by police as being the younger woman’s boyfriend, came to her assistance, as did his friend, Lopez, the report declared. That triggered “a melee (that) erupted in the street,” the report stated.

    Unfortunately the would-be saviour was - er - easily confused, and things only worsened all around:

    An undisclosed number of police officers who were in or near the area at the time tried to stop the fighting.

    Nino was observed “throwing punches,” the report indicated. Lopez, meanwhile, “was arrested after punching a police officer, (after) mistaking his uniform for a costume,” the report continued.

    Given the night I can almost understand his error - but how did they clear up the case of mistaken identity?

    Klepinowski allegedly “elbowed a police officer in the face during the melee, resulting in his getting arrested after being Tased to obtain his compliance,” the report declared.

    Oh yeah, with a tazer.

    Police Detective Cases April

    FP349 – Regulations

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present Regulations

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Bourbon Lounge podcast!

     

    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.

    In tonight’s tiny tale of futuristic competition we question boundaries and swing at a possibly unsporting sports event.

     

    Regulations

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

     

    A Skinner Co. PodcastEvery spectator in Howard J. Lamade Stadium was on their feet except the eldest, Wallace Hart.

    Mitchell, his son, looked down from his standing ovation and frowned.

    “Come on, Pa!” said the forty-eight-year-old, “even you have to cop to the fact that that was amazing.”

    The old man simply shrugged.

    “He just saved us a grand slam with a fourteen foot jump, straight in the air,” continued Mitchell, “can’t you just admit that’s pretty spectacular?”

    With a moist clearing of his throat, Wallace replied, “boy, seeing some punk with cybernetic springs in his heels snatch a pop-up is as exciting as watching a bunch of high-powered hydraulics assemble a minivan back at the Ford plant.

    "They should start calling it the Machine League and stop pretending it has anything to do with the original game."

    "Oh yeah," said Mitchell, as he joined the throng in returning to their seats, "it was better when it seemed to take six days to finish at a run apiece."

    Retrieving his gallon of soda, the jersey-wearing son prodded his father and pointed beyond the centerfield fence.

    "Hey, Dad, check it - yes, over there, with all the gray hairs: It's a three-decade-long game from your time!"

    Snorting at his own joke, Mitchell took a pull on his beverage as a busload of late-arriving grandparents shuffled into their seats.

    "I understand playing to maximum potential, but sometimes rules are there for a reason," replied Wallace, a grandfather himself. "Deregulation changed this from a sport to a science experiment. Look at that opening crack, when the Robinson kid rounded the first two bases in less time than it took you to realize he'd hit the ball - at that point why not simply go to a top-speed dragster exhibition?

    "Better yet, if he wins MVP do they give it to him or the doctor that cut off his legs and replaced them with those carbon fibre pistons? Doesn’t the pit crew that’s maintaining him deserve some credit?

    “You can call 'em coaches, but I'll call 'em what they are: Mechanics."

    Before Mitchell could answer a two hundred mile an hour pitch blew past the plate, ending the current hopes of the titanium-boned batter and the trio waiting twitchily on the stadium's bases.

    As silence descended over the crowd the Little League World Series prepared to enter its second inning.

     

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

    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.

    FP348 – Mulligan Smith in Wants & Needs

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    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and forty-eight.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Mulligan Smith in Wants & Needs

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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 our private investigator finds himself entering a den of iniquity with questions on his tongue.

     

    Mulligan Smith in Wants & Needs

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

     

    It wasn't Mulligan's favourite sort of place, but he was a man who believed deeply in an answer to every need - even if that need was not his own.

    Mulligan Smith, Private InvestigatorThe Hungry Lion was situated in a former Chinese buffet that had had its windows blacked out by thick red curtains. The parking lot was well paved and the cement walkways leading to the disreputable business had clearly been recently refinished.

    "Let me tell you about needs, Leo," Mulligan was saying as he pushed his companion's wheelchair along the ramp to the Lions curb. "The guy who runs this dimly lit cabaret needs to be at the center of things.

    “Sure, the cash is good - he once told me that he even operates Seated Sundays as a non-profit charity, then rents himself the building for the write off - but I happen to be pretty familiar with Murray, and I know he must have been the sort of kid who grew up at the edge of every game of spin the bottle, of every pool party, of every prom. You know the type: In all the stories, but never the main player. He wasn't the big chinned jock, the smart one, or, frankly, any of the Breakfast Club characters - but he does have The Hungry Lion."

    As he had repeatedly since first being fetched for this interview, Leo gave a mildly confused "huh" of agreement.

    They pushed through the darkened glass doors and the first wave of bass hit their ears.

    “Everyone needs a place,” Smith continued as he pulled open the interior entrance.

    The darkness inside meant Leo’s unadjusted eyes could see only the woman writhing in the spotlight. She was wearing a pair of purple booty shorts, a Hello-Kitty-as-samurai tattoo, and a “Hello, My Name Is...” sticker over her heart that had had ‘Anya’ written in with a thick black sharpie - and nothing more.

    “Anya, for instance,” said Smith, “is a nice lady who had the misfortune to fall for a jackass in a polo shirt that left her to raise twins on her own. She’s as sweet a human as you’ll ever meet, but she doesn’t like math and her winning smile made her teachers soft on her.

    “She’ll be damned if she’ll let her kids starve, and, besides, she likes making people happy.

    “It’s like I was saying: Everyone needs a place, even if that place has a bad rep.”

    As he seemed to be hypnotized by Anya’s rhythmic swaying, the PI could no longer tell if his seated companion was paying him any attention. Approaching a round brown-topped table at the approximate center of the room, Mulligan was sure, at least, that he had not noticed the fact that the rest of the dozen or so patrons were also chair-bound though no seating had been supplied by the establishment.

    After three minutes more of a White Zombie remix, Leo finally turned back to his apparent inquisitor.

    “Uh, you’re from Haymaker right?” he asked, “so what’s up with this place?”

    “You’re not listening, Leo,” Smith replied. “Everyone needs a place. This one is Seated Sundays.

    “Most of these mooks paying too much for pitchers of domestic draft are injured vets who’ve come back from the war. It may surprise you to hear, but it can be tough for a paraplegic to get a girlfriend when buried in medical debts and suffering from the occasional bout of PTSD.

    “That doesn’t mean they don’t need a little tender attention though. That’s how Murray got his idea for the charity, Seated Sundays. No cover charge for anyone in a rolling recliner, and a free lap dance for those who can show their dog tags. Donations are always welcome though, as Murray would gladly tell you.”

    Leo’s too-small eyes grew closer together. “You brought me down here to pass the hat for a strip joint? Uh, thanks.”

    Smith shrugged. “I wasn’t lying to you when I said I wanted to interview you on behalf of your insurance company, but, as you you’ve probably figured out, I’m no suit juggling actuary tables - but, hold on a sec, here comes a friend of mine, One Leg Mick.”

    Having spotted the hoodied PI, the man with the lone lower limb had launched himself in their direction with sturdy arms. His high-speed stop was sudden, and spoke of long practiced braking.

    “Hey, Mick, I was just telling my pal here about miracle flights,” Mulligan offered as his hello.

    “Miracle flights?” asked Leo. His confused squint had only strained further at the newcomer’s appearance, but, as Anya pranced from the stage, his attention was again absorbed by the announced arrival of Veronika.

    Despite the distraction, Mick said, "Hell, used to happen constantly when I worked at the airport, especially when security started ratcheting up.

    “‘Miracle Flights’ are what the cabin crew called ‘em. Some frequent flyer who knows the system claims they need a wheelchair from the airport. They’re rolled on by the flight attendant, but somehow they walk out cured. Hell, where was that sort of healthcare when I came back from the war? Ha!”

    “Huh?” asked Leo.

    “It’s for priority seating,” answered Smith. “They fake a condition so they can get on the plane ahead of the rabble.”

    Without warning the detective had Leo’s full focus.

    “Everyone needs a place in the world,” Mulligan repeated to him. “You should’ve done some research. Your paperwork states your spinal cord injury - your SCI - is complete. Do you know what that means?”

    "I can't play badminton and Haymaker owes me an ass-ton of money?"

    "Yeah, and it pays out better than being SCI incomplete, but it also means you shouldn't be so pleased to see Anya and Veronika. Actually, these folks are all SCI incomplete - it's the fellas with totally severed nerves who have trouble, uh, raising the flag in salute."

    Veronika swung wide on the pole, her thighs slowing her descent to the floor.

    Red faced, Leo’s forearms dropped to his lap for as much coverage as possible, but One Leg, his smile now a sneer, backed away and returned to the group in fatigues that he’d left at his own table.

    Smith, however, was not done: “What bothers me isn’t just that you’re taking money from people who need it - no, it’s more direct than that. Your wants give their needs a bad rep.”

    As word of the forgery traveled from lips hovering above overpriced beer to ears aching from too-loud grind music, wheels began to align themselves towards the pair.

    Mulligan turned, nodded to the DJ, and left to stand on the curb outside.

    Veronika did not break her wiggle.

    Of course Smith’s client, Haymaker Insurance, couldn’t accept an errant erection as proof of a fraudulent claim - but the investigator’s hastily snapped cellphone pictures showing Leo sprinting from the strip club ahead of a mob of angry ex-military men would certainly serve.

     

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

    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.

    FP347 – Waiting Up

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    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and forty-seven.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Waiting Up

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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 present a Halloween tale of household haunting and chronic insomnia.

     

    Waiting Up

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

     

    Dwight’s first warning came while sneaking into his son’s room to deposit a freshly folded pile of underpants into his bright yellow dresser.

    Fluttering eyelids gave the boy away.

    “Are you awake, Boop?” he asked Yoshi.

    “Yeah Dad.”

    Dwight nodded as he laid-out laundry by the glow of a Winnie the Pooh night light. “At least you didn’t try to lay a fake snore on me. Why are you up though?”

    The four-year-old rolled to face the wall before answering, “I never sleep. I just pretend to make you happy.”

    Hiding his chuckle with an honest yawn, Dwight smiled.

    “Well - make me happy by not pretending and actually going to sleep.”

    “I’m waiting for Mum to get home.”

    Long practiced in the art of altering the flow of conversation around any mention of the woman, Dwight simply said goodnight and left.

    * * *

    The next day, well after midnight, Dwight was sternly shutting the door.

    “I’m not playing anymore. Go to sleep,” he told the flat white expanse that doubled as a finger-painted art gallery.

    After their brief discussion, the previous evening, Dwight had curled up for some much needed rest, but his slumber had been interrupted at dawn by a pressing request from his bladder. Finally stirring from a tedious dream, he readied himself for a quick run across the washroom’s cold floor and back, then turned over.

    Any thought of returning to sleep had been wiped out by the sudden discovery that a form was hunkered on his bed, not three inches from his face.

    He’d let fly with a rare “Christ!” but Yoshi had only laughed.

    To the father’s mind the problem was that the tyke had started to consider the situation as a game. Still, shouldn’t sheer exhaustion have done him in at some point?

    He paced the short hallway for twenty minutes, then, when all seemed silent and he could no longer lift his legs to maintain his gait, he headed for bed.

    Lying alone in the darkness, however, Dwight began to wonder if it were actually a case closer to noticing the arrow in the FedEx logo. Could he have missed that Boop was faking? Had he really always been pretending?

    He was still paying down the bill’s for Mamiko’s treatment, he couldn’t afford to have the boy in for a sleep study.

    Damn foolish was what it was. The child just needed to shut his eyes.

    Yet he didn’t.

    * * *

    Friday, at two in the morning, a commercial for car alarms brought Dwight out of an unexpected couch nap.

    Even as he stood, his knees popping, the sound of Yoshi’s moaning reached his ears from the far end of the bungalow.

    As he stiffly walked the hallway the evidence trail was obvious to read. The closet they’d designated a pantry, just off the kitchen, was ajar, and a trail of stray Fruit Loops led him on.

    Dwight entered just soon enough to watch three months worth of bulk-box cereal decorate the walls.

    Once he could, Yoshi, through tears, said, “I was hungry.”

    It was nearly dawn by the time Dwight cleared the smell of stomach acid and artificial flavours from the room.

    * * *

    Drifting, only half conscious, through work and dinner, Dwight had fallen asleep midway through an explanation to his son that his mother, now dead nearly a year, was not coming home.

    Generally such a sensitive discussion would have had the father’s full attention, but into the second hour of alternating between telling the boy to sleep and explaining why his naive logic was wrong, he’d sat down on the thinning blue carpet and rested his head on his hand.

    Now, at 3am, Yoshi had startled him awake with the tumbling of a pot-and-pan tower.

    Crawling into the boy’s undersized bed, the father wrapped his arms around his son and held him.

    It was not a calm slumber, though, as every movement roused the vigilant parent - and Yoshi could not cease his childish wiggles.

    * * *

    Dwight was so taut with fatigue the next night that he was barely aware something was amiss before his eyes began to sting with tears.

    ChillerStaggering to the kitchen he found the latest calamity.

    Yoshi had pulled his trike in from the rain and dirt of the backyard and created a mud track surrounding the kitchen table. The venetian blinds were blowing in the wind of the open sliding door, and water had begun to pool on the simple black carpet Mamiko had chosen for the threshold.

    Worse, the youth had marked the edges of his course by burying the contents of the family knife block, tip first, into the linoleum floor.

    “Don’t worry, Dad,” Yoshi said, kneeling beside his weeping father, “Mom will be home soon. I’m waiting up.”

    The unending emergency was too much. Dwight’s exhaustion had been snowballing, in truth, from the moment of Mamiko’s diagnosis.

    Would he ever sleep? Would they ever sleep? Was she the only one sleeping?

    An odd thought came to him: She must be so rested - yes, so rested.

    It became clear then: All he had to do was wait for her arrival. Things would be better when she got home.

    The thought lifted the weight from his shoulders and cleansed the ache from his mind.

    Yes, he too would wait up for her.

    Gaining his feet, he asked Yoshi to move his Big wheel outside and headed for a mop.

    There was a lot to do before she came home.

     

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

    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.

    FP346 – The Split

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present The Split

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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 present a tale of terrible intentions and unexpected ends.

     

    The Split

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

     

    James Matheson was a brilliant man, but that did not make him a nice one

    Still, he’d held enough regret - enough self pity - to attempt to correct his error.

    He was parked half a block from a house that was a duplicate of his own, watching a man that looked exactly like himself embracing a woman that looked exactly like Ann, his wife - but this alternate reality was not quite like his own: The kiss proved it.

    Here Ann hadn’t learned of his mistake.

    In his existence it had been some time since James had received such a tender goodbye.

    The second James smiled, then turned to fumble with unlocking his BMW.

    A Skinner Co. ProductionThe onlooker knew he was already fifteen minutes late to the lab, and, by the way Ann curled herself inside her fluffy white house coat, he could guess why. He also knew, however, that the scientist’s first stop upon arriving at work would be the third floor supply closet in which Sarah’s eager grin and nimble hips awaited.

    According to his own timeline, James had ended the relationship months ago. Poorly, perhaps, but he’d ended it. Somehow this world’s continued affair made what he felt he had to do next easier.

    Ten minutes later, along the unpaved backway that they’d been using as a shortcut for years, he accelerated suddenly.

    The gravel was rough, and the shoulder grassy, but the impact wasn’t enough to throw either vehicle into the ditch.

    It did, though, bring the BMW to a halt.
    .
    James had known it would - it was what he would have done.

    He pulled up twenty feet behind the beamer and killed the engine.

    Even as he watched his red-faced doppelganger exit his superficially damaged car, the would-be killer wrapped and re-wrapped his fingers around the tire iron in his lap.

    In an effort to pass the time as his victim walked distance to his window, he reviewed the plan: Cover over the already-dug shallow grave, drop off the rental, call Ann for a ride and explain that some maniac had ridden him off the road.

    He’d have to give himself a black eye to sell the story, but it would also at least provide an excuse to call in sick and spend the day with Ann. He was confident he could talk her back into nothing but the white bathrobe.

    He was just considering standing, as other-James was but five feet away, when his wife stepped from the brush-filled treeline across the lane.

    “You're as bad at murdering people as you are at being a husband,” she shouted.

    It was the fury in her eyes that told James that she was not this world’s Ann.

    How had she followed him? How could she gain access to the device?

    Damn it: Sarah.

    Stepping from the car, he answered, “I should have finished choking you to death when I had my fingers around your throat.”

    Then, to himself, he noted that digging an additional grave wouldn’t be all that much more work. That’s when a third James crawled from the ditch and sprinted for the rental.

    This him had not shaved in weeks, and appeared to have gone an equal time unshowered.

    “Get in and drive, idiot!” the newcomer screamed as he threw himself into the passenger seat. “We need to get to the lab! NOW!”

    It was too late.

    A dozen Anns stepped from the undergrowth: One wore a black bandana over her scarred left eye, one carried an assault rifle on her shoulder, one wore something like a prom dress that exposed two well-muscled arms covered in colourful tropical tattoos.

    Whatever their appearance, all held hate in their gaze.

    Four black minivans roared into view from either direction, blocking any escape. Their sliding doors peeled open to disgorge further variants of his former wife, each baring their teeth in his direction.

    “Look at you - you’re such an egomaniac you’re willing to murder yourself!

    “We hate you so very much, James Matheson. You all think that the affair is the problem - but it’s just the final result. There are many parts to this equation, doctor, and your wandering penis is simply the last variable in a long list of disgusting opinions and narcissistic behaviours.

    “We’ve hunted hundreds of you, on hundreds of worlds, and we will not rest until the quantum froth that is everything ever is free of your stain.

    “You may be brilliant in physics, but you’re an absolute moron in self-awareness and social skills.”

    A pump action shotgun ratcheted, but there were too many Anns to identify which was carrying the weapon.

    As one, they stepped forward.

    Before they could again carry out their retaliation, however, the ground began to buck and sway.

    Though they had traveled space and time to avenge themselves against a man who was perhaps both evil AND a genius, their path of retribution had carried them into the shadow of Kar’Wick, the Spider God.

    Within moments their quest was ended beneath the arachnid lord’s all-encompassing carapace.

     

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

    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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