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

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and sity.

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

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Research Fodder January 12, 2014

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Research Fodder January 9, 2014

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MMN2 – Six-String Samurai

MMN2 - Six-String Samurai

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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.

Categories: Extra Extra, Flash Pulp | Leave a comment

Research Fodder January 8, 2014

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FCM014 – Bananas

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.

    Categories: Extra Extra, Flash Pulp | Leave a comment

    Research Fodder January 2, 2014

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

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

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

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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.

    Categories: Flash Pulp, Joe Monk | Leave a comment

    True Crime Tuesday: One Pure Moment Edition

    Second Ending - Evan Hunter - Pulp Cover

    Merry Festivus and happy New Year!

    I got you a little something: It’s a True Crime Tuesday.

    Not just any TCT, however – no, this edition only has one story, but it’s special. Andrew Frey makes it so.

    The HuffPo says:

    Andrew Frey, 37, apparently made a series of outbursts and then began masturbating in an Oregon restaurant, The Oregonian reports.

    I wish we’d gotten more reporting on what Frey was upset about before he undertook, uh, drastic hands-on measures.

    Was he claiming his salad was wilted and if someone didn’t fix it he would drop trou? Maybe he was just announcing his one man show, “The Mating Ritual of the Highland Gorilla”?

    It took 15 officers to finally take him into custody and stop him pleasuring himself.

    Fifteen people!? Do we have a new super villain on our hands? The Panicked Penis Puller? Dr. Wankenstein?

    No, of course not. It was meth. It’s always meth.

    Frey later reportedly told authorities that he took methamphetamine and couldn’t remember the obscene incident, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s office.

    I sometimes feel like meth was specifically invented simply to give us a substance that would make the claims in 1930s murder-and-madness pot propaganda flicks true.

    The Junk Pusher - Robert W Taylor - Pulp Cover

    Categories: True Crime Tuesday | Leave a comment

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

    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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    Download MP3

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    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.

    Categories: Flash Pulp, Guestisode | Leave a comment