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FP427 – Ruby Departed: Kilroy’s Story

Tonight, our zombie slaying heroine hears the recounting of one man’s post-apocalyptic vacation.

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and twenty-seven.

Flash PulpTonight we present Ruby Departed: Kilroy’s Story

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Human Echoes 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, our zombie slaying heroine hears the recounting of one man’s post-apocalyptic vacation.

 

Ruby Departed: Kilroy’s Story

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

 

Tonight, our zombie slaying heroine hears the recounting of one man’s post-apocalyptic vacation.

 

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.

MMN6 – R.O.T.O.R. (Live!)

MMN6 - R.O.T.O.R. (Live!)

MMN6 - R.O.T.O.R. (Live!)
Join The Mob in mocking the homicidal robot cop of THE FUTURE!

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

FC121 – Yay Moonshine (Live From Kar’WickCon 2015)

FC121 - Yay Moonshine (Live From Kar'WickCon 2015)

FC121 - Yay Moonshine (Live From Kar'WickCon 2015)

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 121.

Prepare yourself for: Crazy Larry’s, Wayne Bruce, Sasquatches, equal pay for Batgirl, and Mulligan Smith.

* * *

Huge thanks to:

* * *

* * *

* * *

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Audio-dacity of Hope:

  • Black Smoke by Jessica May
  • * * *

    Backroom Plots:

  • FP421 – Back on the Road
  • * * *

    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://skinner.fm, or email us text/mp3s to comments@flashpulp.com.

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

    FCM023 – #KarWickCon

    FCM023 - #KarWickCon

    FCM023 - #KarWickCon
    Welcome to Flash Pulp Minisode 023 – #KarWickCon

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    * * *

    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.

    FP426 – Balance

    FP426 - Balace

    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and twenty-six.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Balance

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Casebook of Esho St. Claire!

     

    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 trapped on a Capital City bus with an apparent madman.

     

    Balance

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

     

    “Fare?” asked the driver, his eyes bored but his lips taut at having had to repeat himself for a third time.

    Clay Lyons, locked in internal conversation, barely noticed, though his hand continued to shuffle around inside his jacket as if in search of change.

    Coming to an answer, he turned and took in his fellow passengers.

    The bus was largely empty. On the left side of the aisle a fatigue-jacketed man of fifty, his knit cap pulled low, slept his way through Capital City’s most remote stops. To the right, a sixteen-year-old boy watched Clay, his gaze appearing to take the newcomer’s measure. Beside the teen sat a woman whose graying hair seemed to have arrived too soon for her thirty-something face. She was occupied with the sidewalk beyond her window.

    “Listen: Pay up or step off,” said the driver.

    With a sigh, Clay reminded himself that it wasn’t his fault. He’d been driven mad by the lawyers and the system weighing against him and damned Lorraine. She’d always driven him nuts – wasn’t that obviously why he’d hit her so often?

    It was her fault. It was the system’s fault. It was everyone’s fault.

    Producing one of the six-inch knives he’d bought online, Lyons smoothly swung out the blade with a flick of his practiced thumb.

    As the tension of his life drove the weapon into the wheelman’s throat for the fifth and sixth time, Clay decided he was truly crazy – that he’d been made crazy his responsibilities, and by his ex-wife.

    * * *

    “Fuuuuuuuuu-” began Quinton Labadie, but his mother’s proximity shut his mouth. Her wrath wasn’t worth raising, even in the face of cold blooded homicide.

    The teen had lost count of the killer’s thrusts, and a red mist now hung across the windshield and over the murderer’s white shirt and black tie.

    FP426 - BalaceStanding, the youth tugged at Amoya Labadie’s arm until she relented and joined him on the runway towards the rear exit. That’s when the man in the khaki coat snored.

    It was enough to snap the executioner from his rage.

    “Am I boring you over here!?” screamed Lyons.

    Raising his head in confusion, the slumberer took in the scene.

    “He’s got a knife!” shouted Quinton, but the warning was too late even as it passed across his lips.

    Stumbling over his still-sleeping feet, the dreamer had attempted to leave his seat, but was overtaken by the crimson form of the knifeman.

    Staring up from his leaking handiwork, Clay pulled on a cruel smile.

    “Scared?” he asked.

    “It’s not you I’m worried about,” answered Quinton, but it was too late. His mother had taken notice of the world again. She drew the large yellow purse close to her chest, her brows low with suspicion.

    “You’ll be hurt,” she said, setting a hand on her son’s shoulder, “he’s got shadow eyes.”

    * * *

    Usually the shadows simply lurked beyond the windows, but sometimes they got inside folks, and you could only tell by the darkness in their eyes. That’s when they were most dangerous, because they could jump from gaze to gaze.

    Amoya had been at war for ten thousand days. She knew because she’d written each of them out, as roman numerals, in her journals.

    She’d first seen the glooms when she’d entered puberty. She’d long harboured suspicions, reinforced at every sleep over and birthday party, that her existence was somehow aside from those of her friends. She’d worried that they could tell she was different, and she’d worked hard to hide those differences.

    Decades later, her son was the only one with a hint of her true vision. Most would have said she was just a quiet woman with a large yellow bag always at her side. Yet the war continued.

    The shades were everywhere, taunting her through the lips of news anchors and in the sneering refusals of the insurance companies. The lesson that she was alone had come young – but she was a fighter. She had kept her secrets, knowing they’d take Quinton away if she didn’t, and she had waited.

    Now they had come, as she’d always known they would.

    They had come, but she was ready.

    Clay approached with the heavy tread of an angry man – a betrayed man – but she thrust her son aside with the strength of true madness: Of a lifetime’s certainty that the world was aligned against her, not just in a moment of rage, but at every second, with every breath and every push up and every mile ran.

    He raised the knife, and she saw the shadows in his eyes.

    He raised the knife, and she knew there was only one way to keep the gloom from entering her own being.

    The banana-coloured purse dropped away, revealing the portable nail gun that had been her constant companion for over a decade.

    In the end, no amount of surgery would save Clay Lyons’ punctured vision, but Amoya’s victory would be enough to rally the support she and her son truly needed.

     

    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.

    FP425 – The Memory Eaters

    FP425 - A Skinner Co. Horror Podcast

    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and twenty-five.

    Flash PulpTonight we present The Memory Eaters

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Casebook of Esho St. Claire!

     

    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 not quite alone with our memories in a quiet Capital City apartment.

     

    The Memory Eaters

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

     

    Jimmie Everett stood on his living room’s cold hardwood floor, his cheeks damp and his eyes wide.

    He’d thought his new home empty, but a rustling among the still-unpacked boxes had been enough to draw him from his bed and along the short hallway. The notion had entered his mind that it was Cassie; that she’d managed to stumble through the lobby’s locked door and had somehow circumvented the deadbolt and chain that held his own front entrance shut tight.

    It was not Cassie.

    Instead, he’d discovered, rummaging through the cardboard caskets that held his former life, a trio of two-foot-high beasts.

    Their bodies were gray, round, and hung with fleshy rolls that reminded Everett of his Aunt Beth’s ancient hairless cat. The invaders, however, stood upon six legs, and a pair of knobby arms hovered over pouched bellies. Their eyes were the size of fists, but it was their mouths – lipless and revealing a jagged row of teeth as long as butter knives – that held Jimmie’s attention.

    Two of the intruders were peeling the packing tape that held his memories at bay, while the third left a thick layer of slobber on its barbed fangs as its elastic tongue toured its jaws with anticipation.

    “The hell?” asked Jimmie. For a brief second his brain slipped from one impossibility to another, and he assumed he was, in actuality, asleep.

    The knot of creatures turned, their tiny clawed hands clapping with enthusiasm.

    “Hello!” croaked the slobberer.

    There was a pause then, as the awake man let the chill beneath his feet and the lingering smell of microwaved popcorn convince him that this was, in fact, reality.

    As they watched him process, the trespassers giggled throatily to each other.

    Finally, deciding he’d survived too much to allow three still-possibly-hallucinated imps with mange to set him back now, Jimmie straightened his spine and asked, “who are you?”

    “Damn, I was hoping to play Chase Him,” said the monstrosity closest to the boxes, and its fingers returned to stripping the restraining bands from Everett’s previous existence.

    The apparent leader bobbed on its triple-pair of legs, the bumps of its spine rolling from back to front, and it deposited a sizable hairball on the unswept parquet before saying, “we’re Memory Eaters, and we don’t particularly care what you think about that.”

    FP425 - A Skinner Co. Horror Podcast“Think about what?” asked Jimmie.

    “The fact that we’ve arrived to devour your history.”

    “Huh?”

    The second of the beasts, caught between its talkative companion and the impending pillaging of picture frames, albums, and dusty knick knacks, turned to pick up the thread.

    “It’s pretty clear from the name: We eat your past. Can’t quite summon the face of your dead father? We probably ate it. Difficulty bringing to mind the sound of your grandmother’s voice? We ate that too.”

    Jimmie blinked, his brow furrowing. “You think Gran’s voice is in that box somewhere?”

    Again the chorus of chuckles rose to his ears.

    “No, but it gets us closer to a full belly when we can chew on your family photos and beloved teddy bears,” replied the leader. “Frankly, you’ve probably heard of us before. Most have, as a schoolyard urban legend or bedtime fairy tale, but simply don’t remember because we later crossed paths.”

    Watching the last of the tape pull away, the second said, “whatever yesterdays you’ve tried to pack away in there must be pretty ripe, people generally only notice us if we’re pulling at the most solidly planted memories.”

    Jimmie’s chest tightened, and his fingers clenched.

    “Great, now he gets to play Chase Us!” said the unpacker, its voice high with excitement.

    “Look pal,” interjected the leader, “normally I’m all for the fun and games, but we’re on a tight schedule tonight. There’s three of us and one of you. I promise you this: We always win in the end. We may be in a rush, but, really, time is always on our side.”

    It was then that Everett recollected that the Millennium Falcon playset his father had given him when he was twelve was not amongst the living room collection, but was instead tucked in a suitcase at the back of his bedroom closet.

    Standing there, amidst the assault on his largely barren living room, he thought suddenly of the leather couch he and Cassie had selected together, their first real piece of jointly owned furniture. He thought of how they’d sprawled on it, her head in his lap while she whispered every promise he’d ever wanted to hear.

    He thought of later finding her there sleeping, his shoulders aching from the stress of work, and the stink of spilled booze wafting through the air.

    He thought of the arguments that followed; of missing money; of broken promises.

    Turning away even as the hanging rolls of the Memory Eaters’ bellies began to fill out with the broken China and cracked-framed wedding pictures that were his half of the divorce, he said, “some memories are easier to give up than others. Watch your gums on any stray whiskey bottles – and keep it down, I’ve got a job interview in the morning.”

    Once he reached his room he shut the door behind him, and when he awoke he could no longer recall what had so troubled his sleep the night before.

     

    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.

    FP424 – The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 3 of 3

    FP424 – The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 3 of 3

    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and twenty-four.

    Flash PulpTonight we present The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 3 of 3

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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 complete the flight of Aurelio Medina, a man who went in search of a home but received, instead, unexpected talents.

     

    The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 3 of 3

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

     

    September, Year One
    Excerpt Source: [redacted].com/rambling/Aurelio.html

    Author: Head

    Title: You Will Believe a Man Can Fly

    Body:

    […]

    We held him for about five days, then – well, you’ve probably seen the leaked footage. It starts with a time lapse of Aurelio wandering around the small safehouse room that was acting as his temporary cell. With that weird moth-like motion that people get when sped up, he flits from a small table, where he eats dinner, to the barred window, to sitting on his bed, to making use of the room’s prison-style toilet.

    Finally, after a chat through the door with the uniform on duty, he lies down in the lower right hand side of the screen, getting comfortable as the light beyond the drawn blinds fades. I’ve heard conspiracy theories that there’s a different shot, from a better angle, but if the footage exists, I’ve never encountered it.

    What I know – what I’ve seen – is a bunch of restless blankets moving, then an eel, specifically – as I’ve been told by the team that was assigned to review the footage – a conger eel, writhing from the bedding and onto the floor.

    Those same lab coats told me this was easily the longest one on record.

    Now, Aurelio’s escape wasn’t pretty, but, honestly, neither was how we’d treated him. We’d chased him with robot dogs, forced him from the sky with armed drones, and, frankly, implied pretty heavily that we were going to have to take him apart to figure out how he could accomplish his feats of bioengineered prestidigitation.

    You might say he’d already gone through so much shit, what was a little more? Especially when it meant his freedom.

    Down the drain he went, and into the world. Must have been a hell of a squeeze through the toilet’s s-bend.

    In the department’s defense, the safehouse was never intended to hold massive eels.

    FP424 – The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 3 of 3What I find most amazing, though, is that he didn’t simply turn into one of us. Surely if he’d waited long enough he could have slipped into the guise of being a white guy – hell, an exact duplicate of his guard even – and made a, uh, clean break.

    Of course, Uncle Sam wasn’t willing to let him, you know, wriggle from our grasp.

    As far as we could tell from the conspiracy theorist websites, a man sporting majestic wings had been spotted gliding from an empty chunk of Texas and south towards the Chihuahuan Desert. Our man at the top nearly lost it over that, as we’d done a fairly decent job of keeping the nature of the operation secret until then.

    The poor bugger who reported it should thank the Saint of Sasquatches that we didn’t have to knock on his door, as would have been the case if he’d managed to grab any credible video.

    Anyhow, under the auspices of an ongoing anti-drug joint task force, we were given limited authorization to cross the border and operate in and around Aurelio’s former hometown. We were told to keep it quiet, as we didn’t need the Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional putting together the pieces with their domestic intelligence guys.

    So there we are, Atlas and I, sitting in Aurelio’s otherwise abandoned shack. He wasn’t joking when he said he just picked up and left, there was still a pair of mugs in the sink that had been left to dry, and the square of garden hadn’t yet had a chance to wither.

    We’re mostly sitting in the dark, as Atlas is all “mission security” and “standard operating procedure” and “silent running” and blah blah blah, so I was sharpening my Spanish by reading Mexican webcomics when we heard an engine outside.

    Now, they gave me a gun, but I’m still pretty laughable on the range. I mean, I can flatten an entire opposing team in Call of Duty, all while they complain that having a neural interface hooked directly to my game console is cheating, but I still differ to Punchy when it comes to knocking real people over.

    – and, of course, we were supposed to be taking Aurelio alive.

    Thing was, it wasn’t Kafka’s birdman that came through the door, it was a local idjit named Bruno and a couple pals who thought they’d arrived to pummel a destitute local into keeping his mouth shut about how they’d killed his grandfather.

    You wanna know what pisses Ms. Atlas off more than chasing a prisoner she’s already captured? Realizing that, despite all of her precautions, her operation has been compromised by some nosey punks with no clue what they’re actually getting themselves into.

    Worse, they had gall and bad manners enough to try and shoot at her.

    She’d lost all the robotics below her right elbow, and her patience, by the time she disarmed them, and there was so little of the hacienda left after she was done tossing them through, around, and over it, that we had to scrub the mission entirely.

    A day later word came down the chain that Aurelio was to be forgotten – that is, at least until the media leaks started.

    Stories still abound of the Nagual who supposedly walks, crawls, and flies across the southern Mexican states, but I can’t help but wonder: If we’d just been perhaps a bit more welcoming, maybe he’d be our Nagual.

     

    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.

    FP423 – The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 2 of 3

    FP423 - The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 2 of 3

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 2 of 3

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    Download MP3
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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by Nutty Bites!

     

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

    Tonight we run from a car crash and find ourselves under the watchful eye of the law.

     

    The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 2 of 3

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

     

    September, Year One
    Excerpt Source: Verbal Debrief Following Operation El Soñador

    Adviser: Major Nelson Wily
    Subject: Corporal Jennifer Glat, AKA Ms. Atlas

    Atlas: I’d have thought the target would simply surrender once injected with a foreign substance and having his arm shattered in a wrecked vehicle, but I rarely understand the motives in this sort of incident.

    We deployed to the scene after a unit involved in [redacted] detected the signature of a dangerous strain of bioengineering.

    Wily: Did you actually see any of the new dogs in use?

    Atlas: Yes, we had three helping us with door knocking. They’re really just smaller versions of the room-sized machines immigration uses to weed out potential medical problems in green card applicants – cancer, lung issues, inherited conditions, whatever might be a drag on the healthcare system – but they’ve managed to cram it all onto the quadruped mechanical frames that normally only hunt the stinkier narcotics.

    Wily: Huh.

    Atlas: Anyhow, as I was saying, the dog’s footage clearly indicated five runners, and, since we knew [redacted] and his bodyguard had nothing more than an empty needle on them, we figured the [redacted] had to have been squeezed into one of the absconders.

    Head and I were sent directly from the facility in [redacted], and, as per orders, we split duties. He went aloft to coordinate the drone and helicopter patrols, and I was left to ground pound with law enforcement.

    As all highway and sideroad access had been locked down at the first sign of contamination, we were 90% sure the target was still within the city limits.

    Wily: Just like we had him locked down at [redacted]? Hell, just like we’ve locked down the border in general?

    Atlas: [redacted]

    Excerpt from the interrogation of Aurelio Medina
    Conducted [REDACTED] at [REDACTED], the afternoon of the subject’s escape
    Interviewer: Major Nelson Wily

    Aurelio: Honestly, at first I couldn’t even believe I was able to stand up. I mean, I looked over and the trio of teen girls seemed to be all right, but the brothers were clustered around the youngest, yelling at him to get up. He wasn’t going to though – not then, not ever.

    At least they got to escort his casket back when they were deported.

    Anyhow, I ran. Eight blocks over I found a 7-Eleven, amazingly one with an exterior payphone, and I managed to dial my, uh, friend, whose name and address I can’t seem to remember. He drives a cab under the table. I remember sitting on the bench, clutching my arm and breathing heavily. I was probably in shock, but no one approached to ask if I was okay. There were never even news reports that I’d been spotted there, although plenty of people had wandered along to buy smokes and lottery tickets.

    FP423 - The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 2 of 3It was like I was invisible.

    I was a sitting duck on that bench. I kept losing consciousness. I had this dream that my mouth had disappeared, that I was helpless and alone, and it seemed like I woke and wasn’t able to scream. Maybe I did.

    A second time I floated up, and I was lying in the cab, but the beating of the crash had set in. My body felt bruised and swollen, and it felt like I was expanding to fill the whole back seat. My cousin told me later that he was afraid I was going to push out the windows or break the doors.

    Wily: Why didn’t you seek medical attention? Your, uh, friend didn’t want to get caught with you?

    Aurelio: Ha – yeah, right. I was a border jumper who’d fled from a car crash partially caused by a US government hunting machine. I’d been injected with what I thought was a high powered drug causing me to hallucinate all sorts of weird things, and I had no money to cover whatever care I needed even if I could get it.

    No, I don’t blame him for not dropping me at the hospital – I thank him.

    Wily: So where did you end up?

    Aurelio: Let’s just say it was a townhouse shared by a few others. I was given a mat in the basement, and I guess my cous – uh, friend, had to fight pretty hard to keep me there. His roommates had seen the news, and they weren’t excited about having a bunch of guys in riot gear pounding down the door. They simply wanted to be left alone to earn a few bucks and help their people back home. I don’t blame them either.

    There were more dreams while they argued. My arms weighed a million pounds and I couldn’t lift them. My fractured bones were grinding against each other like the other half of my forearm was a snake trying to cuddle up to me..

    For a night and a day and a night, I slept, then I rose hungry. So hungry.

    There was a cup of water beside me, and I drank it in one long gulp. No one was around, they all had jobs to be at, so I stumbled to the fridge on the main level and pulled it open. It was a mix of stuff – fresh vegetables, takeout leftovers, random condiments – I ate it all.

    It was while I was chugging down the last of the milk that I realized I was using my broken arm to lift the carton. The pain was gone, and so was the break.

    The thing is, I was still exhausted – or maybe it was the big meal making me tired. Whatever the case, I refilled my water cup and went back downstairs.

    Now, you have to understand, this wasn’t a fancy place, this wasn’t a McMansion in the suburbs, it was a dozen bodies living in a too-small space, but, with my belly full, my body whole, and my bed firmly in America, I went to sleep pretty satisfied.

    I dreamt I was flying.

    Shouting woke me a few hours later. The owners of the food I’d eaten were chewing up my friend and he was trying to keep them from heading down the stairs to kick my ass.

    Still, I felt lighter. Trimmer. Limber.

    Turning the corner at the top of the landing I figured I’d make some apologies, promise them that I’d pay them back as soon as I made a few bucks – and, by the way, did they know of any jobs?

    Thing was, they all stopped to stare as I came into the kitchen. I was spreading my hands wide, you know, to show I was sorry and didn’t mean any harm, and I felt my shoulders brush against the walls.

    September, Year One
    Excerpt Source: [redacted].com/rambling/Aurelio.html

    Author: Head

    Title: You Will Believe a Man Can Fly

    Body:

    So there I was in the helicopter, but, if I’m totally honest, I wasn’t crazily into the whole thing. Sure, it was neat to be deploying clusters of drones from a whirlybird, and to mentally send those whizzing around the block, but, once I’d gotten yelled at for losing a couple toys while conducting an alleyway re-creation of the Deathstar Trench run, most of the fun was out of it.

    We’ve done things I can get behind. We’ve made a difference, I think, but – well, chasing some poor bastard who really only wanted to blend in and live a not-miserable life didn’t seem like the best use of a guy with an illegal computer in his brain and a woman who can punch buildings sideways.

    That isn’t to say, though, that it didn’t have its moments.

    I’m sitting there, supposedly scanning social media for any personal communications or sightings that might give us a lead, but really just boredom trawling, when the chopper’s heat rig – usually used to bust grow ops with hot roof tiles – goes nuts.

    It was the fever caused by the serum that gave Auerlio away.

    Well, I mean, that and his giant soaring wings.

     

    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.

    FP422 – The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 1 of 3

    FP422 - The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 1 of 3

    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode four hundred and twenty-two.

    Flash PulpTonight we present The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 1 of 3

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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 hear the tale of Aurelio Medina, a man on the run.

     

    The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 1 of 3

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

     

    Excerpt from the interrogation of Aurelio Medina
    Conducted [REDACTED] at [REDACTED], the afternoon of the subject’s escape
    Interviewer: Major Nelson Wily

    Aurelio: I loved Mexico, but I wasn’t sure I could survive my corner of it. While there were many places in my beloved country that I’d heard were beautiful and untouched by the violence upon my doorstep, I knew there was little chance I’d ever see them in my Abuelito’s broken down pickup.

    Yet America was inescapable: It arrived to me on my cousins lips and through the very air around my radio. If you don’t want people to come to this country, why do spend so much time advertising yourselves?

    We sometimes sat on the roof of our squat home, waiting for the summer heat to drift out the open windows, and I’d wonder what made this patch of desert so different than what I’d seen beyond the fence outside Ciudad Juárez.

    When I asked my grandfather he’d just say, “it’s the same sand.”

    Every now and then a relative from down south would come by, looking to stay before meeting with the sort of unshowered fellas who run secret trucks across the border. They’d always make the same pitch to me – you’re young, strong, smart, come with me – but my answer was always no.

    The old man had spent most of my life looking after me, and, though he’d never admit it, his knees were getting bad enough that he needed me to return the favour.

    They weren’t the only people trying to sucker me into something though, and some weren’t willing to take no for an answer.

    [inaudible]

    Aurelio: No, it wasn’t fear – not exactly, anyway. One day Tito was down at the shop, grabbing a pack of Marlboros, and he caught a local tough guy, Bruno, screaming names at his aunt. Apparently Mrs. Rojas had given his mother an ear full of news on her son’s misdeeds, and even some gangsters still blush to hear their mama is disappointed in them.

    FP422 - The Irregular Division: Crossing, Part 1 of 3Bruno hit his tia, slapped her across the cheek, really, and my Tito gave him some of the same. I can’t imagine there was much force behind his stick arms, but the thug got back in his truck and took off.

    Pops was shaking when he stepped into the kitchen and told me the story. He finished by saying it was the end of it, but we both knew it wouldn’t be. It wasn’t even the end of it for that day.

    We were on the roof, that night, when an SUV came barreling down the road and swung into our yard. Abuelito stood, shielding his eyes and telling me he thought it was Mr. Torres come to return his ratchet set, and there was a Pop-Pop-Pop.

    The engine noise was disappearing over the horizon by the time I managed to make it to the patch of dirt where my grandfather had fallen.

    Maybe I could have moved south. Maybe I should have. My nearest relatives, though, were really only an hour’s drive away – well, if it was a quick line at the border.

    I guess I knew who to ask, enough of my cousins had gone over, but I also knew I couldn’t trust anyone who knew Bruno, and that made things tricky.

    That’s how I found myself in the back of a short box truck, huddled behind a plywood board that was supposed to fool immigration into thinking it was the back wall of the storage area. It was me, a couple with a baby, four thick-armed brothers who complained the whole time that they’d had a better plan but had been held up visiting family, a trio of teen girls looking to be nannies if they could stay away from the grabby-handed bastards behind the wheel, and two others.

    Listen – those two others… they’re the ones who did this to me. One looked: Well, let’s just say he was making a statement with his knuckle tats – but his partner’s fingernails were manicured, and he was getting a nice suit dirty. They also knew the white guys behind the wheel.

    Wily: Interesting – and these two men held you down and gave you wings?

    Aurelio: [Inaudible]

    Wily: Sorry, just a joke. They look, you know, majestic – I mean, they’re feathered at least. A pair o’ leathery bat wings would be creepy as hell.

    Aurelio: Just fix it. Please.

    Wily: Oh, yeah, that’s just what I need, a bunch of Texan taxpayers getting wind that we’re giving you free medical care.

    Both: [Laughter]

    Wily: Honestly, we don’t know how to help until we know what you were stuck with. Finish the story okay? Every little bit helps.

    Aurelio: It was a long trip, and it was hot. There was a lot of moving and braking and moving again, and there wasn’t enough room for more than the lady with the baby to sit down. Eventually we stopped, it must have been six hours in, and there was a pause.

    We could hear talking outside the truck, then a curse, and the guy who originally took my money started yelling “run!”

    Well, we weren’t sure if he was talking to us or to his partner, but we were halfway to the door before the engine gunned it and the floor lurched forward. Papa caught Mama who held baby, but we all went down like bowling pins.

    Knuckles managed to get one of the double doors open, and we see a dog.

    I don’t know if they call them that over here too. I mean one of those four legged robots that sniff drugs and such at the crossing.

    Wily: Yep.

    Aurelio: It was a big dog, bigger than they look on TV at least, and it was chasing us at top speed. I swear it was digging pits in the pavement as it ran.

    Tats and the suit started arguing, then a well-tended finger was raised in my direction, and I was grabbed. Everyone else was already screaming, so I joined in, but it didn’t matter. I don’t know if it was just the panic, but the needle looked huge – like the kind of thing you’d see in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

    Anyhow, they poked me, and we made it maybe three blocks. The driver was hauling too fast for his corner, though, and we went sideways. Both doors were flapping by then, and we started tumbling around in space like barbie dolls caught in a dryer.

    Suddenly, I was on the lawn. I don’t know if I passed out, or if I just don’t remember the middle bit, but my arm was broken. I realized there was a trail of us, spread across a kids playground like discarded toys. One of the white guys had jumped from the cab and started running, so the dog headed his way.

    That’s when I went the other.

     

    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.

    FC120 – Berry Boo Pickle Muffin

    FC120 - Marmy Badger

    FC120 - Marmy Badger

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    Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 120.

    Prepare yourself for: The Hotel California Killer, chess cheating, cabin copying, corrupt cops, Carl’s Jr., and Auntie Grizelda

    * * *

    Huge thanks to:

    • David “Doc Blue” Wendt (Applied GeekeryTwitter ) for his fantastic tale from The District!
    • Mobster Mildred (Twitter) for heading up the Culinary and Crafts Dept.! Find her postings over in The Mob!

    * * *

    * * *

    * * *

    * * *

    Audio-dacity of Hope:

  • Black Smoke by Jessica May
  • * * *

    Backroom Plots:

  • FP421 – Back on the Road
  • * * *

    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://skinner.fm, or email us text/mp3s to comments@flashpulp.com.

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