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FP393 – Mulligan Smith in Con-tingency

Mulligan Smith, PI - A Skinner Co. Network Podcast

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and ninety-three.

Flash PulpTonight we present Mulligan Smith in Con-tingency

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Creative Audio Dept.’s Dog Days of Podcasting

 

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 PI, Mulligan Smith, finds himself surrounded by cosplayers, comic hawkers, and conjugal criminals.

 

Mulligan Smith in Con-tingency

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

 

Twenty feet to Mulligan’s left Mitch and Mike, wearing matching blue t-shirts with SECURITY emblazoned across the chest, were hassling Godzilla.

Smith had met the enforcers the day previous, at which point the PI had sworn he was alone at the con, whatever the closed circuit cameras might show. They’d been nice enough, if a little eager to look hard for a couple of tall accountants working to avoid entrance fees. They’d pressed hard about the massive attendee in the Stay Puft Marshmallow costume, but, in truth, after passing a few stern words to Billy regarding the concept of proportional response, the detective had cut the Canadian loose at the door so that he could get some work done.

In retrospect it had been a solid decision, especially in light of what Winnipeg had done to the greasy fellow who’d repeatedly demanded the various costumed heroines roaming the floor, “kneel before Zod.”

It was not the first comic convention Mulligan had haunted, but it was certainly the first he’d be receiving a paid fee for.

The stack of Italian giallo flicks he was carrying would definitely be coming out of his take-home profit, however.

Mulligan Smith - The Flash Pulp PodcastFive feet to his right stood Lex Luthor, Superman’s greatest nemesis, with his arm wrapped tightly about the waist of Supergirl. Smith knew the tall blonde woman was the Man of Steel’s cousin, but he still doubted Mr. Kent would be pleased to witness the scene – then again, he reflected, neither would Marcia Addison.

Though this Lex was but one of many bald-capped Luthors in the crowd, he had the distinguishing feature of being the only pretend psychotic-billionaire married to Marcia, Smith’s client.

As for Supergirl, she stepped away quickly, a shudder shaking her cape.

Turning on the black-suited cosplayer, she asked, “the hell!?”

Addison replied with a lopsided grin and a, “well I am the villain, you know.”

With one eye searching the show floor, Mulligan broadly shook his head, leaving Lex under the impression that he was being judged. The fact that the hoodie-wearing investigator was holding his phone aloft, apparently taking pictures, simply reinforced the idea.

Luthor didn’t care.

“What?” he asked his apparent spectator, “look at her – tell me you weren’t tempted to lift this little skirt…”

His white-gloved hands flicked at her hem and Smith gave up on his head shaking.

Sure the storm was already thundering on the horizon, the PI kept his cell’s camera steady and spoke as rapidly as his tongue would allow.

“Someone emailed Mrs. Addison about your convention schedule and your reputation. She was already considering a divorce, but – well, I doubt you’ll have much travel money once the judge is through with-” and that was all he had time for.

Though they’d missed the harassment entirely, shortly after Mulligan had spoken the word “schedule” Mitch and Mike had begun to curse, and by the time the judge had come up they’d realized they were too far on the wrong side of the hall to stop the avalanche.

Billy Winnipeg had had plenty of time to pick up momentum as he’d approached from the balcony overlooking the floor, and the show patrons were quick to part before a man whose black sphere of a costume might be mistaken for a moon.

“He was the Death Star! The Death Star! Fuuuuuuu-” was all Smith could make out before wind and the sound of howling rage blocked all noise.

The impact of the tackle was enough to shake the tower of t-shirts on sale behind Luthor, and, though he didn’t know it then, the black eye would easily last him till the opening court date.

Mulligan could only shrug, unwilling to argue with his friend’s policy on public harassment.

Besides, wasn’t that a Blood and Black Lace poster two booths down?

 

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.

Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

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.

FPGE25 – Coffin: Wreck by Opopanax

A Skinner Co. Podcast

Welcome to Flash Pulp guestisode twenty-five.

Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Wreck by Opopanax

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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, Will Coffin, urban shaman, and Bunny, his constant companion, attempt to reconcile regrets with a man whose past haunts him.

 

Coffin: Wreck

Written, Art, and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

A Skinner Co. Productio

 

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.

FPGE24 – A Summer Story by Gibraltar

The Skinner Co. Network

Welcome to Flash Pulp guestisode twenty-four.

Flash PulpTonight we present A Summer Story by Gibraltar

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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’s tale was penned by our very own Gibraltar of Sub-Basement Three! We deeply appreciate his efforts in these hard times of temporal wormholes and invasions from parallel dimensions. Many thanks, sir, for holding those gates shut.

Now, join us in a tale of the Hundred Kingdoms, many years into the reign of Queen Sophia Esperon.

 

A Summer Story

Written by Gibraltar
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May

 

A Skinner Co. Productio

 

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.

MMN5 – Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

MMN5 - The Mob watches Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

Join The Mob in mocking a mattress with a snacking problem.

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

FP392 – Underachiever

The Skinner Co. Network

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

Flash PulpTonight we present Underachiever

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Beer Trail

 

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

Tonight we tell the tale of a wayward youth, and the gun he considers his last recourse.

 

Underachiever

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

 

Theodore, sixteen, had bought the revolver a month earlier from a man named Bill. Bill had also been selling questionable televisions and grandmotherly dishware from the rear of his Econoline van, but it was just the pistol that the boy had been interested in.

His mother loved Theo and his sister, Abbie, dearly, which is why she worked such long hours at the Piggly Wiggly to compensate for the lack of support from their deadbeat father. The job, however, was also the reason she drank so much when she got home.

The mother and teen’s schedules rarely intersected, but in those brief moments – often when she’d just returned from a shift and he was about to depart for a cheap action flick at the multiplex – she had come to suspect something was awry.

She had not seen the weapon, but anxiety over what she might discover about her son had left the bulge in his right pocket un-confronted.

The night before the shooting had been a hot one, and the teen had watched the sunrise crawl up his wall while contemplating facing another round of bellowed insults from Mathew Barnes.

Barnes, a year older and a foot taller, had spent the better part of three semesters making Theo and Abbie’s walks to school miserable, and any change in route only seemed to bring new energy to the torment.

A Skinner Co. PodcastDespite their efforts to fight back, or surrender, or seek help, four weeks earlier the menace had moved from verbal to physical. Sick of hearing the imitation of Abbie’s stutter that his family was too poor to do anything about, the youth had made some choice comments regarding Mathew’s mother’s hygiene, her uncritical choice in lovers, their shared lineage, and the possibility that, despite the time paradox, Theo may have in fact been his father.

As Barnes had been flanked by two of his better friends, venting cost the big brother several bruised ribs, a twisted knee, and a bloody nose.

Still, a cruising patrol car pulled aside to see what was going on, and, when silent Mr. Acevedo – who’d caught the tail end of the incident while walking home with his first coffee of the day – was asked who started it, the finger was pointed at Theo.

Theo, hand on pistol, again passed Mr. Acevedo in the hallway that morning. As always, the balding handyman had struck him as distant and alien. The same internal blinders that made the boy unable to see the similarities between his own life and that of the man who lived in the same building, in the same neighbourhood, in the same city, had left Theo feeling there was but a single solution – that left him feeling as if he were alone in solving the problems with Barnes.

Moments later, when Barnes had raised his hand high and brought his palm down across Abbie’s left cheek in response to the girl telling him to b-b-b-b-blow her, Theo found himself reacting with a full fist and a scream.

That might’ve been the end of Mathew Barnes, and Theo’s life as a free human, were it not for a sudden intervention.

The saviour was not, however, Abbie’s estranged father as summoned by his mother, it was not uniformed officers called in by Mr. Acevedo, it was not even Mathew’s crew arriving to defend their fellow goon.

A single white van peeled around the corner, its side-door sliding wide to reveal a figure: A besuited man with a pasty white face and thick black mutton chops. Below the stranger’s handlebar mustache projected a multi-barreled rotating canon.

It began to spin.

The first three shots fired from Theo’s pistol simply seemed to warp the space around the machine gunner, but the final trio landed across his chest, causing spiderweb cracks at the impact points.

Before the boy could fully comprehend that he’d slain a television screen, the flood of PVC-skinned sumos began.

From the building’s rear pathway, from the loading bay that lead to the trash room in the basement, from the neighbouring towers, a hundred figures, each with a face identical to that of the man in the van, erupted into view.

The clones, Theo realized, were just masks, their necks tucked into inflatable plastic suits that made them all equally round – then there was a rubbery impact at his shoulder that sent him stumbling towards an approaching balloon belly.

The sumos were giggling, and, within a dozen playful impacts, Theo could not resist but joining in. He did not notice the pistol disappear in the melee, nor would he ever wonder about where it had gone.

His nemesis did not have it so easily. As Matthew had buffeted others, so too was he now buffeted. Nothing more than a pinball in a deluge of bumpers, he lost all control of his direction, his self-control, and his bladder.

From beneath a dog pile of a half-dozen inflated Achievers, a truce was extracted from the tormentor – a truce that he would never dare break.

Abbie, who’d set adrift her online plea for help some four weeks earlier, could only clap.

 

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.

Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

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.

FC109 – Vampires. Man.

FC109 - Vampires. Man.

FC109 - Vampires. Man.

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Hello, and welcome to FlashCast 109.

Prepare yourself for: Warrior cops, a corpse mannequin, creepy dolls, fists full of eyeballs, and Coffin.

* * *

Huge thanks to:

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* * *

* * *

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Audio-dacity of Hope:

  • Check out the new items on the store!
  • * * *

    Art of Narration:

  • Email Opop about Skinner Co. Ink at opopanax at skinner dot fm!
  • * * *

    Backroom Plots:

  • Coffin: Weakness (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6)
  • * * *

    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.

    FP391 – Coffin: Weakness, 6 of 6

    Menu

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Weakness, Part 6 of 6
    (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6)

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by Bothersome Things!

     

    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, his roommate and apprentice, find themselves rudely rebutted by a nymph.

     

    Coffin: Weakness, Part 6 of 6

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

     

    Anger, Will reflected, is supposed to be a young man’s game. No one takes a punk band over fifty seriously, and most aren’t interested in seeing two grandfathers beat each other bloody in a boxing ring – well, more than once.

    Yet, here at the edge of Lake Clark, with his boots wet and his eyes grimy from too much worry and too little sleep, Coffin was decidedly angry.

    Though he’d tried to convince himself it was having to depend on the pretentious owl to locate Jenny Greenteeth that was the source of his unrest, being so far from home had brought Will to finally admit, at least to himself, that it was the notion that his homicidal dead wife might suddenly be washed away like the spirits of the four drowned cadavers that had him agitated.

    The moment of truth did little to better his mood.

    CoffinNeither did the nymph’s reaction to his demand to surrender.

    Her tiny form had surfaced readily enough, but so distant from the shore as to be nothing more than a speck on the horizon.

    Jenny’s words had traveled well, however: “Gobble a chode you bloody Tin Star!”

    It was also fairly easy to guess which fingers she was waving.

    Coffin started to chuckle, and he recognized it as the same dry rattle Sandy had taken on before the end.

    He shrugged it off and reached into the black leather satchel slung at his side.

    Within lay a jeweled baton, atop which, to his apprentice’s eye, rode a tiny blizzard. The storm seemed held in place by several bands of gold laid across the clouds and snow in thin ribbons.

    A flick of the wrist brought a point to the occult tool, its base extending suddenly to the form a staff.

    From over his left shoulder, Bunny asked, “what in the Go-Go-Gadget #### is that?”

    “The Winter Scepter,” replied Will. “As far as artifacts go, this is actually a fairly recent ancient one. The telescoping does nothing but make it more portable, and it’s just clever metalworking, nothing mystical.

    ”Watch this though.”

    With a firm grip he pinned the water’s edge to the sand below, and the reaction was immediate.

    A wave of ice moving at a sprinting dog’s pace began to roll across the surface, and even as practiced a swimmer as Jenny could not outrun its frigid clench.

    It was a ten minute walk to the spot at which the nymph waited, her left arm aloft, mid-breaststroke.

    “Shoulda brought some ###damn skates,” said Bunny.

    Knowing full-well that her song would do nothing against Will’s defenses, Jenny replied, “taste Tartarus, frails.”

    There was the rage again, crawling up Coffin’s back and pulling his belly tight. His boot heel twisted in the snow and his fingers dug deeply into his pockets.

    Instead of a roar, however, his mouth formed the words, “I’m sorry.”

    Both women raised a brow in surprise, but he continued.

    “Given your history, trapping you tightly like this isn’t exactly something I’m excited about. I’m not saying you’re justified, but I understand your vendetta.”

    The algae upon her chin had begun to frost as Jenny replied, “are you giving a ‘this is going to hurt me more than it is you’ speech? Because it seems easy to be remorseful about how delicious the fish in your net are, and, after the last job I did for him, I’m sure the owl has no more patience for keeping me around.

    “Frankly, I would’ve rathered he did it himself, but, that’s never been that dainty fop’s style, so I’ve been left to die at the hands of lice.”

    “Actually,” said Coffin, as he leaned low into her vision, “what I do next is going to depend very much on how you answer this question: Were you responsible for the disposal of the phantoms on behalf of the Kar’Wickians, and, if so, how?”

    It was the first time Jenny had been in proximity of a non-drowning mundane human in hundreds of years, and she found she missed the other stupid faces the mortals made.

    “No, I’d love to drive you mad and claim I made them disappear, but really the spider children’s representative simply passed on that Abe and Tina would ‘clean things up.’”

    Standing, Coffin began to stride towards the distant rental car, but stopped to repeat himself.

    “I really am sorry.”

    Wonder had made the gathered emissaries careless, and it was clear even before he reached the shore that the treeline was brimming with wildlife come to witness his actions – which is why, when Wide Eye confronted him on the beach, the avian lord whispered.

    “You let her live!?” he demanded, his four wings in constant motion.

    Coffin shrugged. “You were so insistent that the last one was yours to deal with, I figured I’d leave you the pleasure. You’ve got about three minutes before the ice transmutes back to water.”

    To Will’s mind the owl, as much as the bird hated acting publicly, could try his luck with Jenny Greenteeth: There were no more questions of secret rituals or unknown magicks or an arcane plague – the shaman finally had names to blame for the spectral disappearances, and now the hunt could truly begin.

    He found himself whistling.

     

    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.

    Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

    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.

    FP390 – Coffin: Weakness, 5 of 6

    Coffin-WarPaint-iPad

    Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and ninety.

    Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Weakness, Part 5 of 6
    (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Download MP3

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    This week’s episodes are brought to you by Bothersome Things!

     

    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, his roommate and apprentice, discuss the unfortunate history of nymphs.

     

    Coffin: Weakness, Part 5 of 6

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

     

    It was noon, and they were at Denny’s.

    “####,” Bunny was saying, around a mouthful of pancake, “so she couldn’t stop doing it? The incubus thing kinda makes sense then, I guess.”

    Turning from the window, Coffin winced. “Not a nymphomaniac, a nymph. Way back in the toga days they were a sort of nature spirit who’d live in rivers, streams, tributaries, fjords – basically every wet place you figure’d be worth taking a vacation photo at would have one.

    “Generally they manifested as shapely naked ladies, in their early twenties, who’d come ashore to sing and dance when visitors or worshipers arrived, but otherwise they maintained a dwelling within the depths of their swimming pool for privacy.”

    Lifting another wad of syrup and batter to her mouth, Bunny asked, “sounds like they’d be pretty popular, so where’d they go?”

    “Well, see, the nymphs were pretty into free love. They didn’t need it, like Valentine, but they were, uh, very welcoming to friendly shore-side visitors. The more civilized folks got, though, the less their spouses appreciated it.

    “Nymph culture was slow to change, mostly because they were so localized, and their reputation went from something akin to a regional deity to the mess dumped on sex workers.

    “I should be clear though: Their interest was really only in natural beauty. They danced because of the elegance of grass swaying in the wind, they rutted on the shore because that’s the way of the wild, and they sang because it called beasts and birds of all shape to their banks and kept them there in peace.

    “Still, as things got worse some of them tried to go clean – the lady who supposedly lobbed the sword at Arthur was probably a nymph – but I think they hoped pants and religion were fads.”

    “Me too, me too,” answered Bunny.

    Will shrugged, taking advantage of the interruption to sip at his coffee. Despite his best efforts to be patient, his eyes wandered to the window.

    There was nothing of note in the tightly stuffed parking lot.

    Frowning, he continued. “You’re familiar with the old ‘I read it for the articles line’? In those days sneaky husbands and unsatisfied wives would claim they were just ‘going to hear the nymphs sing.’ Maybe that’s what started the trade – whatever the case, there was no Top 40 back then, and the medieval nobles, sick of having their trophy spouses sneak off, began to improvise jukeboxes.

    “The real problem was that the nymph’s mystic song couldn’t help but bring a sense of soothing, even if weepily sung after having had their limbs clipped and being entrapped in tiny caskets.

    “Now, this isn’t something just anybody would know about, this is the sort of secret treat rich people like to save for their most special guests. You’d be lead into a well sealed room by a deaf servant and your host. and there’d be a decorated box with what looked like a fairly heavy trashcan upside down on top.

    “Your host would invite you to lie down on a lounge chair, priming you the whole time about what a wonderful surprise you were about to have, and the servant would lift the iron lampshade to reveal a young woman who’d lay out a tune so lovely it was like taking a mouthful of rave pills.

    “When the allotted period was up, the servant would drop the shade. The attendants were also in charge of punishment for lack of performance, but we don’t need to get into the abuses you can inflict on a head in a cabinet.

    “Immortality can be a rough gig like that, but even occult beings need to eat.

    “In the end they all starved to death.

    “Jenny though – Jenny was a fighter. Jenny gave up her home, the hardest thing for her kind, and set herself loose in the wilds; Let her hair grow long and tangled, let the muck of the river bottoms cover her skin, let decay and fish guts cling to her teeth. She hid like that for years, until even the memory of the slaughter of her people was forgotten, and her rage simmered.

    “She started trying to avenge herself.”

    “#### yeah,” said Bunny, “I’d go Rambo over that #### too.”

    Will nodded, but replied, “consider the flip side though: You’re strolling by the river and you hear a whisper. You stop and there’s a woman – or is it a woman? She almost looks like nothing more than a collection of lily pads and stones – a face hovering at the still surface. Maybe you don’t listen at first. Maybe you’ve got a strong aversion to getting wet, maybe you’re smart enough not to talk to entities speaking from ponds, maybe you just have no sense of curiosity.

    “Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter, because that slight, cheerless face begins singing, and suddenly everything is beautiful and calm. Suddenly you have no interest but in relaxing in the cool damp. Suddenly you’re drowning.

    “Beloved family pets taking a drink, children roaming alone, lovers skinny dipping – anyone that would make others share some of the pain.

    ”Eventually she gained a new reputation: As a killer. Even the mystical and the immortal need the occasional human disappeared.”

    Leaning back to bask in her victory over the forces of dough, Bunny asked, “so she’s some kinda supernatural hitman now?”

    “Basically.”

    In truth, however, Bunny already knew all this – she’d read the same texts Coffin was reciting from – but, even with his neck-cramping turns to peer out the window, it was the calmest she’d seen him in days.

    She did not mention that the tale explained nothing of the missing phantoms.

    The real question she wanted answered involved what exactly was in the worn leather messenger bag he’d taken to carrying. Before she might ask, though, a blur of movement to her left caught her attention. Beyond the dusty cream shades six dozen cats sat atop the sea of sun-baked cars.

    Noting her gaze, they began to wail.

    It was time to go.

     

    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.

    Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

    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.

    FP389 – Coffin: Weakness, 4 of 6

    Coffin

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Weakness, Part 4 of 6
    (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    Download MP3

    (RSS / iTunes)

     

    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 Will Coffin, urban shaman, and Bunny, have an unpleasant discussion with an ancient owl.

     

    Coffin: Weakness, Part 4 of 6

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

     

    “He was not yours to punish,” said Wide Eye, his double set of wing joints ruffling in agitation.

    Bunny, Coffin, and the owl were standing on the chill pavement of a highway rest area while the Phantom Ambulance’s bulk provided little protection from the prying spring wind.

    It’d been a long night, even before receiving the summons from the gray and white avian noble, and Will had no patience for watching the freshly appointed monarch preen and legislate while there were tasks at hand to be accomplished.

    “If not mine, whose?” asked the shaman.

    “Mine,” answered the animal lord.

    Dawn was breaking all around them, but Will could only think that a new day simply meant a new set of problems.

    He grunted, saying, “Blackhall was very clear about the nature of my office. Something Pisky and I had in common was a lack of interest in politics, and I think it helped us get along just fine. Don’t test the pacts and I won’t.”

    “Is it the nature of your office to let one beast go free while removing the sole purpose for another’s existence?” asked Wide Eye, his neck rotating to indicate the ambulance and its arcane driver while never taking his gaze from Will’s. “Your process strikes at me as – slipshod.”

    “My process will strike you, full stop, if you don’t quit wasting breath and get every chatty sea gull and nosey turtle under your command churning the waters for Jenny GreenTeeth.”

    The bird’s disagreement came in slow gusts of wind, but his words held the weight of a being who’d wielded legions of bestial spies and warriors over thousands of years.

    “He was not yours to punish.”

    Bunny, though eager to be home and in her bed, felt a need to add, “it was kinda ####in’ harsh.”

    Will turned to the trees, his fingers playing across the links of the silver chain that allowed his communication with the dead.

    Things had been simpler when he’d been left to talk with his corpses.

    Finally, he cleared his throat.

    “Harsh?” he asked. “Harsh is an immortal rapist who manipulates his victims, using powers literally beyond human comprehension, to convince them they really are interested in spontaneous unprotected sex with a stranger who has suddenly appeared in their bedroom – and nevermind the four bloated cadavers waving their hands in the air like they’re tied to weighted chairs at the bottom of a river.”

    There was a long pause as the trio watched the sun flood the horizon in red and yellow light.

    Coffin“These are indeed dangerous times,” replied Wide Eye. “Our every subject has its attention on the water’s edge. I will find Jenny GreenTeeth, and, when I do, it is likely best that I let the sort who castrates one monster, while begging rides from another, deal with the matter in your own barbaric way.

    “Still, you do not know where the missing spirits of the dead have gone, do you? As a courtesy I have posted watch at your wife’s resting place – just in case, you understand.”

    Even to Bunny’s achingly tired ears the words sounded vaguely of a honeyed threat. The matter of the missing remnants was as close to a raw nerve as Bunny had ever seen Coffin display, and she braced herself for fireworks.

    She could not have anticipated his reaction, however.

    “Before you question my judgement you’d do best to remember who put her there and why,” Will replied.

    The ride back to town was a silent one.

     

    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.

    Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

    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.

    FP388 – Coffin: Weakness, Part 3 of 6

    Flash Pulp 383 - Coffin: Time to Consider - A Skinner Co. Network Podcast

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

    Flash PulpTonight we present Coffin: Weakness, Part 3 of 6
    (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6)

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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 Will Coffin, urban shaman, and Bunny, his recently sober apprentice, find themselves unexpectedly asking questions in a seedy boutique.

     

    Coffin: Weakness, Part 3 of 6

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

     

    “Well,” said Bunny, “you know what they say: ‘third porn shop’s the charm.’”

    The paramedic to her left grunted, but beneath its surgical-mask disguise its spiraling rows of teeth flexed and salivated. His eyes were fixed to a rental ad featuring a woman kneeling before a broad pair of hairy legs.

    Catching his gaze, Bunny winced.

    “It’s not what you think,” she said, “no one actually gets eaten in Flesh Eaters V.”

    Though perhaps it was indeed what had first drawn its attention, the truth was that the driver of The Phantom Ambulance had been caught wondering how it was that it had come an unknowable distance into this horrible dimension of delicious temptation only to find itself acting as chaffeur, between lewd dens that smelled of sweat and meat, for the very entity that denied it a meal.

    On the far side of the counter’s clouded glass, a woman with thick plugs in her earlobes and a look of boredom on her face shrugged at Coffin for a second time.

    “I’m not really supposed to discuss the customers,” she repeated.

    “I understand,” replied Will, “but I’m asking on behalf of the elderly woman who recently woke up to discover him at the foot of her bed. This guy would probably be browsing a lot of sleep fetish material.”

    Dragging her focus across his battered leather jacket, then his companions, the clerk bit her lip.

    Coffin pushed. “He’d be pretty though – too pretty, you’d think, to be lurking in a place like this. No offense.”

    She sighed.

    “Yeah, I know him. Valentine Giovanni. I actually figured it was a fake, and I respect a little flair – most people just stick to John Smith around here – but it’s how he introduces himself when you call his voicemail, and I’ve always just gotten his voicemail. He’s always quick to show though. Kind of, uh, disturbingly quick.

    “He definitely started on the sleep fetish thing but, well, the guys big on variety. I thought I’d seen it all till he started asking us to import foreign films that’d make my pupils bleed. In the end we weren’t even sure how legal they were, so we had to tell him we weren’t going to anymore. He still constantly comes in looking for something new though.”

    Her arm moved across her stomach as she spoke, and the ring-heavy fingers of her right hand wrapped themselves around the nautical scene depicted on her left forearm.

    After a moment’s pause she uncoiled and scrawled a phone number.

    “You didn’t get any of this from me. The owner would be pissed if they knew I was giving out details about such a big spending customer.”

    * * *

    It was Bunny who left the message.

    “Hi, this is, uh, Marilyn, on behalf of Ms. Flores. She’d like to extend a, er, financial opportunity. In exchange for certain, you know, services, that she feels you can provide.”

    Seconds after making his appearance in the 7-Eleven parking lot she’d suggested as their midnight meeting place, however, Valentine Giovanni was on to the fact that something was amiss.

    Perhaps it was the strange man in the surgical mask who wouldn’t stop staring at him from behind the wheel of his parked ambulance, perhaps it was the fact that the Marilyn, waiting at the center of the pool of light, was clad entirely in denim.

    CoffinWhatever the case, he first turned to leave, then, at the approach of running boots, began to fade entirely from existence – a maneuver he usually undertook only under the cover of darkness and in the privacy of an unexpectedly invaded bedroom.

    His crisp blue irises and finely lined cheekbones were nearly translucent when the Crook of Ortez, Coffin’s most constant tool, swung wide and planted its intricate hook deeply into his left eye.

    “Gah!,” he said, jerking forward and becoming again whole.

    “Get in the ####ing ambulance or I’ll poke the other,” suggested Bunny.

    Two blocks later, with the incubus clutching his wound and Will still clutching the attached chain, the story began to come out.”.

    “I needed money,” the night visitor was saying while trying to breathe through his pain, “I – the world has gotten strange in the last two hundred years, and I do not just mean the flux of mystic energies. You must understand that I am driven to see these things, I can not help myself. When the internet arrived, there was so much to see, to order, to hire and, eventually, to pay for.”

    “Uh,” said Bunny, “can a guy like you even get a credit card?”

    Giovanni sighed. “There are ways. There are people who will help those like me procure things not easily had. It is much more dangerous, however, to run up debts with those same sorts of people.”

    “Let’s see,” replied Coffin, “the news anchor wouldn’t want her career ruined by a sex tape, the trophy wife wouldn’t want her marriage interrupted, and I guess being outted as a gay Catholic school principal is a tough gig. How much were you asking for the blackmail?”

    “They – I do enjoy variety, but I was told – made – to record every victim. How much? As much as I owed, plus interest. Too much, I guess, since that scammer Pendleton got wind of the situation.”

    “What did that matter?” asked Bunny.

    “Pendleton had information, or he thought did. About the, uh, people I was working for.”

    She frowned. “So you killed him. Them.”

    “They – the people – did, yes.”

    It was Coffin’s turn to pose a question.

    “Who are they?”

    Even with one eye, Valentine’s gaze made it clear he thought it ridiculous for Will to even inquire.

    Standing, Coffin brought up his left hand, pulling Giovanni along with him. As the daemon grasped at the chain above, Will’s right deftly undid the button on the man’s well cut slacks and dropped them to the floor.

    Suddenly the shaman’s right hand was full of a new instrument Bunny had not yet seen. A bone handled pocket knife, with a blade of silver and a sharp series of serrated edges at its base.

    Placing the cold edge beneath Valentine’s rapidly retreating scrotum, Will repeated himself.

    “Who are they?”

    “The – merda – the damnable spider children, alright? They were the ones who hired Jenny GreenTeeth, they were the ones who hired the cleaners, and they were the ones who made me pay for it.”

    “I used to know a girl in high school we called Jenny GreenTeeth,” muttered Bunny, “she’s probably Jenny NoTeeth now though.”

    With the information out, and the joke made, the apprentice had expected an end to the ugly scene playing out on the bench opposite.

    Instead, Coffin brought up his knife and, with a sure flick of his wrist, removed the only tool the incubus had ever known.

    A meal or a morsel, the paramedic did not discriminate.

     

    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.

    Coffin’s theme is Quinn’s Song: A New Man, by Kevin MacLeod of http://incompetech.com/

    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.