Category: Special Episode

FPSE39 – Mister of the Universe

Flash PulpWelcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #39.

Mister of the Universe

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Tonight, from the demolished basement of Skinner Co. HQ, we bring you a tale of metal landscapes, monstrous villains, and a meek prince with the power to transform into a loin-cloth ensconced warrior.

This week’s episodes are brought to you by Orphaned Entertainment!

 

Tonight, from the demolished basement of Skinner Co. HQ, we bring you a tale of metal landscapes, monstrous villains, and a meek prince with the power to transform into a loin-cloth ensconced warrior.

 

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

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.

FPSE38 – Flash

Flash PulpWelcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #38.

Flash

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Tonight, after a week in exile from Skinner Co. HQ, we return to tell you a tale of high science in the bowels of international espionage.

This week’s episodes are brought to you by Orphaned Entertainment!

 

Skinner Co.

 

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

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.

FPSE37 – Having Two Spouses: A Practical Guide

Skinner Co.
Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #37.

Having Two Spouses: A Practical Guide

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For the full text visit the folks over at the Entwined Podcast

 

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

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.

FPSE36 – Reason for the Season

Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #36.

Flash PulpTonight we present Reason for the Season: A Small Gift for the Skinner Co. Jr. Execs

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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 present a special holiday tale directed at four little meatheads above all else. We love you guys.

 

Reason for the Season: A Small Gift for the Skinner Co. Jr. Execs

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

 

Tonight we present a special holiday tale directed at four little meatheads above all else. We love you guys.

 

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.

FPSE35 – Agent 021

Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #35.

Flash PulpTonight we present Agent 021

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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 find ourselves awakening alongside an international man of mystery with a tragic secret.

 

Agent 021

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

 

FPSE35 - Agent 021

 

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.

FPSE34 – The Portly Detective

Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #34.

Flash PulpTonight we present The Portly Detective

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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 find ourselves on a brief detour, and discover what happens when Jurd can’t shake the notion that he should write a certain scene after finishing one of the lesser Philip Marlowe novels.

 

The Portly Detective

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

 

Skinner Co.

 

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

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.

FPSE33 – Singular

Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #33.

Flash PulpTonight we present Singular

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Gatecast!

 

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 chasing many paths that lead to one destination.

 

Singular

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

 

FPSE33 - Singular

 

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.

FPSE32 – Sofia Esperon and Greater Things

Welcome to Flash Pulp Special Episode #32.

Flash PulpTonight we present Sofia Esperon and Greater Things

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by Orphaned Entertainment!

 

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 Queen Sofia Esperon is summoned to a dragon-haunted corner of her kingdom.

 

Sofia Esperon, Queen of the Hundred Kingdoms, and Greater Things

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

 

There’d been an age when many corners of the Hundred Kingdoms smoked with the passage of dragons, but under royal decree, and with careful consideration, their population had been coaxed into a quiet cohabitation by Queen Sofia Esperon’s command.

It was with some surprise then that the small farming village of Tolspot, situated along the southern edge of the Sweetfield Peninsula, found itself within the shadow of a mighty wingspan early one spring morning.

A herdsman by the name of Phosmas was loitering at his meadow’s edge, feeding a stand of spruce his previous night’s wine, when the gloom fell. His head shifted skyward, expecting a persistent cloud, but instead he spotted the blue-black form of a soaring reptile.

With wet boots he’d collected his sheep and scurried to town.

Though his position, both societal and geographical, meant he was likely the first to have spotted its trajectory, Tolspot was afire with the news by the time he’d penned his beasts and achieved the square. The whispers he found there were a mix of fear and curiosity.

Mayor Slowfinger stood upon the low platform that acted as courthouse, stage, and altar, depending on the need of the day. Her arms were wide and her voice hushed.

“So it is that I’ve dispatched a rider to the capital,” she was saying. “We should have quick word, as we know the Queen takes such matters quite seriously. Still, it is three days ride, so it would be best that we remain vigilant and keep the cattle sheltered as best we can.”

Elida Weatherspout – her husband Toon at her side and their bairn, Malthus, in her hands – stepped forward and asked, “where could it have come from? Surely others have noticed the passage and the Queen’s Guard is already imminent?”

The Mayor shook her head in careful turns, but she waggled a finger at Old Man Ross, the hamlet’s living history, as an answer.

Ross cleared his throat with a papery cough and worked to have his words heard over the creak of his jaw.

“That’s Murk, as lively as I’ve ever seen him, I’d know that smudge upon the horizon even if Witch Martha hadn’t removed the canker from my eye last wintertide.”

“Murk?” replied Elida, “I thought the legends of the sky lord nothing more than spook tales told around the harvest fires to keep children from wandering too far into the wildwoods?”

Here then Phosmas found his opportunity to add to the debate.

“I believe it,” he said, “He was low over the treetops when he swept across my pasture, and I saw clearly the stump that marked the loss of his second head.”

In a previous age the Queen had demanded every such beast stand for inspection, and she had determined, with a steadier hand than any in her retinue, that though the right head seemed reasonable enough to be allowed to live, the left was not but animal and must be removed to curb the danger it posed.

Though many argued she should just slay the monster in its entirety and not risk a misstep, she had not made the decision without consideration: Many who had seen the dragon upon its raids had claimed the right argued endlessly with the left, and that the better half had even shouted warnings of its arrival to those villagers too deep in slumber or a whiskey jug to note its alighting.

Now, however, as the townsfolk stood and chattered beneath the rising sun, there was little more to do. None cared to approach Mount Tellmore, the sole peak in the area, and the storied home – and, until recently, assumed grave – of Murk.

The hunter appeared on the second evening, though none had witnessed Murk again since the surprise of the previous dawn.

He arrived upon a white horse laden with weaponry and leather. His saddle was hung with trophies – bear claws of extraordinary size, the shattered tip of a minotaur’s horn, the ears of a jackalope – and his sword was bejewelled and well-honed.

“I have come to stalk the beast!” the stranger told all who approached.

Phosmas thought he looked rather sharp atop his charger, truly a grand addition to any spring rites parade, but he could not bring his mind to lineup the glittering appearance of the man’s breeches and boots with the blood and mud he associated with local deerstalkers.

“You’ve come from the Queen?” asked Mayor Slowfinger, once the newcomer’s gathering procession had arrived at the center of town. “Where is Erwin?”

“I am Hans Grizmore, though most know me as Hans the Hunter. I met your Erwin upon his long ride, and your plea brought pity to my heart. This monster will taste my blade the same as the Lord of the Maze, a bovine beast I encountered along the northern coast -”

His tale stretched into greater theatrics from there, and by nightfall all who had remained to listen were tipsy with their own hospitality.

At dawn Grizmore rode out, his load reduced to only that which he might need for the journey to the mountain top. By dusk he had returned, and his equipment finally held some aspect of what Phosmas knew of hunting.

The outsider carried Murk’s skull strung from his stallion’s tack, and he displayed it with pride as he dismounted before the inn and accepted an offered tankard of mead. Though the Mayor frowned at his approach – just as she had when her insistence that he not ride out had been ignored – those same revellers who’d seen him off welcomed his reappearance with gusto, and an unexpected and unsanctioned celebration broke forth. At its peak Hans stood astride the square’s stage, his spoils at his feet, and the Widow Seen’s paintbrush capturing his image upon her canvas.

The revelry lasted two days, yet on the third morning milky-eyed goblins were caught in the Weatherspouts’ dooryard, and little Malthus was in their hands. Only Elida’s quick work with the farm’s wood splitting ax saved the bairn from a stewpot.

Panic worked its way through the streets and across the hedgerows, and soon more sightings were collected: The Millthorn’s goats were missing, unknown assailants had spent a terrifying night battering the buttoned windows and tightly cinched doors of the Ghorbani homestead, and the Bekele’s barn had been set afire as the cackles of the hidden men – the local name for the cursed goblins that legend claimed had once inhabited the area – could be heard over the cluck and moan of fearful livestock.

Calling all from field and hill, Mayor Slowfinger had declared an emergency upon the land, and demanded all able should stand guard at the town’s borders while those unable should sleep within the safety of its walls.

It was as the residence of Tolspot fashioned pikes and armed themselves with kitchen cutlery that the Mayor stopped Hans from making his exit.

Sofia Esperon“- and where are you off to in such a hurry?” she asked.

“My job is done, and it’s clear you’re now occupied, so it’s best I be about my way. I am, afterall, a hunter and not a soldier.”

“You’re not even that,” replied Slowfinger, “you’re a trophy collector. That said, stay and raise your sword for the barricade or it’ll be my own blade that takes YOUR head for a prize.”

Perhaps it was the strength of the woman’s words, perhaps it was the many eyes who watched the exchange – and the risk to his reputation those observers entailed – but, whatever the case, Grizmore turned back towards the inn.

What followed was a night and day of siege. Flasks of looted wine were set aflame and cast into the villagers’ midst, barns were burnt and cattle slaughtered, and knobby arrows rained from the darkness, chased by cackling laughter. Worse yet, for every casualty the beleaguered citizens inflicted it seemed five more toothy faces appeared to challenge the bulwark.

Finally, unslept and with their food supplies dwindling at their lack of access to crops and root cellars, the gathered defenders turned to formulating a plan to abandon their homes and attempt to escape the now seemingly endless tide.

With tears on their cheeks and memories of sunnier days in mind, they began to collect what they could – and that is when they heard the horns.

Queen Sofia Esperon had not come with the intention of combat, but it was rare, in this late day of her reign, that she went anywhere within her Hundred Kingdoms without her weapon at her side and her Guard close at hand.

Surprises were simply too common along the road, even in such a peaceful era.

She did not sully her blade, however. The rumble of a dozen warbears, their coats close cropped and their harnesses glittering in the sun, echoed along the valley, and the beasts fell upon those of the imps too slow in retreating.

Yet it was not the invaders who received the worst of her wrath.

“You again, Hans?” she asked, once the townsfolks’ greetings and thanks had been established.

For the first time since Grizmore’s arrival, Phasmos noted the man was quiet – he had, in fact, taken to apparently sheltering behind the dirt-laden forms of the Weatherspouts, though Elida and Toon seemed to have taken the greater brunt of the messy work of defense.

The hunter stepped forward and took to one knee before his ruler.

“Yes, your highness, I arrived to save you the work of slaying the dragon Murk, though he was clearly not the only threat that beset these lands. It seems this place is cursed. Surely this must all be the work of some foul mystic?”

“No,” replied Sofia, “it is but the work of one idiot. A true hunter – one that needs fur for heat, meat for winter jerky, and the bones for their summer stew – knows the consequences of cutting too deep, of culling too far.

“It is no coincidence that the flood followed your pulling of the plug that had held them in place. I had wrought a deal with the beast, decades ago, that he would scrounge his meals only from the tunnels at the rear of his cave, where the undermountain goblins plot endlessly and refuse all treaties.

“Now the balance has been offset. You will help correct it. No longer, however, will you be Hans the Hunter. Today you begin new duties, under a new name. We will build you a gate, and you will be sure it remains shut – as shut as your damned mouth if you know what’s good for you.”

It took only a week to close off the hole in Mount Tellmore, yet it was but the beginning of a lifetime of work for Grizmore the Doorman.

 

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.

FP442 – Biggest Fan

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

Flash PulpTonight we present Biggest Fan

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Melting Potcast!

 

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 talk of Davy Jones, John Lennon, and fanaticism.

 

Biggest Fan

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

 

Tonight we talk of Davy Jones, John Lennon, and fanaticism.

 

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.

FPSE30 – Sofia Esperon and the Bandits of the Wastes

Welcome to Flash Pulp, special episode thirty.

Flash PulpTonight we present Sofia Esperon and the Bandits of the Wastes

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This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Freelance Hunters!

 

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 venture out with Queen Sofia Esperon as she undertakes a perilous mission of mercy.

 

Sofia Esperon and the Bandits of the Wastes

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

 

A thousand harnessed cargo scorpions drove a straight line across the windswept desert, and, though the edges of the column were easily lost within the great sandscape’s grit-stained borders, Sofia Esperon, Queen of the Hundred Kingdoms, led them without concern from her position atop the foremost carapace.

This was not the ruler’s first venture across the Great Waste, and she faced the sun in a flowing collection of white robes that imitated the self-spun silks worn by the badlands’ mantis-people. Sharing a platform with her gently rocking wicker seat was Jondis Malhammer, the Viceroy of Miscar, a city of the southern provinces.

The humid vineyards and orange skies of Miscar were as alien to this land as the Viceroy to the unrelenting heat, and the thin-haired man was endlessly running his fingers through his dagger of a beard and complaining on the topics of dust, sun, and chafing.

To keep him from having an opportunity to speak, Sofia had taken to recounting her previous incursion through the area to her handmaid, Ida.

“Fifty years before my reign, when the Hundred Kingdoms first waged war against the mad wizard Kemrolth, the sorcerer attempted to open a portal to a hell dimension where the heart of the wastes now stands. Though the hole in the fabric of reality had been held wide only but a moment, the heat of the beyond was enough to incinerate the warlock and most everything within two-hundred leagues.

“Shant was the exception. It’s Mayor Queen, Meb, had spent her reign endlessly shoring up its walls, first with stone, then with iron, then, finally, with magicks.

“Though once a capital teeming with merchants of many lands, most of the original inhabitants, lucky to have survived, fled the city once they realized its supporting farmlands and rivers had been rendered to ash and dust. It was mostly the mantis-folk, outcast from their ancestral lands decades before but having found a warm welcome at Meb’s gates, who stayed on.

“Now it is mostly forgotten that this was not always where the green men of the dunes called home.

“A decade ago, when Mayor King Klim, third successor to Meb, sent an envoy to ask if I might provide assistance in exchange for an oath of fealty, I will admit I had little interest in this sandbox. As with any citizen of a state that warred with Kemrolth, however, the creation of the wastes are my stain to bear.

“Still, I have discovered since that it is a place full of wonders – as it would have to be, I suppose, to make it worth fighting to survive in such a place.”

Finally having detected an opportunity to inject himself, the Viceroy said, “well, they clearly aren’t doing much of a job of surviving, are they? Otherwise we wouldn’t have to be leading this relief convoy.”

“This is not a situation of their making,” replied Ida, “they found themselves at the mercy of powerful men beyond their control.”

The Queen’s brow creased, but, before she might provide her own thoughts on the matter, an enlarging speck on the horizon caught her attention.

Adjusting the eyeglass she’d had mounted onto her buck scorpion’s harnessed platform, she leaned forward. A group of a dozen mantismen had breached the skyline, their silks gleaming as brightly as the curved blades affixed to their forward pincers.

“To arms!” cried Malhammer. “Bandits approach!”

“Calm yourself, ser,” replied Sofia, her tone a cold wind in the hot sun. “There are many so-called bandit clans to be dealt with in our crossing, if you expend all your energies on these first you’ll be ragged by the time we reach Shant’s walls.”

Without shift in pace or direction, the rise and fall of their transport’s towering legs continued until the newcomers were within shouting range.

Though engulfed in the shadow of the lead beast alone, the group set itself in the column’s path and brandished its cutlery.

“We don’t want any trouble,” announced their leader, red paint smudged beneath his compound eyes, “but we’ve been long hungry.”

It was Sofia herself who replied.

“You must truly be starving to try and choke down a meal so much larger than your throat.”

The knot’s commander acknowledged the charge with but a shrug of his thin shoulders.

Turning to the Captain of the Royal Guard, Esperon laid out a series of precise commands, and the word was passed down the line. An arm of wood and rope swung wide of the third transport, and a cache of supplies, equal to those allocated to a dozen of Shant’s citizens, were lowered onto the dust.

Then, with a nod from the Queen, the caravan resumed its pace, and the bandits were soon only visible by the broad tan hunting shields they wore across their back.

Though Sofia caught a frown upon Malhammer’s face, she said nothing.

FPSE30 - FPSE30 - Sofia Esperon and the Bandits of the WastesThe Viceroy was well distracted by a tale of his own hunting prowess when, as dusk fell across the dunes, a second sighting was made. On this occasion it was Ida’s stiff finger that brought the crook-handed strangers to their attention. At a dozen points the sands shifted, then hunters appeared from beneath the shields they’d used as a dust-covered roof to obscure their hiding holes. Their stalking spiders – no smaller than the hounds Esperon herself had preferred in the years when she’d been forced to pursue her own bear meat – took up a position of menace.

“Even after your kindness the fiends come to attack the hand the feeds,” exclaimed Jondis. “They have no respect for Her Majesty’s leniency!”

Without adjusting her position in her wicker seat, Sofia responded, “this isn’t the same group.”

There was a moment of silence as the Miscarian’s words caught in his throat, then the stripes of ocean blue paint that adorned this new cluster became clear in his view.

Red streaked the sky as the day’s light made its last goodbyes from beyond the drift-ridged horizon, and, this time without a word to the interlopers, Esperon again relayed her orders.

Within moments a second allotment of the supplies bound for Shant were measured to supply the bandits at hand and then lowered.

“You are a magistrate of greater tenderness than I,” muttered the Viceroy.

“If I wasn’t a woman of great patience you wouldn’t be here,” replied the Queen.

Heeding the edge in her voice, the Viceroy allowed darkness to fall across the advancing convoy in a hush.

In the deepest darkness, as the Queen and her party dozed, the true bandits arrived.

They made no noise, for their intention was not to communicate but to take – and so the Queen’s Captain did not bother to awaken her until dawn broke.

“We did our best to convince them otherwise, but, in the end, it was necessary to return their aggressions and cast them off bleeding or headless.”

“Hurrah! We’ve finally squashed some of these filthy bugs,” responded the Viceroy, the tale of violence and his morning tea having lent his tongue energy.

“If we’ve accomplished anything,” replied Sofia, “it is only in helping ease the raids on the previous bands we encountered, as these sort are as hard on them as they would have liked to have been on us.”

The march continued in silence until noon, when Shant came into view. Its red walls, as tall as the scorpions themselves, stood firm against the shifting terrain about it. Elephantine runes had been etched across its face, and encircled its gate, and the shadowy depths of each character held, in turn, a scrawling library of symbols.

“I see now why you felt this mission to be so critical,” the Viceroy told the Queen.

“No, you have seen nothing,” answered Sofia, “At every turn you have missed the simple fact that to help the city is to help its people, and to hurt its people is to hurt the city – and so I will give you the opportunity to learn.”

So it was that relief supplies were not all that was left behind upon Esperon’s departure, and Jondis Malhammer came to learn the truth known by those made to understand the nature of the Great Waste.

 

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.