Tag: Apocalypse

FP152 – Canine, Part 1 of 1

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and fifty-two.

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present, Canine, Part 1 of 1.

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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 an airy consideration of companionship and danger.


Flash Pulp 152 – Canine, Part 1 of 1

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


Kar'WickThe wind through the branches cast a whistling that had both man and dog on edge.

Beside the small fire, the human gnawed at freshly singed deer-meat, occasionally throwing a scrap to the canine that lay at the fireside.

It had been a risk to delve into the wildwood alone, but the gambit had paid off, and now the challenge was in dragging back the heavy bounty.

Pulling his skins tight, the man lightened his load by another bite. The hound, its tail giving a slow wag, whimpered a request for more.

“Bah,” said the man, but, with consideration for his companion’s efforts in the chase, he tossed the mooch the now naked bone.

In response the beast lifted high its tail and let fly a wafting pungency which skirted the flames to fill the hunter’s nose.

Bedding down, the man left the dog to worry the marrow, and the long night’s watch.

* * *

The backstairs of the house, whose construction had only been completed a year previous, had already begun to show the dips and scratches of wear, and the indications of the servants’ passage had been further compounded by the nightly roaming of the bulldog generally known about the grounds as the Constable. Although it was often remarked by the lord of the manor that the Constable, like most men of the law, spent his days napping, it was little understood how seriously the animal took its nightly duties.

Not but two months into the occupation of the estate, a man of scarred visage and ill intent had come upon the south wing’s library window, scheming to wrestle it open and gain approach to the silverware displayed within.

It had been the loud, and extended, response by the Constable – who’d been at his regular patrol when he’d heard the burglar’s ham-fisted ministrations – which had denied the thief access.

This night, however, was calm. As the guardian left the recessed steps and trotted along the hall’s shadowed carpet, accompanied by the measured ticking of the grandfather clock, it determined it was a good opportunity for a brief rest.

Setting onto the plush rug, the dog’s relaxation was punctuated by the release of a brassy, gassy, note.

* * *

The woman under the crisp white duvet thrashed about in an attempt to silence Neil Young’s assessment regarding burning out or fading away, and, after a moment, her fingers finally quieted the blaring alarm clock.

The room smelled of dog fart.

“I don’t know why I put up with you,” she said to the hound, as it followed her to the washroom.

An hour’s preparation found the pair ready to leave the apartment, the animal with a bright pink ribbon in its hair, and the woman encased in a tidy suit and dark sunglasses.

They were a half-block from their destination when the rumbling began.

The beast, forgetting its generations of domestication, began to bay and howl, snapping at a threat the men and women on the streets had yet to perceive.

There was little it could do, however, to fend against the return of Kar’Wick, the Arachnid-God – still, it was some small consolation that its blind master would not see the glistening spinneret which would be their doom.


Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm, and is released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.

Text and audio commentaries can be sent to skinner@skinner.fm, or the voicemail line at (206) 338-2792 – but be aware that it may appear in the FlashCast.

– and thanks to you, for reading. If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends.

Flash Pulp 100 Notes

We’re rapidly approaching episode 100, which has me quite excited. While every story hasn’t been exactly what I’d like it to be, I do take some satisfaction in having written over 100,000 words in the last seven months.

I’m hoping to make #100 something a little extra special by introducing a new series into the mix – tales from another apocalypse.

No worries, however, as Ruby won’t be ending: she’s just going to have to share the post-“collapse of human society” space with a new cast of characters, and a cataclysm which, to the best of my knowledge*, fiction has never quite encountered before.

I’ll be teasing it all the way till next Monday, so watch this space.

Implication #1:

Director Alfred Hitchcock

*A free Flash Pulp sticker to the first person who proves me wrong.

Flash Pulp 085 – Time and Again, Part 1 of 1

Flash PulpWelcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Eighty-Five.

Tonight we present Time and Again, Part 1 of 1

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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 encounter an old friend while hurtling rapidly through time.

Flash Pulp 085 – Time and Again, Part 1 of 1

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

The three men, a cowhand, a palaeontologist and a geologist, had been about their expedition for only a single day, and yet each knew that he hated the others. Still, there was little entertainment to be had on the journey, so turns were taken in telling stories, to which the listening pair usually paid only the most passing of heed.

On their first evening together, the trio were camped out under the open skies of the plain.

The cowboy set the tone as he interrupted a scholarly debate to tell the first tale.

“Well, fellas, you can say what you like about your fancy degrees,” spitting into the darkness, he poked at the fire with the short length of stick he’d held back from the kindling, “but when I look out at these plains, I see miles of open sky, fresh air to breath, and the ghosts of the buffalo that used to roam here. I can feel the freedom of the range and reflect on the settlers who once rode through here on their covered wagons, using nothing but their hands and gumption to build the foundation for everything we have today. I don’t think you’ll find that in a book or cramped office.”

Neither in the audience took well to being told what was best in life, and, after a few moments of silence, each excused himself to his bedroll.

On the second evening, after another day which the cowhand extensively characterized as “spent looking at old rocks”, it was the palaeontologist who first chose to speak.

“You may speak of the ghosts of the buffalo as if they were the noblest beast to have roamed these lands, but, when I look out from under this speckled night, and over these grassy reaches, the image that comes to mind is not one of empty spaces and four-legged mammals, but of a jungle menagerie of species. The hunting packs of Chirostenotes, their plumage stark against the trees as they glide towards their prey with deadly intention; the low and long mourning call of a widowed Lambeosaurus; even the stillness of the dawn air as a Chasmosaurus munches contentedly on the stock of a plant we have yet to encounter.”

The man had been cleaning his glasses as he spoke. Returning his spectacles to the bridge of his nose, he turned to his companions to observe the impact of his tale, which he was sure would be profound.

Instead of introspection, he saw only aggravation.

“How can you not even understand that all rocks are old?” the geologist said to the cowhand.

The large-hatted man did not reply, nor did he look up from the small block of wood at which he was whittling.

On the third night, the geologist finally tried his hand.

“I heard what you two had to say, but I can’t get fired up over such piddling matters. When I look out at this plain I see burning lava and the star dust that this planet was formed from. I see the top layer of a mystery that goes hundreds of miles down, like the outside of a jigsaw-puzzle’s box giving you a snapshot of the glory contained within. Buffalo? Raptors? So what? They were nothing but fleas on a million year old dog; come and gone in the blink of its eye. There’ll be a day when this area, from horizon to horizon, is burnt clean by the heat of fusion, and this night breeze is wiped away by scorching solar forces, and yet these rocks and dirt will still be doing something fascinating; still be churning and rumbling and quaking.”

For the briefest of moments a synthesis happened, the gathered finally having come to some understanding.

It was a short lived unity.

The grassy expanse began to buck beneath their feet, and each man lost their lofty ideals and knew only terror as they gazed upon the visage of a new age, the thousand-eyed stare of Kar’Wick, The Spider-God.

Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.