Tag: Ghosts

FC128 – Disaster Ghosts

FC128 - Disaster Ghosts

Hello, and welcome to FlashCast #128.

Prepare yourself for: Fancy boats, fangirls for fangirls, monkey head transplants, new Nancy Drew, and Mulligan Smith

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Pulp-ular Press:

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Skinner Co. Announcements:

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Audio-dacity of Hope:

  • Download Reverse Crash
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    Backroom Plots:

  • Flash Pulp 353
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    Also, many thanks, as always, Retro Jim, of RelicRadio.com for hosting FlashPulp.com and the wiki!

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    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.

    A Haunting: My True Story

    Unrelated, but my grandmother would have called this a crick.Last Wednesday night, the house was silent.

    I’d just set my iPhone’s alarm. I was well situated in bed, and slowly descending into a haze of unconsciousness. At the edge of my darkening senses, I noticed a slight disturbance.

    “Hert tort murdatort,” it said.

    The noise briefly tickled me awake, but I soon succumbed to sleep’s gravity.

    Friday, I was up late. I killed the Netflix window on my laptop, waited out the shut down process, and closed the lid; checked the locks, brushed my teeth, turned off the lights, cracked the window.


    “Blurgen murgle gomtorl,” said a nearly inaudible voice.

    After a moment’s consideration, I came to the conclusion that one of our neighbours, an elderly pair of ex-bankers, was also burning the midnight oil. My mind floated a note of concern – Mr. Banker had recently fought off cancer, and had had the situation compounded by a heart problem. Nine days earlier, we’d seen him wheeled from his home on a stretcher.

    I couldn’t help but recall my own grandfather, who’d spent his last week in a darkened room with a murmuring television. He’d only been waiting at that point.

    “Dor blor quant,” said the ghostly TV.

    I went to bed.

    Yesterday morning I’d intended to rise at the usual time, but, as my iPhone began to bleat the theme to The Monkees, I punched the snooze button. Ten more minutes seemed a critical necessity.

    I found, however, that I couldn’t quite recapture my slumber.

    “Tolk borl gumshaw,” remarked the apparition.

    Though I couldn’t make out the words, the cadence was familiar: A morning news anchor, small talking.

    In the days of my youth I’d awoken often to the sound at my grandparents’ farm. I’d never been successful in rising before either of them, and would often steal some last minute warmth from the blankets while listening to a similar muttering from the kitchen. This memory brought to mind the smell of baking bread and freshly made porridge – staples of my weekend visits.

    Realizing my catnap was a failure, I braced myself, then rose from the bed.

    The window was closed. It was an odd thing, as I like to sleep in a chill, and usually leave it slightly ajar.

    It also meant the disembodied voice couldn’t be emanating from next door.

    “Gurkle murk,” said the spook.

    That’s when I realized it wasn’t my ailing neighbour which was haunting me: It was my own toddlers. Turning to our nearly abandoned alarm clock, the settings of which had obviously been knocked awry by tiny fingers, I wheeled up the volume and turned off the chattering radio.

    The Ghost of Robert Osborne

    Robert Osborne, in Athens, Georgia, 2009 - found at http://trueclassics.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/thankful/
    Come, walk with me down this shadowy path, won’t you?

    Are you familiar with Robert Osborne? Host of Turner Classic Movies, the man is an aging repository of film facts and Hollywood trivia. Since 1994, every film shown on the station during prime time gets a personalized intro from Osborne, usually recorded on a set carefully constructed of earth tones and tchotchkes.

    The problem, of course, is that Robert was born in 1932, and already stands as one of the oldest faces on television.

    Imagine, however, the library of intros and outros the man has built up – four movies a night, seven days a week, over the course of nearly two decades. Even with some rounding, and some vacation time, that’s likely over twenty-thousand bookended films.

    Someday, hopefully one not too soon, the TCM executives are going to find themselves at a crossroads. Will they set out the ghost of Robert Osborne – amiable and warm, but still nothing more than the afterglow of an expended life – to roam the airwaves and haunt our flickering boxes?

    Will he become, as many of the stars he now introduces, a memory made real only by the broadcast of the thinnest slices of his existence?
    Ghostly image from The Innocents (1961)

    Sunday Summary: Sharks, Bikinis, & Scientists

    Pennywise Protection
    Pennywise Protection

    Caution: Trucks Slamming Into Walls Ahead
    Caution: Trucks Slamming Into Walls Ahead

    On The Way To Dinner

    FP159 – Coffin: Tell Tales, Part 1 of 1

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

    Flash Pulp

    Tonight we present, Coffin: Tell Tales, Part 1 of 1.

    [audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/skinner/FlashPulp159.mp3]Download MP3
    (RSS / iTunes)

    This week’s episodes are brought to you by The Walker Journals

    Life ain’t easy, especially not amongst the undead.

    Find them all at youtube.com/walkerzombiesurvivor

    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, spins a few barroom stories to a wobbly audience of one.

    Flash Pulp 159 – Coffin: Tell Tales, Part 1 of 1

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

    CoffinCoffin was sitting in Dorset’s, watching his soggy roommate, Bunny, finish off yet another foamy glass of Corona. It had been her fifth beer.

    “You’re going to end up like that guy,” said Will, pointing towards a translucent man in a corner booth.

    “The ####’s his deal?” she asked.

    “One of the bar’s earliest customers,” he replied, “his habit was getting pretty troublesome by the time he died. He’d nearly managed to drown his liver when he was accidentally run over as he stumbled home. His spirit was too drunk to find its way, so now he comes in nightly to try and collect his thoughts in a mug. Dorset dispenses a pint for him at the stroke of midnight, or the ornery bugger starts throwing things.”

    “Can’t you help him?”

    “They don’t hold AA meetings for wandering spirits, which is what I’m trying to tell you. Beyond that, not every otherworldly problem has a mystical solution – or any at all. Sometimes people just need to get themselves straightened out, however dead they may be.”

    Sneering, Bunny waved down the pudgy tap-tender and demanded a refill.

    “You mentioned, like, legends once – what about famous ####? Ever get ####ing Dracula or Frankenstein in here? I mean, anything I might have actually heard of?”

    “Yeah,” Coffin replied, “A few of the Greek gods passed through once. They were a bunch of shape-shifting perverts. Had to ask them to leave, actually.”

    “You tossed Zeus on his ###?”

    “No – Poseidon and Bacchus. They were a pretty rowdy pair. Wasn’t quite as easy as picking them up by the scruff of their neck and giving them the heave-ho, but, when Dorset opened his doors I agreed that I’d act as part-time bouncer.“

    Bunny’s replenished glass paused, mid-ascent.

    “Wait, what? You work for him?”

    “It’s my fault the bloody Englishman even set up a place here. He doesn’t do it for the money, he doesn’t need it. He just – he came across some information regarding the end of the world that he wasn’t supposed to know, and he started following me around. He bought this shack when I finally settled in Capital City.”

    “Why you?”

    “I was the one who accidentally told him.”

    “#### me – and how long do we have?”

    “Dunno. That’s what he’s looking to learn as well. I promised him I’d tell him as soon as I had an exact date, but that was almost a decade ago, and he’s still waiting.”

    “Jesus, in that case what’s the difference? I could be hit by a car tomorrow, doesn’t mean I’m going to move to a ####ing Toyota dealership.” Despite her bravado, Bunny took a deep sip from her glass before continuing. “I’ve never seen you give #### all for nothing, though, so why are you helping him? You don’t even drink the free beer he offers.”

    “Well, I feel somewhat responsible for dropping the apocalypse on him, but I was also a huge fan of Cheers, back in the day.”

    “The only time you crack a joke is when you’re avoiding the truth,” replied Bunny. She pulled in another mouthful of ale. “Are those guys your fault too?”

    “The three Steves?” said Coffin, turning to the identical trio of blond men in baseball caps. “No, they’re their own problem. He was overseas doing some contract construction work when he found a relic he shouldn’t have touched. Getting his selves back here was a pain apparently, they had to risk mailing his passport twice before they were gathered again. He makes out OK now though, two of them hang out here while the other is back home, and they get a lot of one-off renovation jobs around the city, so a pair can be earning while the loafer drinks the proceeds.”

    “Sounds like a sweet deal.”

    “Well, there’s a hitch, of course. They all love the same woman, his – uh, their – wife, but they know damn well that if she was aware of the situation, she’d turn the lot of them onto the street. I think he kind of resents his selves for the time he spends with her.”

    “That’s ####ed up.”

    “Yeah, like I said, not every problem has a simple solution. The guy who sent the Steves this way – you met him once – he came to me looking for help in a professional capacity. He was high on shrooms, and messing around with some friends in a South-side rail yard, when he’d fallen through the floor of a semi-abandoned service building. It was too dark to see, and he said he wandered around for hours before he fell asleep. Woke up in his own bed, no idea how he’d gotten there.”

    Coffin scooped a handful of complimentary peanuts from the small brown bowl at his elbow.

    “At first he just used the drugs to explain everything away, but he started having a repeating nightmare. He’d dream that he was under his covers, and, although he couldn’t move, he had a clear view of his room’s door. For three of four months, it was the same boring scene, then, one evening, he notices the front end of a sneaker at the entrance. The next night, he had line of sight on a little Adidas runner, with a scraped knee and shin attached. Then he could make out a pair of little blue shorts and a ten-year-old’s face. He figured the boy was getting a step closer every time he slept. Tough circumstances – it was like he was awake, in broad daylight, with nothing to stare at for eight hours but the approaching child. Still, he couldn’t give a decent description to assist with identification – he said the kid’s face looked as if it’d been pulled apart by rats. He could even make out gnaw-marks on the eyelids.”

    Grimacing, Bunny finished number six and ordered number seven. She nodded away her interruption, encouraging Will to carry on.

    Wiping salt from his fingers, Coffin did.

    “He only knew to ask me because he was my cousin by marriage. One of Sandy’s favourites, actually. Honestly, I don’t think it was coincidence. At the time, I could go years without encountering anything interesting, but, between the day he fell into the hole, and the day he came to me for help, I killed a lycanthrope, conducted a phantasmal marching band, and refused four separate offers for my eternal soul. I think he was called down there to wake something up.

    “I was pretty green, but I’d read about a ritual that would be of assistance. We started it on the morning after the kid reached the foot of his bed. That was the last time he slept. His brain isn’t quite what it used to be, but he still prefers to not know what would happen if he’d waited any longer – and, given how busy my trade has been since, I’d rather not find out either.”

    “Is the l’il b#####d still getting closer?”

    “I can’t say. Ghosts don’t appear in dreams, and I’ve yet to find anything that would provide an explanation. I keep hoping to come across an answer that’ll fix them both, I just haven’t – yet.” He shrugged. ”Sometimes there’s no easy resolution. ”

    From over the lip of her upturned glass, Bunny’s gin-blossomed nose bobbed in agreement.

    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.

    A Ghost Question

    What if there really were ghosts, and not only that, what if they had a bit of an over-population issue?

    What if every chamber you aren’t in is packed wall-to-wall with ethereal phantoms, which simply retreat to the unoccupied spaces as you move from room to room?
    A Frame From The Film Stuck On YouI mean, I’m just sayin’.