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Flash Pulp 139 – Coffin: Condolences, Part 1 of 1

9 Mar

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

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present, Coffin: Condolences, Part 1 of 1

Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

 

This week’s episodes are brought to you by the artistic variety of the Nutty Bites Podcast.

Find out more at http://nimlas.org/blog/

 

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, takes his roommate to a bar of ill repute, to meet a man with a volatile history.

 

Flash Pulp 139 – Coffin: Condolences, Part 1 of 1

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

 

Three weeks after she’d moved in, Will Coffin boarded a city bus with his perennially drunk roommate, Bunny, and escorted her to the only bar he frequented, Dorset’s.

As the behemoth lost momentum and opened to disgorge them at their location, Will chose his words carefully.

“I need you to be very quiet,” he said.

“Huh?” she replied.

Bunny had spent most of the trip occupied with a crossword she’d dug out of some previous passenger’s discarded newspaper, and, while her eyes still roved between the clues and the playing area, Coffin suspected the majority of the available boxes were in little danger of being solved.

He tried again.

“We’re here to meet an old fella. He’s excitable, and you need to remain very still.”

“Does he #### magic like the rest of your friends?”

“He’s not a friend, he’s a client,” he replied. “A sad man – a suicidal fext. I need you to behave, please.”

The spidery tracts left by drink, which ran across Bunny’s cheeks, flushed with annoyance.

“Why did you bring me if I’m just going to be a pain in your ###?”

Will touched his thumb to his throat and scratched.

“If I had left you at the apartment, after a bit of vodka you’d accidentally rip a hole between our dimension and one of infinite terror, at which point everyone’s eyes would be eaten by giant moths, as their feet were being devoured by the burrowing of worms.”

“Holy ####, is that even possible?” Bunny asked, her puzzle forgotten.

“Maybe, maybe not.” He coughed, then added, “don’t touch my stuff.”

His lined face made it difficult to tell if he was smirking.

The short walk brought them to the red-brick facade of Dorset’s. Inside was a darkened main room, with tables scattered about its center, and booths lining three of the walls – the final wall, opposite the door, was dominated by a long run of oak. Behind the bar stood an array of cheap liquor bottles, each in a varying stage of consumption, and Dorset, the owner, as squat as his building.

Will waved to the proprietor as he entered, and the man raised a hand in reply.

Coffin had never seen the place with the lights up, and he thought it was probably to his benefit. Smoking had been banned from the interior for years, but the tavern had retained the scent of the thousands of ghostly cigarettes who’d met their end there.

He approached an already occupied booth, and urged his companion to sit before scooting onto the bench after her.

The occupant, an aging gent with short gray hair and a sharp face, nodded at Coffin’s arrival, and the two exchanged pleasantries in a tongue beyond Bunny’s comprehension.

Despite the language barrier, she could tell that whatever good-humour Will had entered with was soon forgotten.

The client swallowed a mouthful of beer, and locked eyes with Bunny.

“When I was but a boy, my mother made me carry about a portion of my afterbirth, under my left arm. Do you know what that does to a person?”

“Gives him a wicked stench? I dunno,” she replied.

Coffin“No – I am a fext, or became one, at least. A Slavic tradition.” He finished his drink, and signaled Dorset at his station. “I am immortal, well, nearly – the list of items which might kill me is short. In my youth, years ago, I fought in wars. I was a man of bravery and recognition, or so I thought. At the age of forty – although I looked twenty at the time – I charged a cannon battery, with a broken-bladed dagger, and killed all who would stay still long enough. I was drunk at the time, but I doubt any of the dead were beyond nineteen.”

The old man rolled his cup along its bottom edge, shadowing the moist circle of condensation that marked its placement.

He continued.

“What is bravery when no normal blade or bullet can cause you harm?”

Bunny blinked.

“She’s not -,” began Will, only to be interrupted.

“I apologize, my name is Colonel Andrik Korda. I was not expecting such lovely company at my funeral, but I appreciate any friend of Mr Coffin’s.”

“Kind of a ####ty location for a wake – who died?” asked Bunny, brushing back a tangled strand of hair.

“I will. The rest of the guests have yet to arrive. Your friend, he is helping me to do so.”

“Why?” she pressed.

“It pays well,” muttered Coffin.

“I have been here over four-hundred years. I am tired,” said the fext.

Dorset deposited another chilled serving, then stood waiting as the old man retrieved a five-dollar bill from his ratty suit jacket. To ease his search, Korda removed a pristine flintlock pistol from his pocket, and set it down on the table.

Bunny’s eyes moved from the weapon to the establishment’s owner, and back again, but the barkeep did nothing but wait patiently for his due.

Will used the opportunity to return to business.

“It arrived just yesterday,” he set a glass sphere, the width of a nickel, upon the table.

As Dorset returned to his position, to deal with the pressing demands of a blond man in a plaid coat, Andrik eyed the ball.

“It does not seem like much,” he said.

“I have been given every reassurance that it will survive being fired. Just don’t over-powder your pistol.” replied Coffin.

The ancient soldier picked up the bullet that would be the instrument of his destruction, and watched Bunny’s warped shape through its curved surface.

“Four-hundred years is a long ####ing time,” she said, “surely there’s something worth going on for?”

Will turned to her then. His face was impassive. but his eyes worked hard to strangle her words.

Korda also looked the woman over, but a different sort of passion seemed to enter his gaze.

“Well,” said Coffin,“Mrs. Davis’ hands are not entirely unfamiliar with killing either, her former husband can attest to that.”

The news did little to negate the embers stoking in the would-be suicide’s psyche. He smiled.

Will pushed on.

“Why don’t you tell her about what you did during the mid-‘80s.”

Whatever aspirations had awoken in the colonel were snuffed.

“It was a different war – a different place. The chemicals of South America were broad and beautiful. I do not know how many died so that I might powder my nose.” Korda shrugged. “Car bombs are quite a bit more effective when you can simply drive them into the offending party’s living room, look them in the eye, wave, and then detonate the trigger.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Anyhow,” Coffin said, standing. “The rest of your mourners will be here shortly, so we’ll pay our respects and get moving along. I have your payment, and you have my thanks – and condolences.”

Will exchanged a handshake with the dying man, then departed, with Bunny in tow.

 

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 125 – Ruby Departed: Local Hero, Part 2 of 3

2 Feb

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

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present, Ruby Departed: Local Hero, Part 2 of 3
(Part 1Part 2Part 3)
Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

 

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

Undead Boy Scouts may attempt to consume your brain-matter. You’ll need more than a pocket knife and a knots badge to be prepared.

Find all the tips you’ll need to survive the zombie apocalypse at http://youtube.com/user/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, Ruby Departed stops for a beverage and a conversation, as the zombie apocalypse continues on about her.

 

Flash Pulp 125 – Ruby Departed: Local Hero, Part 2 of 3

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

 

[Text to be posted Monday]

 

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.

Many thanks to Wood, of Highland & Wood, for the intro bumper. You can find their podcast at bothersomethings.com

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

Flash Pulp 115 – The Murder Plague: Caretaking, Part 1 of 3

10 Jan

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and fifteen.

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present The Murder Plague: Caretaking, Part 1 of 3
(Part 1Part 2Part 3)
Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

 

This episode is brought to you by Dancing Ella’s Words.

As Oscar Wilde famously said: “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”

Find her work at http://dancingella.blogspot.com/

 

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, Harm Carter takes a moment to seek sanctuary while considering his difficult situation, and attempting to avoid assassination at the hands of any passing stranger.

We’d also like to take a moment to thank Highland & Wood for their excellent audio intro – you can find their podcast, Bothersome Things, at bothersomethings.com

 

Flash Pulp 115 – The Murder Plague: Caretaking, Part 1 of 3

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

 

It’s hard to explain how I felt once I was back on the road. It was as if I was part of a great ballet – or, really, as if I was at a costume ball, with all of the dancers masked, and each moving to their own rhythm.

Was the man across from me at the stoplight an infected lunatic plotting to bury his wife in a backyard flowerbed, or was he simply a harried fellow out to pick up a quart of milk? Was the lady deep in conversation at the corner really discussing the cost of a sausage with the vendor, or was she attempting to determine if her dinner had been poisoned by a plague-ridden paranoiac?

I’ve never been much of a religious man – doubly not-so once Kate died – but, after a few blocks of aimless driving, I realized shock had my hands shaking at the wheel, and, at that moment, the rolling bell of a heavenly summons came peeling from a house of prayer to my left.

I wasn’t raised Catholic, but, in that instant, I was willing to grasp at any higher power that might have me.

Pulling into the parking lot that fronted the gray-faced building, I found all of the spaces empty, and yet the broad wooden doors were pinned open.

Honestly, I don’t know what I expected inside – I do recall feeling some relief that I hadn’t encountered a crowd of parishioners, as they would have likely turned into a riotous brawl before the communion was delivered. What I did find, instead, was silence and vacant pews.

As was tendency in my schoolboy days, I took a seat on the rearmost bench.

I was stalling, I suppose – I knew I needed to get to Rebecca’s babysitter’s, but I wasn’t keen on what I might discover there. It was the inevitable that had me tripped up – what if I did find her, alive but as sick as the rest?

The problem was a drain my mind couldn’t quite finish circling on its own, and I would have likely spent a few hours in further consideration if it wasn’t for the priest’s interruption.

He was a short man, and I hadn’t noticed him standing behind the lectern; or possibly he’d moved to the position while my brain was off wandering. His hair was wild, but his face – it seemed as if his face had been molded by a lifetime of smiling, as if he could do little else, even in those deadly times, after having formed such a long standing habit.

“You look troubled,” he said, his practiced voice easily carrying down the long red carpet of the center aisle.

“Well, to be fair, these are troubling times,” I replied.

“What is weighing on you?” he asked. It struck me as a bit of a personal question for such a great distance – but, on the other hand, I could only imagine the kind of confessions he must have been hearing at that point, and didn’t blame him for wanting to maintain the separation.

“Oh, just tough decisions to be made, I suppose.”

He nodded, apparently taking more from my words than I’d meant for him to.

“Yes, it is a time full of tough decisions,” he answered. Even as he said it, he continued to maintain that empty imitation of a smirk, and it was then that I realized his hands had been out of sight, below the pulpit, for the length of our brief discussion.

The Murder PlagueBack in my fighting days I knew a fellow who’d been a stand up comedian before his chronically-broke status had forced him to enlist. I only found him funny when we were under fire, and the more determination the other side demonstrated, the faster he would spit out gags.

He was killed when he strayed into a bullet, while imitating a goat.

There was something about the clergyman’s expression that reminded me of that joker – a mix of intense panic layered under a survival instinct of good humour.

I cleared my throat.

“Actually, you’ve helped me make my choice. Many thanks, Padre.”

I stood.

“I have?” He was surprised at the news, but, for a moment at least, I think his smile became genuine.

“Yes, sir – and I’m off to do something about it.” I started edging past the bulletin boards and abandoned collection baskets, wondering if his improved mood would last for the duration of my exit.

His arms remained fixed, and his hands remained hidden.

“A final bit of advice then, to carry with you as you go,” he interrupted, his grin collapsing. “Sometimes the only choice is the lesser of two evils.”

Frankly, it was that sort of simplistic advice that had put me off of churches in the first place.

I waved in agreement, then hustled through the vestibule and down the short flight of cement steps, pleased to see the street empty of pedestrians.

I was in the middle of a hearty round of self-congratulations regarding my narrow escape as I reached my car door – and that’s when I heard a single gunshot echo from the still-gaping entranceway.

 

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

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

Big thanks go to Highland & Wood for the audio introduction – you can find their fantastic Bothersome Things podcast at bothersomethings.com

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

Flash Pulp 107 – Mulligan Smith and The Wayward Son, Part 1 of 1

15 Dec

Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode one hundred and seven.

Flash Pulp

Tonight we present Mulligan Smith and The Wayward Son, Part 1 of 1
Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

 

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

They’re just a couple of fellows looking to rub their audio love all over you.

Subscribe via iTunes, or find everything you’ve ever wanted to be bothered by at BothersomeThings.com

 

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, Mulligan Smith must juggle friends, and goons, during a busy Christmas season.

 

Flash Pulp 107 – Mulligan Smith and The Wayward Son, Part 1 of 1

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

 

Mulligan was babysitting again, both on and off the job. He’d been surprised by the arrival of his politely volatile friend, Billy Winnipeg, who’d hitchhiked his mountainous frame across the border in order to visit for the Christmas holidays, and the PI’s nerves had worn thin at the constant social brush-fires that he was forced to stamp out in the Canadian’s wake.

Still, the bills didn’t stop for the yuletide, and Smith had grown fond of the functioning heating in his small apartment.

Mulligan SmithHis current client’s major preoccupation was his layabout son. The thirty-something boy had spent his life expecting the comforts his moneyed father provided, but the elder Mr. Sanders had grown annoyed at watching his accumulated wealth wasted on aftermarket modifications to low-end hatchbacks.

Part of the problem was that Sanders senior refused to see his boy in his full dubious glory. Soon after taking up Junior’s trail, Mulligan realized that the man-child spent most of his afternoons watching pay-per-view, while filling the puckering mouths of his pot-head posse with delivered buffets of pizza and Chinese food – more sinister, however, were the implications he discovered that suggested the wayward offspring had had his hand in several local breaking-and-entering incidents.

Despite these tidbits, Smith was unable to convince his patron that the best solution was to simply cut the lad off from the estate’s largess, in an attempt to force the hooligan into an actual occupation. Instead, the man wanted him to root out the source of his son’s corruption; the bad apple he was sure was ruining the bunch.

The detective did not enjoy watching the man’s never-ending adolescence crash headlong into his mid-life crisis, but the strip clubs and dance bars which the younger Sanders choose to frequent made it difficult for Mulligan to wrangle his northern friend, who often took violent offense to the treatment of the females in both locations.

After narrowly avoiding being spotted by the unruly band when Winnipeg laid flat a boozed up middle-manager who’d pinched a peeler’s bottom, the PI had had an epiphany. Making a quick stop at a nearby costume rental shop, he’d turned Billy loose upon Park Hospital, in the guise of jolly St. Nick. It was his thinking that it was unlikely the touchy titan could find something worth engaging in a pummelling over amongst the sick, but, if he did, at least whomever might be the recipient of his wrath would already have medical attention close on hand.

Later that same day, Smith was pleased to discover that the web-mail password he’d stolen from his client’s rowdy dependant had finally turned up something usable. The heir-apparent had caught wind that his father had made a very large donation of electronics to a local charity, and that the entertainment equipment would be set up in a relatively undefended location.

So, on a blustering Christmas eve, Mulligan found himself in a darkened sitting area that had been freshly furnished with a massive television, high-end audio gear, gaming consoles, and a stockpile of blinking, chittering diversions. Although warm, the space was fronted on three-sides by glass, so that the majority looked out onto the garden, now blanketed in white.

The home had an alarm system, but Junior knew his business well enough to disable it before cracking wide the french doors that opened onto the snow covered patio. Smith watched silently, stooped low in the shadow of the couch, as the ringleader and two accompanying bottom-feeders let themselves into the room. His client’s son made a beeline for the TV, eagerly pulling tools from his pocket to help bring the behemoth down from its mounts.

Mulligan noted a rustling in the drapes that covered the wall perpendicular to the set, and was quick to stand and flood the area with light.

“I don’t think Dad’s going to forgive this one. I’ll make you a deal, you walk out of here quietly and I’ll do my best not to let the recording I’m making of this little meeting fall into the hands of the police,” he opened.

The two sidekicks turned to the man who’d brought them there, unsure of how to proceed.

Smith could see the fear in their leader’s eyes, but Sanders had watched Al Pacino’s Scarface on too many occasions to surrender so easily.

“I’ve got a better idea – how about we beat the crap out of you, find and destroy your evidence, then grab what we came for. Tomorrow, when Dad reads about this incident in the paper and you tell him I was involved, I’ll be sure to make you look like an idiot for suggesting it.”

Even if the hidden camera had been unable to pick up the burglar’s face, Mulligan was sure his client would recognize the boasting tone.

The thugs began to advance, their screwdrivers and pliers suddenly becoming instruments of imminent harm.

“I don’t -” Smith’s reply was cut short when a ten-year-old, driving an automated wheelchair, entered the room.

“Santa?” the boy asked, his wide-eyes staring beyond the shoulders of the gathered thieves.

During the discussion, Billy Winnipeg, in full Claus-regalia, had stepped from behind the curtain which had concealed his presence.

“A home for paraplegic children?” the hulking Kringle asked, his rough hands engulfing the two henchmen’s skulls before slamming them together. “- on Christmas Eve?”

The pair were too unconscious to answer.

Already having extracted his cellphone from a hoodie-pocket, Mulligan moved quickly to direct the confused boy away from the scene.

The red-faced Father Christmas approached the last man standing, one hand adjusting his beard, the other raised in a meaty fist.

“Ho, Ho, Ho,” he said, as the door clicked shut.

 

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.

Flash Pulp 077 – Mulligan Smith and A Matter Of A Gun, Part 1 of 1

8 Oct

Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Seventy-Seven.

Flash PulpTonight, we present Mulligan Smith and A Matter Of A Gun, Part 1 of 1

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(RSS / iTunes)

This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Flash Pulp page on Facebook.

Where is the love? It’s at The Flash Pulp page on Facebook.

To join, click here!

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, Mulligan Smith becomes entwined in a private matter playing out in a public space, with his own life in the balance.

Flash Pulp 077 – Mulligan Smith and A Matter Of A Gun, Part 1 of 1

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

“Bloooargh,” The slender faced kid screamed.

While the roar of the mall continued on around the corner, the 2nd level food court fell silent.

Everyone’s eyes were on the gray metal of the revolver – including Mulligan’s.

The PI’s burger hovered at the cusp of his lower lip, a single half moon bite having been sliced from its side. The crescent cross-section of bun, patty, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce rolled from his tongue.

He’d been eying a group of tween ruffians who’d loudly conquered a square of four tables along the food court’s furthest edge when the weapon had made its arrival. The kids had made quite a display of their fortitude by pounding each other repeatedly, their unchecked shouting spreading over the surrounding area like shock waves – but even these half dozen boys had been hushed by the appearance.

Mulligan watched the gun swing over the crowd – the single mother trying to wrangle her two toddlers into silence; the double table of aging men, (likely retirees who’d come to retell their tales while running down the hours; the thirty-something couple, child in tow, who’d immediately slid to the floor at the first sign of trouble; the nun.

Mulligan sighed.

“Seriously? A nun?” he asked wordlessly.

His eyes were locked on the barrel’s black opening. From that hole his mind projected a cone, like a spotlight, which he could feel as if a solid thing moving over the crowd. He felt the cone swing wide, the tension fading as the weapon faced down the Subway and Chinese buffet, only to return once again as it re-approached. As the fatal arc rolled over him, his heart began to pound and his palms were suddenly moist – then it would pass, as if a lighthouse beacon sliding on in the night, and the tension would once again begin to slip away.

He took a sip of soda to wash down the burger he hadn’t eaten.

He stood.

Still holding the cardboard cup, he took a step towards what his father always referred to as “the business end”.

One of the thirty-somethings shout-whispered from beneath her table.

“Hey! HEY! That’s not a good idea! Don’t make him mad!”

Mulligan mentally noted that he wasn’t terribly enthused with the idea himself, but there was little opportunity to debate the woman given the circumstances.

He made a tut-tut motion with his hand, as if a parent gently assuring a child they should mind their own business.

Despite the protestations of his suddenly heavy and seemingly bloodless legs, he took another step forward, and then another. The deadly opening of the weapon settled on his direction, and yet still he forced his traitorous feet onward.

He covered his approach with conversation.

“Look, I’m sure you’ve got your reasons for, uh, this, but you’ve got to understand that we’re in a public place – whatever your personal gripe, most of these folks are just here because they’re tired from patrolling the clothing stores.”

The revolver, and its bearer, remained silent.

The PI’s feet plodded on at a steady, if lethargic, pace. He kept his shoulders slumped, his gait loose, and the cup moving steadily to re-dampen his perpetually drying mouth – behaviour even the most agitated of great apes would find disarming.

The nun had begun praying, not quite quietly. Her intonations brought a finality to the proceedings that Smith found disturbing.

“Excuse me, Sister, but could you keep it to your interior? The Lord’ll be just as happy to read your mind as your lips,” he knew he ran the risk of offending, but he also knew control of the environment was paramount.

One of the tweens laughed, not a real chuckle but instead a sudden explosion of giggle carried out by nerves.

The weapon swung from the approaching PI to the kid in the black and white t-shirt with a huge stylized eagle print.

The boy went through a smooth transition from un-bidden laughter to bitter weeping. His head pulled back on his neck, which in turn pulled at the torso pressing hard against the beige painted metal of his chair – as if the extra six inches of distance would be of help; or as if the weapon carried a terrible heat he wished to be away from.

Mulligan deeply understood the need to be as far away as possible from the barrel’s shadowed opening.

Mulligan Smith“He didn’t mean to laugh, a lot of people just react that way when they’re too tense. I think it’s related to the fact that human laughter is connected to animals barking in the wild. I read somewhere that laughter is basically just the human version of a bark – that’s why we do it at things that we find weird, or true but disturbing. It’s a defensive thing.”

The pistol turned back onto Smith – he was glad it was away from the boy, but he certainly found no humour in it.

“Maybe I can help you? You need to explain why you’re doing this. Even if you don’t plan on coming out of this alive, you need to tell someone so they can pass on what happened? Right?”

For the first time, under the distant din, Mulligan noted that the mall was actually piping in music. An instrumental version of Wind Beneath My Wings played him through the last ten feet of open ground. As he approached he continuously lowered his tone so that, as he finally reached his goal, his volume was conversational and semi-private.

“Is it them? Is it those guys over there?” Smith motioned towards the cowering pre-teens. “Did they make fun of you?”

He couldn’t guess at what condition the slender-faced boy suffered, but there was a slackness about his eyes, and a confusion in his look, that told him the child’s faculties weren’t fully functional.

“C’mon, you can tell me, I’m here to help.” The child seemed to harden at the suggestion. “- and, uh, here to remember? Right? To tell everyone what happened after its done.”

The weapon was hard against his belly; he’d walked himself directly into the danger.

The boy looked up at him, the corners of his eyes picking up a moist shine under the food court’s skylight.

“I go to school with them, and every day while I’m waiting for Mom to come home, I’m in here, and they make fun of me.”

The PI nodded, fighting to keep his eyes on the boy’s own, and not on the weapon.

“So, I’m, I’m –“ the boy’s voice cracked, and for a moment the revolver waivered, the invisible cone aimed at the skylight.

Mulligan punched him in the face.

He hated to do it, but a fat lip was a lucky conclusion when involved in a matter of a gun.

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.

More Updates To The Updates

5 Oct

Villagers From Frankenstein Get Out Their PitchforksJust to clarify, the new Ruby is now up, and available below or via iTunes. Libsyn, our podcast host, had this to say about the issue:

Update [10/5/2010 2:00am EST] The issue has been traced back to a bad DNS record that propagated out to parts of the internet earlier this evening (starting around 9:00 PM EST). The entry has been fixed and all systems should be back up for users everywhere now or very soon. – Libsyn Support Blog

So please put down your pitchforks and return to your mp3 playing devices, we appreciate your patience.

Flash Pulp 059 – Ruby Departed: Utopia, Part 2 of 6

26 Aug

Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Fifty-Nine.

Flash PulpTonight, we present Ruby Departed: Utopia, Part 2 of 6

(Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4/Part 5/Part 6)

Download MP3
(RSS / iTunes)

This week’s episodes are brought to you by Flash Pulp on iTunes.

Join us to sample our work: a re-envisioning of the reboot of a remake to a prequel that never existed.

Click here to subscribe.

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.

In this second chapter, Ruby discovers the nature of the armoured vehicle she encountered as the occupants were in the process of looting coffee.

Flash Pulp 059 – Ruby Departed: Utopia, Part 2 of 6

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

Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-1Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-2Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-3Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-4Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-5Ruby Departed: Utopia 2-6

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.

Webcomics Weekly

22 Jan

Webcomics Weekly Guys

It’s one of those days where I’d rather be napping through old episodes of Good Eats than trying to muster some brain juice.

More specifically, I’ve recently come up with a brilliant (says I) methodology for reworking a project that I’d previously left for dead. The problem is that when the moment is inappropriate – usually while my brain is trying to escape work – I’m full of creative momentum, and by the time the necessaries are out of the way, my brain is flat.

I have a small bag of tricks for days like today, and one of my favourites* is a podcast called Webcomics Weekly. Featuring four webcomic guys (Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, Dave Kellet and Brad Guigar), the format is supposed to revolve around the mechanics of making a webcomic (and a profit for your labour if you should get that far), but even a non-webcomic fellow such as myself finds a lot to enjoy in the patter and broad approach to creative topics.

Like bacon cooking in a nearby room, the fumes of their creativity are often enough to get me up and about looking for my own meal.

Partially as a favour to myself, and partially for the good of anyone who stumbles across this post, I should also mention that many of the people involved in WW have also been involved in previous podcasts that are just as entertaining, and compile those links as follows:

Webcomics Weekly actually has a longer archive than what is provided on their libsyn page, and the rest of the episodes can be found on their old talkshoe page.

Kris sometimes does a show with his girlfriend Erica, known as The Program.

Before they did Webcomics Weekly, Scott and Kris had a two man show known as The Daily Affirmation, which has a wider range of topics, and a large pile of funny. Old episodes can be found on odeo, but it seems like new episodes will be available on libsyn.

Before they did The Daily Affirmation, Scott and Kris did a show called The Power Hour, which was sort of Daily Affirmation-y, but more of a ‘radio talk show’ influence. You can find that on Odeo too.

Before teaming up with Scott to do the power hour, Kris actually did another podcast with Dave Kellett, The Blanklabel Podcast.

Finally, occasionally both Scott and Kris post items to their youtube channels.

I may have missed other projects by the WW guys – especially possibly Brad Guigar who has a radio-ready voice, but whom I apparently have no audio history for.

The sheer number of hours of quality content on hand is actually a little surprising now that I’ve lined up a few years of listening into a single post. My only regret is that the WW fellows haven’t found a better way to better turn a bit of profit from their podcasts, as I think they might stick to a more regular schedule if they did.

Or feasibly they just need to find their own WW to get things going.

(*Another is to pull an informational blog post from my brain’s back burner,  just to get the gears greased.)