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Dead Oaks is a horror anthology podcast with new episodes every other Sunday. Alternating between scripted and short story episodes, Dead Oaks features short horror fiction by writers from across the globe.
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Dead Oaks: "An Insatiable Appetite" by Sean Hodell
By Sean Hodell
snake slithers willingly into your belly, scorching your esophagus on the way down.
There is an immediate onset of nausea as it wades through your stomach acid.
You press your lips together to prevent yourself from retching.
peeks through the blinds in your bedroom. The smell of bacon wafts through the
door, which only adds to the nausea. You’re hungry, starving actually, but not
for that. You have an appetite for something, but you find yourself drawing a
blank on what it actually is that the snakelet wants.
its mother coiled around a branch protruding from a fallen tree in the lake the
previous evening. You had your bow with you, so you shot it. Right in the
belly. Sure, you could have shot it the head, but you were in a torturous mood.
the snake was pissed at first. It tried striking you several times, but the
arrow went all the way through, leaving it with a debilitating pain. When you
ripped the arrow out, the underside of the reptile tore open to reveal a dozen
not yet fully formed snakelets. An odor of maggot-infested flesh and rotten
eggs emerged from its spilled guts.
The snake hissed through labored breaths. “Please. Listen to me. Let me speak.”
The words sounded as though they were layered over each other a thousand times.
talking serpent took you by surprise. The bow slipped from your hands and
landed on the wood with a loud clang. The spotlight fastened to it was left
pointed in the direction of the snake and the babies swimming in the black bile
that dripped from the large hole on its underside. Your mouth would not
function enough to reply.
oversized watersnake told you stories of destiny and boundless powers last
night at the dock for hours. You listened intently, soaking it all in. “Death.
Chaos. They must live on. I must live on. Through you. We’re meant to be
together,” the snake spat the words with its acidic voice. “This is no mere
coincidence, my child of the darkness.”
had to do was eat one of its offspring before sunrise, the lone black one, and
powers would develop in you like mankind had never seen. But you had to feed
the damn thing inside you first. What the fucker failed to mention before
passing was how to nourish the creature that would be residing in you.
sweat form around your temple. A sour taste enters your mouth. The contents of
your stomach are about to come up. You jump out of bed and run to the bathroom.
The same inky sludge from the pregnant snake ends up in the toilet.
the chunky liquid from your lips when there is nothing left inside you except
for the parasite. The insatiable appetite is growing more intense with each
alright in there?” your mother asks with a voice as smooth as silk.
the smell of the bacon overpowers that of the rank vomit. “Yes, just some
stomach problems.” She leaves it at that, as you know she would.
The rim of
the toilet bowl feels cold against your cheeks. It feels like your insides are
rotting. You can’t explain the events that have transpired over the past
several hours, nor do you want to. But, something is not sitting right with
you. It’s all too fantastical. You wonder if it was all a dream, or if the
dream has even stopped.
your thoughts down the drain along with the vomit. While washing your hands,
you gaze at your reflection in the mirror. Your pupils have consumed the hazel
irises leaving you with eyes like black holes. You blink a few times until they
return to normal.
no way to explain the situation to your parents. They’ll never understand, and
will probably just tell you that you are crazy. Not that you won’t agree, but
you don’t need to hear it from them. You decide to go to your brother’s room
instead to see what he has to say about the matter.
bedroom is empty. Mark is an early riser and must be out running errands. A
holstered nine millimeter lies innocently on the bed. You pick up his handgun
and hold it to your head to try to clear your mind. Your heart pounds in your
chest like a jackhammer breaking apart concrete. It feels as if it is going to
back to your bathroom. More black bile shoots from your throat until you start
dry heaving. Your organs are on fire. That does it for you. You need to see a
doctor, probably a fucking psychiatrist as well.
parents aren’t in the living room, but the plates in the kitchen are still
warm. You walk to the master bedroom door. The shower is running. You sit on
the couch and turn on the TV to vegetate your mind.
crawls around inside you. It makes you feel like some pregnant skank who
notices her baby kicking for the first time. You have to nourish the son of a
bitch. Food is beginning to sound more appealing.
and eggs have been finished and the pan is already in the sink. Because you’re
a lazy fuck, you don’t want to make yourself anything. You grab a pen and paper
to leave a note for your parents letting them know your whereabouts. Of course,
lies fill the page. They will be much more content if they think you are
visiting your friend, Lucy, who your parents are convinced is your girlfriend.
While in reality, you just smoke pot together.
mother’s purse sits on the kitchen counter. Your heart rate increases to that
of a hummingbird. You can hear the blood flying through your veins. You keep
your mouth closed and stand still. It passes.
is already partially undone. There is no one else around. You fish her wallet
out of the bag. A couple twenties, a ten, and three ones. You take the
emergency twenty she keeps hidden underneath her driver's license so she at
least won’t immediately know you’ve stolen from her.
door swings open, nearly breaking the hinges from the force of your hands. You
feel light in the feet and head, likely from a combination of dehydration,
chronic insomnia, and an empty stomach. Food is going to have to come before a
visit to the doctor.
intense hunger has somewhat subsided by the time you make it to the nearest
fast food place still serving breakfast. But you haven’t eaten anything since
that burger yesterday afternoon. You need something to tide you over, to give
you some energy.
thru is slammed with cars. You position your shitty little sedan next to a
double-parking douchebag. It’s the closest spot to the entrance.
area is overcrowded with energetic children and exhausted parents. Two people
are ahead of you in line. A cashier to your right opens up another register.
She waves her hand. “I can take you over here,” she announces over the roar of
the mass of customers.
obese woman driving a rascal cuts in front of you. The epitome of the American
dream. Blood rushes to your face, turning it a nice crimson color. The thumping
in your chest won’t stop. The anger takes control as it is wont to do from time
to time. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, you fat cunt?”
drops open. She struggles to turn all the way around in her seat so you swing
it around for her. Her lips tremble when she stares deep into your abysmal eyes.
The girl at the register watches silently from behind the counter.
of lard clutches her breast and rolls out of her motorized chair. She gasps for
breath, while reaching out for help with her other hand. You don’t break eye
contact with her until every last ounce of her life has disappeared. A twisted
smile forms on your face.
in front of the fresh corpse to place your order. The cashier, Melanie
according to her nametag, looks around the building for some form of help.
“I’ll take a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. And a large soda please, Melanie.”
The malice has left your voice. “To go.”
walks to the heating tray for the sandwich. Her hands are trembling when she
passes you the food and soda cup. She’s so frightened that she doesn’t even ask
you to pay.
breakfast tastes of ash and cigarette butts. The demon inside your stomach
growls. It doesn’t want human cuisine. You throw the remains out the window.
It’s not like you give a damn about the environment. You try to wash the taste
out of your mouth with the soda to no avail.
your feet as you stomp on the gas pedal. The speedometer hits ninety miles an
hour and counting. Hot, summer air blows through your hair. You’re feeling
good, but you still can’t shake the hunger. You hope a medical professional can
Oaks cop catches you on the radar. The dirty pig pulls out of the median and
turns on the classic flashing blue lights. It doesn’t take long for the
ungoverned engine to outpace your puny four-cylinder.
in the rearview mirror. She signals for you to pull over. You ignore her and
push the pedal to the floorboard.
now, sir. You are endangering civilians.” Her voice sounds raspy through the PA
your hand out the window and shoot her a bird. She accelerates high enough to
reach the left side of your vehicle. The two of you continue racing for several
more moments. The pounding in your chest returns.
stop until you whip the sedan onto the median. The officer attempts to do the
same, but your car has better handling capabilities. You rip through the grass,
creating a dust cloud, and merge in with the vehicles on the other side.
tires catch the lip upon entry to the road. She loses control of the vehicle,
flipping multiple times until landing on the roof. Shattered glass litters the
asphalt. The oncoming traffic comes to a grinding halt.
dead. You can’t see it, but you know. You can sense it.
waiting room in the after-hours clinic reeks of disinfectant chemicals.
Magazines are strewn about the coffee table in no particular order. An elderly
woman sits in the chair beside you. Her lip smacking begins to rub you the
minutes have passed since you signed in at the front desk, and you’re next on
the list. You start tapping your feet and drumming your fingers on your thighs
to pass the time. The snake is famished. It’s becoming restless. Every movement
it makes sends spells of queasiness. You need a doctor now.
nurse eventually steps into the waiting room. “Mr. Sullivan?” she calls out
looking for a response. You stand up and follow her down the hallway. Her
gorgeous ass shakes underneath burgundy scrubs. You want to fuck her right then
you into a room on the other side of the building. “Someone will be with you
patiently for fifteen minutes. You’ve read all of the medical posters on the
wall. Boredom sets in as well as extreme voracity. The monster will not leave
you stand up to leave the room, someone twists the door handle. A male doctor
walks through the doorway. “Hello, James. My na-.”
you sharply interject before he can continue.
A look of
irritation flashes across his face. “OK, Jimmy.
My name is Dr. Glegg. How are you doing today?” He scribbles something on the
clipboard in his hands.
to say weird.” Your eyes meet. You can hear the forceful knocking in your
Dr. Glegg instantly turns away and continues taking notes. “Why do you say
know,” you confess. “There’s something off and I can’t quite place it. My
insides hurt and I have a pain in my stomach that won’t go away. I feel like
I’m dying, doctor.”
let’s start by taking a preliminary blood sample while we figure this out.” He
swabs a spot on your arm clean with rubbing alcohol. He puts the syringe to
your arm, but it doesn’t break the skin. He pushes harder until the needle
plunges into a vein.
your surprise, the vial instantly fills with a thick, dark liquid that matches
your eyes. The bile has entered your bloodstream. Black blood dribbles from the
entry wound. The microscopic puncture heals after a couple seconds. Your left
hand starts twitching.
the hell?” He is dumbfounded. “I, uhh, I need to phone Dr. Akachi about this.
I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. This needs to be
catalogued, documented, recorded.” He twirls the vial around in his hands with
a sense of childlike wonder.
Mark’s pistol out and drill the barrel into his forehead. A reflex so
instinctual that it doesn’t even register in your mind until the gun is already
in your hand. It’s been tucked in your waistband this whole time.
methodic thwacking of your ticker sends shockwaves through your nerves. Your
body trembles from the pulses, but your hand remains steady. “No, you’re not going to tell anybody about
this.” The doctor lets out a pitiful whimper before you introduce his brains to
gunshot is deafening in such confined quarters. A ringing sensation enters your
ears. You leave the bloody mess on the floor for someone else to clean. “Thanks
for the help, doc. I’m feeling much better now.” The hunger vanishes at last.
At least for the time being, the beast has been satisfied.
quits beating entirely, but you’ve never felt more alive. Your senses are
peaking. It’s akin to the time you snorted ten fat lines of coke in a row.
the embodiment of disorder.
the bringer of death.
You are God.
"An Insatiable Appetite" was written by Sean Hodell. Sean lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he attends Georgia Tech.
Happy Halloween(ish), podcast fans! With Dead Oaks: A Horror Anthology Podcast wrapping up its first season a couple of weeks ago, the plan is to fill the gap between season one and two (now to January) with some awesome, spooky content. First up is a definitive ranking of every film in one of the most well known horror movie franchises in existence, A Nightmare on Elm Street.
For the past few weeks, I've been watching (and live-tweeting) all of the nine Elm Street movies, trying to separate the best of the best from the cringe-worthy--but not in a good way--entries in the series. Keep scrolling for Dead Oaks's ranking, starting with the worst...
9 & 8. The Dream Child (1989) and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
It makes sense that two newest films in the original Elm Street cannon (New Nightmare doesn't really count, and we'll get to that later...) are the two worst. By the time The Dream Child and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare rolled around, …
DEAD OAKS IS OPEN FOR SEASON THREE SUBMISSIONS! Season three of Dead Oaks will begin in September 2017.
Dead Oaks: A Horror Anthology Podcast from BronzeCast Productions is now accepting submissions for our bi-weekly (every two weeks) episodes! Basically, how it works is this: chosen stories will be turned into podcast episodes read either by the author or by a Dead Oaks cast member, depending on the author's preference. However, there are some guidelines. Read them below: Story Submission Guidelines: Dead Oaks stories must be: original, unpublished works of short fiction between 1,500 and 3,000 words submitted in double space, 12 point, sans serif font via Microsoft Word document (or other compatible document) related, in some way of your choosing, to the fictional town of Dead Oaks (more information below) sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org No cover letter required What is Dead Oaks? In short, Dead Oaks is a small, relatable town of ambiguous location where really, really bad t…