Rated PG. Contains Lovecraftian references, and three dollar words.
An Escape Pod flash fiction contest submission.
All Flee the Vocab. Quiz
by Kristine Dikeman
She was about 12, maybe a little younger. It’s not so easy to tell with kids, especially girls. This one looked normal enough, pink puffy coat, blond hair up in a scrunchy thing, vinyl backpack with a cartoon character — an anthropomorphic block of ice — plastered across the side. She moved down the aisle of the lurching bus with the ease of a career sailor and plopped herself down next to me.
Pulling out a pack of well-thumbed index cards, she stripped off the rubber band and held them tight in both hands, staring hard, lips moving with grim concentration. Vocab quiz. I could almost hear the electric impulses zapping through her gray matter as she tried to soak in the knowledge before she reached school. Her lips moved softly as she repeated the words to herself.
I peeked over her shoulder.
About the Author
About the Narrator
He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.
Alasdair co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror show, PseudoPod. His most recent publication is The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, the second collection of expanded essays from the show.
His short stories can be found in the Fox Pockets anthology series from Fox Spirit, among other places.
He lives in the UK with the love of his life and their ever expanding herd of microphones. Follow him on Twitter as @AlasdairStuart, sign up for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid, or check out his reviews and blog, The Man of Words.