PodCastle 389: Old Foss is the Name of His Cat

by David Sandner

read by Graeme Dunlop

It was first published in the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 1 (Mythic Delrium, 2008). It was reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Tails of the Imagination (Night Shade, 2010).

The rain wept against the glass as Old Foss watched impassively behind the window. The Old Man ran back and forth across the cobbled street, his long white nightshirt soaked and clinging to his ungainly frame, his paunched belly and skinny pale legs. His long bedraggled beard leaked, sloughing off water when he shook his head and bellowed: “Where is my Jumbly Girl?” The Old Man knocked on every door he came to, but no one answered for they knew the old Englishman too well.

At first, when the fugues came on, the locals had only shaken their heads at him, then argued with him in broken English or too fluent Italian, especially when the rain came up fast. They pushed him towards the villa he and Old Foss rented; but when the confusion came upon him he would only look at them uncomprehendingly, or look at their doors long after they had shut them with the oddest expression of thwarted desire, then he would wander away again and knock on another wrong door. For no one could see the Jumblies but him and Old Foss. None could know of his time with his Jumbly Girl but Old Foss and himself. Old Foss and he is how it should be for the Jumbly girl would bring him only death for all her promises. Why couldn’t he see that, Old Foss thought crossly, twitching his tail, and was is really so much as all that to love a Jumbly Girl?

Rated PG.

David Sandner is a writer of weirdpunk and a scholar whose work has been nominated for Mythopoeic Awards. His website is davidsandner.com but he is currently blogging on the SF at CSUF site through the 2016 Philip K. Dick Conference, April 29-30, to be held on his campus at Cal State Fullerton. Follow the link to learn more and to take part in the conference, and to read about sf, including the library’s special collection holdings on PKD, at CSUF. David is marketing a mystery novel about Mary Shelley called The Triumph of Death.

Brief article about Old Foss.

Read The Jumblies.

Read The Owl and the Pussycat.