Episode 54: His Poisoner by Sean Eads

Jake is sick, wretchedly sick. He is overcome with vomiting spells, his joints feel like they’re filled with gravel, and he can’t even summon the strength to drive home from work. He certainly must have been poisoned. But who would do such a thing? Does he have an enemy?
Don’t answer the question, dude, it’s just a teaser to get you interested in listening to the story.

Also, Big and Rish talk about…anagrams…or is it acronyms?…er maybe that’s palindromes?…well, they talk about something. What could it be? The only surefire way to find out is to listen. Have fun.

Today’s story is produced by Bryan Lincoln, who narrated and edited the tale. Also special thanks to Liz Lincoln, Sarah Slater, John Riendeau, and Abigail Hilton for lending their voices to the story.

Right click to download the episode HERE.


Related Links:
Sean Eads on Facebook
Bryan Lincoln’s Podcast, The Iocane Project
Abigail Hilton’s Panamindorah Site
The Dunesteef On The Drabblecast
Picture by Andrew Kuznetsov
Some sound effects in today’s episode are from Freesound.org
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


12 Responses to “Episode 54: His Poisoner by Sean Eads”

  1. Loved it! I really enjoyed doing the voice work for that one. It’s fun to be evil.

    I think everyone feels sorry for Jake in the end. Part of the fun of the story is the way it messes with your head. You have no sympathy for him at the beginning. He’s paranoid, possibly dangerous, and working his way towards full blow schizophrenia. Then your sympathies slowly shift as you see his physical symptoms. In the end, it becomes clear that, as crazy as Jake is, Ellen and the rest of his coworkers are a whole lot crazier!

    I thought Sean did a perfect job of showing the deranged reasoning that people with paranoid disorders manifest, and it’s beautifully complicated by the real-life crime. Jake jumps to all the wrong conclusions and doesn’t get help in time because of his mental illness, but he’s not actually wrong in his initial assessment.

  2. I had a lot of fun producing this story. I hope the narration was ok. I recorded it in a small closet with a very warm lamp tucked between my legs. It was the only place to avoid the amazing cacophony of crickets outside at the time. Now that I know the amazing power of certain kinds of noise reduction in adobe audition, I bet it was an unnecessary discomfort. Oh well, at least its a funny visual.

  3. This might be one of my favorites. It was so frakkin enjoyable, with the mystery holding on right to the very end. My first instinct, unreliable narrator. Good to be wrong, in this instance. Just great.
    Just shows to go, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean your phone ain’t tapped.

  4. This might seem strange in light of all of the horror genre stories that have been on this podcast, but this is actually the first story that actually freaked me out and scared me a bit.

    And for me, the story was not really about Jake. Although he was in the driver’s seat, as the ostensible protagonist, his extreme behaviors and inflexible reactions (and just damned hilariousness) made him more of the comic foil to Charlotte, who was actually the character who went through any kind of developmental arc in the narrative. She was the one who actually learned, explored, tried things, realized things, and went through changes.

    It was the sheer accessibilty and sympatheticness, the reasonableness and I guess normalness of her character that made the ending scary. Because you knew she was going to get hurt. And then, it was the abrupt switch of the office context. It was totally not what it seemed. We’re all familiar with superficial office social environments. But when they all converged at the end, that was actually creepy. And it was so understated. I thought it was great.

    I think you guys talked once about how the old monsters just weren’t quite scary anymore. Because we’re in the post-bureaucratic age. Where the entire planet has been bureacratized. Some thinker wrote about this. Can’t remember his name right now. Right. It was Max Weber.

    Anyway. Creepy ass weird passive-aggressive bureacracies seem scary enough to me.

    Sheesh. Wordiness abounds.

    In a nutshell: great episode, guys. This show rocks. Time for another donation!

    oh! and I haven’t even commented on hilarious discussion at the end. I’ll leave that to someone else. Are you guys actually going to make a hip-hop song?

  5. This story had a real ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ feel to it.

  6. I thought about why this story’s ending freaked me out and I realized that banal human cruelty from sane (or so-called sane) people is what horrifies me the most at this point in my life.

  7. This one played with my mind a lot. The comment (I forget if Rish or Big said it, sorry dudes) that doing this outside of October being a good idea was totally right on. If I’d known it was going to have a “scary” ending, there would have been a lot less confusion for me.

    I’ve heard epic stories about people getting laxatived because they were nomming other people’s lunches so that was in my mind the entire time, but it also seemed like the protagonist was completely off his rocker most of the time.

    The question “who would want to poison you?” nearly made me shout “everyone!” But even though I was at the bus stop with no one else around, I managed to contain myself. He’s a jerk, but he’s a lovable jerk. Or an amusing one? I’m not really sure where I stand on that one.

    Bryan: The narration sounded great. I’d beware of those noise removing features. They tend to add artifacts to the sound since they aren’t perfect at distinguishing good sounds from bad. It’s better to get a clean track to start with. Lots of budget conscious podcasters end up doing their recording in their closets.

  8. J.E.: Yes, clean audio is ideal, but in my case the distinct frequency noise is pretty easy to take care of. Also, my apartment is fairly quiet most of the time (minus the crickets), so the closet is likely not necessary. As a comparison, in this story one of the voices had heavy traffic in the background (regularly passing trucks and motorcycles). While I was able to clean it up well enough that I think it isn’t noticeable, it took a line by line cleanup, and occasional non-use of my favorite take of a line. I was very impressed with what I could recover, though it would be much easier to simply splice the lines together!

  9. Ahhh, frequency buzzes should clean out without much distortion using a notch filter or whatever it’s called. Gotcha. I forget what the bad filter type is called in Adobe. In Audacity, it’s something like FFT.

    I heard some trucks and that sort of thing in either this episode or a recent episode of some other podcast, and if it was in this one, it worked out pretty well. I noticed it, but it didn’t seem out of place since most office environments I’ve been in have had some noise from traffic.

  10. Loved the story! It was ingenious and well written.

    And to hear my name in the “after” conversation between Rish and Big A! Freakin’ awesome! I’m honored!

  11. EgyptianAmulet Says:

    I loved this story. It had a twinge of Dark humor but the end left me with that satisfying creepy feelin’….kind of like the ol skool Twilight Zone’s. 4 stars **** Definitely.

  12. Forgetmenot Says:

    I liked the story alot. I knew whom was poisoning him from near the begining since I’ve fantasized about poisoning the people whom have stolen my food from the office refridgerator. the End was scary though, because I definatly didn’t want Charlott to get hurt.

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