Pseudopod has been good to me over the years. But before I was ever one of their authors, I was one of their listeners, and one of their earlier stories is still one of my favorites. Michael Montoure’s “Counting From Ten” is a pretty direct tale centered around a gruesomely, cruelly injurious series of “accidents” that are, of course, not actually accidents at all.
To an extent, it has a bit of the old EC horror or Golden Age of Radio “supernatural poetic vengeance” vibe going for it, except it has a lot more heart–and therefore heartbreak–than the similarly styled Vault of Horror or The Witch’s Tale stories had. Its secondary protagonist and primary victim, Tommy, isn’t the total bastard that so many Tales From the Crypt villainous agonists were. Yes, he’s brought the misfortune that maims him onto himself, but he’s more of a hapless shlub, albeit a criminal.