Born of Man and Woman, by Richard Matheson

Yes, I know, this isn’t exactly Christmas material, but I’ve been on a Matheson kick lately. So take it in stride. This is a repost from my audio blog, Airy Persiflage. If the audio doesn’t play for some reason, follow the link to the original and play it there.

Born of Man and Woman is not a pleasant story, as it depicts a child born a hideous monster in our eyes, kept chained in the cellar by his parents, where he is beaten and abused regularly. It is, however, a memorable one, written by one of my favorite writers in the short story form, Richard Matheson, who is perhaps more famous for his television work on the Twilight Zone and other famous shows. This is my second short-short SF piece in a row by Mr. Matheson, having just read STEEL AND OTHER STORIES, where I picked up Lemmings, the previous audio story I read a couple weeks back.

Born of Man and Woman is a story I read as a younger teenager– probably 13 or so, and I recall it being in one of those Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthologies edited by Robert Silverberg. It’s one of those stories that sticks with you.. Matheson paints a vivid picture of the unnamed child’s suffering by having him recount events in a broken journal form. At the end of the story, you have to ask yourself who the real monsters are.

This audio is just over seven minutes long. To listen, click the arrow below.″


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