Black Petals Issue #82 Winter, 2018

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Nowhere Friend-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Broken Image-Fiction by Andrew Newall
Monster-Fiction by Paloma Palacios
Salvation_Fiction by Scott Dixon, Featured Author
Scream-Fiction by Anthony ('Tony') Lukas
Surviving Montezuma-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist, Chapters 13 & 14
The Foundling-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Girl Who Isn't Talked About-Fiction by James Gallagher
Beggar's Curse-Poem by Alexis Child
Marco-Three poems from Christopher Hivner
In Line at the Terminal-Four poems by Michael Keshigian
Ghost Poets-Four Poems by Jerry McGinley
Killer Clowns-Four Cryptid Poems by Richard Stevenson



Christopher Hivner









      Po . . .


      . . . lo


      Can’t . . .


      . . . breathe.



The Rules


Christopher Hivner


The sign was posted:

“Do not enter.”

with a human skull on a ledge

for emphasis,

but I had never liked

the rules.

I stepped into the cave

with a flashlight

and a kukri,

knowing I was either coming out a hero

or bleeding to death in the dirt.

I was met at once

with a choice

between three paths.

I took the center

for no good reason.

My light beam bounced off the walls,

showing me nothing

except psychotic images

created by the rock formations,

until I came to the wall

lined with bones.

They may have been human,

hard to tell, since they had been

partially digested.

I felt warmth emanating

from the left edge of the pile;

they were fresh

and I was close to the creature,

close to status

or near death.

I should have used caution,

but instead

I barged into the darkness

like the idiot I am.

The first bite

was into my shoulder;

fangs dug through the muscle,

ripping out a hunk of meat.

Dropping the flashlight from my now numb hand,

I was plunged into complete darkness.

With my good hand

I swung the kukri back and forth blindly,

until that hand was

enveloped by the creature’s mouth.

I yanked my arm back,

but two rows of pointed teeth

had me.

When they bit down

my hand disappeared and I fell backwards.

Gushing blood, with no weapon or light to see,

I shouted my question to the monster,

“Do you surrender?”

The creature went quiet,

the only sound in the cave

was the drip of my blood onto the stone.

A hot wave of foul breath

washed over me,

then I felt something hit me in the chest

and drop to the floor.

The monster chuckled,

producing a rumble throughout the cave.

I heard him move away;

the deeper into the cave he went

the louder he laughed.

I took a step

and kicked whatever he had hit me with.

I bent down and found

my hand,

mangled and broken.

I picked it up,

making my way along the stone wall

toward light.

I had broken every rule

of the cave

and common sense

to come out neither

a hero

nor a corpse.

The creature still lived

and I was still

a nobody,

but I did have

a story to tell.



Wandering Eye


Christopher Hivner


An eye forms

in the blue-white clouds,

watching me

and what I’m doing to you;

so I wait

until the cloud reforms

into a wispy fish.

Don’t look so scared,

no one’s watching anymore,

we’re all alone.



Christopher Hivner,,, of Dallastown, PA, who lives and writes in Pennsylvania’s wilds, not the tropical island he’d prefer, wrote BP #82’s poems, “Marco,” “The Rules,” & “Wandering Eye” (+ BP #71’s “Sand”; the BP #62 poems, Psycho Joe’s Body EmporiumSymbioticaThe Challenger, and When I Arrive; the BP #53 poems, Follow-Up Appointment, Gasoline Roses, and Until They Dissolve. His stories and poems have been published here and there. A collection of his published ‘08 horror short stories, THE SPACES BETWEEN YOUR SCREAMS, was reviewed in BP #54.

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