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


The Foundling


By Roy Dorman


A little visitor or two



 The front door of the cabin was knocked off its hinges and two horrors strode into the small combination living and dining room.

 “Shoot ‘em, Justin, shoot ‘em!” yelled Henry Gibson, the patriarch of the family. Justin, twelve years old, was the closest to the family shotgun and managed to get off a shot at the larger monstrosity, hitting it in the upper thighs, before the two beasts slaughtered the family of four.

 An hour later, sated and ready to explore this bountiful land, the two flew off toward the valley west of the Gibson farm.


“Whoa! Well, shoot me for a horse thief, what’ve we got here?”

Old Annie Winslow lived alone in a shack in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia. Each morning after breakfast she brought her pipe and coffee out onto the porch to watch the day begin.

When she opened the front door that early fall morning, she almost tripped over a bundle of dirty clothing nestled in a small pile of pine branches. She had been about to kick the whole mess off the porch when something stopped her. There were two footprints on her porch next to the bundle. The prints of two naked feet were longish and orange-yellow. 

Stooping down, Annie touched one of the footprints and discovered it was tacky, like paint that wasn’t quite dry. There were a half-dozen drops of the yellow stuff of different sizes around the foot prints.

Annie stood up to see if she could spot a trail of footprints leading up to the porch. There was none. There was no trail leading away from the porch either. Looking up, Annie saw drying drops of yellow hanging from her eaves. Something had dropped from the roof to the porch, and apparently had then gone back up there.

Annie squatted down again. The clothing consisted of a couple of strap t-shirts and a denim work shirt. None of this was new or very clean. When she unwrapped the material she was so shocked she lost her balance and almost fell on her butt.

“What the heck?”

A small face had been revealed. The skin was bluish-white and the eyes were closed. Annie carefully put her hand to one of its cheeks and found it to be quite cold. She thought this baby might be dead.

Leaving the pine branches, she picked up the clothing with the infant and carried it inside. She set it on the couch facing the fireplace and added some wood to the fire.

“I don’t know nothin’ about takin’ care of a kid,” she muttered. She then went back out to the porch to see if she could gather a little more information.

“Hey,” she yelled. “Anybody out here? Ya left your kid on my porch. If ya need help, just come back and I’ll help ya.”

She got no answer. She stepped off the porch and took the path to the outbuildings. The door to one of the sheds was open, but on checking she found it only contained her gardening tools. She looked around for traces of orange-yellow and found none. Looking back at the cabin, she could see the roof was empty.

A shock awaited her when she opened the door to the shack. The clothing was still on the couch where she had left it, but the infant was gone. 

A quick scan of the floor in the room revealed nothing. Then, while she stood in front of the fireplace scratching her head, she heard a rustling sound. Looking up, Annie saw the infant was perched on a set of deer antlers she had mounted on an oak plaque. The rustling sound had been the sound of ….wings!

The infant grasped the antlers as a perch with its small taloned feet. The wings were more like bat wings than bird wings. It had opened its wings to about a three-foot span and was looking down at Annie.

Annie gulped once and said, “Want to come down?”

The infant stared for a few seconds, and then said, “Want to come down?”

“Is that a ‘yes?’” asked Annie.

“Is that a ‘yes?’” came the reply.

Annie had heard that parrots could mimic human speech, but had always thought they had to have picked it up over time with their owners. And this infant appeared to be more human than bird, except for the wings and feet, that is. Annie thought the wings and feet definitely complicated things.

 Annie reached up with both hands and gently grabbed the infant around the abdomen. It hissed at her a little, but allowed her to set it on the couch again.

 She pointed at her chest and said, “Annie.”

 The infant pointed at its chest and said, “Annie.”

 “No, no, no,” chuckled Annie.

 “No, no, no,” answered the infant.

 Annie decided she would only take a few more minutes on these introductions and then see if the infant would eat any of the food she had on hand.

 She decided on “Fred” and pointed at the infant’s chest. She was just about to speak the name when she realized she didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl. The infant was naked, but there were no genitalia showing. Did that mean it was a girl?

 She pointed at the infant’s chest again and said, “Jessie.” Before the infant could do the same to her, she pointed at her own chest and said, “Annie.”

 “Jessie, Annie,” she said pointing back and forth quickly.

 The little infant puzzled over this and then broke into a grin. It was the first facial expression it had exhibited.

 “Jessie,” it crowed happily, pointing at its chest, obviously was pleased to have some identity.

 “That’s right. And I’m Annie.”

 Annie prepared some of everything she had in the house. If Jessie wouldn’t eat people food, she would take it outside and see if there was anything out there it would like.  

 “Food,” said Annie, pointing to each plate of food on the table in front of them, taking a small piece of each.

 “Food,” Jessie answered, nodding sagely.

 It sampled everything Annie put in front of it. The sausage it ate with gusto.

 “More?” asked Annie, putting more sausage in front of Jessie.

 “More?” answered Jessie with a smile.

 After finishing off the sausage, Jessie proceeded to eat everything else Annie had set out.

 “More?” it said.

 “No, that’s enough for now,” said Annie.

 “More?” said Jessie, a little louder this time.

 “No, I said…”

 Jessie flew at Annie and knocked her onto the floor. It then tore out Annie’s throat with its sharp teeth. It flew to the door and turned the knob as it had seen Annie do.

 Standing on the front porch, Jessie screamed, “Food!”

 A few minutes later there was a thump on the roof above the porch.


Jessie and her accomplice are demons from a dimension just on the other side of Annie’s. They have slipped through a thin space in the fabric separating the two dimensions and are exploring new territory.

As to those four bodies slaughtered in the cabin in the neighboring valley, and also poor Annie’s now dismembered corpse, the authorities will probably lay blame on wolves or bears. It seems that for over three hundred years, there have been problems with wolves and bears in this area of rural West Virginia.


The End



Roy Dorman,, of Madison, WI, who wrote BP #82’s “A Nowhere Friend” & “Foundling”  (+ BP #81’s “Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land” & “The Box with Pearl Inlay”; BP #80’s “Andrew’s War” & “Down at the Hardware Store”; BP #79’s “Cellmates” & “Get Some Shelter,” BP #78’s “All Is as It Should Be,” BP #77’s “Essence of Andrew,” BP #76’s “Flirting with the Alley,” BP #75’s “The Enemy of My Enemy…” BP #74’s “Doesn’t Play Well with Others,” BP #73’s “A Journey Starts with a Flower,” BP #72’s “The Beach House,” BP #71’s “The Big Apple Bites,” BP #70’s “Borrowing Some Love” and BP #69’s “Back in Town” and “Finding Good Help…”), is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and flash fiction published in Apocrypha and Abstractions, Birds Piled Loosely, Burningword Literary Journal, Cease Cows, Cheapjack Pulp, Crack The Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Fiction Press, Gap-Toothed Madness, Gravel, Lake City Lights, Near To The Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, The Creativity Webzine, Theme of Absence, The Screech Owl, The Story Shack, & Yellow Mama.

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