Black Petals Issue #93 Autumn, 2020

Piety and Parm
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Justin Alcala: A Horse for Us All-Fiction
Matthew Penwell: Bless Be Him-Fiction
Shiloh Simmons: Coffin Birth-Fiction
John Cox: Don't Teach Cats Latin-Fiction
Ken Hueler: I, Said the Fish-Fiction
R. A. Busby: Not the Man I Married-Fiction
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M. W. Moriearty: Scarecrows-Fiction
Robert Masterson: Sharper Than She Ever Imagined-Fiction
Michael Steven: The Mirror-Fiction
Kevin Hawthorne: The Song-Fiction
Marlin Bressi: The Man on the Box-Fiction
Terry Riccardi: Winter Hunt-Fiction
Stephen J. Tillman: Angry Tammy-Flash Fiction
Andreas Hort: Pay the Price!-Flash Fiction
Sam Clover: Piety and Parm-Flash Fiction
Deisy Toussaint: Parasite in the Shadows-Flash Fiction
Outnumbered-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Mickey Sloan: Basement Beldam-Poetry
Daniel G. Snethen: Grandmother Screamed-Poetry
Daniel G. Snethen: Pumpkin Tanka-Poetry
Daniel G. Snethen: Yellow Death-Haiku
Theresa C. Gaynord: The JuJu Man-Poetry
Theresa C. Gaynord: The Widow Paris-Poetry
Theresa C. Gaynord: Funeral at the Louisiana Bayou-Poetry
Theresa C. Gaynord: The Old Hag-Poetry
Loris John Fazio: Halloween Prayer-Poetry
Marilyn Lou Berry: My Darling, My Sustenance-Poetry
Chris Collins: Nature-Poetry

93_bp_pietyandparm_rosmus.jpg
Art by Cindy Rosmus 2020

Piety and Parm

By Sam Clover

 

They said she was crazy, but they were wrong. She knew in her heart how completely and utterly wrong they were.

Rebecca lowered to her knees. Tears stung at the corners of her eyes, glittering in the flickering candlelight as she sucked in a steadying breath. It felt like there should be words, but she had no scripture. No one had come before, there was no prophet, no gospels.

All she had was this sad little limp slice of pizza on a soggy paper plate. It sat on the floor before her. Quiet. Still. But alive. It had to be, because there it sat for three weeks, untouched by the rats and insects.

It hadn’t spoiled. It hadn’t even cooled. The cheese on top was marbled and toasty. The crust was dusted with garlic and parm with just enough char around the edges to preserve that amazing warm scent that seemed to follow her wherever she went.

One day, she knew it would speak to her. One day she would learn its secrets. Until then, she would do everything within her power to appease it, and though praying hadn’t worked. Singing to it hadn’t worked either, she had made a decision earlier that day. Like the beginnings of all great religions, this one would need to be built on blood.

She worried her lip as her gaze drifted across the attic, to where her older brother was bound to a chair. A greasy bit of duct tape secured over his mouth, and his wide, terrified eyes glistened in the flickering light, much like hers did, but without the hope. Without the reverence.

Rebecca took the pizza up in her hands. A small, sad smile flitted across her weary face and she rose to wander over to him.

Once upon a time she might’ve pitied him. She might’ve felt empathy. But after three weeks of his taunting, three weeks of being called a nutjob, being called a psychopath? Because she dared be pious in a world that feared the inexplicable? No, it was his own doing that now her love for him was as cold as the great pizza was hot.

She drew her knife. She set the greasy paper plate upon his lap so his heathen blood could shower it, then she pressed the blade to his throat.

A groan sounded. Behind her. Rebecca would have ignored it, but it came with a powerful cheesy smell. She could feel heat radiating over her back.

She hesitated. She stared into her brother’s frantic eyes, and then slowly, she turned to look.

A great, massive slice loomed over her. Melted cheese dripped with grease. Bits of Italian sausage and Pepperoni peeked out from beneath, and in that parm-dusted crust, she saw eternity staring back.

“No,” The pizza god spoke. “You mustn’t kill.”

Rebecca’s breath caught in her throat. For the longest time she just stared. She was right. Her belief was true, and because of her faith, it revealed itself. But...

She had been made cold. So without another moment lost, she drove the blade in and felt her brother’s muffled screams die. 

 

The End

 

Sam Clover is a lover writer of horror, usually with LGBT+ and romantic themes... and occasionally pirates.  She lives in Canada where she spends her time writing scary smut and haunting discord and twitter!

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