Black Petals Issue #75 Spring, 2016

Virtuous Reality
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
The Big Well-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Boxlike Object-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
The Enemy of My Enemy-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Virtuality-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Virtuous Reality-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
Walking to Class-Fiction by George Economou
Whispering Ghosts-Fiction by George Economou
Churchyard watcher-Two Poems by Chris Friend
August Nights-3 Poems by Dr. Mel Waldman


Virtuous Reality


Words for my brother


By A.M. Stickel, Editor



I’ve been told that light years away, out among the stars, I have a brother. Do you know about me? If so, do you care? I should feel blessed in my own holy mission. Instead, too often I feel lonely.


In the convent we are praying, as usual. Heavenly reunion is our ultimate goal. At any instant the universe we know “will wear out like a garment,” just as Scripture predicted thousands of years ago. Time is merely finite.

Why here…why now…why us? I frequently ask my God, wondering if others pray likewise.

Saint Pelagia’s has been my home since infancy. I am the least among Earth’s virtually immortal human remnant. 90% of us are female, and most are vowed virgins. Our order’s members are dedicated to the worshipful service of the Virgin Christ, begotten by the Spirit of the Virgin Father (Creator) upon a chosen human virgin.

My convent supports a unique mission: we ward the ocean pathways of the Sea People from within our airy shelter nestled in the blue-black depths, far from Sol’s dangerous rays.

An offshoot of the evolutionary tree, the ancestors of the Sea Folk were driven from the land by our proto-human cousins, who evolved into the sinners to whom God’s Son was sent centuries before man departed Earth.


The few humans who refused the Great Migration, among them pacifists and dreamers, maintain the damaged planet as best they can, and continue to alter its orbit to nudge us away from the ever-expanding sun.

The meek have indeed inherited the Earth, but not the sea. It still belongs to our resourceful, but short-lived charges.


Except in the pages of Scripture, night and day do not exist here. If you are still ship-bound, you doubtless experience artificial time divisions. Our convent domes give us a view, not of blue sky with white clouds under a swollen sun, but of glowing swarms of sea creatures and our sea-born brethren who hunt them. Land convents are underground with thick, translucent, radiation-proof domes for roofs. All keep the age-old Liturgy of the Hours.


After centuries passed, curious about us, the Sea-born began to press their hands and ears against the domes, but closed their eyes to the brightness inside. The sisters learned to communicate, as well as tolerate dimmer light. We adapted, and, after eons, cloistered Pelagians witnessed a graceful ballet of couplings, births, and deaths.

Our charges came to understand the hymns and prayers they hear, and some participate in the Liturgy of the Hours…by dancing on the dome! They say, “We know ‘God’,” but keep asking, “What is ‘sin’?”


I, your loving sister, am writing these words in obedience to our abbess because I’ve been chosen by lot to undergo the necessary transformation. To bring the Sea-born the Truths before the world ends, in God’s service I must become one of them. Has He not declared every creature worthy of salvation? Oh happy sin!


The End

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