Black Petals Issue #79 Spring, 2017

Feral Rage

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Cellmates-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Feral Rage-Fiction by Dave Anderson
First Bite-Fiction by Jeff Dosser
For Sale-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Get Some Shelter-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Last Leg-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Surviving Montezuma, Ch. 7 & 8-Continuing Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Turbulent Silence-Fiction by George Economou
3 Haiku by William Landis
A Mother's Delight-Poem by Liz McAdams
4 Poems by Brendan McBreen


Feral Rage


By Dave Anderson, Featured Author


Abandon all hope…



Below the streets of Markham—inside an area where the flooring rises sharply, and then dips—a furry shape shifts in the darkness. This particular day it was caught in Markham City Maintenance worker Tom Hanson’s peripheral vision, and was enough to garner his full attention and cause him to cease working.

The figure outlined under the rocking halogen lights appeared to Tom to be at least six feet tall. From where he was standing, when it stretched its neck, its sloping head paralleled his. Tom stepped backwards, and bubble wrap popped under his feet, left over—he hoped—from a delivery person a hundred years ago. He felt if he got too close to the rat the next pop would be his bones breaking.  

The creature stepped out of the shadows and dropped its fit, blunt body to all fours—a mutated rat. One of life’s originals, this rare breed was not intended for mass production, or so Tom fervently hoped. It looked like a cheap rip-off of some 1950s movie monster. Bristles growing from its gnarly snout provided tactile sensing even in the dark. Its tail wrapped around a discarded soda can, squeezing and crushing, as its teeth searched for the pliable area under the opening. It wriggled and snagged, eliciting a high-pitched, sonar-like screech as the can’s jagged edges pierced skin, drawing blood, which ran in rivulets down its bottom lip onto its neck. 

When the thing turned its head to Tom, rolling its red, glowing eyes in angry blame at the lone human, Tom picked up a rock from a pile in the corner and tossed it at the rat. The force was strong enough to make it retreat. 

“Get out of here, you bastard!” 

Tom deduced that, given the size of the rat, he too needed to exit quickly. He couldn’t lift the nearest manhole, though; some assholes must have sealed it. Then he noticed a rusty bolt lock projecting from the ceiling. As he got closer he discovered a trap door, grabbed a crate, placed it underneath the door, and got up on it. He abruptly reeled back when he noticed the door was black and slimy.   

Tom almost made it through the trapdoor before being pulled down by the rat, now in a bipedal posture again. Tom landed on the ground facing a look of sly rage, eyebrows pressed downward and top lip curled back in a sneer. It put its left paw on Tom’s right knee and squeezed; he moaned, grabbing the rat’s paw to try to move it, but the muscular grip was too strong! 

Tom, like a Tales from the Crypt character about to meet his doom, screamed like a banshee and begged, “Don’t kill me!” Terrified, he closed his eyes for a second. Tears seeped in tiny streams out of the crevices of his eyelids, running down his cheeks. He then felt warmth flow at his crotch, and whined, “Help me, God!” 

Suddenly, Tom heard, not God, but a familiar voice—that of James Wrightstown, one of his coworkers. James, drunk on the job as usual, was using the surrounding walls for support. The dirty lines in his face, slurred speech, and uneven gait betrayed his state. Handed a baby to hold, the man would have most likely kissed the wrong end.  

“Hey, I could use some help here, James!” 

James pulled Tom up, who then, face flushed and speech hurried, told him everything, finally asking, “Where’s Jack?!”

 He watched James look around, hiccup, then put his finger to his lips. “Shhh! Do you hear that?”

A rumbling sound ensued, and out of nowhere came twenty normal-sized rats with black fur as thick as shag. 

“OH GOD!” Tom screamed, as they surrounded him, biting at his boots and then crawling up and covering him. He staggered along under their weight, trying to run, but fell over.

James, open-mouthed, froze in place. All he could see of Tom was his right hand twitching through a gap left unwittingly open by the rats.  

At a loud screech, rats retreated to whatever crevices they could find. James unfroze and stumbled off into darkness, abandoning Tom. Lying on the ground barely alive, his bottom lip just a juicy red line now, Tom knew what was coming, and it wasn’t Jack.


The End



David Anderson,, of Ontario Canada, who wrote BP #79’s featured works, “Feral Rage,” “For Sale,” and “Last Leg,” is an avid writer of horror and gore. With an extensive writing background, he currently works as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers.

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