Black Petals Issue #80, Summer, 2017

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Andrew's War-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Down at the Hardware Store-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Excision-Fiction by Paul Strickland
Rise-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Surviving Montezuma, Chapters 9 & 10-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Bugbear in the Darksome Chamber-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
The Critter in the Tin-Fiction By K. B. Updike Jr.
Bondegezu, Tree Kangaroo and 3 other poems by Richard Stevenson

Fiction by Mike Mulvihill



By Michael Mulvihill

A deadly appetite for life



He slept like a log. Every minute of sleep rejuvenated Drogol, and his nature, never fully repressed, began to erupt within him, making him ready to rise.

 As his rest deepened and his unconscious mind revived, he relived flying to Harare, passing security, and touring Africa. He recalled the sound of Victoria Falls and the dream that blood, not water, poured down there.

Dreaming of necks helped him to rise—necks laid open by sharp fangs, wounded, dripping or gushing blood like oil from a well. No way would he restrain himself from his preferred fare. He could not remember being human. Unlike them, his face was white as the snows of Kilimanjaro, his skin so deathly pale that his fingernails looked grey. Opening eyes coal-black and pitiless, the ancient rose from slumber without a human soul. 

His body stretched and relaxed when Drogol realized he was no longer in the confined space of a coffin. He had improved sleeping arrangements since abandoning his old ways. Ratlike, he sprang up. His eyes now burned crimson, his teeth grew razor sharp, and his appetite for blood was that of a raging lion. This was a magnificent rising, an emerging eager to pounce on and drink prey to death.

He looked toward the window of his apartment. Like a tiger who never thinks twice, he leapt at the window, smashed through the glass, and landed on his feet, running at breakneck speed.

Rain fell in buckets, but this never deterred one whose hunger was ever before him. His body needed the sustenance peculiar to his kind. He stalked streets filled with potential victims. All those humane philosophies he so admired were forgotten in the thrill of the hunt. He was going to rip throats and gouge eyes and devour!

Drogol paused before a large puddle that held no reflection of his immortality. He quieted, breathing deeply. He pondered who, precisely, his next prey should be. He climbed up a wall, clung upside-down to the ceiling of a vaulted arch, and scrutinized the passers-by. Immersed in a murderous trance, the predator visualized slitting some throats now and herding others, mesmerized, into rooms for later, where he could toy with them first.

But no, how could this be all he was? Panting, he saw two choices—to be heartless, or decent and cultured.

Drogol clambered up a tree. He had resisted his horrible instincts, and found himself in a mood more peaceful than he had ever experienced. He chose to awaken to a new path. The demon within him was asleep, but he needed it to die and never return.

Drogol silently called out to God for mercy, to help him finally emancipate himself, just as Haitian slaves had all those years ago when they became the first black Republic to wage a successful slave rebellion. He would no longer bow under the yoke of brutality. He would break the chains of his miserable nature and begin to feel freedom.

He would wait for daylight, right where he was. It was as if the wolf within was utterly repressed (although wherever repression exists opposition remains lodged in the subconscious). Let morbidity find him.

Drogol brooded about this. The thought of an end haunted him, compelling him to another course of action. He would walk the streets of Dublin one last time, then return to Michelle at the address she’d written on the piece of paper now crushed in his hand. Let true love decide for him, once and for all.


The End?



Michael Mulvihill,, &, of Dublin, Ireland, wrote BP #80’s “Rise” (+ BP #79’s “Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man”; BP #78’s “Self-Immolation,” BP #77’s “Lupine Savagery”; BP #76’s “The Watchers”; BP #68’s“The Toasters’ Tragedy” and “Ziggy’s Afterlife Analysis”; “Homeless” & “Why the Hell Siberia?” for BP #67; was featured author for BP #65’s “Ethagorian Evidence (Parts 1 & 2)” & “Uninsured Assurance”; VAMPIRE HORDE, Ch.1… for BP #63; BP #61’s poems, A Love Story Beautiful, Capitalism’s Modern Architecture of Love, Red Brick, The Securocrats, and Toxic Addiction; the poems, “Fatigued,” “O Mother,” & “Spike-Inverted Hearts” for BP #58; “The Cleaner and the Collector” & all 6 BP #56 poems; BP #50’s “The Soul Scrubber” and as featured vampire poet with A Vampire’s Dilemma: Love, Becoming a Vampire, Vampire Insomnia, and Vampiric War in The Kodori Valley; wrote BP #49’s poems—I, the Vampire, The Reluctant Vampire of Tbilisi, Vampire Observations, and Vampire Psychoanalysis). The 30ish author published a short story, “Ethagoria Nebsonia,” in BP in ‘98 and had a poem, “The Bombing,” in The Kingdom News about a domestic tragedy in Ireland. He has two 2007 poetry books out with Exposure Publishing: Searching for Love Central and The Genesis and Anatomy of Love, and has written the horror novels, DIABOLIS OF DUBLIN & SIBERIAN HELLHOLE.

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