Black Petals Issue #81, Autumn, 2017

Killing Time
Mars-Chris Friend
Big Bear-Fiction by Paul Strickland
Drogol's Institution-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Haunting of Hell House-Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Killing Time-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Nowhere Man in a Nowhere Land-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Surviving Montezuma-Chapters 11 & 12-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Box with Pearl Inlay-Fiction by Roy Dorman
What was Lacking?-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2017

Killing Time


By Mike Mulvihill


Do vampires have goals?



Drogol met Gabriel to tell him, “I plan to go away for some time.”

“Really, Drogol, and have you a list of duties I must perform while you are gone?” Gabriel asked.

“Just study what I have written here.” Drogol handed him written instructions.


Having prepared himself immaculately, Drogol left the institution. He just wanted a night to remember before departing this earth, one last “Curse all of you!” blowout. 

Lust drove him. Had he simply replaced one personal demon for another? Evil spirits still had him in their grip, one of them making him believe that the manipulative and deceptive Marianne would betray him. This blinded his reasoning, intellect, and logic. (Unfortunately, the demon in question had never been cast into pigs and driven over the cliff to drown.)  

During the short period of time when Drogol had confessed his desire for salvation and his deepest fears of damnation, the first irrational demon left him. Drogol’s continuing dialog with Death, however, gave him no idea where salvation could be found.

The Demon of Pride, from listening to the Ignorant Demon, decided to exploit Drogol’s nature. So, Pride drove Drogol crazy. Pride achieved this with the simple suggestion that his fear of the light could be cured by one person. Obsessed with the ambition that he could be cured, Drogol became more isolated. When Drogol’s dream of defeating the light did not work, Loneliness ate at him. Loneliness is a particularly nasty demon. This caused him to hunt for a soul more lost than he was.


On this night the signs and signatures of Halloween were everywhere. Skeletons and various ‘demons’ could be seen throughout the city. To Drogol this meant that Dublin’s denizens consented to meddle with the macabre and the occult, not knowing fully they were welcoming in the demonic and the dark. Evil forces were free to spread their pestilence everywhere.  

Having left his institute, Drogol surveyed Rathgar Village—two pubs, a butcher shop, and a handful of small businesses. He decided to turn right, then go straight on into the sublime warm, drizzly, late October night. He examined each human he passed for who would make the best feast, on whose beautiful face he might gnaw. Were there faces that Drogol’s bite might simply leave disfigured? Would their pride succumb then, even drive them to suicide? Like him did they have many contrasting sides to personality—nasty, helpful, demonic, salvation-seeking?

He glided past the clock in Rathmines, the large church, and onwards towards the hump bridge at Portobello. In the water swam a  swan flotilla. He was tempted to devour them and the ducks with them, but demonic voices urged him to find some human instead.

He was going to tell those voices to piss off. They persisted: “Stop being such a pussy. If you don’t feed well enough, you will never be at your best.” The demons could sense Drogol’s desire to resist them. “Don’t act like an anorexic cannibal when you can give this city a real Halloween. Make those police work for their euros.”

In the city centre Drogol spotted the Satan Impersonator who had helped him find Shane. Although he had proved useful once, the vampire lacked any respect for that flatterer.

“Well, hello there, beautiful,” the impersonator sang, mincing his way closer, “Why is it you never pursued me that night? You could have had me as your servant, not just Shane.” 

“Why?” the vampire replied scornfully. “Any mortal who goes around dressed like the devil in this day and age has to be insane. Go buy an expensive suit, act like the boss of this city, and give yourself a title, like CEO.”

This answer confused the impersonator, who had thought the vampire enjoyed seeing an individual dedicate himself to the adversary of mankind. “So why do you bleed people dry?” he asked.

“You dare ask me that?”

“Yes, oh dark one.” The impersonator gave a delicate bow.

“What is dark about me? Is it dark when a fat man goes into a burger joint and asks for three burgers, two extra-large bags of chips, and a coke? No one blinks at his gluttony. What is so dark about me acting out my desires? I get hungry too.”

“It is not hunger. Something rendered you ravenous enough to kill without remorse. My personal demons say that you do not remember your origins. Don’t you know I want to be like you?” The devilish man fell to his knees for emphasis. “Cold-blooded creature that would kill to stay powerful, what a great leader you would be for the political classes who make this world the mess that it is.”

The vampire knew he could crush this twig-like man, and the impersonator sensed this as he continued, “Your victim wore no expensive suit, yet you wanted him more than me.” The impersonator did not understand Drogol’s failure to turn mere prey into one of his kind, for the vampire could not force his prey to become like him.

“Unlike you, Shane was at least a worker.”

“What did he do, Mr. Vampire? What were his great skills?”

“I felt duty-bound to add him to my team. His life was dead from slavish work, so I thought he would jump at being undead, and having power over the living. Human life is like a flower. How soon you wither and die! The cycle of life demands people live for others and die to themselves, expecting a reward hereafter. They are deluded minions who bow to career-professional slavery, pretending that slavery was banned centuries ago.”  

“You loved him?” the Satan Wannabe said.

“I assumed that my nature was what he wanted, so followed him. As smoke, I would travel down to his room and watch him sleep. I would flit around his flat as a bat. I would animate a rat to follow me, since I like a faithful rat by my side when I stalk my prey. I could vividly see what was ahead for Shane. Killing him was as much a mercy as my hunter nature allows.”

“But is not mercy from a vampire weakness?”

“Let’s change the subject,” Drogol said, shifting uncomfortably, “Satan imposter, why do you do it?”

“Do what?”

“Dress up like that?”


Before he could continue, Drogol punched him in the nose. The pathetic impersonator dropped to the ground.

“You are looking bloody better already.”

“Then suck me dry of what you crave. Consider me your fast food.”

When the vampire acted disinterested in the offering, “I love you, you bastard,” sobbed the impersonator. “If you were in prison I would visit every day...if the Prison Services could ever cage a killer beast like you.”

“Spoken like a true arse licker,” said Drogol, unmoved.

“I know you need it,” the Satan Wannabe said. “Look here—more!”  He pulled out a sharp knife from his pocket and rolled up his sleeve. “As precious as oil in freezing Belarus.” His wrist dripped. “I can’t control myself in giving, so how can you in receiving?”

“I have trouble resisting such ironic offers,” the vampire admitted.

“Only fools think that we should. Self-control, ethical control, emotional control, and control over one’s mind? I say no to sanity, to psychiatrists, and to all who want to enslave the masses; beat them with metal-tipped whips.”

“Delightful!” the vampire rasped, “Do you bleed just for me?”

“I do indeed, my monster.”


“Yes, monster, not master—my Brooklyn Vampire, my Acid Killer, my Manson, my Majestic Mystery.”

“I do love a nice gory emancipation from a human body,” the vampire said.

“My favorite town in Ireland is Gorey in Wexford!” gushed the impersonator.


“I have never been to that rural hellhole. But, its rural nature is not the real killer; it is the name. Shakespeare said, ‘What is in a name?’ This one is close enough to ‘gory’ to get your fangs hard. I fantasize about it…”

“Decision for incision would end our division,” suggested Drogol poetically.

At this, Drogol’s admirer cut his leg, happy to see the vampire expose his fangs in a smug grin. “This is ideal. I have had boyfriends before, but none compares to you. I am ready for a supernatural relationship, even if I must open all my veins for you. I welcome your dark power. Come, you need your blood.”

“Yes, I do lack any light, save artificial, to fuel my life force. Human vitamin tablets make me vomit.”

“My rich blood has enough iron to make you even more splendid. Think of my body as a loaf of unsliced bread that I wish to be put into a slicer for you. Give it a try.”

“I might.”

“I would do anything for you, even cut up a bat or a rat.”

“I do not require animal sacrifices.”

“Oh, I thought you did.”

“Just bleed out all that nice iron for me.”

“I found you through various occult practices,” the impersonator said, wishing to truly impress the vampire, “so please come home with me.”

“But,” the vampire said, familiar with the impersonator’s situation, “given your professional background, you should not live in filthy squalor. Should I spend my eternity in permanent filth?”

“Your type likes damp and dirt, don’t they?” the impersonator said, surprised.

“My kind has higher aspirations.”

“Since the undead will never be able to change certain things, aren’t you are better off dwelling in minimal conditions, rather than being exposed to normal society? After all, you don’t get sick from germs or need money.”

“Four hundred years ago I would have agreed. Not now.”

“How soon can I drink from you to become what you are?”

“Keep cutting, and you will find out. So long, sucker!” The vampire laughed and vanished. 


Drogol moved on to Aungier Street, Saint George Street, Dame Street, and at last found himself in The Mercantile. This dark premises featured red leather sofas and candles in red glasses—most appropriate for the season. He sat down with a creamy pint as a starter for a more human dish.

Drogol drank a mouthful of Guinness. A bevy of students beside him started to talk in a way that he instantly understood, by the tones of their voices and grim faces, indicated bereavement. Drogol's supernatural sight encountered delight on a stairway’s three flights. He smiled, because on the second floor balcony stood a grey ghoul, its sharp fangs flowing with a flood of blood.  

A man and a woman came over to the table beside Drogol where the six students were sitting—three female and three male, of various nationalities: Italian, Spanish, German, and French. The new couple behaved in such a way that it was obvious they were the directors of the school the others attended.  

“Once we had a student die in a fire,” the woman said.

“You did?” a German student responded.

“Yes. We got a book of condolence and a card, which we all signed and sent with flowers for the wake.”

The student beside the German interjected, “Maybe we should do likewise.”

“It is not a bad idea,” said a bearded Spanish man, who acted like he was either a counsellor of the group or their leader elect.

When the two left, Jorge, the bearded Spaniard, began to speak. “I know you are nervous about this virus.”

Alfonso and Miguel, from Italy and Spain respectively, were not too nervous to chat up the three lovelies at the table.

“We need to ask the doctors who are coming to talk to us. So, what questions can we pose? Write down: ‘Was the virus she died of contagious? Is it possible that I have the virus? Is it likely that I, if I do, will die from it?’”

The group began to crack bad jokes and lighten up. When the doctors came, all of them left, except the fragile looking Julia. Thus, she became the sole focus of the overly reassuring Jorge.

“Listen,” Jorge said. “I will be staying in a room here all night long—45. After your interview, knock on the door five times. I will be there with a bottle of wine. We will discuss everything.”

“Okay,” Julia said.

The vampire smiled at the pair. His desires were clear, but he shook his head. If he turned room 45 into an abattoir, the city would know. A dirty rat within him was ready to crawl out and cause a huge panic. He had to placate this filthy little beast, or go mad. He paid his bill, unable to ignore the beast.

Drogol sat there and fantasized about what he could do here. First, he could knock on Jorge’s door. In fantasy he climbed the stairs of the hotel, and knocked twice on door number 45.

“Julia,” an excited, sexually addicted voice would say, eager to conquer lonely young women far from home by comforting them with his own brand of wine and casual sex.

“I am not a beauty like Julia, with her glossy mane of red hair, attractive figure, and beautiful clear skin,” Drogol told himself with a smirk, “but I would have to do.” 

 His gaze penetrating the solid walls between them, Drogol winked at the ghoul, its morose expression unchanged. “Honestly,” Drogol told those soulless eyes, “imagine being frozen in that perpetual state of want and desire for the rest of your existence. You surely could tell us what hell is like.” 

Drogol, returning to his fantasy of carnage in The Mercantile, imagined Jorge opening the door to the towering vampire. Of course, Jorge would be terrified by the sight of this huge, pale lunatic at his door. Just like ladies visiting expensive perfume shops, and making sure to sniff the perfume, Drogol would take a few moments to savor Jorge’s horror. 

“Oh yes, breathe it in,” Drogol murmured, sipping an Irish coffee. “Every Doctor of Death has their ‘treatment’ to carry out.”

Jorge would surely try to resist him. How futile it would be to resist. The vampire would pull him up by the lapels, and, being completely aroused, would vivisect and drain the hunted prey.  

Drogol stopped his fantasy to go to the rest room. Inside the cubicle Drogol’s arousal was obvious. Sharp fangs going wild in his mouth, his fantasy would not be realized tonight, yet he continued it.

Yes, Jorge would try to shout, but Drogol would cover his mouth with his elbow. Jorge would try to bite down on his attacker’s arm, but the fierce hunter would feel no pain. He would foot-sweep Jorge and attack his throat. He would feel a pulse of blood shoot upwards to his victim’s brain, and begin the process of draining Jorge. The last drop drunk, he would lift and position Jorge on a chair to look like he was merely enjoying a cup of coffee…

Drogol’s masturbatory fantasy over, it was time for him to leave The Mercantile, his hunger eased, but by no means fully satiated.


Drogol walked Temple Bar’s streets, taking in the Irish Film Centre, the various pubs and eateries in this tourist mecca, now brimming with people. There was no end of opportunities for oglers. Dublin was full of young women from around the world, out for a good time with no strings attached.  

Drogol sat beside a man who seemed oblivious to what was going on around him. Drogol nodded at him. The man was named Ivan. He looked to be on the wrong side of forty.  He nodded his head, indicating that it was okay for them to converse.

“Forgive me if I am intruding on your space; you look as if you could use the company,” Drogol politely said.

“That is fine,” Ivan said, extending his hand.  

“So you are here for a good time.”

“I have not had a good time in years.”


“Life has been especially hard these last five years. I am now forty eight.”

“What is wrong, depression?” Drogol asked, and then apologized for being so up front.

“Depression, no,” Ivan said. “Let me show you a picture.” Ivan took out his mobile phone and spent a full two minutes looking for the photos he wanted to show Drogol. “Here.”

What Drogol saw before him was most disturbing.

“Who is this?”

“My son, Albert.”

“Is he still alive?” Drogol asked.

“After he was left for dead, he survived for three years in a coma.”

“Who left him in that mess?”

“His so-called friends, two brothers, Gerard and Gary.”

“They went to school together?” Drogol asked.

“And they grew up with each other on the same road.”

“What happened?”  

“It was in this very pub.”

“That they paralyzed him?”

Ivan nodded his head. 

“And you have been miserable since.”


So, thought Drogol, there are worse things than spending hundreds of years unable to tolerate daylight.  

“If there is worse pain than the loss of an only child I do not wish to know about it.”

“Did you get your pound of flesh in return?”

“Look,” Ivan said, as he drank a mouthful of beer. “Waiter, a pitcher of beer and two pint glasses.”

“An excellent order,” Drogol said.

“I know it is.”

“Has your life gotten any better in time?”

“I used to be a well-paid civil servant; I have been on leave these last two years.”

“How do you maintain yourself?”

“It is only just me.”

“So you are divorced?”

The pitcher of beer arrived. Drogol filled the two glasses.



“My wife died when he was five. I reared my son by myself.”

“What was her name?”


“And your surname is?”


“You are a relative of the psychiatrist Doctor Allan Ford, retired now?”

“Yes, I am,” Ivan replied. “You know him?” He did not want to ask how Drogol knew him.  

“I have heard of him. He was on television often and wrote many stellar books on psychiatry, which I read.” 

“Oh yes, my brother was a celebrity. After my son was killed, he quit his work.”

“Is that true?” Drogol said. He shook his head as he pictured Doctor Allan’s face. It was he who developed the psychiatric treatment that worked so excellently for the undead.

“Show me some more pictures of your son.”


Drogol saw pictures of a ridiculously handsome youth, who seemed both happy and intelligent; it shook him all the more to have seen pictures of the mess he became.  

“I had forgiven them.”

“What?” Drogol asked, shocked.


“Did that do you any good?”

“I thought it did until this went to trial.”

“What happened there?”

“Their parents spent the trial smirking and acting as if all of this was normal.”

“Were the sons found guilty?”

“They were given two years and served one.”

“Is that justice for you?” 


“Did you say the perpetrators’ parents acted indifferent?”

“They would walk by me as if I did not even exist.”

“What they did was truly wrong,” Drogol said, scowling.

“I still live on the same road where the murderers of my child live. Life makes no sense to me.”

“Did you ever want to see them dead?”


“Your son’s murderers?”


“What would you like?”

“To know their reason. Not a day has gone by this year that I have not thought what it would be like to simply walk up to them, and ask them why?”

“Would that help?”

“No. But look at me. I have never harmed a fly. I do not have it in me to hurt another person. I am not a murderer, even if I am overcome with grief.”

Drogol felt he could teach Ivan’s son’s killers and their permissive parents a lesson they would never forget, one that would help them not to repeat their crime. This type of lesson would involve home invasion, loud porno movies, and supernatural-psychological torture applied with enough enthusiasm to render them mute zombies. He would tie them to chairs and fill their house with rats, vampires, and demons in an orgy of horror Drogol would encourage, making them scream ever louder as terror burrowed into the holes where their consciences should be.  

Then Drogol would say, “Because you were so indifferent I want to teach you how it feels to be hurt.” He would bump and grind against the kitchen table, and add, “Tonight you are my South Side Dublin bitches.” 

His thoughts were as sweet to him as a chocoholic’s gorging on a feast of boxed chocolates. If I did this I would be quite the avenging angel.  

Drogol asked Ivan, “Do you wish that someone would show your son’s murderers some manners?”

“No, I am a man of peace.”

How emotionally burned out can you get! What pathetic creature represses his natural manly urges?

A buxom blonde beauty with wild green eyes and dressed in tight, black leather trousers was dancing so provocatively that Drogol believed she would wake the living dead. “She is quite the vixen,” he told Ivan.  

“I hardly look any more.”

Really, thought Drogol, then asked, “When is the last time you had entrance?”

“Entrance?” Ivan said, his eyes dull and uncomprehending.

“Yes,” Drogol responded.

Before Drogol went into more detail, Ivan confessed, “I have not looked at a woman since my son’s death.”

Beautiful, thought Drogol, so touching... you should have kicked the living shit out of your son’s murderers. 

Drogol would have felt free to tie them to chairs, play psycho music from horror films, dance to it, and, with an air of riotous indignation, cut those shits up, force-feeding them their fingers first—and ending by preparing their innards in a fine Irish stew for their parents.

He would drag the parents by their necks into their house, slam the front door, sit them down at table, and then show them the video he had made of the slaughter while they dined. Drogol would offer, “Some bread to go with the stew, perhaps?” After he made those two wimps (in fear for their lives if they refused) feast on what Drogol had brought so kindly to their door, he would ask, “Is my cuisine to your tastes? I spent all night preparing it for you.”

“Yes,” they would say, choking and weeping, and Drogol would laugh.

Vengeance was all Drogol understood. He also understood that Ivan was not into bloody violence, nor would he help Drogol to do it. Drogol felt sorry for him.  

And what if Drogol took Ivan home and tried to befriend him? Why locate murderers Drogol would feel morally obliged to not torture out of respect for Ivan’s wishes? Feeling sorry for Ivan might tempt Drogol to turn him. No! The hasty creator is never satisfied with the end product, even though Ivan would not be a simpleton like Shane, displaying his fangs and cutting himself in psychotherapy. He would not end up a ridiculous freak of nature and reject of society like Marianne, who had to be put down. Ivan was no butt-kisser like Boris or the Satan Impersonator. Ivan had class; he would be himself: a loner, spending his immortality in grief.

Drogol smiled at Ivan. “Thank you, sir,” he said shaking his hand.

“Why, what good have I done?”

“It may not seem obvious to you. But it is to me.”

“All I did was tell you the tragic story of my son. It was a true story of a grief that makes me feel disabled, while others move on and find happiness.”

“Listening to your story makes me long to deal with those who killed your son to teach them a lesson they sorely deserve.”

“And how is that a good thing for you?”

“It shows me that I have a sense of justice.”


“Is it not humane to wish to deliver justice to a person who deserves it? Does it not show that I have a touch of humanity in me, that my response to human barbarity is a desire to rectify it?”

“Yes, but that is something you assume in a person anyway.” Ivan shrugged at what he considered obvious.

You assume it, sir, but if you knew me you would judge me otherwise.” Drogol put an ice-cold hand on Ivan’s thin, stooped shoulder. Ivan seemed too numb to notice.

“We both live in a judgmental world. Do you have a reason to really judge your own nature?”

“When your nature is as complex as mine, you doubt your own humanity, including your ability to judge it.”

Ivan’s downcast gaze lit upon the glass surface of the table. He did not see the tall, pale stranger’s reflection. Quickly, he looked up, only to find his companion vanished without a sound. In the east, the sky hinted at sunrise.


The End


Michael Mulvihill,, of Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland, wrote BP #81’s “Drogol’s Institute” & “Killing Time” (+ 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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