Black Petals Issue #93 Autumn, 2020

Angry Tammy
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
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
Jude Clee: Notes from a Bathroom Stall-Fiction
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

Art by Allison Smith 2020

Angry Tammy

by Stephen J. Tillman



      “Look at these,” Adan said fiendishly. The photos showed Brendan, tied, gagged, and blindfolded. “If you want your kid back, Planton wants forty percent of your bar.”

      Tammy grabbed his arm and twisted. “Get in my car, Adan.”

      He resisted. Tammy twisted further. Adan cried out and reached for his gun. Tammy took it and slammed his face with it, rendering him unconscious. She threw him in the trunk, bound him with twist ties, and drove to a remote location. He’d regained consciousness by then.

      “I’m the messenger,” Adan whined. “I can’t help you get your kid.”

      “If you want to survive you’d better,” Tammy stated. “Where are they holding him?”

      “ I don’t know!”

      “Wrong answer.” She broke the little finger of his right hand. He screamed. “You’ve got nine more fingers plus toes. After them I’ll cut your balls off. WHERE’S MY SON?”

      “If I tell I’m dead,” Adan pleaded, his pulse racing. “What could you do? They’ve got six or eight heavy hitters. You’ll get yourself and your kid killed.”

      “Bored now,” Tammy said. Adan’s struggles were ineffective as she stripped off his pants and shorts, took out a knife, and grasped his testicles. “Say goodbye to them. Your dick is next.”

      “Wait, wait!” Adan yelled. “I’ll tell!”

      Adan described the farmhouse and its location. She secured him to a tree, saying, “I’ll come back and release you after I’ve rescued Brendan.”

      “They’ll kill you and your kid! I’ll starve here!”

      “You might’ve lied,” Tammy said with a humorless grin. “I need to know where you are. If Brendan isn’t there, I’ll come back, cut your nuts off, and we’ll go on from there.”


      Tammy viewed the single story farmhouse. Four thugs were patrolling. Each was armed with a sub-machinegun and a handgun. Bright lights illuminated the area, but there were dim spots near the corners of the house. Tammy could sense Brendan.

      These people were never in the military, she thought. Their patrol routes are too regular. Easy to anticipate.

      A copse of trees was twenty feet from the house. Tammy stripped and changed. The black leopard waited until neither patrol pair could see the copse. She darted to it. Leopards are the best climbers in the cat family. She had no problem climbing to near the top of the tallest tree. From there it was an easy jump to the roof.


      “What was that?” Planton asked. There’d been a thump overhead.

      “I’ll check with the boys,” his male subordinate said. He picked up a phone and called the men outside. “The guys didn’t see or hear anything,” he reported. “Probably a squirrel in the crawl space.”

      “I got a bad feeling,” Planton said. “The bitch is tough.”

      “You’re paranoid, boss,” Amy said. “I’ll take care of her. It takes a woman to handle a woman.”

       “One of you go out,” Planton ordered. “Check the roof.”

      “I’ll do it,” Amy said.

      Holding her sub-machinegun, she opened the door and surveyed the area. Seeing nothing, she stepped out. As soon as she left the house, a weight landed on her back. She got off one shot before her throat was ripped out.

      Planton jumped up. A black apparition charged into the house. He fired at it, but his shots missed. Then the creature was on him.


      After dispatching Planton, the leopard turned to the other man. He shot her twice, but since the slugs contained no silver, they didn’t penetrate. Seconds later he was dead.

      The leopard changed. Tammy had no time to regain her strength gradually. Breathing heavily, she took Planton’s gun and emptied a clip into the two guards who’d run toward the house, killing both. She dropped the gun and grabbed another.

      The last two guards stood about forty feet away. One called, “What’s going on. Why the gunplay?”

      Tammy picked off the speaker with a three shot burst. The remaining man ran away.

      She searched the house. Brendan was tied, gagged, and blindfolded in a back bedroom. She freed him. He clung to her sobbing. “I knew you’d come, Mom. I told them you’d kill them all. Did the leopard get them.”

      “Most of them, Honey. Never piss off a leopard. Let’s go home.”



I’m an emeritus professor of mathematics at Wilkes University. An avid reader of mysteries and science fiction, I’ve had several stories in both genres published. My novel Leopard’s Daughter was published by Azure Spider Publications. I have a contract from them for three additional were-leopard novels.

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