Black Petals Issue #95 Spring, 2021

Hypnic Jerk
BP Editorial Page
BP Artist's Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Blue Meet-Fiction by George Aitch
Dark Alleyways-Fiction by Adam Phillips
Iris' Vanity-Fiction by Tristan Miller
Scalp Cleanse-Fiction by Kajetan Kwiatkowski
The Muscus-Fiction by Alice Stone
The Wrong Place-Fiction by Ante Caleta
Things That Happen-Fiction by Guido Eekhaut
Tidal Horror-Fiction by Sal Braden
Two Martinis In-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Vampire-Fiction by Gene Lass
Hypnic Jerk-Flash Fiction by Vismay Harani
Speed Dating-Flash Fiction by Alexander Condie
Step Out-Flash Fiction by Ed Nobody
The Packing Bay-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Trophy Kill-Flash Fiction by Eddie D. Moore
Occupational Hazard-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
The Definition of Crash-Poems by Paul David Adkins
Ghost: A Working Definition-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Vampiric Threnody-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Leelanau Lake Monster-Poems by Richard Stevenson
Ballast-2 Poems by Angelo Letizia
Pit Bull-3 Poems by Pete Mladinic
Shadow of Sleep-Poem by Teresa Ann Frazee
Microcosmus-3 Poems by Daniel Snethen
The Higher Dimensions-Poem by David C. Kopaska- Merkel

Art by K. J. Hannah Greenberg 2021


Vismay Harani


A bed alike all others. A human, sleeping. Darkness. A slanting ray of moonlight on his face. A heaving chest. A dog barking viciously, outside.

Pause. Observe. Squint your eyes.

The impure moonlight casting shadows on the transparent worms. Floaters. Tricks your eyes play with you. But these are different. The wriggling tubes home in on the human. Enter through the ears.

No corneal trick.

Observe the human carefully. Calm face. Heaving chest. He is asleep.

With a sudden jolt, he wakes up. The jerk throws him off the bed.


Just then, the machine whirred into action. An endless stream of raw emotions formulated into equations. Muse to a blank canvas. A canvas of consciousness.

Birth on a white screen of violent emotions.

Black rawness turning to blood. Fear of unknown knew no other color. Weak soothing blue of logic trickling, trying to douse the forest fire. Unsuccessful.

Engulfed. Throbbing darkness. Paranoid desperation for sanity.

A resolute dot of meaningful action. Return of semblance. Clockworks ticking. Horror, paused.

Sharp colors. Meaningful lines. Home mistaken for home, a goat for goat, and cheese for cheese. Discontinuity. Contrast. Discreteness.

Gravity established its home and the apple fell. 2 + 2 became 4. Thirst, quenched.

Hairline crack. Glimpse of the fathomless pit. Bandages applied.

Calm before the storm.

Earth cracked and in fell gravity. A house without windows. Their shoddy replacement – undead moms.

Back affixed to the cement wall. Chipped front tooth. Legs rocking gently. Hands calling. Eyes dancing sinisterly.

No escape from her embrace.


But the real life isn’t that fluid. Reflect. Think. It’s difficult to correlate the digital imagery with this drab analogue.

He pants heavily. Confused. And then afraid. Never was he thrown off the bed.

Heart beating, furiously. Maybe a bad dream. But he knew, he wasn’t dreaming. Fear grips him.

He shakes his head. Gets up. Goes to the kitchen. Pours himself a glass of water. Drinks.

Returning, he feels good. I might have imagined it. Smiles.

Sliver of uncertainty. Deludes himself to sleep.

Nightmare begins. An undead mom beckons.


Its red face flickers like a candle in the light of the Impressionist. The human goes back to sleep. Probe successfully entrenched within his mind.

The jerk warned the human of an intrusion. He didn’t heed.

The probe captures every neural synapse within the brain. Each nano-second. A remote computer handles this humongous raw data. Dices and splices human emotions and opinions.

Churns out a moving Impressionist, differently called a ‘canvas of consciousness’.

Big data. Human-generated content analysis. Sentiment analysis. Insights.

What makes a human tick? What makes a human, a ticking time-bomb?

When to nudge the domino towards its doom?

It smiled. Another fruitful day at work.

Vismay Harani is a speculative sci-fi & fantasy short story writer from India. He has been writing since he was in 9th grade. Getting published in 'Black Petals' would be his first venture outside the Asian market. He has previously been published at Kitaab International, Out of Print, Juggernaut & Science reporter.  

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