Black Petals Issue #106 Winter, 2023

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BP Editorial Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
The Thing in the Yard: Fiction by Vincent Vurchio
A Forest Green: Fiction by Logan Williams
Clown Safe: Fiction by Taylor Hagood
Home Delivery: Fiction by Jon Adcock
Judith and Bobby Save the World: Fiction by Stephen Tillman
Many Wee Undead: Fiction by Marco Etheridge
Meat Pie: Fiction by Anna Koltes
Mexican Coffee and Burgers: Fiction by Fred Zackel
Leaving: Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Ghost of the Perfect Hotdog: Fiction by Mark Miller
The Illustrated Woman: Fiction by Jen Myers
Thrice in One Sitting: Fiction by Justin Alcala
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning: Fiction by Gene Lass
AI Self-Mortification: Flash Fiction by Christopher Henckel
Correct Mistake: Flash Fiction by Eric Burbridge
A Moment of Inertia: Flash Fiction by Sean MacKendrick
Get Your Kicks on Route 666: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Let's Do Lunch: Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
"Three Wishes": Flash Fiction by Ronin Fox
Woodsman's Revenge: Flash Fiction by Jada Maze
To a Crow: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Estranged: Poem by Michael Keshigian
At the Terminal: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Angler's Nightmare: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Last Thirteen Steps: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Murderous Words: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
My Childhood Snapshot: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
With Vampires About: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
The Zombies are Loose: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Lil' Toe Dipper: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Scattered Pieces: Poem by Andrew Graber

Sean MacKendrick: A Moment of Inertia

106_bp_momentofinertia_channiegreenberg.jpg
Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2024

A Moment of Inertia

 

by

 

Sean MacKendrick

 

The massive white star burned across the viewscreen once every few seconds, growing a little larger each time.

“Escape trajectory calculated,” the ship computer announced cheerfully. “We are currently 4390.4 kilograms too heavy to escape the gravity well. Shall I dump the cargo hold to compensate?”

“No, never,” Davtyan shouted over the groaning sound of tortured metal. “The cargo must be protected at all costs.”

“Acknowledged. At current velocity we will experience critical structural failure due to shearing forces within 255 seconds.”

Davtyan whispered a prayer to the empty bridge and jettisoned the medical bay contents. “Recalculate based on current mass.”

“Acknowledged. We are 3958.7 kilograms too heavy to escape at current mass.”

Davtyan whispered a plea and jettisoned the galley contents. “Recalculate.”

“We are 3593.1 kilograms too heavy to escape at current mass.”

Davtyan whispered a curse and released the escape pods.

“We are 543.0 kilograms too heavy to escape at current mass.”

Davtyan whispered an apology and jettisoned the contents of the crew quarters.

“We are 89.5 kilograms too heavy to escape at current mass.”

Davtyan screamed in wordless rage and jettisoned himself into the vacuum.

“We are 3.3 kilograms too heavy to escape at current mass. Structural failure estimated in 5…4…3…”

  

Sean MacKendrick splits his time between Colorado and Texas. When not writing he works as a software engineer.