Black Petals Issue #94 Winter, 2021

Special Teeth
BP Artists and Illustrators
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary-Chris Friend
Basement Dweller-Fiction by Justin Swartz
The Beating of Their Wings-Fiction by Brian Maycock
Does the Bogeyman Live Downstairs?-Fiction by Clive Owen Barry
Dark Little Boxes-Fiction by C. M. Barnes
Death by Midnight-Fiction by Charlie Cancel
Forearmed-Fiction by Jan Cronos
Inconceivable-Fiction by Rich Rose
The Wolf's Den-Fiction by J. B. Polk
Treachery-Fiction by Ramon F. Irizarri
Tumour Wakes Up-Fiction by Alexis Gkantiragas
The Opal Ring-Fiction by Michael Dority
Flora and Fauna-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gnaw-Flash Fiction by Tony Kidd
Mad Money-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Madonna of the Damned-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Special Teeth-Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
The Death Set-4 Poems by Hillary Lyon
Five Haiku-Poems by C. D. Marcum
Misanthrope-Poem by Donna Dallas
The Wish Tree-3 poems by Christopher Hivner
Nebulous-3 poems by Juan Manuel Perez
The Sphinx at Night-5 Poems by Meg Smith
Nameless-Poem by David Barber

Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg © 2021

Special Teeth


© KJ Hannah Greenberg



As a child, Mia loved campfire stories. She’d hold a flashlight under her chin, shine it onto her face, and try to freak out her bunkmates with tales of creepy crawlers.

In college, too, she earned an unsavory reputation. Rather than building notoriety from telling folk stories, though, she established herself as a frightening girl because of her teeth. In fraternity houses and in eating clubs all over campus, hetero boys and lesbians, alike, whispered about Mia’s choppers.

Consequently, lots of youths tried to bed her. Mia acquiesced to none of them. The world, or even a small part of it, didn’t need to corroborate that she had dermoid cysts in her vagina. She, herself, hadn’t even known of their existence until Dave Williams had tried to haze her.

Although she had only been a freshman, Mia had doubted the necessity of sleeping with the drama club’s president in order to get her one act produced. Nonetheless, the influence of cheap wine and of cheaper weed had made her malleable. She had caved and had allowed Dave to explore “down there.”

His subsequent shriek had broken her druggy stupor. In answer, Mia had smacked him across the face, had pulled her covers to her chest, and had ordered him to leave her room.

Shortly thereafter, the rumors began to spread. Mia became “the girl with the teeth.” No amount of social prestidigitation could rein in that drama club officer. Likewise, references to Mia’s “talent” bloomed all over the Internet.

   When she returned home, that summer, Mia scheduled an appointment with a gynecologist. She scheduled a talk with her mother, too.

Yes, she had been one of two babies expected that pregnancy. No, her mother had had no idea what had happened to Mia’s twin. No, her mother had never felt a need to tell Mia about her missing sibling.

Mia had shrugged in response, had given her mother a dirty look, and then had locked herself in her bedroom. She began to search for support groups for young women who had balls of epidermis, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands in their vaginas. She found none. That summer ended.

Back on campus, other students’ jokes about her body was no longer Mia’s greatest problem. She began to have horrible headaches, double vision, and episodes of cognitive muddiness. The former Dean’s List student found herself on academic probation.

At about the same time that Mia was experiencing bouts of sudden, debilitating head pain, it was discovered, and then circulated, that the mother of the drama club’s president was only fifteen years older than her son. Gossip about Mia quickly died. Just as suddenly, the school’s fraternity boys lost their interest in her; discovering “vagina dentate” had become passť relative to their new game of speed humping.

During Thanksgiving Recess, Mia again sought the gynecologist. That doctor suggested that: Mia’s tumors had grown primitive brain cells, Mia’s immune system was fighting those outworlders, and Mia’s white cells couldn’t differentiate between bits of tumors and needed ganglia. The doc suggested that Mia undergo surgery and follow up with medications that would obstruct antibodies.

Mia complied. Accordingly, these days, Mia goes out in public wearing surgical masks. She figures that the stares that she receives are better than incapacitating headaches. What’s more, she’s dropped the drama club and has moved off campus.

Nevertheless, occasionally, Mia’s asked about the fangs that are allegedly growing in her most private of places. Sometimes, Mia answers factually. Most of the time, she ignores the questions as she is tires of that bunkum. Once in a while she considers buying a spiked chastity belt.

KJ Hannah Greenberg captures the world in words and images. Her most recent poetry collection is Rudiments (Seashell Books, 2020), her most recent essay collection is Simple Gratitudes (Propertius Press, 2020), her most recent short story collection is Demurral: Linens, and Towel and Fears (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2020), and her most recent photography collection is 20/20, Eye on Israel (Camel Saloon, 2015).

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