Black Petals Issue #85, Autumn, 2018

The Gift
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Bottle Music-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Bridge to Forever-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Door County Getaway-Fiction by Roy Dorman
It's Out There-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Napper's Holler-Chapter 4-Continuing Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 5-Continuing Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 6-Continuing Fiction by A. M. Stickel
The Gift-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Gifted Ones-Fiction by David Powell
The Seeker-Fiction by Ken Hueler
Blood/Brain Barrier-6 Poems by Will H. Blackwell, Jr.

Art by Hillary Lyon 2018

The Gift


By Roy Dorman



The morning mail, consisting of an advertising circular, came through the mail slot and dropped just inside the door near Mary Rolland’s right hand.

Today’s mail had fallen on yesterday’s mail, which had fallen on the previous day’s mail.

The flyer had opened to a page showing various kitchen and bathroom towels on sale at “RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES.”

Mary no longer had a need for mail, or bright, glossy flyers, or new towels.

Mary was dead.


The smell of smoke was still in the air. The bread Mary had been baking had burned to ashes three days ago. Wiring in the oven had finally overheated and tripped the circuit breaker in the basement.

It would be a while before things started to go bad in the refrigerator. Mice and ants would at some point begin to investigate the cupboards.

The bills had all been paid and Mary was current in everything she needed to be current in.

There wouldn’t be anything she needed in the foreseeable future.

Mary was dead.


That night, Earth passed through a gaseous, spore-infested cloud that had been travelling in space for millions of years.

The spores in that cloud were unlike any that had ever been in Earth’s solar system.

The mail delivery the following morning was most likely the last mail delivery there would ever be.

When that mail hit the floor in front of Mary, she awoke with a growl and lurched to her feet. Mary Rolland was no longer dead.

Mary was undead.

The End’s Beginning



Roy Dorman,, of Madison, WI 53704, who wrote BP #85’s “Door County Getaway” & “The Gift” (+ BP #84’s “Goodbye to Nowhere Land” and “Nobody Should Be at 1610 Maple St.”; BP #83’s “Door #2”; BP #82’s “A Nowhere Friend” & “Foundling”; BP #81’s “Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land” & “The Box with Pearl Inlay”; BP #80’s “Andrew’s War” & “Down at the Hardware Store”; BP #79’s “Cellmates” & “Get Some Shelter,” BP #78’s “All Is as It Should Be,” BP #77’s “Essence of Andrew,” BP #76’s “Flirting with the Alley,” BP #75’s “The Enemy of My Enemy…” BP #74’s “Doesn’t Play Well with Others,” BP #73’s “A Journey Starts with a Flower,” BP #72’s “The Beach House,” BP #71’s “The Big Apple Bites,” BP #70’s “Borrowing Some Love” and BP #69’s “Back in Town” and “Finding Good Help…”), is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and flash fiction published in Apocrypha and Abstractions, Birds Piled Loosely, Burningword Literary Journal, Cease Cows, Cheapjack Pulp, Crack The Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Fiction Press, Gap-Toothed Madness, Gravel, Lake City Lights, Near To The Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, The Creativity Webzine, Theme of Absence, The Screech Owl, The Story Shack, & Yellow Mama.

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