Black Petals Issue #96, Summer, 2021

Reincarnation Jeopardy
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The Tick Bite-Fiction by Robb T. White
Bake Sale Inspiration-Flash Fiction by Samantha Carr
Hotel with Full Amenities-Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
Reincarnation Jeopardy-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Sex Fiend-Flash Fiction by Karen Bayly
Witches' Sabbath-Poem by Mike Collins
Blood-Poem by Mike Collins
Death's Pornography-Poem by Mike Collins
Temptation-Poem by Mike Collins
Painting Light-Poem by Mike Collins
Dark Waltz-Poem by Marilyn Lou Berry
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The Bravest Ant-Poem by Mehmet Akgonul
Ain't Alien Spores-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Giant Goldfish-Poem by Richard Stevenson
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Megamouth Has Cavities-Poem by Richard Stevenson

bp_96_reincarnationjeopardy_hlyon.jpg
Art by Hillary Lyon 2021

Reincarnation Jeopardy

 

Kenneth James Crist

 

I swear, the fuckin’ guy looked just like Alex Trebek. You know, the guy on Jeopardy? Yeah, no shit. I knew I was dead. A motorcycle crash that bad, ya just don’t live through. And I had the green light. Asshole came smokin through against the red and T-Boned my ass and smashed me into a truck. And, that’s all she wrote.

So, I crossed over…not much memory of that. I remember being above the accident scene, like I was hovering in a helicopter, or maybe viewing it from one of those drones, and then everything went black. Next thing I know, I’m on a stage, with all these lights and cameras and everything and categories up on the board and there’s old Alex. Spittin’ image, swear to God. Same smile, same little glasses, same “I-have-the-answer-to-everything” bullshit voice.

“Here are your categories, Cameron, and remember, your answers must be in the form of a question and they will affect how you come back to the world. Are you ready?”

“Um, well…I guess…” I would have had a lump in my throat, if I still had a throat. Sounded like there was a lot riding on this. How I come back to the world? I get to go back? How cool is that?

“First category, What I Remember of My Childhood, next, Friends and Acquaintances, then, What I Did when I Grew Up, and last but not least, The Best Part of My Life. Ready, Cameron? Go.”

“Okay, Alex, let’s do What I Remember of My Childhood for $200.”

“The answer is, ‘This was the first vehicle I was ever allowed to drive by myself.’”

Wow. Back to the farm in Michigan. Eleven years old. The old Chevy pickup? No, wait…“Ahhh…What is the John Deere 70 Farm Tractor?”

“Correct, Cameron, go again.”

“Okay, Friends and Acquaintances for $400.” Never been that good with names, hope I’m not screwin’ this up…

“The answer is, ‘I was the first teacher you ever knew.’”

Oh, well, shit. Make it easy, why don’t ya? “Who was Miss Jordan, kindergarten at Deerfield school?”

“Correct, Cameron, go again…”

“What I Did When I Grew Up for $600, Alex.”

“This was the building that you called home at Lackland Air Force Base in 1961?”

Another easy one, although why I still remember this, is beyond me. “What was Barracks 6648?”

“Correct, Go again…”

“The Best Part of My Life, for $200…”

“I became the nexus of your life on October 8th, 1965.” Damn! Another easy one…“What was the birth of my daughter, Cheryl?”

“Correct. You’re doing well, but there’s a long way to go. Pick again.”

“What I Remember of My Childhood for $400.”

“Answer—the Daily Double…”

#     #     #

It went on like that, it seemed almost forever, and then, eventually, the game was over and everything faded to black. I guess I must not have done all that well, later on. I remember the categories kept getting harder all the time. But I really can’t complain. I guess I could be outside, where any predator could catch me and make a meal outta me. Or I coulda come out way further down the food chain.

In here, I have my food bowl and my water bottle. I have nice cedar shavings and my exercise wheel. I have a view out the window. Yesterday a saw a big, green tractor and I’m pretty sure it was a John Deere. That brought back some memories, I’ll tell ya. I’ve got nice people who care about me. Kids, actually, and that’s nice, because I never got to have grandkids.

And I know I’ll get another chance at that Jeopardy game. I’ve been thinkin’ a lot about my life as a human, and I’ll do a lot better next time, I’m sure. And it won’t be that long, either. Guinea pigs don’t have a really long lifespan…

Time for a nap, I guess…





Kenneth James Crist is Editor Emeritus of Black Petals Magazine and is on staff at Yellow Mama ezine. He has been a published writer since 1998, having had almost two hundred short stories and poems in venues ranging from Skin and Bones and The Edge-Tales of Suspense to Kudzu Monthly. He is particularly fond of supernatural biker stories. He reads everything he can get his hands on, not just in horror or sci-fi, but in mystery, hardboiled, biographies, westerns and adventure tales. He retired from the Wichita, Kansas police department in 1992 and from the security department at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita in 2016. Now 76, he is an avid motorcyclist and handgun shooter. He is active in the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard, helping to honor and look after our military. He is also a volunteer driver for the American Red Cross, Midway Kansas Chapter. He is the owner of Fossil Publications, a desktop publishing venture that seems incapable of making any money at all. On June the ninth, 2018, he did his first (and last) parachute jump and crossed that shit off his bucket list.



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