Black Petals Issue #86, Winter, 2019

The Art of Dream-napping
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Eric Roseman's Poem-Fiction by Jacob Austin
New Orleans Take-Out-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Napper's Holler-Chapter 7-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 8-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 9-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Not This Time-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Our Neighbors, The Zombies-Fiction by Jon A. Park
The Art of Dream-napping-Fiction by Mark J. Kevlock
The Night Side of Eden-Fiction by George Rosas
The Sump-Fiction by Anthony Lukas
Tingles-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Winter's Gnome-Poem by Janet C. Ro
Saucer, Schmosser-Four Poems by Richard Stevenson

Art by Darren Blanch 2019

The Art of Dream-napping


By Mark J. Kevlock (dreamer)




The Tick-Tock Police had no choice but to intervene. Otherwise, mutual destruction was assured. Earth had only two countries left. Both of them had been the United States. But that was 100 years ago. After the Second Civil War, America divided into the U.S.R. and U.S.B. Most of the other world powers had since been absorbed into one or the other. The rest had been destroyed. Profound ideological differences separated these two remaining nations. Their leaders stood on the brink of the final war.

The Tick-Tock Police chose dream-napping as the most viable deterrent. The leaders of the U.S.R. and the U.S.B. would be forced to confront one another while still asleep in their beds. Kidnapping them out of their own dreams was the tricky part.

Eleanor Hampton dreamed mostly of her childhood. She often found rooms in their family mansion that no one else knew about, and ran to tell her parents of her discoveries. She also often trod the pathways of surreal sylvan landscapes, where the sun shone in the midnight sky. Eleanor Hampton was the elected President of the U.S.B.

Gerd Lansing dreamed mostly about wealth and the accumulation of power. He dreamed himself a super-hero, gifted by the gods with the ability of flight. He spent many a dream performing good deeds and receiving just rewards. Gerd Lansing had been born the rightful dictator of the U.S.R.

Dream Technician First Class Marnee Blackfoot had been assigned to supervise the dream-napping of the two leaders. She utilized time-displaced monitors to foresee the optimum period of alpha-wave enlightenment, then projected herself and her team into the twin dreamscapes simultaneously, finding both leaders, for once, dreaming about the same thing: romance.

“My God, it should’ve been so obvious,” Marnee dreamspoke to her team. “Why else would they be out to destroy all known civilization? They’re in love!”

Marnee set up a psychological transport field, then beamed their consciousnesses twelve days into the future of their dreaming.

In the shared dreamscape from which they had been abducted, Eleanor and Gerd had been enjoying a romantic dinner for two aboard a cable car that moved along an impossible wire stretching ten thousand feet in the air and spanning the globe.

Marnee left the would-be lovers intact aboard their mobile cabin in the sky. It was the scenery below and all around them that altered with the leaders’ time shift: black ash and red sky—a dream turned nightmare.

Eleanor Hampton screamed, but could not wake up. Dream-napping would hardly be effective, Agent Blackfoot knew, if the victims could so easily escape their psycho-confinement. 

Neither leader could stomach the other’s politics. Physically, they found each other repulsive in their waking lives. Yet, in their dreams, they shared this attraction…until now.

“Lansing, you fool! You’ve blown up the whole world!” President Hampton shouted, aghast over the charred remains of the planet below.

“You’re blaming me for this!” the U.S.R. dictator shot back. “All you had to do was comply with the sanctions prohibiting development of pan-solar system technologies...”

“Why shouldn’t we leave Earth behind,” Hampton argued, “if it has people like you on it?”

“No one’s leaving my planet!” Gerd exclaimed.

“Oh, excuse me,” Eleanor volleyed. “I didn’t realize you’d been appointed God!”

Tick-Tock agent Blackfoot sat back and stared at the dream monitor in astonishment. With the world a ruin all about them, they cared only for the sexual tension derived from placing blame. Was it any wonder that a love scene should follow?

Marnee Blackfoot shielded her gaze as if exposed to a nuclear blast as articles of clothing flew out of the cable car’s windows on either side. “Worse than the war itself...” she mumbled.

She knew, however, how dreams worked. They satisfied urges that reality never could. And they served as a caution, previewing emotions that we then knew better than to ever experience.

Both world leaders were returned from their dream-napping, possessed of a new knowledge of one another. At the moment conflict escalated into potential destruction, both Eleanor and Gerd would recall, however deeply buried, their attraction for one another.

And, in the end, love would save the world.


Mark Joseph Kevlock,, of Nanticoke, PA, wrote BP #86’s “The Art of Dream-napping” (+ BP #84’s “Just a Minute,” BP #83’s “Inmates’ Asylum”, “Ryan and the Monsters” for BP #47, “Which Way I Fly” for BP #45, and “When a Terrible Beauty Is Scorned” for BP #42). In 2018 alone, he had fiction in more than two dozen magazines. Published for nearly 3 decades, his fiction and poetry have appeared in, among others: AlienSkin, Allegory, Bewildering Stories, Cezanne’s Carrot, Clean Sheets, Black Sheep, Byline, Ellipsis Zine, Fiction on the Web, Flash Fiction Magazine, Freedom Fiction, Friday Flash Fiction, Hardboiled, Into the Void, Literally Stories, Once Upon a Time, The Bitter Oleander, The First Line, The Rose & Thorn, The Sea Letter, The Starlit Path, 365 Tomorrows, ThugLit, Toasted Cheese, Wild Violet (serving as judge of their 2007 fiction contest), & Yellow Mama. He has also written for DC Comics (FLASH 80-PAGE GIANT #2).

Darren Blanch, Aussie creator of visions which tell you a tale long after first glimpses have teased your peepers. With early influence from America's Norman Rockwell to show life as life, Blanch has branched out mere art form to impact multi-dimensions of color and connotation. People as people, emotions speaking their greater glory. Visual illusions expanding the ways and means of any story.

Digital arts mastery provides what Darren wishes a reader or viewer to take away in how their own minds are moved. His evocative stylistics are an ongoing process which sync intrinsically to the expression of the nearby written or implied word he has been called upon to render.

View the vivid energy of IVSMA (Darren Blanch) works at:, YELLOW MAMA, Sympatico Studio -, DeviantArt - and launching in 2019, as Art Director for suspense author / intrigue promoter Kate Pilarcik's line of books and publishing promotion - SeaHaven Intrigue Publishing-Promotion.

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