Black Petals Issue #86, Winter, 2019

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 Ann Marie Rhiel 2019



By BP Editor Kenneth James Crist

A final 2018 weirdness



Shari McLaughlin snuggled deeper into the covers and moved tighter against Seth. The warm, tingling sensations threatened to devour her completely, and she divorced her mind from the thoughts that so badly wanted to invade her consciousness. The thoughts of weirdness. The thoughts of wrongness. How could anything as lovely as this be wrong? Just before a total head-banger of an orgasm took her completely under, her mind flashed: because it’s fuckin creepy, you love-starved idiot…

Shari was barely eighteen when she met Seth Levy. She was a senior in high school, a year late, simply because she was born after October first, so she’d had to wait a year to start school.

Seth was new at Pine Grove High that year, and the rumor mill seemed to have no idea where he’d come from. He was easily the best-looking senior at school, and Shari had no idea why he’d been interested in her. She wasn’t anything special to look at; at least she didn’t think so. She wasn’t a hot cheerleader type, didn’t have much of a body—again, her opinion—and usually had a fair crop of acne on her chin and forehead. No idea it was mostly caused by raging hormones. No idea she was gifted with lovely dark eyes, olive skin, and an actual brain that made her intellectually superior to ninety percent of her classmates. That was the attraction…

They’d noticed each other for quite a while, and Shari wasn’t the type to throw herself at a guy. She’d almost given up on him, and then he’d approached her in the hall, between classes.

“Shari?” No shyness, no hesitation.

“Hmmm?” She was a little tongue-tied, not quite believing he was talking to her.

“Do you have a date to the prom?” Some anxiety there. Maybe that was good.

“Uh…no, no, not yet…” Probably wouldn’t, either, she thought. She’d had to go ‘stag’ to the prom her junior year.

“Could I escort you then?” There was a little smile playing around his mouth. Oh, please don’t let this be a fucking joke or a prank. I’ll die if this is a joke…

“Um, sure, I guess. Yeah, I’d like to go with you, Seth.” Holding her breath, waiting for the joke, the laughter, and the derision from other kids…

“Can I have your phone number? I’ll call ya later and we’ll figure out the logistics.”

Logistics. Like they were going on a secret mission…she took his hand and wrote her number on his palm. And that had been the start.

“Thanks. I’ll call ya…” And then he was gone down the hall and into the chemistry lab.


Of course, there had been a bit of alcohol, and that was good, because it gave her a reason to fall back on, as far as why things had gone so far on their first date.

Her best friend, Andrea, had saved her ass on that one, calling her parents and covering for her, telling them Shari would be staying at her house and would be home for breakfast. In reality, Shari and Seth had been parked at the lake half the night, enjoying the moonlight and each other for hours. Shari had managed somehow to block out a lot of what happened that evening and on into the early morning hours. She had not been able to block out Seth’s skills as a lover, though, and the overpowering pleasure he brought her, the warmth and tingling sensations she’d never known could be possible with any guy.

To be fair, she’d had little in the way of experience to compare with Seth’s abilities. She was no virgin, to be sure, but all her sexual encounters had been quick, messy, and unsatisfying until Seth.


The moonlight had made it seem almost as bright as day. The state park at the lake was closed for the night, a chain padlocked across the drive. Seth had stopped the car and gotten out. In the beams of the BMW’s headlights, Shari wasn’t able to see what he did with the padlock, but it opened and he dropped the chain and then drove through, stopped and went back and locked it behind them. They would be alone, Shari realized, and she had a moment of anxiety. Then he was back in the car and his soft, warm hand was back above her knee, under the skirt of her formal and the warmth spread almost magically up into her belly and she suddenly didn’t care what happened.

They parked, and he shut off the car and reached for her, and she came into his arms willingly. Again, it was almost like some magic trick, when she found herself entirely naked and being touched everywhere, in all the right places and in the wrong ones, too. His mouth and his hands felt wonderful, everywhere he applied them, but that was only half the story. When his chest opened up and the pink tentacles came out, she had almost screamed, but then they touched her, and she was lost.

Shari had not seen the tiny white pill Seth had slipped into her spiked punch at the dance. It was nothing overpowering, just enough to make her compliant and to keep the panic at bay, when he made his presentation later. He knew from experience that, once he made his final contact with her, her will would no longer be her own. Humans were so vulnerable and predictable, and their emotions made them so easy to control. Shari would be no problem at all. And he was right. After all, this was what he’d been created for…


“Coffee, Babe?” Seth was already in the kitchen of their tiny apartment at the college, when she walked in, her hair still damp from her shower.

“God, yes. I need it this morning. You’re gonna hafta let me sleep more, Sweetie. This playin’ all night is runnin’ me down.”

“I didn’t hear any complaints last night,” he said. He stepped behind her and bent to kiss her neck. The warmth began spreading downward as his hands reached around and caressed her breasts. She squirmed away, gasping at the sensations that filled her.

“Oh, God, Honey, don’t…we’ll never get to class…”

He chuckled and sat down to some toast and his own coffee. He couldn’t care less about classes. The knowledge already in his head surpassed the combined knowledge of the entire human race, although, among his own people, he was considered a mediocre intelligence, only fit for field work on this backward, third-rate planet. Still, he liked his job and was well aware of his own importance to the greater plan.


The conquest of the small planet named Earth took just a bit over 200 years, a pittance in galactic time, and Shari McLaughlin had been just one of the first of a thousand natural humans to be taken over. As natural humans died out, they were replaced with human/off-world hybrids, until there were no natural humans left. It was so easy, Seth reflected, as he settled in with his final wife and kids, in his eighth home in 200 years. The new race totaled only two and a half billion, a far cry from the eight billion humans that had plagued the Earth when they’d started. But these new hybrids were all linked mentally, so there were no racial or religious divisions. There was no time or effort wasted on war or animosity. The ships of the off-world race were coming and going constantly; at last, peace had come to the Earth.

Seth yawned and stretched his half-human body and flexed his tentacles. Beside him, wife number eight, named Julie, snuggled in against him. They linked tentacles and the tingling began, and it was magic.


The End


Kenneth Crist,,, of Wichita, KS, wrote BP #86’s “Tingles” (+ BP #85’s “It’s Out There…”; the SF serial, starting in BP #76,  SURVIVING MONTEZUMA; BP #78’s “Those Other Guys”; “The Big Well” & “Virtuality” for BP #75; “Gift of the Anasazi” for BP #73; “The Weeping Man” for BP #72; “Pebbles” for BP #71; “The Diner” for BP #67; “New Glasses” for BP #61; “Ones and Zeros” for BP #50, & the novelette Joshua) and has edited BP for many years, continuing as Editor Emeritus, then Coeditor/Webmaster. Widely published, esp. in Hardboiled and on Yellow Mama, he also has four chapbooks currently for sale in Kindle format on Dreaming of Mirages, The Gazing Ball, Joshua, and Groaning for Burial, his latest zombie fiction.

Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

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