Black Petals Issue #97, Autumn, 2021

Labelled Rocks
Editor's Page
BP Artist's Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A World of Sensations-Fiction by Michael Dority
Goddess Deva-Fiction by David Starobin
Hunting Ground-Fiction by N. G. Leonetti
Love Letters-Fiction by S. J. Townend
No Content Available-Fiction by Richard Brown
Phantom Smell-Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Predatory Peepers-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Visit-Fiction by B. E. Nugent
The Working Man-Fiction by Christopher Hivner
The Extermination-Fiction By Dominique K. Pierce
Win-A-Burger-Fiction by Glenn Dungan
Counting Time-Flash Fiction by Ramon F. Irizarri
Terry and the Techo-Frog-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Epistolean-Flash Fiction by Harris Coverly
Labelled Rocks-Flash Fiction by Holden Zuras
Along Side of the Road-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Beneath the Weeping Willow-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Half-Life-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Liquid Darkness-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Lost-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Succubus Seductress-Poem by Carl E. Reed
The Crime of Frankenstein-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Brother's Keeper-Poem by Cassandra O'Sullivan Sachar
Razor Beak-Poem by Jessica Heron
The Fall of Vampire Hunters-Poem by Matthew Wilson

Art by Cindy Rosmus 2021

Labelled Rocks

Holden Zuras


I have no sense of time. My planet died a little ago—three days? I’ve rested three times since the war, but my wife has rested five times. Perhaps it’s been a week and I just can’t get to sleep. I am a hero for being alive, but a coward by the same right.

          Only three rests ago I had a gun in my hands, pointed into the face of a monster. It was a creature of hate and lust, and ending its existence gave me pleasure. My wife was beside me, fighting alongside me. We had neutralized many of the enemy. Their bodies lay scattered at our feet. It was a moment of glory.

Then the end came.

          Thirty feet from where we stood I could see the enemy preparing a weapon. It was a bomb—a suicidal bomb. The enemy had realized they were losing, and their hatred drove them to total destruction.

          After understanding the situation, I ran. I grabbed my wife. I took her in my arms and ran to the nearest transport. Turning it on, we rode through time and space. Stacks of nanoprocessors bounced around us as they travelled with us towards a neighboring galaxy.

          Now I am here. Far away from our destroyed home. Sleeping on an unfamiliar planet that thinks itself to be some twisted version of the Garden of Eden. I am Adam, and Eve lays beside me. We will ensure the survival of our race, but the glory of our people died with our planet. I can tell my children that I am a decorated hero, but they will always be descendants of a coward. They may learn to call this new rock home. They may learn to fight like the Ulthway. They may restore the empire we once had. But they will never restore our culture. An empire built by a coward is nothing more than a bag of labeled rocks, however big the rocks may be.




Holden Zuras is a young writer and musician from Maine. Since the start of the pandemic he took up creative writing as an extra pastime. You can contact him at

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