Black Petals Issue #97, Autumn, 2021

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



Carl E. Reed



A flicker in peripheral vision

attenuated echoing sounds

juddering gray afterimage:

lost against black background.


Something malevolent, fleet-foot

silent, lurking, wroth

fades from foreground to shadow;

stalks, but never accosts.  


I move through dust & cobwebs 

where splintered moonlight plays

’pon sheet-covered trunks & furniture:

mute relics of brighter days.


Moss’d stone & creaking floorboards

moldering leather-bound tomes;

a broken-winged granite angel

averts its face above my bones.


Come out; come out, beloved!

Children, servants, friends!

Something flickers, & whirls, & torments—

forever distracts, forfends. 


Author’s note: The maddening, relentless, omni-present abstraction/revelation which haunts our ghostly narrator but refuses to come into focus when stared at directly is: “acceptance and recognition of his own death”.

Carl E. Reed is currently employed as a roofing operations specialist at a window, siding, and door company just outside Chicago. Former jobs include: U.S. marine, long-haul trucker, improvisational actor, cab driver, construction worker, and door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. His poetry has been published in The Iconoclast, Spectral Realms, Black Petals, & Deathlehem: Holiday Horrors; short stories in Black Gate, newWitch, and Sci-Fi Lampoon magazines. “Dinner at Winthrop’s: A Tale of Sufferance” was published 2020 in the weird romance anthology Down the Rabbit Hole, vol. III. His most recent weird fictions “Haunted House” and “Night Terror” will appear in Down the Rabbit Hole, vol. IV: Madness. “The Candidate” will be published in Penumbra #3. Additional short stories and poems are scheduled to be published in 2022 and 2023 in various other venues.

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