Black Petals Issue #99, Spring, 2022

Editor's Page
Artist's Page
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Are You Full? Fiction by James Kompany
Bunker-Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Buy Here, Pay Here-Fiction by Kim Bonner
The Church of the Coyotes Who Would be Wolves-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Elm Mills-Fiction by Mack Severns
Hearts in the Gutter-Fiction by Lamont Turner
Midnight Espresso-Fiction by David Starobin
Spider Bite-Fiction by N. G. Leonetti
Test Tube Babies-Fiction by Kilmo
Witches' Jubilee-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Biter: A Love Story-Flash Fiction by Harris Coverley
New Mail-Flash Fiction by Eddie D. Moore
Reasons Not to Wake Up a Sleeping Beggar in the Morning-Flash Fiction by Marcelo Medone
While I was Frozen-Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
Woodshop for Werewolves-Flash Fiction by Mark Jabaut
Bruja-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
First Light-Poem by Jeffrey Park
Soul Music-Poem by Jeffrey Park
Stalker-Poem by Jeffrey Park
Zombies in Space-Poem by Jeffrey Park
Bleeding Senses-Poem by Jess Boaden
I'd Like to Speak to the Manager-Poem by Carl E. Reed
The Woods (Behind My House)-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Nocturnal Mode-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
When I Find You-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Ethereal-Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Fall-Poem by Mike Edele
Death-Poem by Mike Edele
Where Will You Be-Poem by Mike Edele
Giant Cockroach-Poem by Richard Stevenson
The Allegewi-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Tokoloshe-Poem by Richard Stevenson
The Ghoul-Poem by Richard Stevenson

Marcelo Medone: Reasons not to Wake Up a Sleeping Beggar Early in the Morning

Art by Michael D. Davis © 2022

Reasons Not to Wake up a Sleeping Beggar Early in the Morning

By Marcelo Medone



The homeless man woke up, startled by the blow to his ribs, and sat up on his bed of rags, cardboard, and old newspapers.

"Hey, brother! What's going on?" he yelled.

A uniformed policeman was standing next to him.

"The next time I find you sleeping at the bank door, I'll hit you with a metal bar instead of my shoe," the policeman told him.

It was early in the morning and there were hardly any people on the street, probably because of the intense winter cold. But soon the banking area would start to get busy.

The beggar began slowly to collect his few belongings, mumbling unintelligible insults to himself.

The uniformed man lost patience and kicked him again, this time in the rear, causing the homeless man to land on his teeth.

"Go! Get out of here, human scum!" the policeman exclaimed irritably.

"Damn cop!" the other muttered, running his grimy hand over the bleeding cut on his lower lip.

Guttural grunts came from a cardboard box amid the rags.

"What have you got there?"

"Nothing that concerns you."

This time the box shook convulsively and the growls broke out again.

"You better show me," the policeman insisted.

"As you wish, Your Honor."

The man smiled through his sparse-toothed mouth, spat out some blood, opened the box, and motioned for the other to come closer. The policeman leaned over to look and immediately a part crab, part tentaculated mollusk and part ape with mastiff fangs jumped out and clung to his face, suffocating him and starting to bore its way through his face.

The policeman fell to his knees in a rattle of pain and tried to tear off the attacking beast, but to no avail. You could hear the crunching of the bones of the face and the noise of the skin, muscles and blood being sucked. The creature swelled like a monstrous tick to triple its original volume as it continued its heinous feeding orgy.

The beggar, who had not been the least bit shaken by the attack, raised a nearby manhole cover and whistled. Immediately a multitude of chimerical beasts began to sprout, some hairy centipedes with multiple jaws, others similar to winged worms with multiple digestive suckers and others resembling miniature vultures and hyenas.

Wasting no time, the creatures pounced on the remains of the uniformed man, vying fiercely with each other for a place in the carnage. In a demonstration of scavenging efficiency, they crushed, chewed, and sucked every little piece of human flesh, bone, and hair, even clothing, regardless of whether the material was cloth, leather, metal, or wood.

Soon there was nothing left but a pool of blood mixed with digestive juices and drool on the sidewalk.

The hobo lovingly took his bloated pet and put it back in the box not without difficulty given its increased size; the other beasts fled down the sewer as quickly as they had come.

The man replaced the manhole cover and stood up defiantly on the sidewalk, as if guarding his personal place in the world. Two or three passers-by filed past him, their gaze fixed on the horizon. If any of them saw anything, they were careful not to interfere.

The beggar then turned, unzipped his worn-out trousers and extracted his genitals. Whistling a triumphant melody, directing his member with his hand, he washed the blood from the tiles in spurts of urine, forming a pink stream that rushed down the sewer, from which a choir of shrieks erupted.

Then, unhurriedly, the vagrant put away his private parts, yawned, and returned to his bed of rags and newspapers. He still had an hour before the bank opened.


Marcelo Medone is a fiction writer, poet, essayist and screenwriter from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His works have received numerous awards and have been published in magazines and books, individually or in anthologies, in multiple languages in more than 40 countries all over the world, including 101 Words, The Dribble Drabble Review, Potato Soup Journal, The Chamber Magazine, Rio Grande Review, (mac)ro(mic), Six Sentences, Five Minutes, The Cafe Irreal, Blink Ink Print, Bombfire, The Rye Whiskey Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, Crow’s Feet Journal, Nail Polish Stories Journal, Spillwords, The Dillydoun Review, Mad Swirl, The Writers Club, Skink Beat Review, Fairfield Scribes, The Sparrow’s Trombone, Panoply and Otherwise Engaged Journal in the US.

He has been awarded the First Prize in the 2021 international contest by the American Academy of the Spanish Language with his surreal short story La súbita impuntualidad del hombre del saco a rayas llamado Waldemar.

He has been nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.

Facebook: Marcelo Medone / Instagram: @marcelomedone

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