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

Mark Jabaut: Woodshop for Werewolves

Art by Darren Blanch 2022

Woodshop for Werewolves

(A Community-College Horror Story)

Mark Jabaut


  • WDSP 101 – Woodshop for Werewolves I.  Students will learn basic skills of woodworking, use of electrical power tools, and learn how to identify common species of wood.  This is a project-driven course.  Not restricted to werewolves – open to all students as space allows.


              Max’s ears perked up as the air in the room changed.  He was working on the lathe, making a miniature baseball bat, and his nose was filled with the odor of sawdust, machine oil and the cleanser the janitors used each night to clean the room.

              He exhaled brusquely through his nose to clear it, and then lifted his face and inhaled.  He smelled perfume, shampoo, pheromones.  And menstrual blood.  With all the nonchalance he could muster, he turned his head toward the door and saw the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  She was talking with Mr. Walters but took a moment to glance in Max’s direction.  He leaned just a little too hard on the chisel in his hands, and the proto-baseball bat snapped in two.   Max immediately hit the power switch on the lathe and waited for the spindle to stop spinning. 

              The girl passed by on her way to an empty table. She was definitely his type.  Long, dark hair, with just the lightest feathering of a mustache, full, heavy eyebrows that needed absolutely no liner, a gossamer hint of feminine sideburns and pale, flawless skin.  She was gorgeous.  Max felt his pulse racing. He wandered over to her.

    “Hey,” he said, smiling.  “My name’s Max.”

              “Hi, Max,” said the girl, “my name’s Allie.”

              From just a foot or two away, Max could identify her cleansers and beauty products by name.  He smelled Lady Speed Stick, a ginger shampoo by Herbal Essence, Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan, and Light Days Maxi-pads.  She had eaten oatmeal that morning and had chewed spearmint gum at some point in the day.  It all smelled heavenly to Max.

              “So, uh, Allie,” began Max, “you know it’s Valentine’s Day today.”

              “No duh,” she said, “So are you going to give me a heart or something?”  Max saw her nostrils flare slightly as she inhaled his scent. He started to feel warm, and realized he was blushing.

              “Sure!” Max answered, a little too enthusiastically.

              “Ooh,” said Allie playfully, “I can’t wait.  You know, that kid Chaz isn’t a werewolf.”

              “He isn’t?” asked Max, suddenly feeling stupid. Max looked at the floor, and then at Chaz, and then back at Allie.  He turned on his heel and walked swiftly over to where Chaz was making a fairly intricate cut on a piece of birch with an assist from Mr. Walters.

              Max inhaled deeply through his nose and immediately caught the heavy scent of human blood.  It was syrupy-sweet, and Max wondered how he could have missed it at any distance.

              In an instant, the change began.  Muscles bunched and tendons shifted.  His skull reformed, sloping above his eyes, and his muzzle extended.  His ears grew.  Tens of thousands of additional hairs sprouted over his already hairy body.  Teeth sharpened and lengthened.  Razor-edged claws appeared.

              He tore into the back of Chaz’s neck with a fury, snapping the top of the spinal column with his jaws.  His claws flayed flesh from bone, shredded ligaments, and butchered muscle.  Blood sprayed as if the boy had exploded.

              It took only seconds.  As soon as it was done, Max changed back.  The piece of birch was still on the table saw, and Mr. Walters stood next to the table, his face, glasses, and white shirt coated with a thin drizzle of blood. Chaz lay in pieces on the floor at his feet.  Max shrugged at him, walked back toward Allie, and handed her Chaz’s dripping heart.

              “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he said.  Little bits of flesh clung to his jaw, and the front of his pants and shirt were soaked a deep, dark crimson.

              “Aw, how sweet,” said Allie. “Maybe we could grab a coke or something after class,” she suggested, smiling slyly.

              Max smiled, pieces of tendon hanging from his teeth.

     “That sounds great,” he said.


    # # #

    Editor’s Note: Woodshop for Werewolves was a Valentine’s Contest entry at Yellow Mama, our sister magazine, and placed well in the competition. Later, we were saddened to learn that Mark Jabaut passed away November 3rd, 2021. His bio follows:


Mark Jabaut is a playwright and author who lives in Webster NY with his wife Nancy.  Mark’s play IN THE TERRITORIES, originally developed via Geva Theatre’s Regional Writers Workshop and Festival of New Theatre, premiered in May 2014 at The Sea Change Theatre in Beverly, MA.  His 2015 Rochester Key Bank Fringe Festival entry, THE BRIDGE CLUB OF DEATH, went on to be featured at an End of Life Symposium at SUNY Broome County and is listed with the National Issues Forum for those who wish to host similar events.


Mark also had entries in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 Fringe Festivals, THE HATCHET MAN, DAMAGED BEASTS and COLMA!.  Mark has authored several short plays performed by The Geriactors, a local troupe of older performers.   Mark’s fiction has been published in a local Rochester magazine, POST, as well as The Ozone Park Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, Spank the Carp and Defenestration. 

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