Black Petals Issue #100 Summer, 2022

Editor's Page
Mars-Chris Friend
BP Artists and Illustrators
Baby, You're the Best: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Darkest Day:Fiction by Richard Brown
They Feed on Light:Fiction by Kilmo
Step Eight: Fiction by Paul Lubaczewski
Reunion:Fiction by Gene Lass
Highwayman's Trousers:Fiction by Michael W. Clark
The Dutiful Hit:Fiction by Jay Flynn
Flight of Fantasy: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
He Asked Me to Do It: Fiction by R. A. Cathcart
Lagniappe: Fiction by Michael Stoll
No Spark, No Flame: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Bathroom Light: Fiction by Craig Shay
Dave Jenkins, Flayed: Flash Fiction by Brian Barnett
Beauty Sleep: Flash Fiction by Simeon Care
Head Games: Flash Fiction by Philip Perry
Hurry Home: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
You'll See, She Said: Flash Fiction by Robb White
Captain Yeah-Way: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Attic Notes: Poem by Michael S. Love
Exit Strategy: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
You Can Pretend: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Gold Star: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Conflict of Interest: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Recording: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Litha: Poem by Christopher Friend
Sleeping Beauty: Poem by Christopher Friend
It Began with Violence: Poem by Donna Dallas
Rocking Zebra Déjà vu: Poem by Donna Dallas
Circle: Poem by Donna Dallas
Love is a Ghost: Poem by Donna Dallas
Together: Poem by A. N. Rose
Silence: Poem by A. N. Rose
Dead at 21: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
House Centipede: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen

R. A. Cathcart: He Asked Me to Do It

Art by Hillary Lyon © 2022

He Asked Me to Do It


R. A. Cathcart


          They say I murdered and ate my best friend. I did not eat Sam, I only ate his heart, the rest I fed to the neighbors’ dogs. I did not murder him, I killed him; there is a big difference between murdering someone and killing someone. Sam was my best friend, I would never hurt him, there was no malice in my heart. You see— there is the difference. If I hated Sam and wanted to cause him pain, then yes, I would say that I murdered him. But I loved Sam, he was my best friend since we were little boys. The only reason I killed him and ate his heart was because he asked me to do it. A best friend doesn’t question a request, they do what is asked of them.

          No one would have known that I killed Sam if I would have remembered to take the school ring off his finger before I gave his hand to my neighbor’s dogs. This whole trial and execution would not have been necessary. Sam would have joined the missing like the others; yes—there were others, many others. To be envied is really no gift, it is a curse. People have envied me all my life; they have all wanted to be me.

          I started reading minds and hearing thoughts when I was very young. I would hear what people were thinking. Oh, you think that is really cool, but let me tell you—it is a real burden. There are a lot of insecure people out there. They wanted to be like me, they wanted my life. Even animals were envying me and wanted to be human and look like me. Let me tell you, to be born handsome and intelligent was not a gift. But who am I to deny a request from anyone who wants me to absorb them into my soul.

          All I was trying to do was trying to help people and here I am in an execution chamber. Let me tell you—it is one eerie place; it is pure white, it smells like disinfectant, and it is very quiet, the only sound I hear is the ticking of the clock on the wall. There are no minds for me to read and hear. There were a few people in here earlier, but they were just thinking how sorry they were that I was going to be executed for doing a friend a favor. They knew that he asked me to do it, I didn’t even have to tell them. They felt sorry for me and told me to watch the clock, when the big hand gets on the twelve it will all be over, they said.                                                                                                                                  Sam’s family is on the other side of the window. I can’t see them now, but I will when they open the curtain. I explained everything to them at my sentencing that Sam was my best friend, I loved Sam. When we were having lunch that day his thoughts told me over and over that he wanted me to do it? Doesn’t a best friend do what he is asked to do, I said. Isn’t that what a best friend is; a person who is there when you need them. I didn’t want to hurt him. I made sure my knife was razor sharp when I cut his throat. I don’t think he felt it much, at least he wasn’t thinking it. And if they execute me, aren’t they executing Sam too? Don’t they understand that Sam and all the others are going to be executed; now that is murder.

          I should have written a book on how to absorb a want-to-be; hey, that would have been a great title for my book, “How to Absorb a Want-To-Be.” It takes practice to develop the skills needed to absorb. My first time was very messy; there was a lot of blood to deal with, disposing of the body was another challenge. Then there was the actual absorbing of the other; wait, that also could have been the title of my book, “How to Absorb The Other.” There were so many good things I could have done with my knowledge and skills if I would just have had the time.

          One does not just cut a heart out and eat it. By the time Sam asked me to eat his I had become an expert. You see, the heart must be taken out quickly—before it stops beating, well not beating really, it’s more like it is quivering—but still warm. So once the throat is cut the body is opened and one must reach up into the chest and separate the heart from its connections. At this time, I must tell you that the heart will be slippery and heavier that you thought, so keep a two-hand grip on it. When you expose the heart start eating at the bottom or tip of the heart and eat quickly before it cools. When you get to the top you can just throw that away, it’s chewy and you’ll be very full anyway.

          If I had it all to do again, I would have photographed and videoed the entire process with Sam. Then his family and everyone could have seen the satisfied look on his face, the process would have been much easier to follow if people could see it rather than just reading about it. I could have become a very wealthy woman; I would have been known as “The Guru of Absorption.” I probably would have been interviewed on television, but I would handle my celebrity humbly… if only I had remembered to remove that ring.  

          Well, the big hand is almost on the twelve, so in conclusion I have this to say, don’t…



R. A. Cathcart is a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is a new writer pursuing chapter 7 of his professional life. Life has offered him many adventures; Vietnam Combat Marine, Police Officer, Detective, Body Guard, Actor, Stunt Talent, now he would like to add writer to that list.

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