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

Robb White: You'll See, She Said

Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg © 2022

You’ll See, She Said

Robb White


If it weren’t for the lump of hot bile working its way up his esophagus, he’d have slept longer. He leaned over to vomit while sitting on the dirty concrete, his back against a brick pillar.

Flashbacks skipped across his neocortex like spliced film jumping in sprockets. He remembered cursing her for the long flight of stairs to get here. Then the film went blank.

“I brought a mattress for you this time,” she said, pirouetting, laughing, pleased. He’d groomed her well.

“What is this shithole you picked out?”

“You’ll see.”

But all he could see was a dozen stories straight down. He’d tracked her from Cal Anderson Park by the reflecting pool to Capitol Hill, one of the worst crime areas of Seattle. She avoided the drug-crazed scum hanging out en masse in front of shops, losers lighting up in public, urinating, cadging quarters from anyone stupid enough to walk past, nodding off and defecating in public. Fentanyl City, the Times called it, population—who knew? Each one a doper and card-carrying member of humanity’s dregs.

But among them, a few choice morsels like her. When he first contacted her from Craig’s List, she looked like a sorority pledge on the prowl for a sugar daddy. Her plunge from a classy “escort” advertising in the personals to full-blown crack whore took mere months. He had free reign over her until he was exhausted, the demon inside sated. Last time he left her, she was badly in need of wound care.  

KOMO News had kept him from trawling for her while they ran another expose of Seattle’s blighted zone. Chary of his reputation, he knew to keep a low profile. He’d gone through three like her, two bodies still unrecovered. If it weren’t for a keen-eyed backhoe operator in the city dump, who noticed a human foot slipping through a hole in a garbage bag torn by the jagged bone sticking out, his record would still be intact. Ego-bruised by being outwitted by a slut, he anticipated her demise under his whip hand. He’d know when her time was up. 

Groggy, he checked his Presidential, found it gone—no doubt yanked off his wrist as soon as he passed out from whatever she slipped into his flask—also missing.

Only halfway through his “routine,” he’d stopped to refresh himself with a sip of Glenfiddich. She must have done it then while his back was turned. Bitter, yet impressed by her show of courage, he was patient and could wait.

No more abandoned buildings, though. He never should have allowed her enough strength to get off that bloody mattress where he’d flogged her to semi-consciousness. He’d keep her going until he was satisfied like the three before her.

Stretched, yawned. Seven, maybe eight in the morning. Unconscious for almost twelve hours. He smiled, thinking: Bitch, you have no idea what you’re in for . . .

He checked his wallet: cash missing too. He carried plenty to bribe citizens or street trash should an emergency arise. He shrugged, he’d add it to her bill. Taking the exit door to the floor below, he found more exterior walls knocked out, everything removed, nothing but support pillars.

Support pillars . . .

He raced back up the stairs. The folded newspaper she brought lay on the mattress. She said she picked it up on Pine Street, another garbage dump of humanity. He opened it, saw the advertisement circled in black:

Let our eco-friendly demolition company . . . “You Build It, We Implode It.”

Her words: You’ll see . . .

He knew what was happening because he heard the first thudding sequence of timed explosions in the lower floors. The concrete beneath his feet was already shaking from the tremors rippling upward in massive shock waves from more sequenced explosions. Gravity would finish the job. His knees buckled and his bowels evacuated. The floor seemed to liquify like ground in a nine-point earthquake. Only seconds from being pulverized by falling I-beams and chunks of flying concrete that would smash him into oblivion, he wept for himself because he allowed a pretty hooker to peek into his mind to see her future.


Robb White has published several crime, horror, and mainstream stories in various magazines and anthologies. A forthcoming private-eye novel featuring Raimo Jarvi will be published this summer. “The Girl from the Sweater Factory,” a horror tale, was a finalist in The Dark Sire Magazine’s 2020 awards. Two more recent horror stories are "The Backyard Digger" in The Yard and "The Tick Bite" in Black Petals.

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