Black Petals Issue #101 Autumn, 2022

Editor's Page
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
BP Artists and Illustrators
Dig Deep, the Therapist Said: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Dinner Club: Fiction by Mark Jabaut
God of the Winds: Fiction by Scáth Beorh
Head Pot: Fiction by Spencer Harrington
His Deadly Muse: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Patrick Hatrick: Fiction by Bruce Costello
Squawking Chimes: Fiction by Robert Pettus
The Courier: Fiction by Billie Owens
The Midnight Sonata: Fiction by David Hopewell
The Wolves are Coming: Fiction by Mauri Orr Stone
Abduction: Flash Fiction by Laura Nettles
I'm Your Garlic:Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Ho/Ma:i - (Ho-maaa-ee): Flash Fiction by Rani Jayakumar
Mona Wants to Die, but She Lets the Weather Decide:Flash Fiction by Riham Adly
The Cookie Crumbles: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Right Knife: Flash Fiction by David Barber
A Devilish Matter of Disinvitation: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Abhor the Light!: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Shadow House-A Writer's Retreat: Poem by Carl E. Reed
Accursed Personae: Three excerpted Poems by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
Remember When We Watched "Kill Bill" Together: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
I Die, You Die: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
Northbound Train: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
The Haunted Liquor Cabinet: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
The Candlelight Killer: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Wooden Soldiers: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
The Curse of Verse: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
When a Star Dies: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker

Laura Nettles: Abduction

Art by Michael D. Davis © 2022


Laura Nettles

Pure light engulfed Harold. A pulsing in his ears drove him to his knees, vertigo assaulting him. Where was the ground? He was falling, but not landing. Head over heals, knees over elbows, crown over tailbone. Insides over outsides.

Bang! His side slammed into something solid, unyielding and cold. He was laying down. Finally.

Chitter, chitter. Click. Chitter.

“What?” Harold asked groggily, opening his eyes now that the all encompassing, blinding light had faded to a more natural, mid-day intensity. Was he having a hangover?

Large, bug-like creatures were leaning over him, examining his face. Had he been drugged?

Click, chitter, click.

One mantis type creature pushed one of the many buttons on its plated armband. Harold was once again weightless, now floating at thorax height. His brains slowly stopped swimming around his scrambled head. “Where am I? Who are you? What are you doing?” he asked, unsure if they would even understand him. “Please, let me go. I want to go home.” Tears came unbidden to the corners of his eyes, and slid down the sides of his face into his ears. It was uncomfortable to hear the saline enter and creep towards his eardrums.  More tears welled against his will, compounding the problem.


His clothes disintegrated, ashes falling to the metal flooring, only to be swept away by a small electronic contraption.


Harold was let down onto a bed of some sort, but his skin stuck to it. It was molded out of some type of viscous, yellow sap. He sank into it. An inch. Two inches. The yellow substance crawled up the sides of his face.

Chitter, click, click.

Harold’s body went rigid. All non-essential muscle function seemed to have been turned off. He could not close his eyes. The world tinted amber as his eyes were slowly encased, his nose sealed. It oozed down his nostrils towards the thin plate protecting his brain. His breathing brought the substance into his airways, coating the finger-like membranes lining his lungs.

No more air.

There was nothing he could do, vision darkening. The last sight imprinting on his retinas: grinning insectoids chittering in laughter.

Laura Nettles is a graduate of Brigham Young University where she earned her BFA in animation. By day she lights visual effects for film and television, and by night she pens her own terrors.

 She has a couple short stories and flash fictions published already including "Frozen Retribution" in Shiver: A Chilling Horror Anthology, "Fairy Godmother" in Frost Zone Zine, and "Boy in the Wallpaper" in the upcoming issue of Lovecraftiana.

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