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

Ron Capshaw: I'm Your Garlic

Art by Hillary Lyon © 2022

I’m Your Garlic

By Ron Capshaw


Even at his most consumptive, Doc Faraday never missed.  Like the time he took out two of the Lorne gang while coughing up blood.

Doc was what was once called a Southern gentleman who would have been more at home in the pre-Civil War South than in the hardscrabble mining towns out West. 

But by accident of birth, he missed what he was trained to be: a plantation owner who was a crack shot, knew the classics, could hold his liquor, and if need be, live in the saddle.

Unlike his brothers, Doc was too young to shoulder a rifle against the Union Army.  But he witnessed the war and its effects up close.  His childhood was forever warped from watching the Union Army ransack his father’s plantation; finding his mother who overdosed on laudanum out of fears her slaves would kill her the closer Sherman got; and his father, who knew his way of life was forever gone, and shot himself in the head with a dueling pistol.

 There was nothing for Doc in the ruined South.  His uncle, who had led a guerilla army against the Union Army, took the boy in hand and finished his education.

Doc wasn’t really a doctor.  He did go to medical school but couldn’t finish because of the sickness; the consumption.

 Doc had my back.  Once when a lynch mob was going to drag a prisoner from my jail in Cripple Creek, Colorado, Doc held them at bay with his ivory-handled  pistols.

I had Doc’s back.  When that rustler who accused Doc of cheating at cards lunged at him with a knife, I shot the fucker dead, and Doc and I barely got out of town in time.

But that wasn’t the biggest way I had Doc’s back.

I cured him.

He never coughed up blood ever again.

The Parsons’ gang realized that too late.

They knew not to bring guns into my jurisdiction of Calle, Arizona.

They did anyway and they paid for it with their lives.

  I think toward the end, as Doc and I slurped their blood they wondered how we were able to turn into bats and then wolves.

Ron Capshaw is a writer based in Florida. His novel, The Stage Mother's Club, came out in June from Dark Edge Press.

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