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

Riham Adly: Mona Wants to Die, but She Lets the Weather Decide

Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2022

Mona Wants to Die but She Lets the Weather Decide

Riham Adly


Mona tries to kill herself.

Mona wants to figure out why she wants any of the things she doesn’t want. She sees a hypnotherapist.

If you want to figure it out too, try session 363, but remember, we are what we think all week long. We are whoever we think we are.

Session 363  

 Dec. 31       

Mona lies on the blue reclining chair. A wall in her mind blocks everything behind it. She slips into hypnosis and feels like a thief trying to break his own way into a past life. A sick feeling floats when she finds herself ambling through the garden of life. A white scent hums, stinging her crinkled skin. She wants an exit. She grabs a dictionary from her imaginary shelf, looking up a way out.

Doorway  (noun)

The passage or opening into a building, room, etc,. commonly closed and opened by a door; portal.

A mean of access: a doorway to success.

Mona wants a beautiful door. She gets to choose one of the following:

         1) Burano, Italy. A color-pop patchwork-like painted door with stenciled patterns.

         2) Chefchaouen’s cerulean-colored doors with warm reds, oranges and pinks.

         3) Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Mermaid on a swing patting a dolphin painted over the door.

She smiles because they’re really beautiful but she ends up choosing:

          4) Plain door with a brass knocker.

Behind that door Mona will turn sixteen again, and smell the sharp old smell of sea where she once upon a time lived. She will come face to face with Moneer, the boy who had trapped her inside him for all those years. The family’s on their way to the doctor and there is talk about ambiguous genitalia and genetic deformation. Moneer covers his ears and watches the look on his father’s face; he’s lost him for good.

Mona wants to die. Mona tries to die. Mona decides to die, but not yet…not yet.

Behind that door Mona/ Moneer will turn fifteen. The aroma of the sea streams through, thick and liquid. They will look just like their Mama when they put on one of her wigs. There was the big bouffant, the Marilyn Monroe cut and others. They will steal the long hippie hair and hide it in their closet for a whole week before the cleaning lady discovers it.  When their Baba finds out, the discreet panic he’s tried to hide for years spills into angry fists that punch Mona/Moneer’s long-lashed eyelids.

Mona’s shoulders are aching, her fingers chafing; a sudden shaft of pain stabs her chest: Grief.

Behind that door Mona/ Moneer will turn fourteen. The sea waves are like voices, light and bright as pins.  They didn’t share any of their male friend’s peculiarities and insatiable healthy craving for sex. Instead, they will take to stealing their older sister’s sports bra because their chest wasn’t exactly flat as a boy’s. They could almost hear their Mama’s voice urging them to leave the cooking to the sisters who were too lazy to do anything other than paint their toes red. The trapped Mona had loved that red wanting some of it on her lips. Eventually Mona/Moneer did start using make-up to hide bruises and the occasional black eye. Their first bleed started after one of Baba’s “why don’t you man up” beatings.

Behind that last door Mona/ Moneer finally discover why they want to die. Muscles in their back tighten. Unseen sounds turn brittle like rust. The therapist is concerned. Should she ring the bell?

Behind that door Mona/ Moneer turns seven. The sky is alive in their eyes. They are that happy child waiting and wondering if Baba was bringing the candy machine— that spit candy when you insert a coin—back from the grocery store he owned back then. The sisters were not allowed to touch it. Only the boy can play, Baba used to say. So, the sisters took turns pinching and pulling Mona/ Moneer’s slick hair, but they were all children back then who liked playing with dollies.

The weather is like a dream of clear seas, but Mona is lost, at sea, but before that she turns to look at father and mother one last time, and whispers.

“Mama, Baba, forgive me.”

Riham Adly is an award-winning fiction writer and editor from Giza, Egypt. In 2013 her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN award. In 2019 she was long-listed in Brilliant Flash Fiction’s food themed contest and in 2020 her story “How to Tell a Story from the Heart in Proper Time” was a winner and was included in the 2020 Best Micro-Fiction Anthology. In 2022 her story “Two Peas in a Pod” won second place in the Strand International Flash Fiction Contest.

Riham was nominated for the Pushcart in 2019 and was nominated for Best of the Net in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Her flash fiction has appeared in over sixty journals such as Litro Magazine, Lost Balloon, The Flash Flood, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Sunlight Press, Flash Fiction Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Flash Frontier, Flash Back, Ellipsis Zine, Okay Donkey, and New Flash Fiction Review among others.

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