Black Petals Issue #102, Winter, 2023

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Editor's Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Betterment Day: Fiction by Malik Mandeville
Bridget Magnus: Fiction by Dean Patrick
Cemetery Road: Fiction by Richard Brown
I Quit: Fiction by Michael Stoll
Ivory Tower: Fiction by Aron Reinhold
Letter from a Poison Pen Pal: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Neck of the Woods: Fiction by Harris Coverley
No Angels: Fiction by Kilmo
It's A Dry Heat: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Requited Love: Fiction by Travis Mushanski
Stuck in Transit: Fiction by Michael Woods
Cold Yearning: Flash Fiction by Kat Sandefer
I Married a Zombie: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Snack Time: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling
The Boy Who Loved Bolt: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
The Cutting Room: Flash Fiction by Karen Schauber
Dirty Blue Bandana: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Bidee Bodee, Bidee Beaux: Poem by Thomas Fischer
Blood of Whitechapel: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Rotten to the Core: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Seque into Shadows: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Sensitivity to Light: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Boo Hag: Poem by Richard Stevenson
Paranormal Parasites: Poem by Richard Stevenson
Huggin Molly: Poem by Richard Stevenson
In the Morgue of Memory: Poem by Hillary Lyon
Unexpected Culinary Opportunity: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
OI (Oo-ee): Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Plant Eater Gone Carnivorous: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
They Shouldn't Be There: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
The Needle Spins: Poem by Rp Verlaine
Cold: Poem by Rp Verlaine
The Sleepwalker: Poem by Rp Verlaine

Ron Capshaw: The Boy Who Loved Bolt

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Art by Hillary Lyon 2023

The Boy Who Loved Bolt

 

By Ron Capshaw

 

          They made fun of his obsession just like they made fun of everything else about him.   He thought, and still did, that it wasn’t just because he was bookish; it was because he wasn’t “from there,” which was another way of saying he wasn’t one of the “elect,” that sacred group born in Mullin, Texas.

          After the movie magazine with his idol on the cover fell out of his school folder onto the ground in full view of his class, he no longer bothered to hide his obsession.

          Now he wasn’t just “that fag who reads books.”  He was now that “fag who liked fags.”

          It wasn’t because the boys of Mullin Middle School weren’t allowed to like actors.  But it had to be a certain kind; ones like Roy Rogers and Tom Mix who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing tights like Alan Bolt.

          His Dad understood.  Dad knew about unfashionable, “sissified” hobbies.  In his private time away from the pharmacy, Dad loved to paint and put his pictures of unmurdered ducks on the walls of his study.  This, along with his movie posters, were taken down by the boy’s social climbing Mom via the Baptist Church when she had company.

          That was why Dad bought him that rusty sword in San Antonio, along with a new paint set and canvasses for himself.

          He wondered if Dad thought his obsession was a quest to find a more suitable father figure.  It wasn’t.  It was about finding a better big brother, who relentlessly made himself red-neck enough to be more or less accepted by his peers at Mullin High School.

          The school bell rang, and the boy practically skipped home rather than ride the bus with his hostile peers.  He had a whole summer to look forward to; of his sword striking overhanging tree limbs and chopping weeds as if they were the army of that counterfeit king from the movie.

          He let himself into his house which was another reason the lunks hated him.  His Dad, the town pharmacist made enough money (he was the second richest man in town, and unlike the first, the mayor, he didn’t get his money from kickbacks and graft) that the family never had to worry about the bank foreclosing on the house the way they did the farms.

          The family had nothing to fear from “Old Man Depression.”

          Inside, he went upstairs to Dad’s closet, which he was forbidden to enter because that was where Dad stashed some of the medicine that required a prescription.

          He found the vial and syringe and went back downstairs whistling the tune from Captain From Tortuga.

          He passed the dining room table, where Mom and Dad and his brother hadn't moved from all week, even with the flies darting in and out of their open mouths.

          He patted Dad affectionately on the shoulder.

          The boy knew he was on borrowed time and didn’t care.

          He opened the basement door and went down the stairs.

          The figure chained by the ankle to the radiator had given up trying to escape and promising the boy the world if he let him go.

          All that mattered was the morphine fix.

          The boy smiled as the man got up, chain rattling, rolled up his sleeve and let the boy inject him.

          The man plopped on his butt, his eyes rolling up into his head in a state of bliss.

           The boy sat down in a chair across from the man.

          “Do the escape scene from ‘Captain From Tortuga.”’

          Alan Bolt obeyed.


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