Black Petals Issue #102, Winter, 2023

Boo Hag
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

Richard Stevenson: Boo Hag

Boo Hag

Richard Stevenson


“Don’t let the hag ride ya,”

the Gullah are wont to say.

She’s a nasty, skinless vampire

capable of sneaking through

any small opening at night.


Ah, but she doesn’t sink fangs

into your neck when you’re asleep.

Oh no!  She sits on your chest

and sucks the air outta you

as you breathe, then takes her leave.


A succubus that leaves you

enough oxygen to survive –

at least for a few nights,

a few return visits.  You’ll feel depleted

like you didn’t get near enough sleep.


Ain’t gonna turn into a vampire either.

No sir.  And should you succumb

to this succubus, she’ll take your skin

to serve as a bag in cinch her

scrawny raw red hide into a slicker.


From North Carolina to Florida,

all along the east coast she

mounts her victims like a lover

and sucks the life right out of ‘em.

Victims too tired to resist; cannot scream.


She’ll be long gone before anyone

can save you.  Indeed, chances are

you won’t wake up yourself

while she rocks you with each

drawn breath.  You’ll be deep in dreams.


Ssss – sufferin’ succubus!  You’ll

never get enough sleep

unless you stow a broom

against your bed post or lintel,

give her too many straws to count.


She’s a witchy woman, after all.

May be lookin’ for a transportation

upgrade.  Keep her busy; that’s the ticket.

Leave two; she won’t know what to do.

Steal your breath, or grab a broom and scoot.


You won’t have a clue she

was even there, with any luck.

The Gullah are so clever, after all.

Had years as slaves to learn a trick

or two.  Tire her out before dawn –


She’s out flyin’ yer broom to

her cave for a little shut-eye

of her own.  If you stick a GPS

unit to yer broom, she’ll leave a trail too.

A stick of dynamite: she’s all over you.  Boo yeah!

Richard Stevenson is a retired college English and Creative Writing instructor. Taught for thirty years at Lethbridge College in southern Alberta and recently moved to Nanaimo, B.C. Has the usual pedigree: MFA in Creative Writing, thirty-five published books and a CD to his credit, including four forthcoming volumes in his Cryptid critter, ET, and Fortean lore series.

He says: That's the boring academic stuff. More interested to me is my good fortune in being able to transition from adult free verse of the lit quarterly variety to sci fi, fantasy, and horror! The new titles might give a sense of the fun I've been having, even in these Covid-19 times: _Cryptid Shindig_ (a trilogy including the volumes _If a Dolphin Had Digits_, _Nightcrawlers_, and _Radioactive Frogs_) and a stand-alone collection, _An Abominable Swamp Slob Named Bob_. :-)