Black Petals Issue #103, Spring, 2023

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Editor's Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
All the Sky Is Waiting to Be Told: Fiction by Daniel I. Clark
Fire Sale: Fiction by Christopher Pate
Kregah: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
The Beauty of Machinery: Fiction by Hayden Seay
The Cold Sore: Fiction by Chris McGuinness
The Lake: Fiction by Harper Hargis
The Price: Fiction by Josh Hanson
The Tailbone Is Connected to the Hipbone: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Thorn Tree: Fiction by Lawrence Buentello
They: Fiction by Tony Ayers
Work Experience: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
Burns: 3 Connected Drabbles by Hillary Lyon
Grandma Medusa: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
I'm So Sorry, Computer: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Invasive: Flash Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Jumper: Flash Fiction by Kurt Hohmann
Personal Things: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Good Doctor: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Another Tomato Invasion, Again: Poem by I. N. Shimabuku
Curse of the Crazies: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Ghosted: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Meteor Moon: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Halo Around the Sun: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Maker's Image: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Specimen: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Blood-stained Jupiter: Poem by Meg Smith
Cat Science: Poem by Meg Smith
Mortician's Powder: Poem by Meg Smith
The Pinups of the Afterlife: Poem by Meg Smith
Dark Gate Park: Poem by Meg Smith
A turntable fabricates hope during the apocalypse in 3 parts: Poem by Dennis Bagwell
Reverend Mother Munchausen: Poem by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
Whispers of Winter: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin
A Man Is Nothing Without His Wife: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin

Hillary Lyon: Burns—3 Connected Drabbles

bp_103_burns_bholtzman.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2023

Burns

 

3 Connected Drabbles

 

Hillary Lyon

 

 

Rug Burn

Theresa pulls the hem of her skirt down, hoping to hide the abrasions on her knees. The other secretaries in the office act like they don’t notice. The boss drops by her desk, whispers nonsense into her hair. Aloud, he orders Theresa to follow him for dictation. Momentarily, the other secretaries freeze, hold their collective breath. She opens her desk drawer, gathers her pen, pad, and antique letter opener. The one the previous secretary left behind for her, with the terse note on scratch paper: “You’ll know when to use this.” Theresa glances at the clock. It’s well past time.

 

Sun Burn

 

Wiping the bar Paula, grumbled, “I’d give anything to be on a hot, sunny beach.”

“Anything?” her last customer queried, stirring his drink with his pinky.

“My eye-teeth, my first born, my—”

“Soul?” The old gent added, eyes glittering in the bar’s dim light.

“Sure.” Her customer held out his hand and she slapped his palm.

Paula licked her cracked lips as her nose and shoulders burned, blistered, and peeled. Searching for shade—a palm tree, anything—she found nothing. Only an endless beach.

Dehydrated, she couldn’t even cry. “My dear,” the old gent whispered. “A deal’s a deal.”


Slow Burn



People love a spectacle: Sparks, colorful smoke, music, a vendor selling snacks and souvenirs. With trembling hand, the magistrate chooses a little girl with golden curls to light the bonfire. See how she holds the smoldering stick, how she dances like a fawn over to the pyre of dry wood! Our eyes meet, she thrusts the stick, ignites the fire. The slow burn begins. The crowd roars! A priest mumbles; he fears what comes next. Shrieking, I travel through smoke and pain to land inside that little girl’s head. My new home! Possession is 9/10’s of the law, you know.



Hillary Lyon holds a Masters in English Literature, and what did she do with that? She founded and for 20 years acted as senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. Her short stories, drabbles, and poems have appeared in numerous print and online publications. She's lived in Brazil, Canada, France, and several states in the US; she currently resides in southern Arizona. Hillary also creates illustrations for horror, sci-fi, and pulp fiction sites.





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