Black Petals Issue #103, Spring, 2023

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

Ron Capshaw: The Good Doctor

Art by Michael D. Davis 2023

The Good Doctor


By Ron Capshaw


“That was a very foolish move, 707.”

The spy got up, a rifle butt-shaped bruise already forming on the back of his neck, and resumed his place at the dinner table.

The food satisfied the gourmand in the snobbish spy:  lobster bisque, lightly-braised trout and a Bollinger ‘39.

“I’d prefer not to listen, Doctor.”

The Doctor sat back in his chair and laughed.

“That is the only thing keeping you alive.”

“I’ve played this scene so many times I’d prefer death,” the spy said in an impeccable Oxford accent.  “Villain captures hero.  Over a lavish dinner, the villain monologues about how he will take over the world.  Instead of shooting the hero in the head, he constructs an inventive way to kill said hero.  But the villain doesn’t have the hero searched thoroughly, doesn’t stay to watch the death and so said hero escapes thanks to a gadget, usually contained in a fake tooth.”

The Doctor rose from his chair.

“I’m something new.  Walk with me.”

There were three gorilla-faced henchmen behind him, so the spy, handsome in a cruel way, followed.



“It’s called cloning,” the Doctor said, amidst the bubbling chemical beakers in the jungle lab.

He invited the spy to look through the microscope.

“We extract the genetic code of the one to be copied, dead or alive,  inject it into a healthy specimen,” the Doctor said, gesturing toward the natives, lashed to the bed, wired up to a pulsating machine, “and Voila!! You have several of that individual.  They even have the same memories.”

“Looks like it’s not working,” the spy said, looking at the caged figures, monstrous hybrids of native women and the Doctor.

“Oh. I’ve had some setbacks but I finally had a break-through.”

The Doctor pointed across the room to a copy of himself writing square roots on a blackboard.  Even far away the spy could see the clone was a much taller, more muscular version of the Doctor.

The spy was horrified, but as usual, in moments of high stress, made a quip.

“Physician heal thyself.”

The Doctor laughed.

“So I’m to gather you are so egotistical that you think an army of yourself can take over the world?”

The smile dropped from the doctor’s face, and what was exhibited was so hateful that the spy took a step back.

“Not exactly.”



They were now outside, facing rows of bamboo stalks.

“I was in medical school when I discovered what was theoretically possible.  I just needed time and numerous test subjects.  Hence this small remote island in the Pacific.”

The Doctor’s face again became hateful.

“You don’t even remember her, do you?”

The spy grinned rakishly.

“You’ll have to be more specific.”

The Doctor unclenched his fists and nodded to the guards who chained the spy’s left ankle to an iron disc protruding from the ground.

“Yes, I suppose I should.  This started because of what you did to my sister.  Then I realized she was just one of many you raped and murdered while your government looked the other way.

A wave of something was charging through the bamboo stalks toward them and the guards, taking no chances, ran away.

The doctor faced the spy, his back to what was almost out of the bamboo.

“I’ll stay and watch.”

What burst out was many of her, screaming and wielding machetes.

And then the spy remembered.

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

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