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With This Ring: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Wheelie: Fiction by KM Rockwood
Contents Undisclosed: Fiction by Rebecca Holtzman
Here's Looking at You: Fiction by Victoria Weisfeld
Girl of My Dreams: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Jet Fuel: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Princess of the Silent Kingdom: Fiction by Fred Zackel
Relationship Status: Fiction by Greta T. Bates
A Dish Best Served Cold: Fiction by Shari Held
The Face in the Tree: Fiction by Joan Leotta
Shower Scene: Fiction by Ben Newell
The Dreary Detective: Fiction by E.E. Williams
Deadly Meating: Flash Fiction by Jacob Graysol
Full, From the Grave: Flash Fiction by Craig Kirchner
Leave Me Alone: Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Free Key Day: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
The Night the Monster Came: Flash Fiction by Tim Tobin
Some Things That I Learned in the Army: Poem by Richelle Slota
Double Negatives: Poem by RC Potter
Bird of Night: Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Last Night: poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Poem for an Ex: Poem by John Grey
His Gallery: Poem by John Grey
Beachwood Canyon: Poem by Damon Hubbs
Stick Horses: Poem by Damon Hubbs
she blew me a kiss: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
so much in common: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
After I Turned 40: Poem by Richard LeDue
The Alarm Clock: Poem by Richard LeDue
Sentimental Love Poems Shown to No One: Poem by Richard LeDue
The Children: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
The Deadly Shoes: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
The Sands of Inanna: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
Angelic: Poem by John Short
Robophobe: Poem by John Short
Worry Beads: Poem by John Short
not even Baudelaire: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Dream Doctor: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Neon Poem: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Another Chapter in Life:Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
The Same Old Story: Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
to bury a curious girl: Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

John Grey: His Gallery

Art by Kenneth James Crist © 2024



by John Grey


At first, she's impressed, awed even,

by the stuffed and mounted heads on his wall.

"That rhino made the mistake of charging me,"

he says, as she admires the huge gray head

topped with one, erect, threatening horn.

The lion is even more dazzling.

His mane is high and proud.

Those intimidating teeth

look set to rip a man's flesh from his bone.

"It was either me or him," he explains.

But when it comes to the smaller, cuter creatures

like the rabbit or the squirrel,

her mood droops like her face,

is overwhelmed by sadness, sympathy.

"Practice for the real thing," he says.

And then, beyond these tiny feature creatures,

the display turns into something more horrifying.

She trembles at the sight of a human head,

a middle-aged man with florid cheeks,

eyes bulging, mouth wide open,

frozen in eternal castigation

"The old man and me never did get along,"


A few more young men follow.

 "You tend to have a lot of enemies in this business."

And then a beautiful, though sour-faced, woman.

"It never did work out."


There's one space on the wall,

room enough for one more trophy.

Before she can ask for whom or what it is intended,

he whispers in her ear,

"You know something, you could very well be Miss Right."

She smiles

but then realizes,

her tour began from the far left.




John Grey is an Australian poet, U.S. resident, recently published in New World Writing, California Quarterly, and Lost Pilots. Latest books, Between Two Fires, Covert, and Memory Outside the Head, are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Isotrope Literary Journal, Seventh Quarry, La Presa, and Doubly Mad.

Kenneth James Crist is the editor of Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine and considers himself no kind of artist at all…

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2024