Black Hole Theory
Martin Fulmer


In the dark parking lot of a milk processing plant, BB drank a jug of wine, which he smashed against the brick wall outside the dairy. His theory required navy blue pants and jacket, so he washed them in a public sink each night before sleep. Then he waited, listened, and closed his eyes until he could see the massive spinning of a black ball from which he hoped his father would step, surprised, returned from the grip of gravity.


They fought at the kitchen table the night his father fell in the black hole. His dad said he was sick of it. BB turned up his jug and bubbled the wine.

His dad said, “You’re an embarrassment, a slacker. You work in a milk plant. Why’d I pay for college?”

BB said, “Feels good to work with my hands.”

“But you can do better.”

“Nothing’s wrong with work.”

“It’s been two years. I hate you for this.”

The jug smacked against the old man’s head. BB saw his pale hands; then he looked at his father, who stumbled back into a spinning black ball. His dad’s body faded and was gone.


Next day, BB rubbed his eyes clean where he slept on a hill overlooking the milk plant and parking lot. He crawled from his bedroll and donned his navy clothes. He mashed the jug shards with his boot and wondered would it work this time. Maybe he should vary the routine. Maybe the black hole ripped open in some other universe where BB never chucked his jug, or maybe where he caught his dad as he fell. Though he did not believe in God, he kneeled for a prayer, for the return of his father, and walked down the hill to the plant for work.


Martin Fulmer’s work has appeared in American Short Fiction (Things American series online), Connotation Press, storySouth, Tampa Review Online, and elsewhere. He has an MFA in fiction from the University of Tampa and an MA in English from Clemson University.