Unholy Trinity: ‘I Don’t Want To See Him Impeached, I Want To See Him In Prison,’ Said Nancy Pelosi: Three Ways To Give The Speaker What She Wants by Marleen S. Barr

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

I. Trump loved watching the sumo wrestlers during his trip to Japan. The fighting made him feel  comfortable. When Trump stood to give the participants a trophy, he looked inside and saw a roach wearing harem pants and pointed shoes. The insectoid genie told Trump that the trophy was her home. She asked him to make a wish. “I want to be a sumo wrestler,” said Trump. Wrestling attire appeared on his corpulent body. When the wrestlers bumped against him he bumped back. The feminist genie made sure that Trump spent the rest of his life imprisoned in the wrestling ring.

II. While taking an early morning stroll on the White House lawn, a staffer stubbed her toe on a small circular object emblazoned with the word “HILLARY.” The sparrow-sized emissary from the planet Hillary exited her tiny spaceship. When the staffer brandished a handgun, rays emanated from the Hillaryian’s eyes; the gun disappeared.  Despite the alien’s power, the staffer knew that she could not risk having Trump see a ship named “Hillary.” So she covered the ship with her scarf. The alien carried out her mission to extradite Trump to a Hillaryian jail where mini-me Hillarys placed him in solitary confinement.

III. No one was surprised to learn that Robert Mueller was a robot. When Robert De Niro offered to replace Mueller via reprising his Saturday Night Live impersonation, House Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler invited him to read Mueller Report findings on television. The riveted audience watched robot Robert appear, interrupt De Niro, and declare that according to “The Three Laws of Robotics,” he could not harm Americans. He explained that, although Attorney General William Barr had programmed him not to indict Trump, he was able to override the program. Then robot Robert stated that Trump should go directly to jail.  

Marleen S. Barr

Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, and Genre Fission: A New Discourse Practice for Cultural Studies. Barr has edited many anthologies and co-edited the  science fiction issue of PMLA. She has published the novels Oy Pioneer! and Oy Feminist Planets: A Fake Memoir.  Her When Trump Changed: The Feminist Science Fiction Justice League Quashes the Orange Outrage Pussy Grabber is the first single-authored Trump short story collection.

Serial Killers: The Movie’s End. Part 3

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

The Movie’s End. Part 3

Tracy heard Mike’s feet scuffing across the hardwood floor as he came out of the bedroom. She had no desire to speak to him, so she pretended to be engrossed in the show, hoping he’d wander out to the kitchen, or maybe he would leave the trailer entirely, finding somewhere else to pass the time until she was gone.

She couldn’t be so lucky. In her peripheral vision, Tracy saw him standing there. He was facing her, his hands at his side, staring at her. Not only is he pathetic, Tracy thought, but he’s a creep!

He was quiet for so long that, when Mike finally did speak, it made Tracy flinch. She hoped he hadn’t noticed; the last thing she wanted was for him to think she was intimidated by him. This wimp couldn’t even scare a neurotic cat.

“Tracy,” Mike said, “I forgive you.”

Forgive me? Tracy thought. For cheating? Well, guess what, loser? I don’t give a fuck if you forgive me or not.

This was the response Tracy’s mind was prepared to administer, but she feared it might start a long, drawn-out conversation. She needed another response, but what could she say? “Thank you?” No, her pride wouldn’t let her to utter those words; it implied she felt sorry for what she had done, and nothing could be further from the truth. Oh, but what words would suffice then? The seconds were ticking by, and he was waiting for her to say something.

Finally, Tracy settled on the most non-committal thing she could think of.

“Uh huh.”

And that was it. He wasn’t going to get any more out of her. Tracy kept her eyes on the television, twirling her hair around one finger, waiting for him to go away.

But he didn’t. Instead, Mike addressed her again.

“Tracy, did you hear me?” he asked insistently.

This was her moment. Tracy knew if she got a little aggressive, Mike would scamper away. She could pretend she was agitated over the fact that he was interrupting her show when she clearly didn’t care what he said.

With her best out-of-control bitch voice, Tracy said, “Goddammit, Mike, don’t you see I’m trying to watch a show here?”

Just as she got to the “dammit” part of her first word, she dramatically snapped her head in his direction. In the past, she noticed that shouting accompanied by a sharp, sudden movement were enough to make him back down. This time, that didn’t happen, but Tracy tried not to let her surprise show on her face. She glared at him, waiting for the moment when he would break.

It wasn’t until he raised his hand that she realized he wasn’t going to…

…because he was holding a gun.

Tracy opened her mouth to tell him to put down the weapon so they could talk things out, but she didn’t have time. Mike flexed his finger, and a bullet exploded out of the gun. He was no marksman, but at this distance it would have been impossible to miss. Tracy’s head rocked back as the bullet slammed into the right side of her skull, entering just above the eye and ripping through the back. There was an audible crunch when the tiny hunk of metal cracked her head open, followed by the wet sounds of brains and blood splashing against the wall behind her. Tracy’s body slumped back and slid down the couch, stopping just short of toppling to the floor. Mike watched her body tremble as the nerve endings twitched in their final death throes. He set the gun on the couch cushion beside her and waited.

Once her quaking was done, Mike picked up Tracy’s body, carrying her into their bedroom and placing her on the bed. As he did this, Mike wondered if she’d had her affair right here in their room. Then he laughed at himself. What an absurd thing to wonder. What difference did it make?

Tracy’s body was now resting on the gasoline-soaked mattress. She hadn’t heard Mike go out the backdoor to retrieve the gas can from his truck, and apparently, she also hadn’t detected the odor of gasoline filling the trailer. If she had, then Mike was certain she would have taken off and foiled his whole plan. Thank God for the Jerry Springer Show because if Tracy hadn’t been so engrossed in that, then Mike would not have been able to do as he pleased now.

With Tracy in place, Mike had only two steps left. He grabbed the gas can and spread what remained of the fluid around the trailer. It didn’t take long because he’d used a lot in the bedroom. His reason for this was symbolic: they had slept together in that room. They’d held each other close, fallen asleep while spooning, had sex there, put most of their possessions in there. It was the place that contained the bulk of their memories together. Therefore, that was the room that had to be burned the most thoroughly. Mike realized he’d used far too much in the bedroom when he got to the kitchen, and only a few drops of gasoline came out. No matter. As long as that bedroom was obliterated, he didn’t care if any of the other rooms burned.

Mike went back into the bedroom, dropping the gas can just inside the door. He went over to the bed, digging a book of matches out of his breast pocket. It dawned on him that he wanted another cigarette first. He stepped back from the bed, so the match wouldn’t make the fumes ignite.

Once the tip of his cigarette was glowing, Mike took two more steps back. The mattress was so soaked that the flames might jump right up to the ceiling once the match landed, and he didn’t want to get caught in the blast.

Mike struck another match and threw it on the bed. It blew out before it touched down, and then he remembered the ceiling fan was still on! He reached up and pulled the string to deactivate it. Then he ignited a third match and pitched it at the mattress, only to watch the flame die out again.

Mike realized what he had to do. He took a step closer to the bed, leaning forward at the waist as he struck match number four. Then, with reflexes he wasn’t even aware he had, Mike threw the burning stick at the bed and jumped back to the doorway. This time, the flame survived its short trip through the air. Just as he’d predicted, the bed practically exploded once the flame touched down. He moved back another step, raising an arm to shield his face against the blast of heat. He remained in the doorway for another moment, peeking over the edge of his forearm to watch the corpse and bed burn. He left when the flames started creeping around the room.

Mike sat on the couch, staring at the Jerry Springer Show credits and listening to the sound of the flames crackling in the bedroom. There was nothing to do now but sit and wait. Out of instinct, he picked up the remote control. He was going to die, but that didn’t mean he had to be bored while he waited.

Mike changed the stations several times. There was either nothing on that he wanted to see, or the program was on a commercial break. He knew he could flip to the TV Guide Channel if he really wanted to find something of interest, but he didn’t feel like waiting through the slow crawl of that menu. Knowing his luck, the flames would reach the couch just as he found something good.

Mike continued to press the “channel up” button, wading through what few stations he and Tracy got, until he came across something amazing, something that blew his mind, something that made him realize the universe was speaking to him.

He came across a station that was playing Metropolis.

Tears welled up in Mike’s eyes. This was an example of the stars aligning just right, something which very rarely happened to him. The saddest part was that, when the news featured a story about this tragic murder-suicide, the irony of this moment would not be discussed. It would be lost in the ashes.

Mike put the remote down and stretched out on the couch, watching the movie that Tracy hadn’t let him finish, while the flames spread. When a commercial break came, he glanced over to see how fast the fire was moving. Judging by the speed at which the trailer was going up, it wouldn’t take that long to reach him.

And he laughed. He laughed at the stupid, bitter, sad, irony of it all. Of everything. Of his life. Of this moment.

He laughed because he realized that, after all these years, he still wouldn’t get to see the movie’s end.

Steve Grogan

Steve Grogan is a writer and musician who pays absolutely no attention to genre. His literary influences include Phillip K. Dick and Thomas Pynchon. He is also inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins. Lastly, Steve enjoys the “pop culture Cuisinart” filmmaking style of Quentin Tarantino. You can find more of his writing on his Amazon Author Page.

Unholy Trinity: The Three Reanimated Little Pigs by Roxy Thomas

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Three dead pigs are reanimated by unethical scientists, but have they gone too far, messing with Mother Nature and the boundaries of what should be possible. The scientists used their own brain cells in the process, inadvertently forming a mind meld with the pigs. Reliving the pigs’ last few horrific hours, fear and rage is forcing the scientists to enact revenge on the slaughterhouse employees and owner.

Straw

The trio clinked champagne glasses. “To being the first lab to bring dead pigs back to life,” Professor Straw toasted, his smile wavering when Bob’s scowled. “Don’t start with the ethics board again, no one will find out we used our own brain cells,”

Straw drunkenly collapsed on the backroom cot. Barely asleep he felt an electric jolt, opening his eyes to the sight of a ramp leading into a pen of frightened pigs. Why was he at their level?  Who was the man with the bolt gun? Squealing he knew the mind meld Bob warned him about was real.

Sticks

Nursing a champagne hangover Professor Sticks turned into the drive-thru for his usual breakfast sandwich. The swig of back coffee felt medicinal but when he took a bite of the greasy concoction the smell of bacon nauseated him. Perplexed he forced down a bite, and revulsion struck. Anger curdled his blood and he tromped on the gas as visions of the smoke stack from the nearby meat processing plant called to him and the sadistic men inside. He squealed with glee as he imagined how he would pay them back. Blood seeping into the drain would be human, not porcine.

Brick

John Brick answered the front door to two men in lab coats. “Can I help you?”

“Are you the owner of the packing plant?”

“Yes, and you are?”

“We are from the university to discuss securing more animals for our research.”

If the scientists were showing up, it must mean more money. The greed in his eyes was replaced by fear as they suddenly brandished meat hooks. He stumbled to the back door but it was blocked by another man in a lab coat, with three pigs on leashes. As they devoured him, his squeals were silenced by contented grunts.

Roxy Thomas

Roxy Thomas, an aspiring writer in the horror and paranormal genre by evening and a psychiatric nurse and safety specialist by day.

She has published a personal essay in my city newspaper and non-fiction pieces on the topic of mental health in a small town weekly. She has been published in TWF and in CafeLit.

You can find her on Twitter https://twitter.com/roxythomas , Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/storiesbyroxy/about/?ref=page_internal ,

 Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/91462444-roxy-thomas and through my website/blog https://storiesbyroxy.com/

Serial Killers: The Movie’s End. Part 2

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

The Movie’s End. Part 2

Tracy laughed at the antics on the TV screen. A few minutes ago, she had broken the news to Mike that she was leaving. She’d expected ranting, raving, screaming, walls being punched, items being thrown, but none of that happened. All Mike did was ask when she was leaving. His calmness puzzled Tracy at first, but then she realized she didn’t care how he reacted or what he felt. She was getting out, she would be happy, and that was all that mattered. Soon she would be free of the wimp, and she would be in the arms of Harry Stanton. A real man.

She’d met him the day after Mike called to tell her about his trip to Canada. It was at the local watering hole called Sam’s Tavern, which was a puzzling name because the owner was not named Sam. In fact, the bar had never by owned by anyone named Sam. It was one of the small town’s greatest mysteries, but one that never crossed Tracy’s mind unless someone else brought it up.

She had gone to the bar with a couple girlfriends. Toward the end of the night, one of the far-from-sober patrons started hitting on her. Tracy made it clear she was not interested; you couldn’t get much clearer than saying, “You have a better shot with your mother, you creep.” If the drunk hadn’t been determined to bed Tracy before that statement, he was even more insistent after she’d insulted him.

Unaware that she was in trouble, Tracy’s friends had already taken off. (Tracy wished she had realized this before she mocked her would-be suitor.) She called their cell phones in an effort to get at least one of them to return to the bar, but they all went right to voicemail. Great, Tracy thought, now what?

Tracy stayed in the bar until last call because she knew the drunk wouldn’t try anything while other people were around. She stayed in the bar as long as she could, but when the bartender used his old stand-by line (“You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here), she had no choice but to leave.

When she stepped outside, she saw the drunk and two of his friends standing by an ancient-looking pick-up truck. The drunk pointed Tracy out to his companions, and they surrounded her. Her main adversary reached out to brush a hand against her cheek. Even his fingers smelled like alcohol.

Tracy was facing the bar, which gave her the chance to see a glimmer of hope: a giant mountain of a man exited the bar. He stopped a few feet from the door and made eye contact with Tracy. She hoped he could see the fear in her eyes.

He did. The giant stormed over to Tracy’s car, moving much faster than anyone his size had a right to, and said, “Is there a problem here?”

The drunk turned around. Tracy would have given anything to see the look in the man’s eyes when he saw the size of the guy addressing him.

“Not unless you want one,” the drunk said.

“Jesus, man,” one of the drunk’s friends said, “he’ll fuckin’ snap us all in two”

The drunk probably knew his friend was right, but he was committed. He’d already made a show of being a tough guy. To back down now would be to lose major face, and word of it would travel quickly in this town.

“You can run if you want,” the drunk said. “As for me…”

In mid-sentence, the drunk took a swing at the tall man. The giant closed the gap between himself and his adversary, stepping inside the arc of the punch while hitting his foe in the face with an elbow. The blow dropped the drunk right on the spot. After looking at their unconscious partner for a second, the two friends took off.

The man-mountain moved toward Tracy and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. He asked if she was all right. She nodded silently, unable to find any words. All she could think of was that Mike would have never done anything like that for her. He was a coward, avoiding confrontation every chance he got. This giant was the kind of man she needed, so she set her sights on getting him.

His name was Harry Stanton, and he was a mechanic at a garage not far from the trailer park. Tracy learned when he went on lunch break, and she made it a point to visit Harry whenever he was working. She never mentioned Mike to him because she realized that Harry was a noble man; if he knew an involved woman was making the moves on him, he would have given her the cold shoulder.

It wasn’t long before she seduced Harry and took him to bed. She even managed to get to the point where they were talking about moving in together, all without him knowing about Mike. In a town of this size, that was nothing short of a miracle. When she asked Harry if he wanted her to move in, he said yes without hesitation.

All she had to do now was get her stuff out. Tracy had been hoping to do it before Mike showed up, but he got back from Canada in record time. Oh well. No big deal. She didn’t give a shit if he was here or not. Either way, she was moving on to what promised to be a happy future with Harry.

The show went to a commercial, and Tracy heard a splashing sound. For a moment she wondered what kind of nonsense the loser was up to, but she didn’t care enough to go find out.

Her phone was resting on the arm of the couch, and it lit up as a text message came in. Tracy saw it was from her girlfriend Linda. The question on the screen was the kind that only the closest friends could ask each other without causing chaos:

how’s it going, bitch?

Tracy laughed as she opened the message and typed a quick response:

watching Springer, waiting for toe nails to dry and then I’m out of here

The downfall of living in a text/email/Facebook messenger-loving society was that you could not hear a person’s tone of voice when they contacted you, but Linda’s next message was the exception to that rule. Tracy could practically hear Linda shouting out, delightfully surprised.

you mean you told Mike???

Tracy confirmed that she had. Linda asked how Mike reacted. After describing it, Linda summed up everything a person needed to know about Mike in four simple words:

he is so pathetic!

Tracy laughed and texted back that she was in 100% agreement with that.

When the show came back from commercial, Tracy checked on her toenails. Still not quite dry. Every second she remained in the trailer felt like an eternity, but she kept repeating to herself: not much longer, not much longer.

She stared at the television, but she didn’t really see it anymore. Instead, Tracy found herself peering into the past, remembering the day she met Mike. He seemed so rugged, so confident, so sure of himself. After she moved in with him, it didn’t take Tracy long to realize it was all a front. Underneath that badass exterior, Mike was a scared, spineless little boy. And poor. Probably the poorest motherfucker she’d ever met. What use was a boyfriend who could never surprise her with some fancy jewelry or some other wonderfully, ridiculously exotic gift? Not much use at all.

Tracy’s memories faded away, and she sat there on the couch in an almost meditative state. Having no further thoughts or memories caused Tracy’s other senses to be momentarily heightened, and that was when she noticed there was a strange aroma in the air. It was an unusual scent for the interior of a trailer, but she knew she’d smelled it somewhere else. Why couldn’t she place it?

Steve Grogan

Steve Grogan is a writer and musician who pays absolutely no attention to genre. His literary influences include Phillip K. Dick and Thomas Pynchon. He is also inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins. Lastly, Steve enjoys the “pop culture Cuisinart” filmmaking style of Quentin Tarantino. You can find more of his writing on his Amazon Author Page.

Unholy Trinity: Home … by Anthony Ferguson

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Home

Keira was waiting on top of the hill overlooking my old school. I could always count on my wife, even after the plague.

“You find them?”

I nodded. “Just Mum… Dad was her first meal.”

She hugged me.

“I loved them too.”

“You ever wonder if the undead have memories?”

“Huh?”

“Mum and I had a ritual. Every morning on the way to school, I’d stop here and turn toward our house. She would be on the back porch waving.”

I pointed to the place I had tethered Mum.

There she was.

I raised my arm and waved to her…

Neighbour

On the streets of my childhood, a sound brings me running. The house two down from my parents, a woman in the back yard. A stranger. She is backed against the fence. An undead child, pigtails hanging over ruined face, encroaches on her.

I reach in desperation for a garden stake. Nod at the woman. Her pupils dilate. From behind I smash the dead thing’s head, even as the woman screams, “Noooo!”

Puzzled, I drop the weapon, as she runs to the fallen child and cradles the dead thing in her arms.

“My daughter,” she screams at me. “My baby.”

Goodbye

I find Keira in the lounge room, she has her back to me.

Edging closer, I see she is picking up our framed family photographs and gazing at them. Memories of our wedding day, holidays in the sun or snow. Happy days.

She turns and I see she is crying.

“I’m sorry I didn’t give you children,” she says.

I touch her hand, ignoring the ominous bloody wound on her upper arm. The harbinger of doom.

“It’s okay.” I squeeze her fingers.

I raise my other arm toward her head, the one holding the knife.

“I love you,” I say.

Anthony Ferguson

Anthony Ferguson is a committee member of the Australasian Horror Writers Association (AHWA), a two time finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards. He has multiple story publications in magazines and anthologies, and authored the N/F book, The Sex Doll: A History, and Devil Dolls and Duplicates in Australian Horror.

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