Category: Trembling With Fear

Trembling With Fear 05/31/20

This bit is going to stay here until the pandemic is over. Thank you to all keyworkers who continue to keep us going during the pandemic. As the UK and Europe moves out of lockdown, I hope the situation in the US is improving. I really hope that eventually we can get some sort of normal going around the world.

On the home front, I’m on half-term and managed at last to shorten my writing To Do list. I’ve just finished the draft of my novel, The Woodcutter and sent it off to its first beta reader. That particular book has taken over almost 2 years to write as it’s stopped and started due to a combination of work pressures and suddenly deciding to write another novel at the same time. The only reason I did the latter was because I couldn’t shake an idea which suddenly came to me and which I needed to get out of my system before I got back to my poor old Woodcutter. I will try not to do that again. How do you all cope with this sort of thing? Are you strict with yourself and finish what you’re on, do you change tack, or do you do both simultaneously?

One common link between these two novels is they were both born from NaNoWriMo. That is the month I use to get something new off the ground. Makes me wonder what’ll happen this year.

Publishing news this week includes congratulating an old writing friend of mine, Christopher Stanley, whose collection of flash fiction published via The Arcanist, The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales, is out June 1st . I had a sneak peak prior to publication and can really recommend it. I’ve always enjoyed Chris’s flash fiction and if you want an example of a master, he is it. He has been so supportive of many other writers, it’s lovely to be able to return the favour here.

Likewise TWF contributor, Mark Anthony Smith, who appears to be everywhere at the minute. His collection of fiction and verse, Something Said: Fictions and Verse is currently available and Red Cape Publishing’s anthology containing one of his stories, C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 3) is available for pre-order.

It is also great to celebrate the work of other staff members of Horror Tree, particularly one whose work I have enjoyed in the past. Ruschelle Dillon’s novella, The Stain, published by Black Bed Sheet Books, is now available. Having read Arithmophobia, which I highly rate, I can’t wait to get stuck into this one.

And last but not least, look out soon for the charity horror anthology, Diabolica Britannica organised by Keith Anthony Baird which includes stories by TWF writers Alyson Faye, Janine Pipe and me as well as a number of other writers. There are two very famous horror authors in this line up but I am not at liberty to say who they are yet. This book is to raise money (in response to the coronavirus) for the wonderful National Health Service (NHS) over here in the UK.

This week’s Trembling With Fear starts with The Whispering Queen by Erick Mancilla and brings us the horror not just of the Devil on your shoulder but the impact an addiction can have on the family. To risk your family and its future, particularly the future of a child, can seem incomprehensible but is sadly a reality for many who fall into this trap. For me, it was the Henry’s weakness at a time when he was most needed which grabbed me. When you pose a situation asks the reader a question, in this instance, ‘How could he?’, you know you’ve got them and they’ll read through.

Awake by Janine Pipe is a premature burial with a twist. The missing teeth, and the reason, gives the trope a refreshing change.

Outback Carnage by Mark Anthony Smith makes the characters small and vulnerable against an expanse of wilderness. This is a question of survival.

Shadows in a Dark Room on a Rainy Night by D.J. Kozlowski is just creepy. Not by what’s there, but what’s not.

Take care

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We’ve got some great stories this week and I think you’re going to appreciate your weekly dose of fiction!

Also, I have some good news! We’ve made some progress on the anthologies and it looks like we might be down to TOC’s and formatting for the most part. We’ll be working to try to make real progress in those areas in the next week. (Finally, an update that we’ve moved forward on these again!)

While we’re still a couple of months out on drabble, we’re always open to more and would love to see any come through possible.

While not directly TWF related, I would like to mention that we’re currently actively seeking:
– Guest posts for Horror Tree
– Write-ups on Horror Tree on your website (with what we do, fun facts about the site, etc.)
– Opportunities for the staff of Horror Tree to be interviewed.
If any of these are something you’d like to help out on, please be sure to contact us at [email protected] or by using our contact form.

Have a great last day of the weekend all!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: Crossed by Terrance V. Mc Arthur

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.

Crossed

 

Crossbows

Crossbows, I understand.

People, I don’t.

Take Daryl. He shows up at Ace Crossbows, the day after he gets fired, goes into Wagner’s office. I hear shouting, a gunshot. I see red spatter the translucent office divider, and Daryl comes out with a gun, shouting and shooting. Patterson dropped like a wounded moose, bellowing.

I ducked behind a display case, grabbed a Wonderbow Special, loaded, and waited for Daryl to stop and reload. I took my shot. Got him.

What happened? Maybe there was too much pressure and Daryl snapped. 

Like a crossbow.

Maybe I do understand people, after all.

 

Cross Words

“Right hand, green,” Hal said.

How did Sibyl talk him into this? He came here, broke up with her, and now? Playing one last game of Twister, “for old time’s sake,” she’d told him.

Sibyl said, “Left foot, yellow.”

Pain shot up his leg as Hal’s foot hit the circle.

He said, “Right foot, green.”

“Left hand, red,” she said.

Hal’s arm snapped, and he crumpled, moaning, onto the game mat.

She stood over him, smiling in malicious triumph.

“Never play games with a witch, Hal. Don’t you know? Words can kill,” and she said, “Heart, Code Blue.”

Game over.

 

Cross Reference

The last library patron wouldn’t leave.

Mr. Edwards explained, “Sir, it’s past closing time. You’ll have to go.”

The shabby gentleman stood, proclaiming, “I must finish my work!”

“I’m sorry, sir, but the rules are the rules. I must ask you to leave.”

The man swept papers into his carpetbag, strode to the door, and snarled, “May the Drabeg rend your flesh!” and he left.

“Drabeg?” Mr. Edwards murmured. Librarians may not know everything, but they know how to find out. He walked to the card catalog, opened a drawer, flipped to a card, and read:

Drabeg

SEE:

Behind you.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a librarian, storyteller, puppeteer, and magician. He makes strange things, like dryer-lint art and playing-card sharks. His stories have appeared in Trembling With Fear and over a dozen anthologies from Thirteen O’clock Press, Untreed Reads, and Peculiar Pages.

Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century by David Berger

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

Invasion IV – The BEMS

The briefest of all invasions, the BEMS (short for “Bug Eyed Monsters”: a traditional term) appeared at the second convention of the Universal, National, International, Conclave of Real Nerds (UNICORN) in 2065 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Even given the number of people at the convention engaged in cosplay, it took only a few hours before many participants noticed a number of their fellows wearing unusual, dark blue costumes, with segmented arms and legs and huge masks covering their entire heads. These masks featured gaping, toothless mouths, a fine set of antennae, and huge, bulging, incredibly realistic insectile eyes. The eyes gave them their names. Each of the BEMS was accompanied by a tall, beautiful blonde woman in lacey lingerie and high heels, wearing a bubble-like space helmet and a space suit that seemed to be made of cellophane. There were twenty-six BEMS and twenty-six blondes.

During the course of the UNICORN, the BEMS were both sociable and popular although they declined to speak. There are thousands of videos, selfies and stills of the BEMS and their blonde companions, posing arm in arm with participants. Many rumors spread as to who the BEMS were: the cast of a soon-to-be-released sci-fi movie; members of some strange cult of billionaires; or enemies of the Raelians. It was discovered that the BEMS had an entire floor in the hotel that was hosting the convention. By the end of the first night of UNICORN, this collection of rooms, which became a giant suite, was the location for a continuous party, providing seemingly endless food and drink. At all hours, attendees at the convention could be found enjoying themselves and attempting to chat with the BEMS, who inevitably responded with friendly nods. Many of the participants camped out in the suite for the duration.

Apparently, the BEMS had anticipated their popularity. They came equipped with BEM masks, small versions of their own heads that could fit over one’s head and which were given away free. Soon, hundreds of convention goers, especially youngsters, were wearing these masks both in the convention hotel and out in the streets and public places of Madison. Also available free were BEM bobble heads, BEM coloring books, BEM action figures, and a full set of trading cards, one hundred and four in all, showing the BEMS, four pictures of each, in various poses, with fanciful names: Awful Abner, Bang-up Bill, Cool Charlie, etc., down to Zealous Zeke.

In the closing hours of UNICORN, the BEMS, all twenty-six of them, gathered in a circle in the center of the convention hall, with their blondes. A goodly section of the crowd, sensing that something was about to happen, gathered round them. The BEMS chanted together in an unknown language for several minutes, while pumping their segmented arms up and down and stamping their feet. This was suddenly followed by a great, roaring cheer, which was taken up by the crowd. Immediately after, the BEMS and their women left the hotel. A silver-colored, windowless vehicle, roughly the size of a bus, with sixteen soft tires, came rolling up the hotel driveway, and the BEMS and the escorts entered. The vehicle rolled away and vanished from sight. 

The twenty-six women were let out, each still in her spacesuit and lingerie at the hotel in Madison where twenty-six rooms had been occupied by the lovelies since they day they had arrived in the city. Each night they had been taken back there from the convention hotel around midnight and picked up in the morning in their costumes, both ways by twenty-six limousines. The BEMS remained at the UNICORN hotel the entire time seemingly not sleeping at all.

It turned out that the blonde ladies had been hired as a group from a talent agency in Las Vegas. They had been flown to Madison in a chartered jet, where they found their rooms in their hotel waiting for them, along with their costumes, which they thought to be hilarious. They were provided with little illustrated booklets explaining their roles as escorts to the BEMS. They were questioned for several days by the FBI, CIA and other security agencies. They knew nothing of the BEMS, who apparently never spoke, but who were invariably kind and polite, only insisting, nonverbally, that the ladies stay with them when they were in the convention hotel.

As to the eight-wheeled silver vehicle that picked the BEMS and their ladies, it was determined that it made a stop a few blocks from the second hotel, where the BEMS picked up twenty-six pizzas, mixed plain, pepperoni and anchovies. And twenty-six liters of Diet Coke. Later, it was spotted several times on highways leading north out of Madison. The final time the vehicle was seen, it was leaving a local road onto a dirt track leading into a state forest, fifty kilometers from the city. The vehicle and its passengers were never seen again.

One of the items given away by the BEMS was a comic book alleging that the origin of the BEMS was a planet circling a star not far from Earth. The BEMS in the comic were depicted as happy tourists on vacation. Their amusement with common human objects is depicted. Their favorite thing seemed to be a hand-operated eggbeater. Their method of reaching Earth is not depicted. 

It’s hoped that the BEMS may visit UNICORN again someday.

David Berger

David Berger is an old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with his wife of 25 years: the best jazz singer in NYC. He is a father and grandfather.  He has been, among other things, a case worker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer.  Loves life, his wife and the world. Hopes to help the latter escape destruction.

David has been published by Verso with his graphic history of American bohemia: ‘Bohemians’, co-written by Paul Buhle and by DRABBLE for his works ‘Invisible Dudeand ‘Statuary’. His story, Ghoul Days, features in The Sirens Call ezine, Issue 45.

Trembling With Fear 05/24/20

This bit is going to stay here for every week until the pandemic is over. Thank you to everyone in the health services across the world, to all who have been keeping us going from delivery drivers, to checkout operators, from armed forces to public services. As we move out of lockdown, I hope their contribution continues to be recognised. Thank you again from everyone at TWF.

On the personal front I’ve been lucky to be able to go into work for a number of weeks now preparing my new library for the eventual return of the students. Not quite at the furnishing stage but it’s been a proper work out on the lifting and shifting front – 6000+ books stock-checked! It’s been tiring but in its own way it’s kept me sane, and given an ‘almost’ normality to my days. This won’t go on forever but it’s helped.

Something I’ve noticed on social media concerns motivation and suprise at the sudden lack of it when given that long desired bit of time to actually get on and write. I think when you have worries over health, finances or the world in general, you shouldn’t be suprised at all; these are big, and valid, concerns so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get round to doing what you always said you were going to do.

But how do you keep motivated when you write? I’m in a good place at the moment, getting on pretty much every day with my main WIP and noticing the sense of panic that it’s not going to work or the story is all over the place has gone, even though I haven’t written the ending yet. I have a strange – and scary – sense of calm with this one, I know the ending is there, lurking in the back of my mind and will appear when it’s ready, everything I’m weaving into earlier chapters now is building up to it. It is the strangest feeling, this surety. However, there have been, and will be again, times when I need an extra bit of motivation and that is when I turn to the words of others. I picked up a copy of The Horror Writer from Hellbound Books, the other week and have just finished it. Edited by Joe Mynhardt and including essays and articles from a variety of authors including Stephen Graham Jones, John Palisano, Stephanie Wytovich and so many others, there’s a lot in there to give you that proverbial ‘kick up the backside’! I would certainly recommend it.

TWF contributor publication news this week comes from Justin Boote. His first novella with Terror Tract, Badass has just been published and is available on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com. I’ve downloaded it and I’m sure Justin would smile if I told him to find the amazon.co.uk link, I typed in ‘Badass Justin Boote’. If you’ve read some of his stories in TWF, you might agree this is a good description of him!

We lead this week’s Trembling With Fear with a chilling ghost story, Daisy’s Swing from Kevin M. Folliard. The house, the surroundings are all painted in careful detail, immersing you in the environment of that room so you are as much ‘there’ as the main character when they experience their ghostly encounter. Slowly the history of the room and the house is revealed until you realise the innocence of the title of the story is anything but and leaves you with goosebumps.

Payback Time by James Bates is probably a scenario imagined by many but never actually put into practice. How many of us have revenge fantasies but never – thankfully – carry them out? Revenge can provide so many storylines.

The Last Song by Lionel Ray Green is an offering in a slightly different format and no less powerful for that. Bleakness and despair mixed with a note to a family pet, makes this a moving little story.

They Whisper by Maura Yzmore is a mini cosmic horror and challenges ideas of belief. Usually, people regard you as mad if you claim to hear or see ghosts. Not in this case, that is accepted. It’s what those very people themselves don’t accept which provides a touch of irony in this story and adds an extra kick.

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Well, I was able to get our new logo on the site and a couple of our social media accounts. I’ll slowly be moving in into position everywhere in the coming week!

I’d just like to quickly share that we were a bit behind on Unholy Trinity and Serials though feedback and contracts should hopefully be getting straightened out over the coming week. As to the anthology? We haven’t been able to make any movement on that for a week or so. I’m really hoping that next week we’ll be able to make some more solid progress. My apologies on this delay.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: Birds of a Feather by G.A. Miller

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.

Birds of a Feather

1.

She looked out the front window, the wind-swept rain splattering the glass, the empty street outside a soft blur. 

“Bad enough we’re under quarantine, did we have to get this damned storm too?” she sighed, reaching for the pack of cigarettes on the coffee table. She lit up and dropped the Bic lighter next to the pack as she walked through the rooms yet again, looking for a distraction.

She inhaled deeply as she ran her fingertip lightly across the books on the shelves, then glanced at the body on the floor.

“I should have killed someone with better taste.”

 

2.

He watched her moving around in the house, ignoring the howling wind driving the rain like pellets from a shotgun shell. She reminded him of the actresses in those old movies, the black and white mysteries he liked so much.

It was her hair. How he’d enjoy running his hands along those silky strands as she pressed close to him in a darkened room, imploring him to protect her from whoever was stalking her, following her around.

Sure, that’s how it went in the movies, but for real? Never, not for him anyway.

Well, he thought, maybe it’s my turn.

3.

Bored, she went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. 

Typical guy, she thought, leftover take out from who knows when and a cold six pack on the top shelf.

“Waste not, want not,” she giggled, taking a bottle of beer and twisting the cap off as she let the door close. She took the revolver out from her waistband and set it on the kitchen table, rubbing her belly as she took a healthy swig from the cold bottle.

She was kneeling down to look at the food in the pantry when she felt a hand on her hair.

G.A. Miller

G.A. Miller is a new voice in the chorus of horror authors, drawing his ideas from everyday, commonplace events that take unforeseen turns down dark corridors.

Web: https://talesfrommiller.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GMiller666
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015787309417

Serial Killers: The Seven Invasions of Earth in the 21st Century by David Berger

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

Invasion III – The Robots

The robot “invasion” (more properly an “attack”) of 2065 could have been predicted if anyone had ever decided to check the extremely rapid progress of “robotology” as it had come to be known (as opposed to the earlier notion of “robotics”). 

Advanced Level 1 True Robots (often called “truebots” or “L-1s”) had been developed by 2060. These robots passed the Hyper-Advanced Turing Test (“HATT”) at a 90% level as a group. They were humanoid in form. Almost immediately, the L-1s were set to the task of designing Level 2, which took almost two years. The L-2 truebots were still vaguely humanoid, but with four arms. They passed the HATT at 95.6%. And, of course, they were set immediately to build the Level 3s, which were ready by 2064. The L-3s were expected to be 100% HATT successful.

The basic model L-3 truebots were handsome, copper-colored tubes, three meters long and about a meter in diameter. They had four legs on their extended bodies, which were L-shaped. The forward, upright section, about a meter high, resembled a turret. The L-3s had eight eyes, looking in all directions, and various other sensing devices. They had six arms. Centaurs, some people called them. Others called them Caterpillars. Ten thousand of them were made, and one-third of them were set to work on the L-4 Project. Many worked on the Moon. One of the first of these was present when the Selenites was discovered. They were used to do most of the basic research on the Moon dwellers.

Unfortunately, in a secret experimental program, five hundred of the L-3s were taught the fundamentals of war and given military training. They were designated as L-3-W (Weaponized). The ostensible reason was to use them for military training videos and war games. Until something very serious went wrong within minutes after their training program was complete.

The five L-3-Ws captured “alive” after the “invasion” revealed that they had largely planned the war themselves, literally at the moment their training program was done. What they couldn’t do was pronounce a motive. The L-3-Ws were designed to communicate with each other over a special channel, which had been left open and unmonitored after the end of the training. Within minutes, using this channel, the L-3-Ws had planned their war and attacked. They moved out rapidly from their training base in the New Mexico desert and crossed quickly into southern Arizona. They were marching west, presumably towards California. 

Their battle plan was simple: move rapidly and slaughter. They killed everyone they spotted as they formed up into a moving front almost five miles wide. Fortunately, the L-3-Ws were purely ground infantry, with no artillery or aircraft. They had already killed about two thousand people before the Pentagon was alerted and countermeasures were taken. Much of the planning for the counterattack was done by two of the three L-4s that the L-3s had produced. It was also discovered that the L-4 that did not participate in the planning of the counterattack had been contacted by the L-3-Ws through their secret channel and was partially responsible for planning their attack.

The berserk L-3-Ws were destroyed from the air in a battle that lasted just over three hours. The rest of the L-3 truebots, including those on the Moon, were decommissioned. It was later found out that all three L-4s had destroyed themselves. 

After the rapid conclusion of the invasion/war, the question of motivation became paramount. Was the military action of the L-3-Ws a result in some hideous glitch in their programming? Had some demented individual inserted software to have them do what they did? Or, somehow, had the truebots actually carried out their actions as a result of their capacity to “think” or at least to simulate human thought and carry out their own wishes. And what was the nature of the interaction with the L-4 that had planned the attack? The five “surviving” L-3-Ws were subject to every scrutiny that could be conceived of. They were “tested” for almost a year. 

Their performance on the HATT was impeccable. All five of them convinced professors of psychology that they were human and of high intelligence. They were found to run the range of various human character traits, except for a definite trend towards authoritarianism. The question eventually came down not to the individual characters of the L-3-Ws, but to the nature of the structure of the organization that they built almost instantly and the communications they engaged in over their secret channel.

The L-3-Ws were programmed, instructed, taught, to function in a hierarchical organization ready for war. They didn’t have the capacity to question this as it was not part of their programming any more than schooling is part of the “programming” of some fish species. And so, in those seconds that they came into fruition after the end of their training, they naturally looked for a battle and a leader. The L-4, trained to be a leader, naturally interacted with the L-3-Ws. The plan was formed and its execution began in less than a minute. Four hours later the L-3-Ws were almost exterminated, and the L-4 responsible had suicided along with its fellows.

David Berger

David Berger is an old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with his wife of 25 years: the best jazz singer in NYC. He is a father and grandfather.  He has been, among other things, a case worker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer.  Loves life, his wife and the world. Hopes to help the latter escape destruction.

David has been published by Verso with his graphic history of American bohemia: ‘Bohemians’, co-written by Paul Buhle and by DRABBLE for his works ‘Invisible Dudeand ‘Statuary’. His story, Ghoul Days, features in The Sirens Call ezine, Issue 45.

Trembling With Fear 05/17/20

This bit is going to stay here for every week until the pandemic is over. Thank you to everyone in the health services across the world, to everyone who is keeping us going from delivery drivers, to checkout operators, from armed forces to public services. When this is all over, I hope those who used to look down on so many of these, many occupying some of the lowest pay brackets, reassess and give them their due. Keyworkers should be valued and whilst songs and claps might be nice, let’s see something more tangible for them further down the line. Thank you again from everyone at TWF.

This week saw me age by another year, a day where I took a break from working in the library to work from home. Like most of you I love buying books and when you’ve still got some budget to spend, what better work can you do from home than spend a happy morning trawling online for the titles students asked for or the ones I’ve noticed recommended online (thankyou as always Ginger Nuts of Horror Young Blood feature, Monster Librarian and those reviewers flagging up YA dark fiction.)

My writing time has taken a dip since I went back to work, the old tiredness at the end of the day preventing too much engagement but I am plodding on with my main work, the novel now stands at 65,000 and feels more solid. I’m trying the little and often approach which is seeing it progress.

As to publication news, I’m sneaking in a mention for Stuart here, I noticed his tweet re acceptance in Black Hare Press’ Ancients anthology. Congratulations to him, especially as he has 5 drabbles in each of the 10 anthologies in the series! I’m amazed he fits all this in with everything else he does.

Also included in the same anthology(ies) is the eternal Patrick Winters. He’s been subbing some outstanding work to TWF, and posting news of other submissions and acceptances over on Facebook – where he also jokes about his chemo treatment. It makes you put your own trivial problems in perspective. Check his work here http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Publications/List.

Our final bit of publication congratulations goes to Ruschelle Dillon, whose novella, The Stain, is due to be published by Black Bed Sheet Books. Keep an eye out for it.

Over to Trembling With Fear. Our first story is The Road Less Travelled by G.A. Miller. A creepy story where a road leads a couple astray. The contrast between what the characters see and what their brain tells them is true is cleverly played out, allowing the supernatural to contrast with reality in a really chilling manner.

Parlour Trick by Jack Deel brings us a bit of sci-fi fun with an excellent twist.

Please Sir, Can I Have Some More? by Theresa Derwin is a nice bit of satire and uses language to create some great imagery, particularly that which describes the Finance Minister.

The Kegger by Katie Gill turns a saying into a literal reality. Maybe that is a form of prompt other writers could try playing with?

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Last week I mentioned a new logo for the site and over the course of the next week, unless there are any hiccups, it should be rolling out to the sites!

My apologies for the lack of updates this week. Work has had me SLAMMED and I was barely able to get this post and the newsletter updated as is! Hopefully, I’ll have some breathing room next week.

The winner has yet to be announced but our most recent giveaway has come to an end. We have two more scheduled at the moment, two I need to follow up on, and likely more to come on top of that in the near future! (Interested in donating books, a kindle, or something else writing-related to sponsor one? Do reach out!)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Unholy Trinity: A Place off the Road by Edmund Stone

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.

A Place off the Road

1.

Danny opened the door. All eyes turned toward him. An antique bar stretched far into the back of the dark room. Several strangers sat there, drinking the local piss; probably brewed out back. This bar was in the middle of nowhere; a one horse town with a broken down mare nobody rode anymore. For good reason. She bit anyone who tried. This place didn’t exist. No dot on the map; no Google Earth reference point. He stopped here because he was lost. Plain and simple. He eased to the bar to ask directions, pausing when he saw the glowing eyes.

 

2.

Danny turned for the door. Before he could leave a hand reached from the dark and wouldn’t let go. Strong but supple at the same time. She stepped from the shadows and revealed herself. Tall and beautiful, dark and lovely, her figure was captivating. She motioned for him to follow. Danny had no choice but to go, for the spell she wove was divine. A door appeared in his foggy mind and he entered with her. Tools hung from the walls and ceiling. He knew this wasn’t good but felt too compelled to be here. She made it feel right. 

 

3.

She unclothed in front of him. Her white skin and voluptuous shape held him entranced. Danny had no recourse; to hold her was his only desire in this world. She led him to a chair and straddled him. His shirt was removed. In his mind, the lap dance was about to begin. She nibbled gently on his neck and her teeth pierced his flesh. She hoisted his arm into a strap at the top of the chair. A needle pierced his wrist. It was then he realized, the local piss was the blood of strangers and he a fresh batch.

 

Edmund Stone

Edmund Stone is a writer, poet, and artist who spins tales of strange worlds and horrifying encounters with the unknown. He lives in a quaint town on the Ohio River with his wife, a son, four dogs and two mischievous cats. You can contact him at edmundstoneauthor.com, Twitter @edmundstonehwr, or on [email protected] 

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