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.
My hand and arm had several opaque, shining facets, without pores. I thought they were attractive, like crystal scales. I preferred them to my first constellations of liver spots.
I didn’t go to the doctor. I wanted to see whether they would make me sparkle.
During that time, I never thought about what was underneath. There are tree galls that push out shoots once the larvae inside are mature.
One morning, one of the facets slid out, a slim-lined ice obelisk. It pierced my watch-strap, I had to tear it free.
I stumbled to the mirror, feeling others pushing through.
Reflections of the Sparkling Vampire
The sparkle is his immortality surfacing. He can still move, but within decades his joints will seize up and his fibrous lungs will stop expanding. He already has diamond skin and ruby organs.
After each hibernation he wakes with more of the crystal facets. Sometimes one clogged pore flips, like a tiny manhole cover, revealing its shining underside.
He drinks the blood of maidens and youths: messily, uncleanly, to show himself that he loathes it. He doesn’t know whether it slows the process, but he wants to have something alive inside him, regardless of origin, sloshing between the crystallised walls.
The Shining Plague
The crowds in the streets slowed. Hair grew more burnished, then longer, as if it poured from their scalps. It turned jewelled colours; it grew out in curls and ringlets. Skin turned clearer, more mineral. Ears and fingers grew more slender, eyes huge and fragile.
Bodies attenuated, as if the violent growth of hair had sucked out their juices. They shot to such height that they started tottering, then snapping. Fingers twisted longer, tears – and now blood – sparkled, and still whirlpools of hair flowed through alleys, meeting and intertwining.
From a high enough vantage point, it would have been beautiful.
Christina Nordlander was born 1982 in Sweden. She now lives outside Birmingham, UK, with her husband, and works for a car leasing company. She has published over 20 stories and other pieces, most of them on the speculative fiction spectrum. She also dabbles in visual art and game development. Her most recent publication is the drabble “The Factory Grounds” in Trembling with Fear. She also holds a PhD in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Manchester. Follow her on Facebook or Patreon.