Tagged: Unholy Trinity

Unholy Trinity: Cave Painting, The Cooper Party & Trapped by Cassandra Vaillancourt

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.


Cave Paintings


     When we entered the lower chamber that’s when we saw the paintings. We were awestruck by the almost realistic depictions of animals and humans. There was hunting scenes followed by battle scenes.

     The more we studied, the battle scenes looked more like raiding parties. As we probed deeper, we saw the capturing of prisoners. We all gasped in horror at the imagery depicting the killing and eating of captives followed by celebrations.

     “This cave must’ve been home to a cannibal tribe.” I Mused.

     A harsh voice from behind barked, “YEAH, AND IT STILL IS!”

     We all turn around and scream.


The Cooper Party


     A group of friends went exploring in Cooper’s Cave which was named after a group led by Professor Cooper that mysteriously vanished.

     After entering the cave, they discovered a subterranean world of wonders of stalactites, stalagmites and columns.

     After going into an almost endless tunnel, they stumbled upon a huge cavernous room. They heard the screeching of bats and looked up.

     Suspended from the ceiling along with the bats was the lost Cooper Party.

     “Professor Cooper?!” asked the leader. He was answered by the ravenous look of the professor and his group as they lunged down on the hapless explor




     “Damn!” Greg hopelessly searched in the cave trying to locate the opening where he entered to no avail. Just when he was about to give up hope, a light fell on him. It was a fellow caver who was beckoning him. Relieved, Greg followed his rescuer.

     Greg had a difficult time keeping up through the endless passageways and sudden turns until he was back in the cave alone except for a figure huddled against a wall.

     Greg cast his Carbide lamp on the figure only to discover that it was the frozen, encrusted remains of himself.

     His light goes out.


Cassandra Vaillancourt

Hello. My name is Cassandra Vaillancourt. I am a Trans Woman who is making a transition from artist to writer. I work as a humble retail worker. I’m new to The Horror Tree with my first short story “The War Wreck” and the drabble, “Black Gold“. This is my first unholy trinity. My goal is to become more accomplished in the horror genre with hopefully a couple of books published in the future. I am on Facebook and Twitter.

Unholy Trinity: Bullies by Alan Moskowitz

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.


Customer Service


The cashier called, “Next” and as I stepped forward the woman behind me moved ahead of me. 

“Hey! I’m next!”

The cashier, a privileged self-absorbed teenager no doubt, ignored me as she rang up the woman’s items.

“I’m talking to you missy!” No response.  

I raised my voice, “I want to see your manager! I’ll make sure you’re fired!” Still she ignored me. 

“Answer me or I’ll call the cops! I’ll sue!” Nothing.

I screamed, “You dumb kid! What are you, deaf?  Or just brain-dead?” 

The cashier called, “Next!”   The man behind me moved through me.

“Hey.  I was next!”




Jake came home late, smelling of beer, perfume and sweat – again.  Clara was waiting, carelessly cradling his treasured shotgun.  

Before he could start cursing she loudly recited in a guttural imitation, “Why can’t you look like your sister-in-law? If you lost weight you wouldn’t sweat like a pig. If I cheat on you, it’s your fault!”  

She chambered a shell – clack.  

He turned pale, “I don’t mean those things.  I love you.”

She smiled good-naturedly, “Careful with my gun, everyone knows you’re so clumsy you could blow your own stupid brains out.”  


Jake’s passing was declared accidental.


A Day in the Park


Danny tossed the Frisby and Daisy, his Chihuahua, scampered after it. 

Tim, Danny’s ninth-grade nemesis walking his Cane Corso, Thanos, called out, “You call that tiny thing a real dog?” Danny declared, “Daisy’s real, and special. She can do special things.”

  “Yeah? Can she pick you up?” Tim shoved Danny to the ground. Daisy barked angrily. “Ooh. I’m scared!” Tim mocked.

Daisy made eye contact with Thanos. Thanos shook his head, then snarled. “Your dog’s dead meat,” Tim gloated. Thanos suddenly lunged at Tim, eyes red with fury, fangs bared.

Tim ran screaming from the park

“Told you she’s special.”


Alan Moskowitz

Recently un-retired from screen and TV writing, Alan also creates short genre fiction for fun and sanity. He loves feedback.

Unholy Trinity: Whispers, Signs and Signals by Kevin M. Folliard

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.




“After midnight, Grandpa can speak, but only in whispers,” Grandma explained. “I can’t stay awake so late at my age, but he’ll adore prattling on with you, dear.”

That night, Ella whispered to her grandfather who had died long before she was born.

“Are you there, Grandpa?”

A hushed word, little more than a breath, sliced the darkness: “Yes.”

“Are you proud of me?”




“Are you happy being dead?”


“What would make you happy?”

“Grandma’s heart medicine.”

The orange bottle sat on the counter.

“Empty the pills down the drain, so Grandma can keep me company.”




Father Coughlin turned off the hall light, and the apparition reappeared, the color of moonbeams, the form of his inquisitive former charge. Forever fourteen. Scarred by bullying peers and a thoughtless father who’d shipped him to boarding school.

They’d found Henry, slack limbs swaying, face swollen blue, belt scrunching the beam in his dormitory. Father Coughlin preached that Henry had been condemned to hell for his act.

Yet each night, his ghost smiled and gave the “OK” sign, as if to say, You’re wrong. I’m fine.

And each night, Father locked his office, sipped brandy, and worried about his wrongness.




Jace waited hours, while Mom explored a forgotten truck stop. “Could be canned goods,” she’d said. “Could be biters. Probably both. If it’s safe, I’ll signal.”

The sun set, and still no flare.

Against Mom’s orders, he followed.

Three decayed attackers lay defeated at her boots. Blood spurted from her neck wound. She lurched forward. Soulless eyes locked with Jace’s, triggering a spark of recognition. Mom uncapped the flare and brushed it against the fireworks display from that doomed summer.

Brilliant flashes of color erupted behind her.

Jace’s scream drowned in thunderous cracks that signaled undead hordes from every direction.



Kevin M. Folliard

Kevin M. Folliard is a Chicagoland writer whose fiction has been collected by The Horror Tree, The Dread Machine, Demain Publishing, Dark Owl Publishing, and more. His recent publications include his horror anthology The Misery King?s Closet, his YA fantasy adventure novel Grayson North: Frost-Keeper of the Windy City, and his 2022 dinosaur adventure novel Carnivore Keepers. Kevin currently resides in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL, where he enjoys his day job in academia and membership in the La Grange Writers Group.


You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads or on his website.

Unholy Trinity: Burn In…, Fire, and The Real Evil by Kellee Kranendonk

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.


Burn in…


Tied to a post. Flames ignited in straw beneath me. Placid faces in the crowd. Some jeer, throw obscene gestures at me. They believe I deserve to be roasted alive.

Fire licks up my legs, sears my flesh. My thin cotton dress catches. The blaze encases me, eating skin and meat off my bones. A fiery face appears, looks me in the eye. A leering grin appears. He beckons me as the crowd cheers. I will not go to Hell, I try to scream. But my soul has left my body and I realize that’s not where he’s taking me.




Her charred body lies there, still smoking, totally ignored. I cannot mourn for if I do they will kill me too. But if I do not… will she be angry?

The last one to remain, I walk quickly away. Before I reach home, scorching hands wrap themselves around my head, cover my eyes, burn away eyelids. I know it’s her. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, even a dead one.

“I’m sorry,” I say.

It’s not enough. Licks of fire jump into being, destroying the home we worked so hard for. I cannot close my eyes against it.


The Real Evil


They’re lined up on the bridge, thirteen of them, each vile woman as guilty as a whore. Evil lives within their blackened souls, corrupted by Satan himself. They’re gagged and bound as they deserve. Shoved in the water, they will drown only if they are innocent. None will. The power that resides in me will not allow it. They are all impure. I wait, pleased that I myself discovered these ones. They will rise to the surface and come to shore soon, I’m certain of it. They don’t. But I cannot be wrong. No regrets. Satan has claimed his own.



Kellee Kranendonk

Kellee Kranendonk has spent a lifetime writing. According to her late grandfather she was born with a pen in one hand and paper in the other. She’s certain that these days he would have claimed she was born clutching a laptop.

She’s had over a hundred published stories, poems and non-fiction pieces. Her work has received honourable mentions, been shortlisted; she’s been a spotlight author and some of her pieces were to appear in a school book project, though that didn’t pan out. Kellee has been an editor, has managed online writing groups, and one of her stories appeared in a best selling anthology. She lives in a brand-new merged municipality in New Brunswick, Canada with her family and a variety of animals. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Unholy Trinity: The Dunwich Romance by Shawn M. Klimek

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.


The Dunwich Heartthrob


The stranger lurked outside the clubhouse door wearing a hooded cloak, exposing only his hairy, goatish, albino, face. Eventually, he pushed open the door with a clammy hand, then lumbered through the gap. Conversations froze as those within, mostly women, connected his grotesquery to the source of a tormenting stench. 

Before he could speak, he was interrupted by a lumpish woman with sloped eyes and a drooling, beaver-toothed pucker. 

Pointing an accusing claw, she croaked, “Dunny, aintcha?”


“Wicked pissah! We need more men,” she said. “I’m Ingrid Clout.”

“Wilbur Whatley.”

“Welcome to the Dunwich Village Lonely Hearts Club, Willy!”


The Dunwich Passion


Ingrid reached both arms around the misshapen boy’s naked torso, his bony rib cage heaving with each grunting exertion. Digging her fingernails into his scaly back, she groaned in ecstasy. 

“Oh, Wilbur,” she cried, staring passionately up into the sweaty, chinless face above her. “Whatever you’re doing to me down south, it’s driving me crazy!”

“Say again?”

Momentarily too preoccupied by his own appetites to make out her words, Wilber Whatley paused manoeuvring the lamprey-like tentacles extruding from his furry waist, only to trigger her protests.

“No, don’t stop!” she pleaded.

“Oh, okay,” he said, then resumed suckling her blood.


The Dunwich Dinner


“I hope your mother likes me,” Ingrid Clout whispered as they arrived at the Whatley home.

“Dinner was her idea,” Wilbur reassured her.

The front door opened to reveal a woman shrouded in black.

Ingrid recoiled. “Has someone died?”

“No. The sun hurts her skin,” Wilbur explained. “We all suffer. Especially my brother. He never leaves the basement.”

“Poor thing.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll dine downstairs. This way,” said Lavinia.

Ingrid followed. “Nice place. A bit dark.”

“We’re here. Watch your stop,” said Lavinia, giving her a shove.

Her screams faded quickly.

“Mother!” Wilbur was inconsolable. “You know Yog doesn’t share!”





Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the multi-genre author of more than 240 stories and poems in more than 80 anthologies and e-zines, including previous Unholy Trinities in Horror Tree. He is also the solo author of Hungry Thing an illustrated fantasy saga told in poems.

Unholy Trinity: Trilogy of Light by Christina Nordlander

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.


The End



Christina Nordlander

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

Unholy Trinity: A Juvenile’s Tales by Haji M.

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.


Bump In The Night


I used to be a brave lad, not afraid of the dark at all. In fact, I’d often challenge myself, wandering alone downstairs in our basement, groping in the pitch darkness, before my courage failed, and I’d scamper up the stairs. 

But ever since that fateful night, when I overheard my Mam whispering to her best friend, I felt my spirit leeching away, never to return.

Of a monster that creeps into people’s basements, grunting as it rummaged for food. What terrified me most was the description of its grotesque visage: half man, half hog. 

The dark scares me now.


Sleep Paralysis


I awoke in the middle of the night, feeling terribly wrong. I couldn’t move a muscle, no matter how hard I wriggled my body, my mouth clamped shut. 

My breath came in short gasps, my lungs burnt fiercely. Something heavy was sitting on my chest. I could feel cold slime and sharp claws digging into my flesh, icy numbness creeping up my neck and jaw. 

I screamed silently in horror, as a creature the size of a large cat crawled into my mouth, plunging down my throat. 

Deeper it burrowed, homing in towards my fat liver, devouring it from within.


The Chaser


“That road that goes by the old museum? Never travel there by night. If you must, don’t look in the rear-view mirror, ‘cos you’d be sorry.”

Midnight. Eyes glued to the road; I floored the accelerator. Something flashed by, even as my stomach clenched tight in fear. Why did I go this way?

I whimpered at a loud thump on the roof, my car swerving precariously. A shriek erupted by my ear, as a pale withered face peeked in from the side window. 

At least its outside, I thought, until a taloned finger tickled the back of my neck.


Haji M.

Throughout my younger years, I’d heard more than my fair share of spine-tingling stories, tales that still resonate with me decades later. Here are three of such stories, interconnected by my own vivid memories of them, entitled: A Juvenile’s Tales.

I am a new writer based in Dublin, Ireland. I had a couple of flash fiction stories published previously, in Books Ireland Magazine, and Every Day Fiction Magazine.


Unholy Trinity: Monster Friends and Lost Girls by H.V. Patterson

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.


Missing Animals


The stars were out, and Marie’s stomach grumbled. She’d been trapped in the pit for hours when the monster returned.

It was shadow without form or substance. But it was real, not a figment of Marie’s imagination. 

“Want to be friends?” the monster asked. 

Marie’s eyes shifted to the piles of blood-matted fur around her: remnants of unlucky animals. Instead of fear, she felt excitement. 

“Yes,” she said.

Insubstantial fingers inked across her palm: a covenant.

“Marie!” yelled her friends. A flashlight blinked across her face. 

Hours later, rescued and safely in her dorm room, Marie dreamed of toothed shadows.


Missing Coeds


“What the hell Marie?!” Kat screamed from the bottom of the pit. “This isn’t funny!” 

“Say ‘thank you,’” Marie said.

Thank you, gurgled the monster. 

Tendrils of shadow oozed over Kat, muffling her screams. 

Marie watched Kat’s body deflate. She listened as the monster ate Kat’s insides. When it was over, she threw down the rope. The monster climbed out, wearing Kat’s skin. 

“I like this one,” it said, wiggling Kat’s manicured hands.

“Don’t wear it out,” Marie warned. “I’m running really low on friends.” 

The monster laughed. It linked Kat’s pinkie with Marie’s: a promise. 

“You’ll always have me.”

Missing Skin


The first time Marie sloughed off her skin was an accident. 

She’d dreamed of blood and shadows, and when she awoke, she was hovering above her deflated self. Free and filled with hunger, she and the monster prowled through the night, twin shadows.

After a year of slipping away, Marie couldn’t return. Her loose, desiccated skin wouldn’t stay on.

“What happens now?” Marie asked. She was cold and so very, very hungry.

Shadow fingers entwined with shadow fingers. The monster leaned close: breath a funeral sigh. 

“Wherever you want,” it said. 

Two ravenous monsters rose like smoke from the pit.


H.V. Patterson

H.V. Patterson (she/her) lives in Oklahoma and writes speculative fiction and poetry. She has work published or upcoming in Etherea Magazine, Siren’s Call, and Wyldblood and anthologies from Sliced Up Press, Eerie River, Creature Publishing, Flame Tree Press, and Black Spot Books. Her poem, “Mother; Microbes,” was recently selected for the inaugural volume of Brave New Weird from Tenebrous Press. She promotes women in horror through Dreadfulesque (@Dreadfulesque on Twitter and Instagram), and you can follow her on Twitter @ScaryShelley and on Instagram @hvpattersonwriter