Tagged: Unholy Trinity

Unholy Trinity: Reflections by Deborah Tapper

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.

Mirror Image

His kid sister’s banging on the bathroom door again, so he turns the music up even louder. Combs his fingers through his dark hair. Tilts his head a little, admiring the effect.

The mirror boy smiles back, exposing razor teeth.

He stares in frozen disbelief as the grin splits open, mouth stretching until those teeth are all he sees. Then he moves. Too late. His twisted image lunges out, jaws crunching shut.

Deafening music drowns the screams, the terrible wet ripping.

His reflection slides back below the mirror’s surface like a satisfied shark, tattered skin still caught between its teeth.


Night Vision

The room looks slightly different at night.

He stands in front of the mirror. Bed, closet, unwashed laundry – all normal. Then he snaps the light off. Stares at the shadowy reflection. Something in the far corner, hunched and shapeless.

Not in his room.

Only in the mirror.

It creeps closer every night. Slow. Furtive. Hungry. When it climbs on his bed he gets scared. Hides in the bathroom. There’s nothing in the mirror the following night. He sleeps in the tub again anyway. Just to be sure.

That’s where the police find his skin.

But they don’t find anything else.


Looking Glass

The smudge won’t go.

She breathes on the antique mirror, tries again. She’s selling to a fussy collector, who won’t buy if he sees this flaw. It’s almost like an eye. And rubbing only makes it worse.

She pushes harder – harder – and her hand plunges through.

The glass seals around her wrist, trapping her. She struggles, kicks the mirror, but it won’t break and it’s sucking her in. It’s already swallowed her arm to the elbow. She fights until her face squashes against the glass. Then she screams instead.

She’s gone.

The mirror ripples.

And something very different comes out.

Deborah Tapper

Deborah Tapper loves all things strange and macabre. She writes at an old desk surrounded by five hundred pet bugs.


Unholy Trinity: It’s a Long Way to the Top by Marc Sorondo

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.

Author’s Note: These stories were inspired by the music of AC/DC. I think music and horror pair so well together, and AC/DC in particular has so many songs that could work as inspiration for horror stories.


It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’n’ Roll)

The price of fame was high. 

At first it was a soul for a hit song, freed with a blade across the neck. When it was time for an album, we had to sacrifice an entire family, children first so the parents last image was their children dying. 

We paid for successful tours and glossy magazine covers with innocent blood…and it was worth every crimson drop.

When the dark man came and said it was time to pay again, that the price of being legends was the life and soul of our frontman…well, that was worth it too.

Back in Black

The price of resurrection is high, a price I’ll pay for eternity once I’ve had my revenge, but I will have it…and then some. Those bastards forgot…Ol’ Scratch will make a deal with anyone if they make a handsome offer, and the offer I’ve made is almost as handsome as me.

Those backstabbing assholes traded my life to be rock legends. Soon, they’ll be dead and I… risen like a phoenix, covered in the black ash of hellfire…I will take the stage. I will be a rock god. 

Even everlasting torment is a small price to pay. 

Highway to Hell

The time had come. With one final act it would all be over. I’d taken the reigns of my own destiny and become a legend. 

It was time to give the devil his due in a moment of violence and chaos, an ultimate blaze of glory. 

I floored the gas and lit a final cigarette. I turned up the volume on the radio and laughed. I’d die to my own song blasting.

I hit the curve going just over a hundred miles an hour, and smiled the ground rushed up at me, knowing I’d see my old bandmates in Hell. 

Marc Sorondo

Marc Sorondo lives with his wife and children in New York. He loves to read, and his interests range from fiction to comic books, physics to history, oceanography to cryptozoology, and just about everything in between. He’s a perpetual student and occasional teacher. For more information, go to MarcSorondo.com.

Unholy Trinity: It’s a Long Way to the Top by Marc Sorondo

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.

Maturing in the Apocalypse

Dear Bill-Roy Champs, I’m sorry I was mean to you at the hoe-down last year. I was a bitchy, spoiled child then, obsessed with wealth, popularity, and making pretty babies. After watching the news yesterday about how the zombie pandemic keeps getting worse, I told Tyler Bose he should quit his stupid band to focus on survivalist skills and I’ve never seen him so angry. This morning, I gave him back his ring. If humanity is going to survive the apocalypse, we need sturdy babies who can hunt, steal, and forage. We need your babies, Bill-Roy. Want to get married?


Farewell Note

Hi babe. No good deed goes unpunished! I saw Mrs. Gottberg banging on her own front door earlier, and thinking she’d lost her keys or memories again, went to help her out of habit, forgetting for an instant to check first for signs of the zombie virus. Bitch bit me. Sorry, babe. I wish I could write a longer goodbye, but they say the new strain acts quickly, so I plan to be far away by the time you read this. At least I got everything on your grocery list first. I’ll just put away the perishables befo..put…shibles…p… 


Missing You

Dearest Bonnie. I miss you. I’m sorry I lost my temper when you told me to quit music to study survival. If I had listened, we’d be together, and I might still have a band. The sight of Maurice being eaten alive by groupies still haunts me. I wrote new lyrics about it, but they honestly sound lame without his guitar. He was the real talent. 

Don’t sweat any promises you made to that cheating pervert Bill-Roy. When I drove past your house yesterday, I witnessed him French kissing that toothless cougar, Mrs. Gottberg. Gag!

Please come back. Love, Tyler.



Shawn M. Klimek

Shawn M. Klimek is the author of Hungry Thing, an illustrated dark fantasy tale told in poems, plus more than 200 other poems and short stories, published in over 80 anthologies and e-zines, including previous issues of Horror Tree. He specializes in speculative fiction with a touch of humor. He lives with their affectionate Maltese wherever his globetrotting wife, Sara, leads them.
Find a complete index of Shawn’s published works on his creative writing blog, “A Jot in the Dark”: http://jotinthedark.blogspot.com; or follow his writing adventures on Facebook: www.facebook.com/shawnmklimekauthor/ and Twitter @shawnmklimek.

Unholy Trinity: The Animals by Olivia Wulf

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 Crows

We sat in that dark attic, night after night, listening to animals through the window. In the morning were crows, and squirrels midday. At night, there was usually a bat or two outside the window. After dark, Trevor scraped his soiled sleeve across the warped window pane and stared out at the moonlight. Then, he blew against the warped window pane and retraced the familiar word with his fingertip. He always added a tally. 

On the fourteenth night, he turned to me and said, “This ends now.” 

He found heavy tools in the corner, but we kept our footsteps light. 


The Squirrels

The neighborhood knew Halloween was Stuart McGregor’s favorite holiday. He decorated the yard with plastic ghouls from the local thrift store, secondhand witches and monsters whose scuffed edges only made them more terrifying. 

Children were wary of the house, clutching their plastic pumpkins or overstuffed totes close to the chest, picking footsteps carefully en route to the front door. 

He was always kind to them, though. Had good candy to offer. 

That made the terror worthwhile. 

At least, that’s what Harvey Cade thought, until he noticed two shadowy figures looming in the attic window. Decorations, he thought. Until they moved. 


The Bats

The mailman was new, and couldn’t get house numbers straight. Greta Shoemaker had been collecting letters and running them around the neighborhood. First, to the Johnson house. Then, for the Cade family. 

She’d tried to avoid it, but enough was enough. She cursed the mailman as she walked up the gravel pathway, holding a letter addressed to Stuart McGregor. 

There were still Halloween decorations up, well into March. The lawn was overgrown. Greta knocked firmly, and considered saying something. 

But Stuart didn’t answer. Two young men did. 

“Stuart home?” stammered Greta. 

Silence. Then, “No.” 

Greta dropped the letter and ran. 


Olivia Wulf

Olivia Wulf is a writer and teacher in the Twin Cities area. Her work has previously appeared in the literary magazines Satori and Minnow. 

Unholy Trinity: Remembrance by RJ Meldrum

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 Lost

They died alone or they died in groups. They died quickly or they died slowly. A bullet, a shell, gas, disease, drowning in mud. Bodies that were recovered were given a decent burial, but so many more lay undiscovered across the fields of France and Belgium. Their final resting place unmarked, their bodies lying beneath the rich soil.

Once in a while some farmer would find bones in the blades of their plough. These souls, once discovered, found peace. The remainder, the lost spirits, gathered together in the misty dawn each day and prayed for deliverance from their uneasy sleep.


The Donkey

He was a colonel. When he’d last stood in this field he’d been a lieutenant. It hadn’t been a field then, it had been the front line of a trench system spanning miles. He’d botched the order, sent his men out too early, into the teeth of the German machine guns. Only his connections saved him from a court martial.

He felt something touch his foot. Looking down, he saw a skeletal arm reaching out from the earth. A second, then a third also reached out. The long dead soldiers had waited for years. It was time for their revenge.


The Lion

He left the field hospital, finally done with his injury. It’d been serious; he’d been shredded by shrapnel, but now it was all over. He hopped on a transport to the docks, then onto a troopship back to Blighty. The war was over, and there was a lot of movement of men and supplies.

He took the train from Dover and headed home. He hadn’t seen it for four years. He walked into the village, to the green and touched the smooth surface of the war memorial. He had come home to make sure, and there it was, his name.


RJ Meldrum

RJ Meldrum is an author and academic.  Born in Scotland, he moved to Ontario, Canada in 2010.  He has had stories published by Sirens Call Publications, Horrified Press, Trembling with Fear, Darkhouse Books, Smoking Pen Press and James Ward Kirk Fiction.  He is an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association.

Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/richard.meldrum.79
Website: http://wolfstarpublishing.com/meldrum/

Unholy Trinity: Prey and Predator by Corinne Pollard

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.


Light swarms the overgrown graveyard without reaching the Norman walls or the oak tree. Deteriorated markers whisper initials. No one remembers them.

J.W. does not care; he doesn’t care about the quarrelling squirrels above or his fellow figures who dangle their skulls. He sits stiffly on his headstone, unfeeling, ignoring the castle’s visitors and rubbing his throat.

He was bound to his stone for eternity, gazing past this secretive yard and almost choking himself with his frequent nail gripping rubs.

The black burn stung his scrawny neck. 

Why wouldn’t it stop? Why did it rattle like a quivering puppet? 


The Hedera Haunt

The Hedera curtained the gravestone with closed scales. The curtain had climbed overnight; a fierce, forever foliage full of secrets.

Fred Willis, the rookie gardener, cracked his knuckles, ready for the challenge. The ivy had to go, even if poisonous. The shears sniped and tore at it as sweat poured down Fred’s elderly muscles. 

The ivy enjoyed the battle. It cut back with dagger needles, eager to splatter his blood. Under the miracle growth of the sun, it creeped while whispering a lost voice.

Let me sleep.

Fred’s efforts were in vain. It crawled back and hid his grandmother’s name. 


Upon a Hunter’s Moon

The blood moon blazed across the darkness; it bathed my hunting ground in a crimson glow. It was soon.

While my nostrils inhaled the rotting flesh, my pupils inspected the fresh mounds. One of them looked promising; my ears detected their juices were still a little warm and flowing. A little wooden cross marked their permanent home; it was thrown into a hedge as dirt was slashed and scattered. 

The sickly skin was marred by a red rash. It irritated me; at least let my prey be pretty. 

The moon overtook me. The boy’s heart squelched softly between my fangs.


Corinne Pollard

Corinne Pollard was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire where a love for reading and writing of fantasy developed. As a new voice in horror writing, Corinne draws upon self-fears and forbidden desires to inspire and terrify readers.

Unholy Trinity: Rot in the Water by Saffron Roberts

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 connective tissue between these stories is a creature born of the author’s thalassophobia, and the plots themselves are inspired by both their current place of living, namely the Zanzibarian coast, and by their eternal love of the zombie genre. 

Penny’s Hum

They followed Penny into the water, warm waves lapping at their thighs.

“What’s wrong?” Lily called. “Say something, Penny.”

“Say you’re a fucking retard!” Jaden yelled. 

Penny hummed franticly. The group cackled. 

“Mummy ain’t here Penny.” Lily beamed, stone in hand. “Nobody is.”

The group fell silent. A noise swelled over the water; a song, gaunt and abhorrent. It rose and fell with Penny’s hum, filling their ears with blood. Lily opened her mouth to scream and found herself drowning.

Penny watched their thrashing bodies being dragged beyond the reef. A little prayer escaped her lips. She walked home, crying.


Voices in the Sea

“He’d come home blabbering about voices in the sea. When I saw his ears bleeding, I tried dragging him to the hospital, but–you know these oldies. Won’t be seen for nothing. I stayed in his room that night. Didn’t sleep a wink.

The next day, God I swear, he was fine. Eating, drinking, laughing…” He stared at the IV drip, fingers twitching.

“Woke to this snapping sound and he was hanging over my bed, jaws open so wide I thought they were broken. Got no memory from there Officer, I passed out after he started chewing on my legs.”


Swim With Dolphins

Louisa hadn’t woken at four AM to not see any dolphins. The guide took the group further out, apologising, as seawater sprayed Louisa in the face and deepened their frown. 

The stink, like rotten shellfish, hit before they saw it; a grey mass of human corpses, with skin so puckered and swollen it might have slipped from their bones, being tossed in the waves like salad.

They heaved. The guide yanked the vessel around and sped away as his passengers screamed. Louisa stared with wild eyes, watching a hundred rotten arms and legs convulse as the bodies tried to follow.


Saffron Roberts

Saffron Roberts watched Ridley Scott’s Alien at eight years old, much to the fury of their mother, and the horror never left their soul. As a queer, autistic writer, they have since stived to inflict the same fear onto others in as a colourful and neurodiverse way as possible. 
They can be found on Instagram @saffron_roberts reviewing and promoting books and other works of dark fiction.

Unholy Trinity: Timmy by James Rumpel

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 remember a day nearly fifteen years ago. When I got home from work and pulled in the driveway, I noticed the neighbor boy, Timmy, sitting on his stoop throwing pebbles at a toad. He was probably about seven years old at the time.

“Hi, Timmy,” I called. “How are you doing?”

“Okay, I guess,” he replied, not looking up from his target. “I had to bury my cat today.”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” I said. “How did it die?”

Timmy finally looked up at me, a sheepish grin on his face. “I never said anything about it being dead.”



When Timmy was in his late teens, I was talking to him in the yard one Saturday evening. I noticed he was carrying a long, skinny duffel bag. Curious, I asked him what kind of plans he had for that night.

“I’m going to take out a girl at the mall,” was his reply.

“Don’t you mean you’re going to take out a girl to the mall.”

The same sly grin that had seen many times over the previous dozen years, once again, appeared on his face.

He chuckled, “I think I said it exactly the way I meant it.”



After the officer finished questioning me, I turned to watch the crime scene investigators carry shovels and a jack-hammer into the basement of Timmy’s family home.

Soon after, I was confronted by a reporter from the local television station.

“Tell us about the neighbor boy,” she demanded. “Did you have any clue that he was capable of such heinous crimes?”

I shrugged. “Timmy seemed like a nice kid. He had a keen sense of humor. I got along well with him. Heck, we even have the same hobby.”

I smiled to myself, hoping the reporter wouldn’t decipher my cryptic comment.

James Rumpel

James Rumpel is a retired high school math teacher who has enjoyed spending some of his additional free time trying to put some of the weird ideas circling his brain into words.