Tagged: Unholy Trinity

Unholy Trinity: “The Magic Tree,” “The Dead,” & “Rebirth” by Fariel Shafee

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 Magic Tree


“In the morning, we shall find that tree.”  His voice was deep, confident. The book on the table was fully illustrated.  The picture of a tree resembling the torso of a senile lady stared vividly.  Its head was filled with thin grayish leaves and vines shot to the ground like locks of uncombed hair.  The branches looked like crooked hands with long fingers.

In the morning, he was nowhere.  The police searched.  Nobody believed me when I said that a two-legged monster with antlers, a body filled with dark long hair, stared at me ominously before disappearing in the haze.


The Dead


The tree was more alive and darker than what I had imagined it to be from its picture.  The roughness of the barks, the silky leaves, the subtle smell that was sweet and rotten simultaneously, made me nauseous.  Yet I felt addicted.

The crack in the bark was the entrance to another world and I walked along, surrounded by moss and rodents, bones of rotting corpses.

He lay at the end, now reduced to a skeleton.  His eye sockets were two holes gaping at the universe.

It was the tree who had devoured the hunter.  Now it was my turn.




Encased by the mythical tree of death I weep at the skeleton I know belongs to my beloved.  “You shouldn’t have pursued this tree!” I curse.  The tree is silent, but his emotions prevail: “ It called me.”

Now I’m sensing the darkness of this world beneath.

Suddenly, I see a shadow, the same two-legged monster I had glimpsed when he had disappeared.

I am ready to die.

Then I hear a howl with a familiar humanness buried underneath.


“Mankind gave me nothing.”  His silence mocks.

“This tree gave me a new life,” he derides as I cry out hysterically.



Fariel Shafee

Fariel Shafee studied physics. However, she loves to wander in the land of impossibles. Her writing has been accepted by 34 Orchard, Black Hare Press anthologies, Sirens Call etc. She has also exhibited art internationally. Her writing credits and art portfolio can be seen here: http://fshafee.wixsite.com/farielsart.

Unholy Trinity: “The Hospital of Saint Cecelia” by Tim Law

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.


Part 1: The Patient


Songbird they called me, showering me with gifts and praise. I sang for everyone, even the Pope. What God giveth, sadly, He must also taketh away.

That was how I ended up at Saint Cecelia’s, a patient of my uncle, Dr. Francis Robertson.

“I will return your sweet song to you,” he promised. “Or I shall die trying.”

I certainly sang, as two hundred and fifty volts passed through me. Six seconds, then ten, and when that did not work Uncle pushed us both past breaking point.

One of us died that day; it sure as hell was not him.


Part 2: Dare


“I’m bored,” complained Suzanna.

The boys loved the arcade, but it wasn’t her scene.

“Where do ya want to go then?” asked Gary.

“Saint Cecelia’s?” suggested the girl, smiling mischievously. “It’s supposed to be haunted.”

Ben shook his head, arms crossed, but Gary and Suzanna would not take “NO” for an answer.


That was how they found themselves wandering the cold, dark halls of the asylum.

“Did you guys know Suzanna Robertson was a patient here?” Suzanna whispered.

“The Songbird?” asked Ben, surprised.

Suzanna nodded.

“She was my aunt, my namesake, I love coming here to listen to her sing.”


Part 3: Song


Will my torment ever cease? Cursed am I to wander these halls, to remember the pain, never to rest. The joys of life, the wonderful memories of a time when my voice gave pleasure, not pain.

Now, when I open my mouth all I release is fury and woe. Those who bear witness to my song have their very souls stripped away.

All but one, she who brings them, time after time. I sense my uncle’s spirit in her, his madness now hers to own. I try to warn the two beside her, but all I can do is scream.



Tim Law

Timothy Law is a writer of fantasy, horror, detective and general fiction from a little town in Southern Australia called Murray Bridge. Currently working at the Murray Bridge Library he has dreamed since high school of becoming a fulltime author. His stories can be found at http://somecallmetimmy.blogspot.com.au/ and other platforms.

Unholy Trinity: “A Room in Hotel Purgatory” “He, Them Like String” & “Running Backwards” by Andrew Buckner

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 Room in Hotel Purgatory


The blood will wash off, but the indignity will not.

I was going in circles. My hotel room, an undug coffin, had already morphed into a rundown home. The home was previously a diner.

But, I did kill him. He was abusive. He wasn’t going to stop any other way. 

The ghostly, alien creature with my abuser’s face told me to leave my hotel, run around in the daylight, and stop to let everyone see the blood and I would be forgiven.

His body would walk again. The blood would wash away.

I just had to find my hotel room.


He, Them Like String


The rage red planet he landed on was a set for a television show of his life.

In the corner, his mother, an eight-legged spider, knitted another him.

In the living room, his two sisters, four-foot gray alien spiderlings, took the freshly knitted version of him and set it on fire. 

A script turned its pages in front of him.


A mass of rendered flesh, string, a web connected, unspooled bones, those around him.


Running Backwards


The tarot card flipped over. It revealed a creature running backwards, a strange symbol the psychic had never seen before.

The psychic started to speak but her eyes said it all. She’d never seen this card before.

“The circular movements seem to suggest…,” she started.

An animal-like rage built in me. Was this part of the fate forecast by the unknown card?

A growl was heard far away.

A glass broke.

Was the creature in the cards some type of ghost or demon?

“No, it’s running backwards,” I thought. “They are terrified of me. A power I had all along.”



Andrew Buckner

Andrew Buckner is a multi award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter. His recent dark comedy/ horror script “Dead Air!” won Best Original Screenwriter at the fourth edition of the Hitchcock Awards in 2023.

A noted poet, critic, actor, author, and experimental musician, he runs and writes for the review site AWordofDreams.com. Twitter/X @moviesforlife09

Unholy Trinity: “Frank Harrow, Discount Occult Detective” By Joshua Ginsberg

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.


Frank Harrow, Discount Occult Detective

Got a supernatural crisis on your hands, but short of funds? More people than you could possibly imagine turn to Frank Harrow and The Four-Pointed Star Discount Occult Detective Agency to get the job done. Frank Harrow is a name you can trust. Mostly.


New Business Maybe


Frank Harrow appraised the couple through a hangover fog and five o’clock shadow that was getting on to midnight. At least they’d called ahead, giving him time to run a load of laundry.

He read the subtext of misery and desperation in their story and etched in their faces. It was all that ever brought folks to The Four-Pointed Star, Discount Occult Detective Agency.

“We just need to find our son,” the willowy blond said.

“…wherever, …whatever, he is now,” her dark-haired wife finished.

Frank didn’t want the case, didn’t like it. But he needed it.

“Give me twenty-four hours.”


Meeting at the Greenwood


It was for a favor that Frank had come to seek his former partner.

He refilled their rocks glasses, watched his old friend lift it to his blackened lips.

“Hey, remember that ghoul that couldn’t keep a low profile?”

Dylan laughed a cloud of dust. “Dumbass kept snatching bites from Hollywood Forever. Look folks, there’s Judy Garland! Oh, wait, there goes Valentino.”

The laughter faded. “Look Dylan, I got a new case, maybe. Can you run a background check for me?”

“Yeah, but you still owe me,” Dylan replied, poking a bony finger through a bullet hole in his shirt.


Case Accepted


The couple sat waiting on Frank’s decision.

“I’m different from other firms,” he began, “in that I’m a lot less money and a lot more still alive. I plan to stay that way.”

He gauged their reactions.

“Discount don’t mean free. Cash only, upfront. No credit, no souls, no exceptions. You want some other kind of help, there’s a crossroads down the way…”


From the cavernous, candle-lit cellar of a decaying mansion nearby, four hooded figures watched the deal conclude through an ancient mirror. 

“He’s taken the bait,” grinned the high priestess.

And the darkness whispered a promise of vengeance.


Joshua Ginsberg

Joshua Ginsberg is the author of Secret Tampa Bay: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure (2020), Tampa Bay Scavenger (2021), Oldest Tampa Bay (2022), and co-author of Secret Orland: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure (2023). His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including Trembling with Fear (The Horror Tree), The Chamber Magazine, The City Key, 365 Tomorrows, and Atlas Obscura. He currently lives in Tampa with his wife, Jen, and their Shih Tzu, Tinker Bell.

Unholy Trinity: “Jumping Ship” “In Charge” & “Tourist Season” by Evan Baughfman

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.


Jumping Ship


There was life for Benny back on land! A future! He had to save himself!

If the others were meant to survive, they would’ve dodged Benny’s blows, would’ve grabbed the life preserver before he did.

As desperate pleas submerged under dark, roiling water, Benny thanked God, clinging to his circular savior. 

Nearby, a keeling vessel slumped to its grave, bow jutting moonward. 

Torrents of screeching rats spilled overboard.

Frantic for a flotation device, the stowaways swam for Benny. Gnashing, red-eyed waves overtook him, smothering his cries.

Bobbing in the wake of disaster, Benny choked on vermin in search of sanctuary.


In Charge


Bright sunshine. Flourishing foliage. Wonderful hike.

A roar shook me, silencing birdsong.

A grizzly exploded from green cover, straight ahead. Charged.

I shouted, aimed a cannister of protective spray. 

Irritant struck the animal’s eyes, snout. Even so, the beast barreled forward, swatting me aside.

I soared into briar, dropping spray. Landed on my backpack, overturned tortoise, powerless in a thorny thicket.

The bear continued its race. Vanished between trees. 

That roar, however, still approached. 

Not a grizzly’s bellow.

Something else’s. Something larger.

Heavy footsteps found me. An impossible figure loomed.

Bears fled this fanged abomination, true ruler of the woods.


Tourist Season


Well past midnight, the newlyweds cuddled lakeside across from Congress Avenue Bridge. Pierre marveled at tiny silhouettes twirling in moonlight. Anais shivered in the Texas heat.

She said, “Sorry, didn’t come to Austin for rabies. Let’s grab another drink…”

“We’re perfectly safe. At dusk, there would’ve been a huge crowd here, watching a million-plus bats leave their roosts all at once.”

Four creatures banked toward the couple. Encircled gobsmacked Pierre and cowering Anais. Transformed into imposing pale figures.

“Love taking holiday here,” one hissed.

“So easy to blend in,” another agreed.

“So many tourists.” 

“So many new flavours to try.”


Evan Baughfman

Evan Baughfman is a Southern California teacher, author, and playwright. A number of Evan’s plays are published through Heuer Publishing, YouthPLAYS, Next Stage Press, and Drama Notebook. Evan has also found success writing horror fiction, his work found recently in anthologies by Critical Blast Publishing, No Bad Books Press, and Grinning Skull Press. Evan’s short story collection, The Emaciated Man and Other Terrifying Tales from Poe Middle School, is published through Thurston Howl Publications. His novella, Vanishing of the 7th Grade, is available through D&T Publishing. D&T has also published his novel, Bad for Your Teeth. More info is available at amazon.com/author/evanbaughfman.

Unholy Trinity: Tales from a Midnight Fire by Miguel Goncalves

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 Whispering Grove


Under the shadowy canopy of ancient trees, the campfire light flickered. Martha shivered, as she recalled the tale of the Whispering Grove. Legends spoke of the lost souls trapped within, condemned to eternal whispers. As the friends huddled around the fire, the wind seemed to mimic eerie voices, sending a chill through their bodies. Unnerving rustles approached, and in the trembling light, they swore they could glimpse spectral figures. The grove seemed with ghostly murmurs. As Martha finished the story, they all laughed but the whispers lingered, as if the grove’s tormented souls had now joined them around the fire.




Around the bonfire, Jake took his turn sharing a yarn. In a nearby marsh, it was said that ghostly footprints appeared on moonlit nights. Intrigued, people ventured to the marsh as ethereal prints guided them to an old well. Fear clutched their hearts for as they neared the well a voice would be heard. Turning back in dread, they would notice that the footprints had vanished. People would panic, realizing they had no way back. And as they tried to find their way, they’d eventually hear the chilling voice again, calling them to it, and the bottom of the well.


The Camper


Amidst the crackling flames, Dorothy shared the tale of the cursed camper. One night, a couple camped beside the forsaken vehicle. They had scoffed at the warnings and tales of its last occupants’ mysterious disappearance. As they prepared to turn in; terror struck. They could see faces in the camper’s windows. The camper’s door opened, beckoning them in. When the search parties found their camping site they were nowhere to be seen. The camper had long been towed away, Dorothy whispered, but its haunting presence is forever tied to that fateful camping spot, the very same we now sit on.


Miguel Goncalves

Miguel Gonçalves was born in Porto, Portugal, in the 80s. He grew up on comics, fantasy books, horror movies, and rock hair bands. He’s been writing, mostly for himself, since a young age and his stories are a mix of horror, thriller, and serial killers, some venturing into the supernatural spectrum of horror. He’s the author of “The Scarecrow Man”, which was published in an anthology by Dark Pine Publishing and by itself as a mini book, and also has some stories published by Fábrica do Terror a Portuguese- Horror website (one of his stories also features on their anthology). He also had one of his drabbles published at Horror Tree. You can find him at https://linktr.ee/AngelusSanguis.

Unholy Trinity: Alzheimer’s by Dawn Debraal

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.

Giving Away


“Edna!” Hank Reynolds ran down the road after finding the screen door torn from its hinges, his wife missing. In the distance he could hear his partner of forty years screaming for help. He should have taken the truck, there was no way he’d ever catch up to her. His legs were tired, and he was out of breath. Hank bent over heaving trying to get breath into his COPD afflicted lungs. To hell with it, the woman had been on his nerves. Maybe it was the dementia that made him forget he could no longer run, maybe it wasn’t.


Giving Up


When Hank Reynolds reached home, he dragged himself up the stairway, completely drained of energy. The brain eaters, that’s what he called them, had taken his wife. He went after them, forgetting he had a truck. Hell, he’d forgotten how to drive. Hank ran until he could no longer propel himself forward wondering why they hadn’t taken him instead of his beloved wife… what was her name? Then he remembered he had dementia, his father had it, now he was afflicted. It most assuredly prevented them from harvesting his brain. Those abominations could smell a bad brain a mile away.


Giving In


Edna didn’t make a sound when the horde killed her, they fought over her brains as she was the last living human in the area, it was time for them to move on. 

“There’s a man back there, where we got the woman,” the thought ran through them collectively, they were of one mind and near starving. 

“We’ve got no choice, it’s him, or die.” Poor Hank succumbed in seconds his brainless body quivered on the ground.

“Where now?” The swarm asked their leader. “I don’t know.” The horde was doomed, by eating Hank, they were infected with his disease.


Dawn DeBraal

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin and has published over 600 drabbles, short stories, and poems in online ezines and anthologies. Nominated for 2019 Pushcart
Award, runner-up in the 2022 Horror Short Story Contest, 2023 Finalist Owl Canyon Hackathon. You find them on Facebook @AllTheCleverNamesWereTaken.

Unholy Trinity: “Killing Fields / Feeding Grounds”, “Siren’s Call” & “Swapped Memories” 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.


Killing Fields / Feeding Grounds


They were part of a group that toured the grounds of the Choeung Ek killing fields. The guide cautioned everyone to stick together. They had a hard time keeping up, desiring to stay and take selfies at the bone pits, the Murder Tree and skull displays to the chagrin of the other visitors.

Looking up, they discovered that their tour group was long gone, so they wandered the grounds musing on Khmer Rouge horrors.

They walked into a secluded wood and were surrounded by gaunt, ghoulish creatures. Their rags identified them as the original perpetrators who had just found new prey!


Siren’s Call


Chad couldn’t sleep. He left the guest house to go for a late night stroll in the sleepy Cambodian village he visited.

He heard someone singing the most beautiful melody ever heard and followed it to the edge of a field where he encountered a Cambodian beauty who was singing to the moon.

She beckoned Chad to follow her as she effortlessly glided through the field.

She stopped and opened her arms to Chad. He almost caught up and heard a click. The ground erupted, splitting him in two.

His dying vision was of her giggling as she faded away.


Swapped Memories


Mark was enjoying the best of Phnom Penh’s nightlife. An evening of wine women and song.

He noticed some enchanting beauties and ran to catch up with them until he crashed into an elderly man. “Watch where you’re going!!” Mark snorted and rudely pushed the poor man away. The girls were long gone. Mark cursed his luck.

Much later, Mark passed out in his hotel room only to be violently awakened by visions of planes raining fiery death, wiping out villages in nonstop explosions.

Meanwhile an elderly man enjoys a happily peaceful sleep with dreams of wine, women and song.


Cassandra Vaillancourt

Hello. My name is Cassandra Vaillancourt. I am a Trans Woman and a veteran. I am also a regular contributor to the Horror Tree as well as a contributor to the Veterans Arts Festival where my writings have won 1st, 2nd and Best of Show ribbons in the local level. I reside in the great state of Washington. I am on Facebook and Twitter.