Tagged: Unholy Trinity

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.

 

Footprints

 

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.

Unholy Trinity: “Like a Lamb to Slaughter”, “Good Hunting” & “That Time of the Month” by Storm Lomax

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.

 

Like a Lamb to Slaughter

In an ancient temple dedicated to an ancient entity, a young girl screams for her mother. Bound roughly, she lays in the centre of a chalk ring. The members of this ancient order surround her and chant the summoning spell.

With a crack like thunder, the ground splits and exposes a fiery glow. A demon, large and terrible, pulls itself through. The members fall to their knees, their bargains for wealth at the ready. But the demon turns away, kneeling next to the child.

Daughter, the demon rumbles before turning its eyes on the members. Thank you for the food.

 

Good Hunting

Agnes didn’t fight back. Not when they came for her, not when they dragged her to the stake, not when the kindling was placed at her feet. The witch hunters exchanged glances but followed through nonetheless – she was a witch, after all. The only way to save her rotten soul was through cleansing fire.

They lit the kindling and watched as the flames spread. Agnes threw back her head and cackled. 

The fire grew bigger, more violent, and the witch remained untouched. The witch hunters turned to flee but it was too late; Agnes the pyromancer would cleanse them all.

 

That Time of the Month

I was twelve when my mother sat me down and told me about the changes that would soon happen to me. That’s what she called it – changes. I would be a little girl no longer. My body would change, my mind as well. I would be moodier, angrier; there would even be blood. 

She assured me it was all normal, that she went through the same thing when she was young and her own mother too. 

It still didn’t prepare me when I woke up one day in the woods with dirt under my fingernails and flesh between my teeth.

 

Storm Lomax

Storm Lomax is a writer from Larbert, Scotland. She’s worked as a ghostwriter of romance novellas but has always had a soft spot for horror stories. Her flash fiction has been published in The Chamber Magazine, The Metaworker, and Flash Fiction Friday, and her short story has been narrated by Manawaker Studios podcast. Her other work can be found on https://stormlomax.wordpress.com/

Unholy Trinity: Medea by Lena Kliendienst

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.

 

Rowan / Host

 

They watched her birth from the belly of a tree, she was small and anxious. A constant sting in her mouth, the strength lay dormant inside her. The magpies whistled from the height of the oak, tall, and unkillable; she was safe in its shelter. 

When she’d grown just north of childhood, the humans in the woods drew her in their notebooks. Males pay no attention to the sprout but to the “alluring” forest girl. The sirens killed sailors, mythology more tempting than mortals. The other woman, the terrible, seductive Medusa. Affairs with girls in the trees, explorer men conquer.

 

Medea / Comfort

 

The clicking of the creature turned to muffled screaming, and fingertips appeared from the blackness. They’re long and slender, pulling apart an invisible prison, ripping it open, high in the air. A bald head emerges, her eyeliner is smudged, a series of spikes and thorns. The woman looks down at the Dryad from her throne. She wore the invisibility like a costume she was removing, her visible fingers pushed against its body. 

She holds large bronze scissors, the same ones their grandma used in her sewing room. She cuts the matted ends of Rowan’s hair. The clumps fall back into the marshes where she was buried.

 

Lyssa/ Rage

 

When she turned twenty, she rose with the magpies. She sang at 6 AM to wake the men from dreams of her. Her spiked fingers command the forest to her will. Branches snapped from grinning trees, flying like spears into human camps. 

She would make a list, the list would make her strong. 

Children felt safe around her, and she wouldn’t know what that meant until she looked in a mirror. Her mouth wouldn’t close, skin scarred where the top lip met the bottom. Her face was lumpy and swollen, but her sickness grew to strength. Her power to comfort.

 

Lena Kliendienst

Lena Kliendienst (@variastrixx), is a USYD art student and English Major. Their writing has been included in their artworks, which have been featured in Salience and The Junction magazines under their artist name (Maggie Kelly). The author uses their experience with mental illness using their horror, musical, and artistic interests. Their writing fits into literary and general fiction, horror and thriller, as well as short story collection genres, and contains memoir elements.

Correction for The Halloween Edition!

Seems we made a mistake! In our latest Halloween Edition, we had a misprint and left out what was mean to be the grand finale of our Special Edition. We wanted to make sure readers got to enjoy this piece, so we’re printing it again here. If you feel like diving into our last Special Edition before our Holiday Edition drops, find it below!

 

Trembling With Fear – Halloween 2023 Edition

 

Perfect Costume

 

Everyone’s impressed. You win first prize in the costume contest and the candy pours into your plastic pumpkin at every door.

“Must take hours to apply,” they say. One idiot tugs the hair on your cheeks and you wince, have to resist urge to snarl or snap.

You look at their fancy costumes and smile secretly to yourself at the money you’ve saved.

Your costume didn’t cost you a penny, just a curse. Inconvenient, yes, sometimes, but, when the moon is full, your girlfriend can take you walkies in the woods. Saves a fortune in dogfood.

Besides, you prefer candy.

 

 

DJ Tyrer

DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines around the world, such as Chilling Horror Short Stories (Flame Tree), All The Petty Myths (18th Wall), Steampunk Cthulhu (Chaosium), What Dwells Below (Sirens Call), The Horror Zine?s Book of Ghost Stories (Hellbound Books), and EOM: Equal Opportunity Madness (Otter Libris), and issues of Sirens Call, Occult Detective Magazine, parABnormal, Tales from the Magician?s Skull, and Weirdbook, and in addition, has a novella available in paperback and on the Kindle, The Yellow House (Dunhams Manor). You can follow their work on Facebook @DJTyrerWriter, on their blog: djtyrer.blogspot.co.uk or on the Atlantean Publishing website: atlanteanpublishing.wordpress.com.

Unholy Trinity: We Are Loved by Cameron Edwards

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.

We are loved, and the sea comes rushing in, all at once, vodka-clear and terribly cruel. It desires to invade us, to envelop, caress and consume us, to become the last thing we ever feel, ever know. There is an obtuse grandeur to it–the onrushing towering tide–but also a fundamental, particular care that can only be found in love and hatred and the poisonous, gorgeous nectar-sickly-sweet pit where they intertwine. It’s beautiful that something so awesome conspires to deliver us suffering. We are going to be loved, loved oh so crushingly dearly, loved in and through and by our torment.

 

II.

We are loved, and Prometheus suffers on his rock, suffers with his strewn innards and displaced viscera, because he gave us a gift. He is tortured, day and night and unceasing aeon, because he loved us as only a god could: love without expectation, without possible requital. There is nothing we can do, nothing we can burn or light or cauterize, that will ever justify an eternal sacrifice. We cannot even hear him scream, anymore. So we are left here, alive and warm, safe from the terrors of the night, because they are all called to torture one shuddering never-corpse.

 

III.

We are loved, and the stars’ soft green light infuses our souls with wonder and awe and cold fear. We do not have a say in the matter: to be trapped down here, under the dark sphere of night, is to be in a position of kneeling obeisance. We will receive that which is intended for us, that which has been crafted in burning, roiling celestial cauldrons. The ruinous truth is that a stellar symphony nightly proclaims its unceasing love for you, and you will never escape its sight. The sky above is not uncaring, and it never, ever, blinks.

 

Cameron Edwards

Cameron Edwards (they/them) is a librarian and aspiring fiction writer currently living in Montreal, Canada. Much to their surprise and infrequent worry, they seem able to only write weird fiction and horror stories. They have previously been published in Polymorphic Magazine Volume 1.