Tagged: Unholy Trinity

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.

Unholy Trinity: The Last Note by F.P. Jones

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.

 

Rose Piano

 

Drawn by an inexplicable allure, Amelia steps into the forbidden room in the crumbling mansion. Her heart pulses to the rhythm of a haunting melody only she hears. Inside, she finds an ornate, dust-covered piano. She plays, tracing the eerie tune that called to her. The air thickens as her fingers dance across the keys. Beautiful figures materialize, circling her. They whisper, their voices both chilling and compelling, urging her to continue playing. Realizing her grave mistake, she jerks her hands away. Still, the figures remain–Amelia’s eyes betray an unnatural glint; the spirits have found a new home.

 

Lilac Souls

 

In a secluded European village, Viktor, the piano maker, crafted a grand piano from wood sourced from a cursed forest. Ignoring warnings, he embellished it with arcane symbols, seeking to harness the forest’s dark energies for unparalleled sound. When he played the first note, the piano’s timbre was surreal, almost otherworldly. But that note also served as an invitation. Spirits from beyond the veil seeped into the piano, infusing it with malevolent sentience. Viktor vanished mysteriously, but the piano was found untouched and sold. A wealthy patron of the arts purchased it–the piano awaited its next opportunity. 

 

Vintage Promise

 

We sat dormant, an elegant relic in a forgotten chamber. Then, a curious musician named Oliver arrived, intrigued by whispers of Amelia’s madness. Unlike her, he was not swayed by our haunting melody but by ambition—eager to uncover our arcane secrets for fame. When his fingers touched our keys, we felt the voracity of his intent. He played, and we unleashed not just ethereal figures but twisted reflections of his avarice. Our insatiable greed made Oliver one with us, his essence captured within our wooden form. Now, we sleep, harmonizing in sinister silence for the next curious soul.

 

 

F.P. Jones

Jones received his bachelor from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctor from William H. Brown School of Law. The Arkansas native currently divides his time between the state he loves and traveling for inspiration, most likely stopping frequently for a selfie. He now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. My current projects include tales for a upcoming dark fiction anthology and a serialized dark fiction short stories.

Unholy Trinity: Emergence, The March & Necromancer by Martin P. Fuller

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.

 

Emergence

 

The grave is cold, devoid of light. Something urges it to lift decaying limbs, breaking the rotting coffins lid. A cascade of soil crashes through. It digs, claws, and pushes upwards.

Time is irrelevant as it tunnels higher. A fierce desire to bite and devour settles in what passes for its mind. 

A fist breaks the surface. A final lunge. Rebirth from the womb of the tomb. It is compelled to wander the world, driven by a voracious need to sate a taste for flesh, the drip of blood on dry withered lips, and the crunch of bone. 

 

It walks.

 

The March

 

The dead thing was joined by a fellow journeying cadaver. They walked abroad, stumbling occasionally, decaying legs almost crumbling beneath them. Something had changed their rotting tissue, making it harder, stronger. Muscle and tendon transformed, becoming similar to rusted iron. Regeneration, especially after the first victim’s been torn apart by sharpened teeth. Flesh invigorated and restored. Their addiction to consume human meat increases. The companionship of other reanimated corpses returns a memory of community. They are given purpose. Hunt, kill, render, and feed. Bring the living into the herd of the dead.

All travel on into a blood red future.

 

Necromancer

 

He falls to his knees, exhausted after the incantation, hands and chest smeared with the sacrificial victims blood. The cemetery trembles with a shimmer of movement as the dead arose through the cold earth. Their decomposed brains were congealed into instruments of his will, and his will was strong.

The world would fall with his army of the dead, each containing the seeds of death and re-birth in their bite and scratch. The hellish host would thus increase and march on, blood and flesh their payment for being soldiers of the grave.

The Necromancer stands, ready to own the world.

 

 

Martin P. Fuller

Martin lives in Menston in West Yorkshire. He was in previous exitances: beer salesman, pall bearer, car delivery driver, and oh yes… a police officer for over 34
years. He now runs a small antique shop selling haunted and cursed items to the public. He started to writing in 2013, preferring the darker genre’s. He’s been published in Horror Tree, Sirens Call and a number of anthologies.

Unholy Trinity: Monstrous Reflection by Hannah Foster

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.

 

The glass windows of the office reflected a hideous stranger.

Steven leaned back in his chair. His breath stuttered from his open mouth. Lukewarm coffee spilled across a manila folder as the porcelain mug clinked against his desk.

Behind the reflection, lights from the city twinkled in the darkness. 

“Steve, you good? You should be celebrating.” Someone—he couldn’t remember the name—poked his head in as he unfastened his tie.

“I’m fine,” Steven muttered, staring at the stranger in the window.

The monster stared back for a moment, then slowly pointed an emaciated finger at the man facing him.

 

II.

 

The last mirror. 

Erik’s gaze traced his features, the mottled, inhuman skin and protruding horns. Hideous

“Erik?” His sister. She was peeking around the cellar door above him. “Come back. It’s freezing down here.”

“It doesn’t bother me,” he mumbled, staring at himself. That reflection. 

Her hand touched his spined back. Her reflection joined his, a pale, delicate figure standing stalwart next to him.

With a roar, he slammed his horns into the glass. It splintered, sending shards everywhere. His sister shrieked and cringed away, blood smeared across her cheek.

The last mirror, and the last of his humanity, gone.

 

III.

 

The guard lay motionless in a pool of sunlight, veins branching dark across his cheeks and forehead.

I killed him.

The truth uncoiled in the princess’s mind.

My venom. My fangs. My fault. 

Footsteps, three sharp raps on the door; she swayed in the middle of the room.

Please go away. I could hurt you.

But the transformation had begun, a twisting agony that started in her feet and took hold of her body.

Go away…I’m dangerous…I will kill you.

She saw herself reflected as she changed, fangs slick and inhuman eyes slitted with malice: those of a giant serpent.

 

Hannah Foster

Hannah Foster is a writer and artist based in northern Nevada. Fed on a steady diet of fantasy and Gothic literature, her imagination provides an endless supply of quirky stories, mainly in the form of flash fiction. She lives with her husband and a fluffy Aussiedoodle doggo named Mabel.

Unholy Trinity: Deathbed, Probe & Postmortem by Paul Lonardo

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.

 

Deathbed

 

On his deathbed, the retired NASA Administrator David McCaffrey told his son Carl never to tamper with the box under the stairs. A month after the man passed, while cleaning out the house, Carl discovered a seamless, metallic box. The imaginative young man wondered what extraterrestrial secrets it contained. Using a sledgehammer, he smashed the mysterious object, which was part of a global protection grid against alien invasion. Now compromised, sparks sizzled from tiny cracks and an alarm chirped while directly overhead the skies glowed with brilliant points of light and the contrails of interstellar missiles descending at hypersonic speed.

 

Probe

 

The alien set the anal probes on the counter, taking all that was left on the shelf. “I also need one of those large, gray-headed masks with the big black eyes?”

The attendant reached beneath the counter and pulled up the mask. “You must be going to Earth,” he said, scanning the items. “Tell me, why does everyone who visits Earth bring these masks?”

“Humans freak out if we probe them without the mask on.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because we’re physically identical in every way. Amazing, that of all the different lifeforms out there, humans happen to look just like us.”

 

Postmortem

 

Lying naked on the table, the cold metal pressed against Vincent’s back, butt, and calves. When the white sheet over his face was pulled down, there was an explosion of intense light. He saw a blurry figure holding a scalpel and tried to move but he could not. As the blade cut through the frigid flesh of his chest, it made a soft crackling sound. The Y-incision across his shoulders extended down his stomach, but he felt no pain. When the skin was pulled back, it was red inside, though blood did not flow. He screamed but made no sound.

 

 

Paul Lonardo

Paul Lonardo is a freelance writer and author with numerous titles of both fiction and nonfiction books. He’s placed short stories and nonfiction articles in various genre magazines and ezines. In June 2023, he released Penny Dreadfuls, a collection of haiku horror poems, and in October, Small Dark Things, his latest anthology of all new dark fantasy stories was published. Paul is a contributing writer for Tales from the Moonlit Path and an active HWA member. You find him on Instagram @PaulLonardo13, on X @PaulLondardo and on his website: www.thegoblinpitcher.com.

Unholy Trinity: The Call by Kai Delmas

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.

 

Rise

 

The dead call to me. I hear them whisper from their graves. They haunt my dreams, begging to be set free.

I’ve stayed away from graveyards ever since my grandfather’s burial. When his coffin was lowered into the earth I heard his voice in my head, asking for a second chance at life.

I was too afraid to return but that changed when I lost you. I couldn’t stay away any longer.

I hear them calling as my feet pass by their graves. They all want second chances.

But you will be the first.

Come back to me, mother.

Rise.

 

Strong. Determined. Unstoppable.

 

His call comes from above. Strong. Determined. Unstoppable.

I follow it.

Once weak, my body is no longer bound by nature’s laws. Rotting flesh pounds against wood until it splinters. Torn fingernails and exposed bone claw their way through settled dirt, sticks and rocks.

Pain is a thing of the past. Time not of my concern.

When I reach the surface I try to suck in air but my body’s no longer capable. It has no need of oxygen.

It only needs magic.

My dead eyes find my son. His call, his magic, brought me back.

He’s strong. Determined. Unstoppable.

 

The Call

 

Hallowed ground ruptures. Dozens of hands fight their way through the dirt. I answered their call but my eyes only focus on one.

My mother’s skin is gray with black veins. Her eyes are white. She doesn’t speak. I don’t think she can.

But I hear her. Like I hear the others. They called me. Begged me to bring them back. What for?

My question isn’t answered through words but through one single, crystal clear emotion.

Anger.

They want revenge. They needed me to bring them back. Now they need me to set them free.

And that’s what I do.

 

 

Kai Delmas

Kai Delmas loves creating worlds and magic systems and is a slush reader for Apex Magazine. He is a winner of the monthly Apex Microfiction Contest, his fiction is forthcoming in Zooscape, and can be found in Martian, Etherea, Tree And Stone, Wyldblood, and several Shacklebound anthologies. Find him on Twitter @KaiDelmas or Bluesky @kaidelmas.bsky.social And if you like his drabbles and maybe even want to get some critiques, support him on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/kaidelmas.

Unholy Trinity: Happily Never After 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.

 

Gingerbread Legacy

 

Hansel and Gretel drifted apart after they’d charred the old hag. He’d been grateful for his sister’s rescue—at first. Then cravings began for buttered brownie brick, caramel concrete, and candied windowpane. He’d lay awake, bitter and salivating. He abandoned Gretel and returned to the cursed woods. The witch’s house had melted into the marsh, but he discovered a tattered recipe book in an old chest. With time and practice, he baked a gingerbread foundation, erected four frosted walls, and set a sugar-shingled roof. Then his palate expanded, and he found himself drawn to the final chapter—Cooking the Innocent.

 

Her Sisters’ Fate

 

Doves descended upon Cinderella’s wedding procession, and the townspeople rejoiced. Her groom marveled as the flock swirled in formation. “Look, my love! An omen!”

Then the birds plunged, wings thrashing. Shrill cries swallowed the musicians. Her sisters begged for help, trapped in a feathered storm.

She attempted to approach, but her prince held her back. Still, amid the swarm, she watched as birds pecked and picked at scarlet sockets. Red rivulets streaked pale cheeks.

The spectacle, she knew, was a wedding gift sent by Mother.

Mother’s doves ascended. Her stepsisters screamed in blind agony, and Cinderella shed tears of joy.

 

Jack the Giant Disappointment

 

Jack the Giant Slayer left a colossal corpse rotting across acres of farmland. It reeked to high heavens and attracted throngs of disease-bearing pests.

The beanstalk he chopped down crushed half the town, killing dozens.

A jury of vindictive peers found Jack guilty of theft, murder, and reckless endangerment. The measly pile of gold he had smuggled to earth couldn’t begin to cover the damages, but the orphaned children were awarded the golden harp.

Soon he quivered beneath the gallows and locked eyes with his heartbroken mother. “Beans!” She spat. “You traded a perfectly good cow for beans. Hang him!”

 

 

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 NEW horror anthology The Misery King’s Country—available October 2023—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.