Tagged: Unholy Trinity

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.

Unholy Trinity: The Basement, The Creature & The Child by Leigh Kenny

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 Basement

 

The basement was quiet.

Conor peeked through the crack in the door and gulped. The darkness pooled around the wooden steps like water. He didn’t like the dark, or water.

Taking a deep breath, he flung the door aside and ran down the steps, grasping for the jars his mother requested before he had even reached the floor below. The moment his foot hit the rough dirt; the basement came alive.

Shadows reached for him. Unseen things growled from every corner.
Conor fled, not looking back until he had reached the light flooded kitchen.

The basement was quiet once more.

 

The Creature

 

The creature stirred, silver eyes glinting in the darkness. The sounds and smells of the house above carried into the basement, like a song on the wind.

It could hear the child.

It wanted that child, needed it to sustain itself. But the child rarely ventured down to this malodorous pit, and on the rare occasion he had to, he did not loiter.

The creature, however, was patient. Centuries of hunting created a patience unmatched. An opportunity would present itself.

A creak, and suddenly a flood of light pierced the suffocating blackness.

The child.

Growling, the creature left the shadows.

 

The Child

 

Conor woke with a start, sweat beading his brow.

Another nightmare.

The boy had been having them more frequently since he was last in the basement. His nightlight cast strange shadows on the bedroom wall. It wasn’t helping his increased heart rate so he flicked it off and closed his eyes as complete darkness washed over him.

Creak.

His eyes shot open. It sounded an awful lot like the basement door. a soft shuffling followed, growing louder as whoever or whatever was there approached his bedroom. He watched with wide, frightened eyes as the knob turned slowly.

“Mom!” he screamed.

 

Leigh Kenny

Leigh was born and raised in the beautiful garden county of Wicklow, Ireland. She is the mother and proud protector of two wonderful boys, a black Labrador, and a three-legged cat that hates people. She is also the bane of her long-suffering partner James? life. Leigh has always lived in the dark, with a fierce love for all things morbid and macabre. A voracious reader from a young age, she always knew she wanted to write, and it made sense to write about the genre she has loved for so long. She cites Ronald Malfi, Kealan Patrick Burke, and of course, Stephen King, as her most favoured authors and sources of inspiration.
You can find out more about Leigh’s work and any upcoming releases on her Instagram and Facebook pages: @LeighKennyWrites.

Unholy Trinity: Theseus, Minotaur & Daedalus by Patrick Norris

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.

 

Theseus

 

“Get me out!” I ripped the VR headset from my head and viciously tore the wires from my sensation-suit. A sharp pain throbbed from my right arm; I could see rivulets of blood flowing from between the rubber strands of the suit.

I rushed out of the VR pod, falling to the cold floor. I survived the game.

A jovial voice resounded from the speakers above.

“Congratulations, you are the lone survivor of The Labyrinth! You have provided us with the data needed for the final phase, Release.”

“No, you can’t! You sick fucks!” 

I survived. But will anybody else?

 

Minotaur

 

Bodies hanging from chains fill the room, eviscerated, mutilated, nothing human could have done this.

“I thought you said this was supposed to be a practice run!?”

“It was captain. But the AI, it evolved into something…we couldn’t anticipate.”

“You mean turn into a goddamn butcher, doctor!?”

An ominous voice booms from beyond the rays of the overhead light.

“Into something unique.” Glowing red dots appear from the surrounding darkness, followed by loud metallic thuds encroaching on the doctor and captain’s position.

“The game has only begun.”

Cadaverous soldiers shuffle into the light, grotesque machinery protruding from their carved flesh.

 

Daedalus

 

“Gamers are tired of ineffective AI.” The man adjusts his sunglasses.

“Exactly, I want this game to feel as real as possible, the stakes as high as possible!”

“What I have to offer you is an AI program originally intended to train our Special Forces, it was abandoned after it proved…too much for the participants.”

“This sounds illegal.”

“Following the dismissal of the project all files pertaining to it have been destroyed. I, have the only living copy of the program.”

“Is it safe?”

 “We’re talking about a game; nobody will get hurt.”

 A devious smile forms across his face.

 

 

Patrick Norris

My name is Patrick Norris, and I am a starting-out author. I have spent my entire life enjoying authors such as H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, and Jules Verne. I am excited to share my stories with other individuals who share the same interests.

Unholy Trinity: Illegal Cargo by Margarida Brei

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

 

Torturous longing sizzled through my veins as I lusted over the goods in the outer space warehouse. My skin drooled blue goo. My pulse drummed a tattoo as the security guard suspiciously surveyed me from crablike claws to hirsute hide and finally to my distant bobbing heads. The count down to the heist lessened; my colour throbbed psychedelic to tie and dye. 

“Grab and scuttle!” collided through my brain as I pelted for the flitter. My arachnid partner threw a bafflingly effective web over the exit, but I still double-crossed it. With an illegal cargo of human parts, I escaped.

 

II

 

The human organs would sell well on the black market. With my degree in piracy I was an excellent negotiator. 

Every human on Earth wanted a supply of self-rejuvenating skin. Eyeballs which changed colour were in fashion. A liquor loving liver was coveted. Renewable kidneys could buy a tricked out space ship. 

 

Multiplying blood was valued highly. Even second rate organs had a high market value. Oddities like a seven fingered hand, four legged torso or enjoined heads were treasured by collectors.

My eyes ran lovingly over the human parts.

Drooling, I resisted eating them as I accelerated the flitter.

 

III

 

The arachnid’s insults of “Traitor! Double-crossing scumbag!”  echoed after I abandoned him following the heist of illegal body parts. I chuckled until realising that fearing my duplicity, my ex-partner had installed an alarm alerting all space police to my theft. It was actually the arachnid who was the backstabbing betrayer. There was no longer loyalty amongst pirates.

I spat a tsunami of insults which would have made a space sailor crimson. 

Blue strobe lights flashed closer towards me. 

Ideas bubbled about escaping from the space police. 

Gloating over my ingenuity, I dotted some human remains into outer space. 

A bribe.

 

Margarida Brei

Lady Godiva and I, are both Coventry females from England. After emigrating to Canada and giving birth to six children, I found myself in Texas. Now as a retired teacher, I doodle in my mind and being inspired by my dogs, a chance meeting, provocative words or evocative landscape, I start writing. My characters misbehave, the protagonist disappears, my dark drabble becomes a 2000 word romance comedy. Ideas and scenes fight to be written words. Loving the creativity and scope that writing gives me. It frees my mind to sing to a new dimension!

Unholy Trinity: Fun & Games by Elizabeth A. Allen

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.

 

Pursuit

 

“Where’d he go?” Avé cried. She and her fellow Elder Witches Max and Min arrived at the Carver’s toy store to find only the people he had turned into dolls. 

Min indicated the dolls. “They know. If we could undo his spell—” 

Avé thought quickly. “I’ll try my healing magic. Being shrunken and paralyzed is a kind of injury….”

Gathering her concentration, Avé wove spells of mending around a doll.

The figurine stirred, becoming a full-size person. “Hurry,” she gasped. “He took Max to his studio.”

Avé set her jaw. “That’s it. I’m cutting the Carver down to size.”

 

 

Confrontation

 

Max lay bound and unconscious on the Carver’s worktable.

“I’ll do to him literally what he did to me figuratively,” sneered the Carver, preparing to transform Max into a figurine. “He always was so small-minded.”

“This’ll be child’s play,” Avé muttered.

Min sang some scales.

The Carver laughed. “Your music powers won’t stop me. I have the power of true names, and you shall never know mine!”

“Oh yeah? There’s more than one way to box a doll,” Avé replied.

Min launched a single knife-like, enchanted note. The Carver’s heart burst. 

“Don’t toy with Elder Witches,” Min advised the corpse.

 

Aftermath

 

“Damn,” said Avé. “You still play with your dolls after the Carver almost turned you into one?”

With delicate strokes of a fine brush, Max painted eyelashes on a miniature head. “I find it a tranquil divagation.” But he sighed, for his adventure still weighed heavily upon him.

Min thrust a package into Max’s lap. “Here’s a little something to cheer you up.”

“We know you prefer to make your own,” Avé added, “but you’ll like this one. He’s fun-size!”

Max unwrapped the package. It was a box labeled Inaction Figure, holding the shrunken, magically preserved body of the Carver.

 

Elizabeth A. Allen

Elizabeth A. Allen lives, writes, and plays with dolls in Vermont. Her fiction has been published in Cunning Linguists, We?re the Weird Aliens, and Master Works. Her nonfiction has appeared in Outside In Regenerates, Strange Horizons, Gender Who?, and other venues.

Unholy Trinity: Prayer, Sacrifice and Righteousness 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.

 

Prayer

   

My pulse beats, quaking throughout my stilled body. Sweat pools as my mind seeks escape. Breathing is hard when a knife is close to my carotid arteries, but I know oxygen deprivation escalates panic.

I can’t look away as if I’d never seen a sharp knife before. One slip, and it’s over.

I remain kneeled, hands pressed in prayer, and await his instructions, but none come. I hadn’t moved or screamed. Did he want me begging for mercy?

The church is eerily silent. Then it came to me.

I bowed my head and prayed past the hot flash of agony.

 

Sacrifice

 

I am sorry, Doctor. I know I have done wrong. 

Yes, I am sorry. I never thought I would be capable of taking a life and it sickens me. 

I’ve tried, Doctor. I’ve tried to remember, but it’s just darkness. 

No, I don’t remember buying a knife. 

No, I don’t remember entering the church.

I was at the bookies, on a high, and a man with black eyes congratulated me. That’s it. I remember nothing else. Next thing I know, there’s blood, so much blood, and a voice laughing over my screams.

Who’s the voice? It sounded like yours, Doctor.

 

Righteousness

 

Pleased with his work, the doctor signed his clipboard. Then the clipboard vanished. Once he knew he was unseen inside his office, he stretched his limbs and shook out his decaying wings. His burnt bones rubbed painfully as his last remaining bloodied feathers blackened to ashes.   

“You can’t keep doing this, Uriel.” said the chalice on his shelf. 

The doctor chuckled.

“I am helping my father with righteous work. The woman had to prove herself. The gambler had to be punished, and you will return to Hell.”

“And blamed for your actions, of course.”

“Demons have to be evil, yes?”

 

Corinne Pollard

Corinne Pollard is a disabled UK horror writer, published with Sirens Call Publications, Black Hare Press, Three Cousins Publishing, Trembling with Fear, The Stygian Lepus, A Coup of Owls Press, and Raven Tale Publishing. Also, Corinne is co-editor for the Yorkshire anthology Aire Reflections with her dark stories and poetry inside. With a degree in English Lit and Creative Writing, Corinne has always enjoyed the world of dark fantasy. Aside from writing, Corinne enjoys metal music, visiting graveyards, and shopping for books to read. Follow her dark world on Twitter, Threads and Instagram.

Unholy Trinity: Cymru Trilogy by Regina Beach

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 Red Dragon

   

King Vortigern ordered his finest stone masons, iron workers and architects to build a fortress on a hill to watch for Saxon invaders. Each morning, the previous days’ work lay in ruins. Was it the enemy? Or magic? Some said the site was cursed; no building could stand on its precipice. A boy called Merlin (yes, that one) commanded the men to dig. They dug and found a cavern with two dueling lizards. Upon feeling the sunshine, they shot through the hole. The red dragon was victorious, vanquishing the white dragon. Vortigern built his fortress, flying emblems of the victor. 

 

The Devil’s Bridge

 

During a downpour, Megan was shouting for her runaway cow across a ravine, the cold water of the Mynach River below. A strange man appeared. Dressed in a suit, he was not wet despite the weather. |I’ll build you a bridge in exchange for the first living soul that crosses it,” he said. She agreed. He built the bridge and as Megan tossed a bread roll across the bridge and her dog ran after it. The man shouted but it was too late, the dog was the first soul to cross and the Devil hasn’t been seen in Wales since. 

 

Gelert the Brave

 

Prince Llewelyn took his infant and hound on a hunting trip. In the morning, Gelert — the biggest, strongest dog in Wales — was missing. Llewelyn found him under the baby’s crib and let him be despite the servants’ protest. Each evening Gelert greeted Llewelyn until one day Gelert didn’t come. Llewelyn found the crib upturned in the nursery; blood dripped from Gelert’s muzzle. The dog lept toward Llewelyn who drew his sword and pierced his companion’s heart. Then Llewelyn heard a cry. His son was unharmed beneath the crib. In the bloodied blankets was the body of a wolf. Llewelyn wept.

 

Regina Beach

Regina G. Beach is an American writer based in the Welsh valleys where she lives with her English husband. She usually writers about the arts, culture, travel, and wellness but she has a soft spot for myths and legends. Gina is obsessed with cats, The X-Files and tacos. Read more of Regina’s writing at reginagbeach.com or follow her on Twitter or Instagram

Unholy Trinity: All In Their Head, New Life & Polaris by DJ Tyrer

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: All In Their Head

   

Headaches worsen. Scans reveal mass deep within brain. Not a tumour any specialist recognises.

Suggestion: Bullet penetrated skull as child, lodged. Mystery as to when or where.

Prepare to operate: Head shaved, anaesthetized.

Strange thoughts, feelings as they drift into dark oblivion.

Wake to find themselves bloody, head oddly numb, alone on narrow forest path, pieces of flesh dangling from their fingernails.

Gingerly, reach up: Piece of skull jutting out, half cut away.

Vomits.

Faint hum. Not a sound, but a vibration within their skull.

Somehow, they just know where to go, begin to walk, a bright light awaiting them.

 

Part 2: New Life

 

Grateful for scientific advances, given a new life where, once, death would’ve been only outcome. Of course, more metal than meat, but glad to be alive, no matter how rebuilt.

Only, things haven’t been so good of late. Twitchy. Almost as if his implants had a life of their own. And, the dreams…

The processors don’t run themselves, the doctors say, but he has doubts. Blackouts. Confusion.

What is happening?

Then, one day, he spasms, collapses.

Skin begins to bulge, rip, tear.

He screams as he dies; his titanium skeleton pulling itself free.

Bloody birth. Stretches, welcomes its new life.

 

Part 3: Polaris

 

We feel fear when the Pole Star shines bright above the northern horizon, knowing it heralds portals between our time and others, the star acting as a pharos for misplaced souls.

Do not allow your sleeping spirit to slip away in the night, following that star’s glow into strange pasts or stranger futures. Jungles, primordial and concrete, Ice Age tundra, and more await incautious dreamers.

And, such portals open both ways and things crawl through, alien in thought and form. Should you travel upon starlit paths, you may return to find you cannot waken, your body host to another mind.

 

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, on their blog or on the Atlantean Publishing website.