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.




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.




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.”




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.

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