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.

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1 Response

  1. Alyson Faye says:

    Loved the dark wit and trope inversion of these