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.
Keira was waiting on top of the hill overlooking my old school. I could always count on my wife, even after the plague.
“You find them?”
I nodded. “Just Mum… Dad was her first meal.”
She hugged me.
“I loved them too.”
“You ever wonder if the undead have memories?”
“Mum and I had a ritual. Every morning on the way to school, I’d stop here and turn toward our house. She would be on the back porch waving.”
I pointed to the place I had tethered Mum.
There she was.
I raised my arm and waved to her…
On the streets of my childhood, a sound brings me running. The house two down from my parents, a woman in the back yard. A stranger. She is backed against the fence. An undead child, pigtails hanging over ruined face, encroaches on her.
I reach in desperation for a garden stake. Nod at the woman. Her pupils dilate. From behind I smash the dead thing’s head, even as the woman screams, “Noooo!”
Puzzled, I drop the weapon, as she runs to the fallen child and cradles the dead thing in her arms.
“My daughter,” she screams at me. “My baby.”
I find Keira in the lounge room, she has her back to me.
Edging closer, I see she is picking up our framed family photographs and gazing at them. Memories of our wedding day, holidays in the sun or snow. Happy days.
She turns and I see she is crying.
“I’m sorry I didn’t give you children,” she says.
I touch her hand, ignoring the ominous bloody wound on her upper arm. The harbinger of doom.
“It’s okay.” I squeeze her fingers.
I raise my other arm toward her head, the one holding the knife.
“I love you,” I say.
Anthony Ferguson is a committee member of the Australasian Horror Writers Association (AHWA), a two time finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards. He has multiple story publications in magazines and anthologies, and authored the N/F book, The Sex Doll: A History, and Devil Dolls and Duplicates in Australian Horror.
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