Unholy Trinity: “Jumping Ship” “In Charge” & “Tourist Season” by Evan Baughfman

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.


Jumping Ship


There was life for Benny back on land! A future! He had to save himself!

If the others were meant to survive, they would’ve dodged Benny’s blows, would’ve grabbed the life preserver before he did.

As desperate pleas submerged under dark, roiling water, Benny thanked God, clinging to his circular savior. 

Nearby, a keeling vessel slumped to its grave, bow jutting moonward. 

Torrents of screeching rats spilled overboard.

Frantic for a flotation device, the stowaways swam for Benny. Gnashing, red-eyed waves overtook him, smothering his cries.

Bobbing in the wake of disaster, Benny choked on vermin in search of sanctuary.


In Charge


Bright sunshine. Flourishing foliage. Wonderful hike.

A roar shook me, silencing birdsong.

A grizzly exploded from green cover, straight ahead. Charged.

I shouted, aimed a cannister of protective spray. 

Irritant struck the animal’s eyes, snout. Even so, the beast barreled forward, swatting me aside.

I soared into briar, dropping spray. Landed on my backpack, overturned tortoise, powerless in a thorny thicket.

The bear continued its race. Vanished between trees. 

That roar, however, still approached. 

Not a grizzly’s bellow.

Something else’s. Something larger.

Heavy footsteps found me. An impossible figure loomed.

Bears fled this fanged abomination, true ruler of the woods.


Tourist Season


Well past midnight, the newlyweds cuddled lakeside across from Congress Avenue Bridge. Pierre marveled at tiny silhouettes twirling in moonlight. Anais shivered in the Texas heat.

She said, “Sorry, didn’t come to Austin for rabies. Let’s grab another drink…”

“We’re perfectly safe. At dusk, there would’ve been a huge crowd here, watching a million-plus bats leave their roosts all at once.”

Four creatures banked toward the couple. Encircled gobsmacked Pierre and cowering Anais. Transformed into imposing pale figures.

“Love taking holiday here,” one hissed.

“So easy to blend in,” another agreed.

“So many tourists.” 

“So many new flavours to try.”


Evan Baughfman

Evan Baughfman is a Southern California teacher, author, and playwright. A number of Evan’s plays are published through Heuer Publishing, YouthPLAYS, Next Stage Press, and Drama Notebook. Evan has also found success writing horror fiction, his work found recently in anthologies by Critical Blast Publishing, No Bad Books Press, and Grinning Skull Press. Evan’s short story collection, The Emaciated Man and Other Terrifying Tales from Poe Middle School, is published through Thurston Howl Publications. His novella, Vanishing of the 7th Grade, is available through D&T Publishing. D&T has also published his novel, Bad for Your Teeth. More info is available at amazon.com/author/evanbaughfman.

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