Unholy Trinity: Pantry Stew
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.
“What’s in the stew, Marjorie? It’s delicious, and a little…exotic.”
“Glad you like it,” Marjorie responded. “Just used what I found in the pantry.”
“Well, thanks for the invite. Where’s John tonight?”
“I thought you’d know…since you’re sleeping together,” Marjorie smiled. “Yes, I know, you’ve been having sex with my husband.”
I choked. Reached for my wine glass. Empty.
“More wine, darling?” Marjorie asked. “Go grab another bottle from the pantry.”
I opened the pantry door. John’s head and torso stood upright on a plastic tarp.
I reeled backwards.
“Where’s John, you asked? Oh, he’s inside you, darling,” sighed Marjorie.
I gagged. I couldn’t believe I’d eaten John…his legs, his…parts…and I had enjoyed it.
I swiped my forearm across my mouth.
“I think there’s an Argentinian Malbec on the shelf,” called Marjorie from the kitchen. “It would be divine with the pantry stew.”
I crept into the pantry, mesmerized by the grotesque statue that had once been my lover…his stiffness, his head cocked at an odd angle, his throat slit with what was clearly a confident prowess. Marjorie’s work? And John said she wasn’t exciting enough.
I eyed the wine shelf. A Malbec. Yes. Rich and exotic, just like John.
“I don’t blame you, darling,” Marjorie explained as she ladled more stew. “My husband was a tomcat. He had one hell of a reputation.”
“I didn’t know,” I replied. “It was sex, but I thought he…loved me.” I swallowed another morsel of rich ragout.
“Were you careful? I mean, with John’s gonorrhea and all…and darling, you did see his warts, right?”
I spit the stew bits back into my bowl.
“Well, darling, I’m sorry…” Marjorie sighed. “That’s why we hadn’t had sex in years! But at least he was good in the kitchen…you have to admit, he makes remarkable stew.”
Catherine Kenwell is a writer, mediator and adjudicator living with a brain injury. Her work has appeared in Brainstorm Revolution and Chicken Soup for the Soul, and she is a contributor to Trembling with Fear. She’s currently writing a ‘real-life-horror-story’ comedy based on her experiences with PTSD and post-concussion syndrome. www.catherinekenwell.com
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Stephanie Ellis writes dark speculative prose and poetry and has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Her longer work includes the folk horror novels, The Five Turns of the Wheel and Reborn, and the novellas, Bottled and Paused. Her novel, The Woodcutter, is due for release via Brigids Gate Press in 2023. Her dark poetry has been published in her collections Lilith Rising (co-authored with Shane Douglas Keene), Foundlings (co-authored with Cindy O’Quinn) and Metallurgy, as well as the HWA Poetry Showcase Volumes VI, VII, VIII, and IX and Black Spot Books Under Her Skin. She can be found supporting indie authors at HorrorTree.com via the weekly Indie Bookshelf Releases. She is an active member of the HWA and can be found at https://stephanieellis.org, on Twitter at @el_stevie, Instagram stephanieellis7963 and also somewhere on Facebook.