Unholy Trinity: Prey and Predator by Corinne Pollard
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.
Light swarms the overgrown graveyard without reaching the Norman walls or the oak tree. Deteriorated markers whisper initials. No one remembers them.
J.W. does not care; he doesn’t care about the quarrelling squirrels above or his fellow figures who dangle their skulls. He sits stiffly on his headstone, unfeeling, ignoring the castle’s visitors and rubbing his throat.
He was bound to his stone for eternity, gazing past this secretive yard and almost choking himself with his frequent nail gripping rubs.
The black burn stung his scrawny neck.
Why wouldn’t it stop? Why did it rattle like a quivering puppet?
The Hedera Haunt
The Hedera curtained the gravestone with closed scales. The curtain had climbed overnight; a fierce, forever foliage full of secrets.
Fred Willis, the rookie gardener, cracked his knuckles, ready for the challenge. The ivy had to go, even if poisonous. The shears sniped and tore at it as sweat poured down Fred’s elderly muscles.
The ivy enjoyed the battle. It cut back with dagger needles, eager to splatter his blood. Under the miracle growth of the sun, it creeped while whispering a lost voice.
Let me sleep.
Fred’s efforts were in vain. It crawled back and hid his grandmother’s name.
Upon a Hunter’s Moon
The blood moon blazed across the darkness; it bathed my hunting ground in a crimson glow. It was soon.
While my nostrils inhaled the rotting flesh, my pupils inspected the fresh mounds. One of them looked promising; my ears detected their juices were still a little warm and flowing. A little wooden cross marked their permanent home; it was thrown into a hedge as dirt was slashed and scattered.
The sickly skin was marred by a red rash. It irritated me; at least let my prey be pretty.
The moon overtook me. The boy’s heart squelched softly between my fangs.
Corinne Pollard was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire where a love for reading and writing of fantasy developed. As a new voice in horror writing, Corinne draws upon self-fears and forbidden desires to inspire and terrify readers.
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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, Reborn, and The Woodcutter, and the novellas, Bottled and Paused (all via Brigids Gate Press). 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 can be found at https://stephanieellis.org and on Blue Sky as stephellis.bsky.social.