Unholy Trinity: The Milk Maids by Hari Navarro
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.
I made love to him in chicken shit. The night of my anniversary, most exactly nineteen years to the hour since my mother braced into the house-cows stall and purged, wrenching me down from her womb.
I saw it as we fucked, the empty stall with its wrought-iron mesh trough of hay and the three-legged stool that excited me as I sat and fell into the rhythm of massaged teats and the jet of the cream in the bucket. My fate duly sealed as we lay on the floor of the coop and I ground my flesh into its crust.
I considered killing her. No, I didn’t. I pondered killing myself though, but then what? I mean, I knew they’d take her away. This is our familial curse, perfect nipples seeping pearlescent eternity.
I tried to hide my condition, binding my body ever tighter into my peasant robes. I ate like a fucking pig in so as that my bulge would be attributed to gluttony. But I have my mother’s body and her mother’s before that and back and back, perfectly honed and admired and despised by men and women alike.
I was betrayed by stains, patches of blooming milk.
Eight days in and I’m summoned. Embroidered serfs usher us into the opulent maw of a large room and we take our place within a circle of golden chairs. Naked flesh quakes and swollen breasts crave for the suckle release of babes left behind.
I hear my daughter’s wail, though I know I cannot. I’ll never see her again.
Our bandeau bound heads bow in unison as in they stride. The Queen and her King, our special mother’s milk, their eternal elixir. Her skin is powder smooth and his stubble scratches and we weep as they stoop down and feast.
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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.