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.
Mother lay there quietly. There was nothing anyone could do; her clock was winding down. She gazed at me serenely, she was at peace. Amongst the clinical whiteness I saw an incongruous sight. A moth fluttered across the ceiling. It found its way to the window, its wings hitting the glass. I instinctively reached out to squash this unwelcome visitor in the death chamber, but a gasp stayed my hand. My mother’s eyes stared at me imploringly. I suddenly understood. I opened the window and let it fly. It soared to the heavens. Behind me, mother took her last breath.
I lay in the road; the wheel of my bicycle and the fender of the car that had hit me were the only objects visible. I couldn’t move my body. I heard voices around me, shouting about blood and injury. I felt my eyes closing, my heart stopping.
“Keep awake,” said a voice, but I couldn’t will myself to draw in air.
I saw a moth fluttering above me. It descended, alighting briefly on my mouth before flying away. I felt an odd sensation in my chest. My heart suddenly beat once more, and I found I could breathe again.
The third injection hadn’t worked. The condemned man twitched and moaned on the gurney. He was unable to move.
“Damnit, can’t you find a vein?” cursed the guard.
“I have, three times now,” replied the exasperated doctor. He tried again. The death row prisoner stared at him in mute agony.
Aware of the growing disquiet of the watching people, the guard looked round for a solution.
“Just keep injecting him, doc.”
“I’m running out.”
A moth fluttered past the guard’s face. He reached out and crushed it, throwing the pulverised creature onto the floor. The prisoner finally closed his eyes.
R.J. Meldrum is an author and academic. Born in Scotland, he moved to Ontario, Canada in 2010. He has had stories published by Sirens Call Publications, Horrified Press, Trembling with Fear, Darkhouse Books, Smoking Pen Press and James Ward Kirk Fiction. He is an Affiliate Member of the Horror Writers Association.
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/richard.meldrum.79
- Taking Submissions: Death and Butterflies - August 19, 2019
- Trembling With Fear 08/18/2019 - August 18, 2019
- Taking Submissions: Vestal Review – Web Edition - August 16, 2019
- Taking Submissions: An Untitled Stormy Island Publishing Anthology - August 15, 2019
- Taking Submissions: Apparition Lit Magazine Issue 8: Euphoria (Short Window!) - August 15, 2019
- Trajan’s Arch Blog Tour – On Mythic Fiction - August 15, 2019
- Taking Submissions: Body & Blood - August 14, 2019
- Ongoing Submissions: We Will Remember Freedom - August 14, 2019
- Ongoing Submissions: The Bronzeville Bee - August 13, 2019
- Taking Submissions: The Blue Route #23 - August 13, 2019