Unholy Trinity: There’s Something On Your Face by Catherine Berry
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.
She could hear the voice whisper in the dark. Sibilant hisses. Deep growls. Reedy whines. The words echoed in the trees around her. Things had seemed so safe with her friends; now she was running.
Her arms and legs were covered in stinging, slowly seeping cuts. She’s stumbled over roots, scrambled up rocks, dodged and ducked around trees; but the voice kept repeating. Kept following.
Fingers slid around her throat and clamped down. Her feet shot out from under her. Something wet and sharp pressed against her cheek. A breathy chuckle next to her ear.
“There’s something on your face.”
“There’s something on your face,” the woman next to Emily hissed, pressed against the side of the elevator.
“Where?” Emily brushed her hands over her skin. “Is it still there?”
“It’s wriggling!” the woman squealed.
“Could you get it?” Emily stepped closer.
“Don’t come near me!”
“Okay,” she soothed, “I won’t.”
Phone set to selfie, Emily’s face looked normal. She eyed the trembling woman, inched towards the doors, and smiled awkwardly. The elevator stopped and Emily rushed to reception.
“Excuse me, I think someone’s having a psychotic episode.”
The receptionist flinched, stare fixated on Emily. “There’s something on your face.”
The date had been going well. When Lee brought Amy home she’d invited him in.
“Where were we?” she purred.
“Here,” Lee whispered.
Kissing her was intoxicating. Dizzying. Hands trembling, heart thudding, chest tight. Lee pulled back; his bones ached like the flu.
Amy licked her lips, pupils blown wide. “Delicious.”
Lee stroked his thumb along her cheek leaving a thin, red scratch.
“There’s something on your face,” he mumbled, rubbing gently over the mark. Amy’s skin bunched and ripped revealing glistening red tissue underneath.
“Kiss me,” she demanded, clenching Lee’s head painfully in her hands. She swallowed his scream.
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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.