Unholy Trinity: Three Drabbles by Alan Moskowitz
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.
When Time Runs Out
Doctor Sturges tried to look sympathetic through his mask when he told Jim that it was only a matter of time. He was sorry, but Jim couldn’t visit her, due to contagion.
Jim went into Margate’s room anyway. He took her hand, watching in sorrow as the woman he had loved all his life struggled to breathe, her eyes filled with panic. “No worries my old girl, you won’t be alone for long.”
He took off his mask, kissed her on the lips, breathing in her love and then sat beside her, and waited. Her fear disappeared, and she smiled.
A Moment of Spite
Carla rushed breathless into the hospital room apologizing for being late. She chatted nervously about his grandkids to no avail. He began his usual critique of her carelessness, her weight and her life. The usual feelings of shame crawled over her.
Then the final barb, “Where’s your sister, she’s never late!” Anger bloomed, Carla retaliated, “Roby died years ago, Dad, remember?”
The old man burst into tears. Carla sat silently satisfied as he cried away the afternoon.
The next visit he asked about Roby and Carla told him she was cooking dinner for his grandkids, and the day went well.
The doctors surrounding the body were wondering what to do next. An attending suggested sending it to the morgue. Dr. Sturges scoffed, “So you want to lose your license, your career and your future? Leave it to me.”
The team left with their tablets filled with unauthorized research that could provide a cure.
While rolling the body to the crematorium Sturges thought about the old guy’s long life, his love for his family, his losses and triumphs and his final selfless act.
If his family knew they would probably be pleased at his contribution to the fight against the virus.
Alan Moskowitz is a retired screen and TV writer pursuing his passion for writing short genre fiction for his pleasure and, with hope, the enjoyment of others.
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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 is an active member of the HWA and can be found at https://stephanieellis.org and on Blue Sky as stephellis.bsky.social.