Unholy Trinity: Three More Bad Habits by Justin Boote
Bad Habit # 1
Wendy had long since realized that love was not forever, despite what the songs said. Forty years of marriage told her differently. Her husband’s bad habits emphasized it. She could live with the flings, the binges; she told herself it was to be expected.
But not this.
The way he ate. Smacking his lips like a flapping fish on dry land.
Slap. Slap. Slap.
Like walking through fields of wet cow shit.
It resonated in her head, like a metronome.
It tormented her. Tortured her.
She thrust the kitchen knife deep inside his mouth.
Slap now, you pig.
Bad Habit # 2
To Peter, it sounded like a thousand drains being unblocked, the water sucked down into the sewers. In this case, though, it went down their throats. If it was so hot, why not blow the damn stuff? But no, tiny drops sucked up into stinging lips. Like a vacuum cleaner.
He finished his own coffee and stood to leave. He couldn’t take it anymore. A dozen clients slurping at his coffee in his own bar. It had to stop.
He returned later and poured laxative into the various coffee pots.
Let’s see you slurp now.
But your butts slurping instead.
Bad Habit #3
Clink, clink, clink.
Faster, louder, slower, quieter; it didn’t matter. It wasn’t hypnotic, it was maddening. The sound resonated in Mike’s head, his ears.
Clink, clink. Clink, clink.
Round and round went the spoons, making Mike dizzy. Angry. Furious.
He wanted to scream at them. How long to stir your damn coffee? Stop that godawful noise! They weren’t even looking, completely oblivious reading the morning newspaper.
Like an early morning alarm clock ringing in his head. Reverberating constantly.
Enough was enough.
He returned with a baseball bat and smashed at fingers and wrists stirring coffee.
Stir now, assholes.
Justin Boote is an Englishman living in Barcelona for over twenty years, who has been writing short horror/suspense stories for two years. To date, he has had published or accepted for publishing around 20 stories in diverse magazines. He is also moderator for a private writer’s forum, The Write Practice.
He can be found at Facebook under his own name.
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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.