Unholy Trinity: Woodland Encounter by Terrance V. Mc Arthur
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.
“So, let me get this straight. You were attacked by an animal-like creature during a hunting trip, you say? Your bullets didn’t stop the thing, but when you clubbed it with the silver-trimmed stock of your rifle, that killed the beast, and it transformed into the dead body of your guide, right? Now, you usually go hunting away from the city when the moon is full, like it is tonight? I suppose that means you’re a werewolf, right?”
The clouds parted enough for a slash of moonlight to shine on a furry, toothsome face which snarled, “You might say that.”
“Let me tell you about my trip to Eastern Europe. I went hiking on a break from college. While camping in the ruins of an old castle, just before dawn, I heard a twig snap. I turned to see a woman standing at the edge of the shadows.
“‘You are a stranger, here?’ she asked. I told her I was traveling to see the world and find adventure.
“She said, ‘Let me give you a kiss for luck, to send you on your way.’ That was a century ago.”
“So, you’re a vampire?”
Two fangs glinted.
“You might say that.”
The werewolf and the vampire faced off in the clearing, each confident of victory, feinting, teasing the other into making the first move. The two rushed together, powerful blurs of motion. Claws and fangs slashed, bodies bent, feet dug into the soft earth. Bellows and screeches frightened birds into flight. Rumbling echoes turned to grinding shudders that shook the trees.
The combatants broke apart, discovering they were mired waist-deep and sinking steadily. Anger turned to panic as they struggled against the gripping ooze.
When the earth was still, the birds returned.
You can’t fight Mother Nature?
You might say that.
Terrance V. Mc Arthur
Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a librarian, storyteller, magician, puppeteer, balloon artist, basketmaker, and playwright. His work has appeared in more than a dozen anthologies from Thirteen O’clock Press.. He lives in the Central Valley of California with his wife, his daughter, and the ashes of a 21-year-old cat.
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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.