Plugs

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Bah, bah black goat

by David

I scream
the musical breath of trees
their limb-rending dance

That dang thousand-legged monster, squatting in the woods out past Coaling. Been there since the tornado went through, or maybe the storm released it from some Paleolithic prison. Started small, at any rate, and the first I saw of it was a peculiar letter to the newspaper from some feller lived out that way. Not really a letter, it was a haiku. Kind of disturbing. I remember thinking he must have been on some kind of hallucinogen. I had a professional interest; trained as a forester at Auburn, though I work as a real estate appraiser now. So I drove out there on my next day off, those winding roads, overhung with trees, they make Midwesterners claustrophobic. Not me, but something about the woods that day did make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I parked out by Lake Lurleen and walked the trail that goes all the way around. It’s been closed since the tornado; part of it got blown away, they claim. The trees tossed in a stiff breeze that didn’t penetrate to ground level. I didn’t see any washouts, the path was clear, but I did hear distant shouting, or singing; maybe chanting, carried on that unfelt wind. I struck off uphill into the woods, but never did find where the sound was coming from. Started to get dark and I began to hear things shuffling in the leaves. Sounded too big to be coons or possums. I got spooked, headed back home.

oak-leaf crown
on her belly the ebon
hoof and snout of God

It all fell apart after that. The freakish weather, people cleared out or disappeared, something happening in the woods west of the lake, two deputies gone out to investigate but they never come back. Sheriff wouldn’t do nothin’ after that. I went out there again myself. Looking for something, the heart of this thing, its root cause. Oh yeah, I found it. Found the little clearing, the black hoofprints burned into the dirt, and all the time the trees moving in a wind I couldn’t feel. Found the Mother too, poor thing; think I was supposed to. I’ll do for her as I can, and what I must, when it’s her time. I have seen the future, and I know what side my bread is buttered on. My advice? Go to ground. Stay out of the woods.

the Young come
and they will hunger
Iä, Shub-niggurath, baby
The end

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4 Responses to “Bah, bah black goat”

  1. Louise Says:

    October 9th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Aaaagggahhhhhh! Pan God of Panic!

  2. Louise Says:

    October 9th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Aaaagggahhhhhh! Pan God of Panic!

  3. Ted Haigh Says:

    October 9th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Ooohh…! I LIKE it!!

  4. David Says:

    October 10th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    It’s easy to make an extra post when you’re in a panic. My writing doesn’t always have that effect.
    thanks