Children of the Goat-King (short story)
Started writing this as a script; it sucked horribly. It was suggested that I try it as a short story; here it is.
As near as he remembered, Caleb Cordoba noticed nothing out of the ordinary about the Blackburn place. A split-level with beige siding and a crooked cherry tree in the front lawn. No ceramic statues of mystical creatures. No sacramental altars. Just another house in a cul-de-sac that looked basically the same as every other house in the subdivision.
He stepped out of the truck into an oven. He checked his work order before unloading the mower onto the sidewalk. L&T. Lawn and trim. The front patch of lawn buzzed by in a blur of sweat. The mower idled behind him while he opened the side gate. The back yard appeared every bit as ordinary as the front. A row of hedges along the fence. An oak tree in the center. A bed of marigolds by the patio.
“Alright,” he said to himself. He turned toward his mower and, before he finished his step, pain seared in his right buttock.. “Mother...” He slid hand to his rear only to brush his fingers against something hard and spear-like.
Twisting around, his eyes fell upon a black goat, and “holy shit,” slipped out of his mouth.
The goat bleated and budded his horn into Caleb's crotch.
“What the...” Caleb cupped his groin and backed away from the goat. He flung the gate and it clanked shut behind him.
He reached into his pocket for his cellphone and dialed his supervisor.
“What's up, Cal? You about done over there?” Turner's voice blared from the cell phone.
“No... No, man.” Cal croaked. Pain evident in his voice.
“Jesus, you sound sick.”
“No...” Caleb glanced back at the gate. The goat nowhere to be seen. “Just got my nuts knocked in by a fucking goat.”
“What?” Turner's voice went up an octave. “A goat? You mean an actual fucking goat?”
“Yes, a goat! It's not funny.”
Turner's voice shook as he tried to hold back his laughing. “No. Shit, no! Man that's not funny at all.”
“I think he bit me too.” Caleb slid his hand to his butt and pulled back fingers covered with blood.
“Shit! He bit your nuts?”
“No... my ass.”
“Are you bleeding?”
“Well, head over to the E.R. to have it checked out.”
“Turner, you now I can't go into the E.R. They'll piss test me.”
“Yeah, but if you're injured.”
“Look, it's just a scratch. But ya gotta tell these assholes to do something about their goat!”
“Alright, I'll call them.”
“Okay, I”m out.”
Caleb ended the call and hobbled back to his truck. He opened the passenger door and pulled his first-aide kit from under the under the seat. Leaning into the cab, he pulled the back of his pants down enough to expose the wound. He tore an alcohol swab open with his teeth. He pressed it against his butt and blinding pain seared through his body. Wincing, he dropped the alcohol swab at once, but the cab of truck had already begun to fade.
A helpless moan rose from within his chest and everything went dark.
He remembered the feeling from his youth—resting in a car while the road passed beneath him.
Much like a sleeping child, he also noticed the feeling of someone else lifting his arm, then a leg, as if to dress him. He became particularly aware of the weight of his head as his chin rested against his chest. A steady vibration passed through his hands. Gears shifted. Shocks squeaked. The trailer rattled.
His ears buzzed and gurgling sound began within his own head.
After a moment, he recognized a pattern within the gurgle he understood. A voice. “Caleb.”
He blinked and caught a glimpse of the truck's cab.
“Caleb, take care of this.”
He muttered. “Take care of what?”
He blinked again and the drug store appeared in front of him. He squinted through the windshield. Shook his head.
The drug store warped and warbled in front of him like he had eaten a psychedelic mushroom. He could easily dismiss everything as a hallucination until Trent Immaculata sauntered out onto the sidewalk. Stopped when he noticed Caleb's truck. Squinted through the windshield.
Three red lines appeared in a tiny clown above Trent's head.
The buzzing grew within Caleb's ear. “He's marked.”
“Cal, is that you?” Trent started around toward his door.
Caleb waved him away. “Not a good time, Trent.”
“Reap him!” A voice echoed loudly through his head.
“What the...” Trent's body jerked into the hair. His arms and legs flailing.
“Fuck no!” Caleb drew the sign of the cross on himself.
“Reap him!” The voice repeated.
“Our Father, who art...” Before he finished his sentence, Trent's head snapped violently to one side. A <i>POP!<i> carried across the parking lot and Trent fell lifelessly to the ground.
Caleb threw open his door and sank to his knees. Trent's body clung to the pavement like a wet sock.
“You sick shit! You killed Trent!”
The buzzing in his ear turned into a cackle. “Oh, Caleb. You're so dramatic.”
“Aaaaahhhhh!!!” Caleb screamed and sobbed.
“Eeeeehhh...” The voice mocked him.
Caleb knelt quietly for a moment. Tears rolled down his cheeks.
“Caleb, get this piece of meat in your truck and resurrect him.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Just get him in your truck.”
Caleb opened the rear door of his cab, scooped Trent into arms, and lifted him onto the backseat. “Now what?'
“Resurrect him,” for the first time he heard the voice as coming from outside of him. He jerked his head to the right. The black goat stood beside him. “Clearly, I'm gonna have to do this one myself.”
Caleb gagged. His body trembled and shook. His head snapped back. Then it was as if his entire body went to sleep, but he didn't fall down. He saw hands moving front of him, but he could not control them. His body simply moved as if controlled by marionette strings.
His hands reached for Trent's belt buckle. He wanted to scream for it to stop, but he coudln't so much as blink of his own. He reached yanked Trent's pants down and rolled him over in a single violent thrash. Caleb's cheek pressed against Trent's back as his hips bounced vigorously against his butt.
“When I bit you, I gave you my venom,” the goat said. “Now you give it to him.”
Feeling trickled back into Caleb's lips, tongue, and throat. He tried to speak. “Who... are...you?”
“Ja-mo-zek,” the goat whispered.
And as quickly as it began, it ended. The truck's cab faded again and Caleb lacked the strength to fight it. Darkness encroached from every side.