What Happened to the Goat

Horace looked at his phone with a frown, flipping back through the last few messages.

“Is that a goat? Who the hell steals a goat?” the recipient had sent.

“Time is running out.” he had sent back, going for menacing to get whoever was on the receiving end’s ass in gear.

“Sorry. Wrong number,” had finally come back, and then they must have blocked his number, because it had been thirty minutes and they hadn’t heard anything else from that number.

“Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned.”

“This here is a beautiful goat. How in the world does that person not wanna run out here and save her? Poor thing,” Jasper said, stroking the goat’s silky fur.

Horace grimaced as the kid bit down hard on Jasper’s finger. He supposed they had it coming. They had kidnapped her, after all.

“Maybe it really were a wrong number?” Horace mused.

Jasper gave him a vacant look as he sucked on his finger. Horace didn’t suppose that was necessarily sanitary, but didn’t waste time trying to explain it to Jasper.

“What do we do now, boss?” Jasper finally asked.

Horace checked the time. The sun was long set. Their deadline was past. They’d done what they’d been contracted to do: steal the goat and contact the victim of the ransom with the demands. It wasn’t their fault that they’d been given the wrong number.

“I suppose we just shoot it,” Horace said with a shrug.

“No way! We can’t kill ‘er. She’s just a poor goat.”

“Well we can’t exactly take her home.”

Jasper stuck his lip out as he thought. Horace sighed and checked with rounds in his pistol. He hated to do it, but it was better to clean up loose ends.

“Wait, Horace, I had me an idea.”

Horace raised an eyebrow. “Really? You have had an idea?”

Jasper bobbed his head. “Look, here. I don’t drive, you know.”

Horace nodded.

“Well, there should be a bus coming in a minute. We could put her on it? Eventually someone would find her, right? Maybe take her home?”

Horace scrunched up his face. “How in tarnation do you suppose we pull that off?”

Jasper was quiet a moment, then shrugged. “Dunno.”

Horace ran his hands over his face. “Look, let’s just leave her tied up here. Someone will find her eventually.”

“No can do, boss. Some animal’d kill her, now the sun’s set. Just as bad as putting a bullet in her.”

The man was crying, and Horace felt completely unmanned. He was about to tell the little man to just keep her, but already she’d nearly bitten his finger off, so that was no solution at all.

“Ok, look here. My niece, she enters animals into the county fair. I could see if she’d take her,” Horace finally said, knowing he’d regret it.

Jasper’s face lit up. “You mean it, boss?”

Horace shrugged. “Sure.”

“Did you hear that, girl? We done found you a new home.”

The two men turned, and where they’d tied the goat to the tree was only a limp line of chewed-through rope.

“Oh no! Come back, girl!” Jasper said, and ran off to go look for her.

Horace sighed. “I should have just shot her. Damnit, boss. Why’d ya have to give us the wrong damned number?”

Horace helped Jasper look for the goat for over an hour, but they finally had to concede defeat.

She was long gone. They had no idea what had happened to the goat.

Sara is a Kansas-grown author of the fantasy and horror persuasions. She is convinced that fantastical things are waiting for her just around the corner, and until she finds the right corner, she writes about those things instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.