The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
When the Cows Come Home
by Stephanie Ayers
There’s something inside that mountain. It was bigger than it looked and took three days to get to, but that was only if you had the means to go directly to it over any terrain. We didn’t, of course, but that didn’t stop my grandfather from taking apart his old tractor, hiding a torpedo launcher inside of it, setting it in the middle of his field like a heavy, abandoned carcass, and pointing it at the mountain.
He never told us why, only repeated “When the cows come home” over and over.
Grandpa had never owned any cows, and his farm had never been a dairy farm. It had only ever grown crops, so everyone, including my grandma, thought he was a few rocks short of a quarry, but he never seemed to care. He’d just smile and say, “You’ll see.”
Grandpa always watched from the back porch, something else he built by hand that faced that mountain. We never understood his fascination with the mountain but never questioned it, either. Grandpa was a man of many quirks. He was either loved for them or people avoided him altogether, which suited him just fine. He always watched, and when he died, the surveillance became the task of his grandsons.
It was my turn to watch over the field.
Something moved around in that mountain. Even through all the distance, I heard the moos and unearthly snarls that reminded me of a very hungry, very pissed off cow. As the mooing grew louder, I realized the source of the noise had gotten closer. I ran to that old tractor, flipped the switch on the back, and waited. A hum filled the air, and a strong wind knocked me down. The torpedo slid from the tractor and slammed into the mountain. Fire lit the horizon, and that’s when I saw it. A cow, looking as normal as any other cow except for the frothing at the mouth and its demonic red eyes, charged toward me with inhuman speed.
It took my feet first so I couldn’t run, before working its teeth up my legs. Another cow joined in, hungrier than the first one, its pointed teeth tearing into my belly and feasting on my entrails. As the cow bit through my heart, my brain finally realized what my grandfather knew all along.
The cows had finally come home.
Fiction © Copyright Stephanie Ayers
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Stephanie Ayers:
A Sudden Flutter of Wings
Something strange is happening in Ruppert Hills, Missouri and it’s up to news reporter Kate Chisholm to get to the bottom of it.
When a body turns up in an old grain mill, something sinister begins to haunt her dreams, and no one is willing to tell her why. As her investigation leads her to the Trail of Tears and an old Indian shaman, and she mysteriously turns up pregnant, things get even stranger.
Is the baby she carries the key to the mystery shrouding Ruppert Hills or are they all doomed to the evil arising?