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The Goat Woman

The Goat Woman by Never You Mind Who

Something was wrong with Isabella. Her classmates just couldn’t figure out what.

She was a shy and meek girl and all throughout kindergarten she never uttered a word. She had long dark hair and often dressed overly formal. Even when addressed directly, she wouldn’t respond; just silence. The kids all speculated that perhaps she was deaf or mute.

Once in math class, she was asked to solve an equation on the board. She just walked up to the blackboard and answered the question in chalk without saying anything. At lunch, she sat alone in solitude and no one dared to disturb her.

Because of this peculiarity, she gained the reputation of being more than a bit strange or of being the odd one out. This reputation would only grow when in first grade she finally opened her mouth and, instead of words falling out, her classmates heard the bleating of a goat.

As time went on, her proportions grew abnormally with long limbs and broad shoulders. From her head grew what at first were just small nubs that soon turned into full goat horns. Her classmates called her a freak and a weirdo. She became the school’s pariah and was looked at strangely by even the teachers and adults.

When Isabella finally finished her schooling, she purchased a small wooden cabin on the outskirts of town by the old stone wall dam. There she stayed in solitude. Any passerby could see her through the window endlessly reading her odd books by candlelight. Children would tell scary stories about her and adults would speculate about how she came to be this way or blame her for anything bad that happened to the town. When crops would die or when people would fall ill, she was suspected.

“Stay away from that cabin after dark,” said one child to another. “If she catches you, she’ll eat you alive.”

Rumor had it that she had magic powers or that her parents made a deal with a witch or sacrificed a goat to a demon for her to live. Isabella of course could make no reply to any of this and her parents had suspiciously fled town long ago. She was regarded by all as unsettling and sinister. Folks in the town never called her by her name, they only called her “The Goat Woman.”

“She’s not really a woman at all,” some remarked. “Women don’t have horns, she’s just a goat.”

The candle in the window always burned throughout the night like an eternal flame as she read. Though on one dark and gloomy night when a storm came and the rain was falling hard, folks saw her candle mysteriously go out and her door swung open. Enduring the rain, the outcast put aside her book and stepped out into the cold outside world with a newfound determination. It seemed that judgment had finally come calling for the town that had rejected her.

Lightning lit up the sky across town and rain poured down window sills that night while the town’s people lay sleeping. What they didn’t know was that now a bizarre intruder was coming for them to demand their attention and wake them from their slumber.

Knock, knock, knock.

The mayor was resting sound in his bed when suddenly in the night he heard strange bleating noises and loud knocking at his door.

He peered through the rain-streaked window to see a tall figure standing on his front step with elongated proportions and the pointed horns of a goat. She was soaked from the rain and her wet dark hair covered her face in messy strands as she knocked aggressively on the door with her fist.

Seeing that he had noticed her, the goat woman ran over to the window and began to pound on it while staring in. The mayor regarded her as a disturbing imitation approximating our species, like a grotesque abomination in the guise of humanity. He was terrified as this creature continued to beat on the outside of his house as if trying desperately to find a way inside. He grabbed his shotgun and waited nervously by the door for her to make her way in.

He feared what the goat woman could be capable of and was prepared to shoot the creature but instead of breaking the door down as he expected, the creature ran off into the night to the next house over and once again began pounding on the door and calling loudly with an awful sound. The occupant of this house simply cowered in fear until she moved on like a specter to the next one. The skies above were angry as the clouds poured down their rain. The creature walked with purpose down the cold dark street.

The goat woman stood upon the doorstep of the town’s sheriff who was asleep inside with his wife and two young girls. When she began knocking brutally on his door and making disturbing pained vocalizations, they all awoke in alarm. The goat woman grabbed the door handle and tried to twist it open violently. The sheriff was determined to protect his wife and children from whatever revenge this vile creature had come to enact on the town. He instructed them to hide in the basement. His daughters both began to cry in fear for their lives.

When the goat woman had left, the sheriff decided that their town would no longer be terrorized by this freak of nature. He assembled a group of men with weapons and torches to put a stop to this. Soon most folks from the town emerged from their doors with weapons in hand. Farmers brought their sharp farming tools for protection and the majority of the others brought rifles or shotguns.

Seeing the angry mob, the goat woman took off and ran towards her home with them following close behind. When she was in front of her cabin, she stopped and turned to face the crowd as they assembled around her. She pointed in the direction of her cabin and made another loud fearful vocalization as they closed in towards her and she cautiously stepped backwards.

“We’re not just gonna let you go home now! We’ve had it with you terrorizing us and we’re not gonna tolerate your wicked existence any longer!” shouted a man from the crowd. “You’ve cursed our town for years now. We refuse to live in fear of what you’ll do next. It’s time for this monster to die!”

The rest cheered in agreement.

The crowd descended upon the goat woman. They grabbed her and tied her to a nearby lamppost with ropes so that she couldn’t fight back. The crowd all gathered around, many with guns drawn and aimed at the creature.

"Give this damnable creature none of your sympathy!" yelled out a woman from the crowd. "Demons are made to be cast out."

A farmer in the crowd pulled out a metal blade and without warning began to cut into one of the goat woman’s horns. She vocalized in agony as the horns grown from her skull were brutally hacked away at until they were cut off entirely. Blood poured from her head and ran down her face in a gruesome display. People in the crowd picked up the two discarded horns from the street as if they were souvenirs.

“She almost looks normal now!” jeered an anonymous member of the crowd with a laugh.

As the rain continued to come down, the goat woman thrashed about wildly and managed to free a single arm from her rope bonds. In her eyes, they could see the same frightened girl from the playground. Reacting quickly, the town’s sheriff shot at the goat woman, hitting her directly in the chest.

Before the light drained fully from her eyes, she extended a weak and weary hand once more pointing in the direction of her old wooden cabin.

Only then did the townsfolk notice the cracks in the large wall of the nearby stone dam straining under the pressure of the rising water.

They barely had time to react before a wall of rushing water consumed them and poured out violently into the town, wiping away the houses they once lived in. Bits of stone debris flew out with great force as the dam broke and the fast-moving water rose up to the peaks of the tallest buildings.

They were all too late to save themselves or to heed the warning that had been given to them. Their doomed outcast had seen the danger from her cabin view. With heart racing in panic, she had attempted in vain to alert everyone to evacuate. That fateful rainy night was the end for their town, and for Isabella, the woman who tried to save it.

Written by Never You Mind Who
Content is available under CC BY-SA