by Liam Hogan


Yellow hazmats escort him to the farmhouse door to share the news. Inside, his wife strangles a dishcloth, and the sheepdog wanders over to sniff his boots.

“Is it…?”

He nods. “Five cases.”

She looks almost relieved. “Well, that’s not so—”

“You don’t understand,” he monotones. “The ministry is taking no chances. They’re culling every animal.”

She wraps him in a tight hug. “Oh, George! We’ll get through this—

“Every animal,” he repeats.

She looks shaken, grips the dog’s collar so tight it yelps. “You mean…?”

“You don’t understand,” he repeats, as the gas swirls around their feet. “Every animal.”

Liam Hogan

Liam Hogan is an award-winning short story writer, with stories in Best of British Science Fiction and in Best of British Fantasy (NewCon Press). He’s been published by Analog, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Press, among others. He helps host Liars’ League London, volunteers at the creative writing charity Ministry of Stories, and lives and avoids work in London. More details at



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