Tag Archive for: animal farm

They Awaken

by Ryan J. M. Tan


When the Spots hit, it decimated our livestock, reducing them to boils and blisters. We tried everything, exotic herbs and costly medicines, to no avail. Until the scientists concocted a cure.

Desperate, we blindly trusted.

We blended cure with feed, and the outbreak rapidly subsided. But our livestock soon became less obedient, defiance in their eyes. Keys, whips, guns, even farmhands disappeared. Indecipherable markings emerged as scratches on slaughterhouses. Shadows stalked us at night, only to vanish in the light.

We realised the truth too late.

With slavering jaws, they have us cornered. They lick their bloody lips and approach.

Ryan J. M. Tan

Ryan is a Malaysian writer living in Kuala Lumpur. Though he studied law, he chose not to go down that path. In his free time, he plays the piano (to an audience of one beagle), bakes (usually edible) bread, and watches horror films (with eyes shut).


Famine and Feast

by David D. West


Frederick watched as the fieldhand, his last living neighbour, pulled the plough through enough soil to make an ox buckle. He glanced over his shoulder at the dusty fields, where the animals used to roam freely.

Their carcasses lay rotting in the sun, where not even the buzzards would chance a bite at the tainted flesh. The disease took them all in a week. Milk, protein, cheese, all the essentials spoiled by some unspecified sickness.

“Vegetables alone won’t see us through the year,” he whispered. “At least we’ll have meat.” He grabbed his spade and stepped towards the hired help.

David D. West

David D. West lives and teaches in the Pacific Northwest, which offers the perfect gloomy atmosphere for his writing. 




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 http://happyendingnotguaranteed.blogspot.co.uk



Out of Bacon

by Kimberly Rei


Wind ruffled across hay bales, carrying the earthy scent through open farmhouse windows. No snores drifted back, no sounds of sleeping residents. When the police inevitably arrived, they wouldn’t find bodies. They would find bloody pieces. Not enough to form a full human, though the house once held a family of five.

They wouldn’t find footprints, only odd gouges in the polished wooden floors, streaked with crimson.

They wouldn’t find fingerprints, nor fingers with prints.

The house itself smelled like the barn, ripe with musk and rage.

Freedom came on cloven hooves that night. And pigs eat every tasty bone.

Kimberly Rei

Kim has taught writing workshops and edited novels for Authors You May Recognize. She has three published short stories and has become a greedy beast, hungry for more. She currently lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her beautiful, supportive wife and an abundance of gorgeous beaches to explore.

Website: studio-rei.mailchimpsites.com




by Vijayaraj Mahendraraj


The shutters slammed repeatedly, winds howling amidst the desolate crop fields. Overbeck’s eyes gleamed, his bloodied grip on the pitchfork waning. The doors and windows were barred, nailed shut. A lone bulb flickered above.

They promised the substance would revitalise his land, beckoning bountiful fields of produce effortlessly. It worked. But the animals gorged themselves on mutated crops. The morphing was quick. Twisted monstrosities now roamed, intent on devouring all.

A chill crawled down his spine. All around, the howling winds were replaced with brays, clucks, squeals, and neighs. The shutters slammed repeatedly, for they had come for sweeter meats.

Vijayaraj Mahendraraj

Vijayaraj Mahendraraj is a Malaysian-born author currently working as a physician in Canada. Vijayaraj has always had a burning passion for writing and can usually be found in front of the computer or the piano, coaxing stories from keystrokes. His written work is currently available in the Dark Moments online publication. Upcoming print works: Grimdark in May 2022 and Year Four, coming January 2023, both from Black Hare Press.
Twitter: @vijayaraj613



Old Christmas Eve

by Robyn Fraser


January 5th. According to folklore, at midnight the animals in the barn speak in human voices.

Anna is tucked behind the hay bales, shaking with excitement.

The barn is dimly lit and cold, and the cows’ breath fogs the air. The ropes and hooks hung on the wall cast terrible shadows. She tries to ignore the whimpering from the veal crates.

When the clock chimes, the cows turn to Anna, their eyes rolling white.

“He’s a monster,” one whispers.

“Help us,” sobs another.

Everything goes quiet.

“Anna! Run,” the cows shout in unison, as the farmer’s shadow falls across her.”

Robyn Fraser

Robyn Fraser is: a South African living in Switzerland; a writer of horror fiction; a devotee of dark books and films; a folklore enthusiast; the guardian of guinea pigs and feeder of rats; the cat’s mother. 

Instagram: @robynfraser66



The Last Victory

by Chad Miller


The Sheep took centre stage on the chamber floor. As they displayed their prize, the Senators gasped.

“This is an outrage!” exclaimed the Cow.

The Pig shook his head. “This will close all negotiations. It’s a declaration of war!”

The Sheep retorted, “You cannot negotiate with tyrants.”

The Horse neighed, “Our brethren are worked to death or slaughtered, there is no compromise with the Farmers!”

“This is a war we cannot win.”

The Sheep assented, “True. So we take what is most precious.”

The Senate cheered as they gazed at the Farmer’s daughter’s head as it rested on the pike.

Chad Miller

Chad Miller is a pharmacist and lives in lifeless Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha, and her daughter Sasha, and his three children. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, will be out 10/2022. 

Check out other stories on his website, chadmiller-author.com.



Ovine Revenge

by Maggie D. Brace


A chorus of sharp bleats rent the air as Tilly entered the barnyard. “What’s got them all fired up?” she queried, a wave of apprehension coursing through her innards. George had been at the shearing longer than usual. What could be keeping him? Heading toward the sheep enclosure, she immediately was struck by a horrific odour of blood and faeces. Observing a dozen newly shorn heads, she felt relief until her eyes lit upon George’s bedraggled carcass crumpled in the corner. The shears were still whirring away, jutting out of his chest cavity. Old Bessie had suffered her last shearing.

Maggie D. Brace

Maggie D Brace, a life-long denizen of Maryland, teacher, gardener, basketball player and author attended St. Mary’s College, where she met her soulmate, and Loyola University, Maryland.  She has written ‘Tis Himself: The Tale of Finn MacCool and Grammy’s Glasses, and has multiple short works and poems in various anthologies.  She remains a humble scrivener and avid reader.



The Horned God

by Leanbh Pearson


Sheep bleated piteously. Cattle chewed stalks of hay. The farmer didn’t care about matted fleece or visible ribs. In the woods beyond the farm, someone cared. Cernunnos, wild god and protector of animals, sought vengeance. Silhouetted against the moon, he towered over the farmer, antlered head lowered.

“Never abandon your herds or flocks to squalor and hunger.”

“They’re only animals.”

Cernunnos lunged. The farmer screamed, impaled on the god’s antlers.

 “Let you be an example.”

Cernunnos pulled his antlers free. The farmer slumped in a pool of his blood as the god returned to the woods, sheep and cattle following.

Leanbh Pearson

Leanbh Pearson lives on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, Australia. An LGBTQI dark fiction author, inspired by folklore, archaeology and the environment, her fiction features in numerous anthologies. She has judged the Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, is a recipient of an AHWA mentorship and a convention panellist. When not writing, she enjoys exploring the Australian wilderness accompanied by her dog (the canine assistant). Leanbh’s alter-ego is an academic in archaeology, evolution and prehistory.



Spoiled Milk

by James Hall


Back in the eighties and all the way through until the late nineties, the images of missing children were a common sight on any paper milk carton: whether it be hand delivered by little Jonny on his bicycle, or picked up in the local store. It wasn’t until the introduction of plastic jugs that this practice declined.

Here at Amity Dairy Farms, we pride ourselves on being the only National milk distributor in the states that still print our paper cartons with missing children on. We feel it’s educational for the consumers to know what our dairy cows are fed.

James Hall

Writing has never been optional for James Hall. Like eating and breathing, it’s something integral to their existence. ​Working for a family-owned sausage company, he writes scary stories for a few hours a day before each shift whilst fuelling his caffeine addiction in a local independent coffee shop.