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 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.