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  Table of contents Issue Twenty-six IT WAS THE SHEEP, REGULAR BUILD AND WHITE AS SNOW


I need to stop watching the ID channel late at night
While nervously gorging on Earl Grey and saltines.

Counting sheep would be more productive. There are no shallow
graves in green fields with Granny Smith apple colored barns.

Sheep don’t creep down dark hallways with axes gleaming,
bleating low and heavily, reciting crooked nursery rhymes.

Sheep don’t plot dismemberment and carry around
spare meat grinders in car trunks. . .just in case.

But then again, it’s always the unsuspecting ones who harbor
obsidian desires, pull the wool over eyes crusted shut.

Damnit, it is the sheep.

It’s the bleached white one with twisted ringlets of cotton bluff,
Mary’s little lamb, brandishing shears bloody and blazing.

Lamb Chops wants revenge, tired of being herded, used as a Biblical
trope for gullibility. You only thought that cloven hoof belonged to a goat.

The documentaries and book biographies will later explore the motivations
of the sheep’s violence: “Mutton is not synonymous with monotonous!”

“We will lead the slaughter from now on”
will be the quote on the book jacket.

I pull the comforter’s hem up eye-level
as a mug shot of a serial killer flashes on TV,

staring into my bedroom–thin-lipped, shark-eyed,
wolfish jawline, white collar turned up.

Thank goodness for homicidal psychopaths
with their villainy carved plainly across their face.




Faye S. Brontide teaches at the University of Texas at San Antonio by day and writes Gothic tales and poetry by night. Her fiction and poetry have been published in Voices de la Luna, The Thing Itself, The Muse, and F(r)iction Online.

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