For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Blow In”

Rebecca Giggs


But the CD was scratched and I turned it off it after a few tracks. Then I heard a terrible sound. At first I thought it was the engine but I stopped the car next to a paddock and the noise continued, coming from outside. I opened up the door. A sound of ripping, like sheet metal being torn. The air was glowing and through the haze I made out the shapes of cattle. The cows were coming fast over a ridge, running under yellow curtains of smoke. I couldn’t tell at first, standing there by the side of the road, but then I saw it. The legs of the cows were on fire. Their legs were on fire and they were making that noise, it came from their throats, that metal tearing. You wouldn’t know that cows could make that sound. But they can, they did. The cows came running to me and I could do nothing but watch.

The day before. A day more like a night, like a dark that won’t lift. Alice walked in from the gloom. Shaking, staggering, horrified. Holding out her hands like someone who wants to show they are unarmed. Here, my daughter’s hands said, I am without weapons. And I held her there, because I knew she was lying. I knew what she’d done.

We read it in Overland: Issue 201.