For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“King of the Rats”

David Peak


Up close, the cow looked less sturdy than I'd imagined, skin tarped over steep hip bones. Blackness had taken a bite out of the moon, a half-eaten peanut butter cup. Luke shucked a shell into the shotgun's chamber. “I only grabbed one,” he said. “You'll only need the one, right?”

I knew all about how guns worked from watching videos on the internet, how to hold them, what their various parts were.

Steam vapored into the night air from the lumpy frost-bitten ground, cartoon souls in the moonlight, varnished and grim. The cow smelled like wet grass, big black eyes like television screens. There was a sudden awareness of need, an intense hunger curled fetus-like in my stomach. The word ‘plumbing’ flashed through my mind as I squeezed the trigger and bruised the fuck out of my shoulder.

We read it in Glowing in the Dark.

Originally published in Wigleaf.