The distension (sic) grows so bent that it practically SPINS in the mix of skin and fur; twisting out of a horrible nowhere, its sudden appearance inexplicable as its physical source is mysterious.
The beast’s bleating is nothing new and if one were to observe the animal’s pained eyes, they would find no evidence of the pain within.
It’s a new thing, this mixture of grief and panic. Over and above the feeling that its insides are being burnt out by large rivets; leather drills that both pierce with stinging, unforgivable accuracy while ensuring that they destroy everything in its wake… the sensation is not unlike… emotion.
The novelty of this sudden, small but huge metamorphosis nudges the sheep’s brain outside its usual, dull trudge.
Finally squirming its full length out of bone, tissue and fur, the horn emerges – its birth seen by nobody – coated with a suspiciously small coat of blood. The liquid is almost like an afterthought to the newly-formed shape, which is magisterial over its reluctant host, even though it’s pointing downwards to the grass, as if ready to pierce the soil, to dig – back to its infernal source?
The creature, having no foresight to fear scrutiny – by man or beast – concentrates its small brain instead on its weakening knees, its wet eyesight and its sudden hunger. Its body is in full rebellion, it realises too late, when its knees wobble like a pocketful of coins, the bones eager to get out, as if influenced by their new, mysterious anatomical companion.
When they found her the horn was still stuck firmly to the ground. Her breath was steady, and her eyes were clear of tears.
She was new.
Inspired by ‘Some Account of a Sheep, Shewed Alive to the Royal Society, in November 1754, Having a Monstrous Horn Growing from His Throat; The Stuffed Skin of Which, with the Horn in Situ, is Now in the Museum of the Society’, by James Parsons M. D. and F. R. S. (from: the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Vol 49 Pg 183–186; 1755; Royal Society of London, London).
Teodor Reljic does not look forward to the end of the world – he’s seen far too little of it. In the meantime he enjoys travelling to distant lands in books and films but unlike poor Johnny Keats, isn’t innocent enough to consider this a worthy substitute for actual globe-trotting. His next destination remains uncertain, but it’ll doubtless be powered by – and peppered with – writing of some kind, since, being a graduate of English from the University of Malta, it’s the only real skill he has.