By Jess Charle
My husband, Ron, thinks I’m insane. But he does not yet see the Goatman.
He doesn’t realize that my sacrifices have been meant to save us, not harm us. I know it’s not an ideal situation, the scent of decay and rot makes our basement almost impossible to enter. But it’s a necessary evil. Taking out the trash every week is unpleasant and gross, but we do it because we have to. I don’t know why he doesn’t understand that.
I was indentured to the Goatman’s service last month after He showed His true form to me. Ron and I have been living in our new home, our first home, only since the beginning of this Spring, after saving our pennies for years. It’s a lovely house: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a front porch, and a backyard that was perfect for our two dogs, Han and Chewie. Our home is quaint and perfect, with a large airy kitchen for Ron and even a small room for me to call my studio.
After three months living here, I started to feel that something was amiss with our new home. Shadows were too long, the air too heavy, too quiet. My bones ached constantly, and my muscles were sore.
Then I met Him, one day while I was in the basement doing laundry. He came to me. The Goatman.
As I bent over the washer, I felt a great presence cast a shadow over me, like a storm cloud on a sunny day. I was suddenly entombed in a darkness I had never experienced before. I looked up and He stood before me, towering above my crouching figure, His thick curling horns, the surface of which looked rough and ancient, barely missing the ceiling. He was massive. Beneath His goat head was the trim torso of a man, His chest covered in a fine layer of white curly hair. His legs buckled outward like the back legs of a goat, their white fur dotted with specks of brown, His hoofed feet caked with a clay so dark it looked black, black and empty like space. His eyes were a burnt red, the red of dried blood, and His square pupils seemed to pulse as He stared deep into my eyes, reaching inside of me with his gaze, searching.
The power I felt from Him filled my being. His knowledge, His magic, His ageless existence pouring from those pupils into my very soul. His gift filling me to the brim. I felt as if I might burst with the pressure, the pleasure, the pain.
Before I met the Goatman, I had thought Ron filled my heart and painting filled my soul. I had imagine children completing me, making me whole. But as I looked into those glowing eyes I realized how truly empty I had been. How truly empty I would always be. How meaningless my life is in the universal scheme of good, evil, and everything in between.
The Goatman’s request was simple: provide for Him, and He would provide for me. For us.
And so I provided. First I provided a mouse I bought at the pet store, but it wasn’t enough. Then I provided my neighbor’s cat, but still the Goatman longed for sustenance, His bleats for more filling my skull, taking sleep and appetite from me. Ron grew worried. He wanted me to see a doctor, but I already knew the solution.
Using some cheese, I lured Han down the basement steps. My stomach grew heavy with guilt as I tied him to the support post in the middle of the unfinished room. His eyes looked up at me, filled with love and trust, even as he whimpered in fear. I felt a slight tearing in my heart as I lifted the kitchen knife above my head and plunged it deep into his chest, tiny ribs breaking beneath the force of my power with a sickening crack. I could feel the Goatman behind me as Han’s life flooded out of him, his brown eyes growing dull with death. The emotional gashes in my heart were slight while the blessings of the Goatman were great and encompassing, healing the wounds of loss.
It was easier with Chewie. I again lured the beast down into the basement with food, but this time I didn’t even need to tie him up. Chewie sniffed at the dry blood on the floor as I sunk the knife, stained with more of his brother’s blood, into the back of his small neck. His tendons and bones snapped, his blood spraying me, bathing me in sticky life. The arteries that had carried his blood from heart to brain and back again still pumped with force, showering me in his innocence.
And still, the Goatman needs more. So here I am, in the basement once again. The cement floor stained beneath my faded sneakers.
Using bones from Han and Chewie, I have drawn a circle in the blood, an intricate circle with loops and stars and symbols, all of which He has shown me. He wants to be with me, He wants me to be truly His. The ritual is simple, it came to me in a dream: one circle to represent the wholeness of life, the universe, and all the beings within. One spell to open the door between this existence and His. One life, a sacrifice of love and pain, to bring Him through the door and into this world.
Ron is in the circle, his arms and legs bound. He screams at me that I have lost my mind, but I can feel the Goatman’s temporal hand on my shoulder, the weight heavy, the grip warm and loving in a way Ron’s could never be.
I tried to explain to Ron that his life is worthless in its existence, but will be infinite in its sacrifice. He does not yet see that he is a creature that only knows misery. That happiness is beyond his grasp without this loss, this death. But once I merge his flesh and blood and bones with that of the Goatman, he will realize true happiness, true love. He will be whole. We both will be. And we will be together. Together as Gods.