Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Goat Next Door

The Goat Next Door

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Stephen Kozlovsky was masturbating, while sitting on the toilet in his Aunt Shehla's bathroom and perusing a tattered Sears & Roebuck catalogue, when he heard it.

Rhyaenna Chevrette was sipping hot Horny Goat Weed tea on her patio and watching a stray tabby cat stalking a blue jay, when she heard it

Milo Hettler was waxing his classic 1966 Pontiac GTO, when he heard it.

Big Rudi Ziegenhagen was trying to fire up the new gas barbecue he had just put together, and a misplaced nut and bolt caused an explosion of blue flames to flare up into his face, singeing his grizzled grey beard and his overgrown muttonchops, when he heard it.

It's unlikely that anyone in the vicinity of Gatewood Court didn't hear it.


The bleat of a goat filled the early afternoon air, not once or twice, but in a repetitive reverberation, like nothing anyone in this neighbourhood had heard before.


Ears twitched at the sound. Arms were flung up in the air, and heads shook from side to side.

Eyes strained to look through the bright sunlight to determine from whence the shrill yawp originated and quickly focused on the house of those damn new neighbours, the ones who had moved in just a week previous. For whatever reason, they had brought a barnyard babble to the good folks of this quiet suburban neighbourhood.

"Damn," muttered Stephen Kozlovsky, as he flicked off a switch in his amygdala and flipped the Sears catalogue into a small basket beneath the toilet roll holder.

"Hot damn," growled Rhyaenna Chevrette, as she watched the blue jay take flight and escape becoming a songbird McMuffin.

"What in damnation?" Milo Hettler shuddered while noticing his quickly receding hairline in the shiny black fender of his GTO.

As for Big Rudi Ziegenhagen, he was busy slapping himself silly, and for a moment, he confused his own screams of pain with the bleats penetrating the midsummer air.


Skin began to twitch.


Nerves began to jangle.


Crotches began to itch.

The good people on Gatewood Court began to become unruly, as a group formed on the sidewalk, a gathering that was quickly becoming an unstable and angry mob.

Milo Hettler looked curiously across the street at the house in question. "Someone ought to check that out," he murmured to the assembled group of neighbours. "Someone definitely needs to check that out," he repeated.

Rhyaenna Chevrette involuntarily pulled at the thong trying to intrude into her anus under her grey sweatpants. She said, matter-of-factly, "I'll go."

She walked across the street and up the steps of the house until she was standing in front of a large, green door. She knocked gently, and then a little more firmly. Before long, a tall, unsightly man, who resembled something of an ogre, opened the door and said, "What is it, lady?"

Rhyaenna looked at him with some apprehension but remained calm and tried to be polite. "Good afternoon, my name is Rhyaenna Chevrette and I live across the street. Welcome to the neighbourhood, Mr ...?"

"Gruff," the menacing looking man offered, "William Gruff."

"Good afternoon, Mr Gruff, may I call you William?" Rhyaenna ventured.

"Just Gruff," the troll snarled.

"Well, Mr Gruff," Rhyaenna began cautiously, "your neighbours and I have some concerns regarding your goat."

"Goat? What goat?"

"The goat that was bleating just this afternoon."

"Lady, I don't have no goat. No goat, no cow, no horse, not even a chicken."

"But, we all heard ..."

"No duck, no pig, no donkey, not even a hamster."

"Then, what was all the commotion coming from your backyard?" Rhyaenna asked more firmly.

"No idea," the warty giant of a man said with some emphasis.

"Mr Gruff," Rhyaenna insisted, "we heard what we heard."

"Lady, the only living things here are me and my kid, Billy."

Rhyaenna's mind faltered for a brief moment. She blinked her eyes rapidly as if she were experiencing some kind of spasm. She pulled at the seat of her sweatpants again, and she realised that she had begun to perspire profusely.

"Your son," she began, "is your son's name Billy?"

"What if it is?" the hulking figure asked angrily.

Rhyaenna hesitated for a moment, but then added, "Is his full name Billy Goats Gruff?"

The gnarly behemoth stared down at Rhyaenna contemptuously. "What if it is?" he repeated.

Unperturbed, Rhyaenna continued, "And does he make bleating sounds like a goat?"

The ogre grinned at her, his yellowing teeth sharp and pointed. He turned his head and looked over his shoulder, then called loudly into the house, "Billy, B-B-B-Billy!"

In no time at all, a young boy stepped from the shadows and slowly approached the front door. When he reached his father, the resemblance between the two was uncanny. The older Gruff looked down at the boy and said, "Billy, tell this lady your full name."

The boy sidled past his father's hip and quite unexpectedly bellowed, "MAAMAAAAAA!"

Rhyaenna felt the full impact of the boy's yelp, was thrown two steps backwards, and almost fell off the front portico.

The strange fiend and his equally odd son began to howl with laughter. In the next instant, they disappeared as the front door slammed in Rhyaenna's face.

Completely dumbfounded by the experience, Rhyaenna turned from the house and stumbled back to the crowd of neighbours. A flurry of questions confronted her.


"What's the deal?"

"Do they have a goat?"

Rhyaenna's somewhat glazed eyes began to focus on each and every one of her neighbours.

"No goat," she mumbled faintly, "no goat ..."

Milo Hettler looked at her intently. "Then, what was that sound we all heard?" he asked somewhat hysterically.

"Sound?" Rhyaenna asked. "What sound?"

Milo stared at the distraught woman. "The sound of a goat," Milo insisted.

"Oh my," Rhyaenna mused in a dreamy whisper, "I think you're losing your mind."

Suddenly, the air filled with a scream, "MAAMAAAAAA!" and everyone jumped with fright.

Milo Hettler looked at Rhyaenna with contempt. "There," he shouted, "there it is again. Tell me you didn't hear that?"

In his anger at the poor woman, Milo Hettler put his head down and suddenly rushed at her, ramming over two bystanders in the process. Her infamous itch caused Rhyaenna to sidestep him at the last second, and he barrelled across the street, stumbled on the curb, and fell flat on his face, a divot of grass stuck firmly between his teeth.

Such anger must have been contagious. In the next instant, Stephen Kozlovsky had grabbed hold of Big Rudi Ziegenhagen's singed goatee, and a fist fight broke out between the two men. Two normally sheepish housewives from down the street began to kick and flail at one another, snatching wattles of hair from each other's scalp, all the while maaing in the most colourful language. Suddenly, everyone began literally butting heads, pushing and shoving one another and carrying on like a scene from a bar-room fight in an old-time Western movie.

Rhyaenna looked on blankly as this chaos ensued. She pulled at her sweatpants one last time, snapping her intrusive thong in two, and then squatted by a large oak tree, where she began to ruminate sadly and bawl in dismay.

Pandemonium reigned, and when a Dilly-Dee-Licious Ice Cream truck turned the corner onto Gatewood Court, the driver, Paolo "Gunter" Galdone, watched in amazement as he witnessed the brouhaha taking place in the middle of the street. He stopped his truck just short of the bedlam, swung open the side door of his van, and in a gruff voice, shouted to anyone who was listening, "Hey, peeeeple! What the hell? What the hell has got yer goat?"




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