Starting Point: Goat Night


For the people of New Llandudno Colony, the fifth of November was a special night. Every year, the colonists gathered in the town square for a celebration of life and death on Arnor 3. A special stage was erected, a bonfire was lit, and the school orchestra gave a rather wobbly rendition of Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Goat Night, as the festivity was called, was a chance for the colonists to let their hair down. It was marked by singing and dancing, the consumption of alcohol and other recreational drugs, and a good deal of mischief and debauchery which went on well into the small hours. But for many the highlight of the evening was the public slaughtering of a goat – an important and time-honoured practice which took place at eight sharp without fail.

The slaughtering of the goat was the tradition around which Goat Night was built. It remembered the very first animal culled by the colonists’ ancestors after their arrival on the planet. The pioneering colonists had faced plague, drought, and a shortage of food during their first year, but they had resolved not to kill any of the livestock until the Autumn so as to ensure they had enough meat to last them through what they new would be a harsh winter. The joy they felt at filling their bellies with hot roasted goat meat was shared by their descendent as they shared the traditional meal.

But the goat had become a symbol of much more than history. Far from remembering starvation, it had come to represent gluttony, greed, the satiation of appetites. It was a banner under which the normally tempered and hard working people of New Llandudno could allow themselves to be wild and free. Goat masks were worn by bare-chested men and women alike, turning the feast into a firelight masquerade ball, and a multitude of sins were both committed and overlooked.

The god Pan was once again being worshipped, thousands of light years from Earth.

That year, however, something was different. The crowd gathered around the main stage, the goat was presented to enthusiastic applause, and the three virgins of the feast readied three bowls with which to catch the blood. The current mayor of New Llandudno – a Mr. Edward P. Biggins – gave a lengthy speech about community and togetherness, after which an anonymous member of the audience commanded him to “kill the fucking goat already!” And he did. At least, he tried to.

The knife slipped through the goat’s throat with ease, blood fountained out, and the three young girls rushed in to fill their bowls, staining their pretty blue frocks with splashes of red. But the goat remained standing and refused to die.

How would you continue this story? What unseen force prevents the goat from dying, and what happens next? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Written by Mark Ball.


  • Leonardo Faria

    A ghost o a g-g-goat?

    • Paulo R. Mendes

      Quick! call the Ghostbusters!

      • Leonardo Faria

        Who ya gonna call?

        • Paulo R. Mendes

          Hehehehehehe! Goatbusters indeed. 😀

  • Christmas Snow

    The blood fountain soon turns into a trickle and then stops. The virgins take a look at the goat and feel the goat’s neck with their hand with great disbelief. There is no sign of a knife cut, only a spot of blood around it. To everyone’s amazement, the goat begins to speak. A loud somewhat human voice comes-out of its throat and says “Damned are you and your demonic ritual! If you wish to know the true God, then turn to your ancestors with the quest! Only then you will be saved!”

    The goat is just like any other goat, everybody knows, and it is whatever possessed the goat that speaks through it. After a few minutes of silent disbelief, which seemed like few hours, voices of mumbling heard everywhere and then wows and amazement, coherent sentences are being heard here and there.

    “What kind of god is this?” someone says,

    “We are not worshiping the true God”, replies another voice in the crowd

    “Who told you that?”, a third voice says,

    Few voices here and there, find each other, they find their common denominator. Few people gather and speak openly to each other. “We must talk to the priests about it”.

    “Will he listen to us?”

    “We’ll give it a try. We can no longer deny what happened”

    The fear of the unknown sends the priest, the virgins, and the crowd to their homes. The seemingly lonely voices are heard more and more often among the people of the village. A group is formed and is ready to meet the priest.

    “I believe this is not the true god we worship”, says one from the group to the priest. “I know I am not a historian, but I know a bit of history”

    “And is there a historian in this village I can turn to?” the priest asks.

    But there was none. “That piece of history belongs to our ancestors”, the voice continues, “Their God is the God of Abraham and Jacob, the God of Moses who has led his people from slavery to freedom, and the god which sent the Christ to save us all”.

    “And what else do you know?” the priest asks.

    “Barely a thing. I never learned that in school. It was in one of the books which survived the spaceship crash. I was a child back then, and I no longer have this book. I find that book in my father’s storage room. ‘It’s mythology’ he said, and the last time I had it in my hands I was only eight years old. I’m afraid the paper has been recycled after the large bushfire which smothered a large portion of the forest and we could no longer make paper from the trees. We had to give-up unnecessary books, and mythology was the least of our concern”

    A silent but audible giggling is heard here and there for a short while.

    “So what do you think we should do?” the priest asks.

    “We must turn to our ancestors as the voice said. We must trace our ancestors. Somewhere in this galaxy is planet Earth”.

    “We have no technology to build an airplane!” the priest says. “Since the crash, many things have been forgotten!”

    “But if we want to be saved, we must find a way. We must first turn to our more recent ancestors and search on how to make it to the stars….”

    “Do you believe we can make it?” the priest asks.

    “The quest is not easy, may take more than a generation and success is not guaranteed. For the sake of our future generation, we must make it to salvation”.

    • Time to put together a rag tag fleet 🙂

      • Paulo R. Mendes

        Personally, I prefer the theme of the reimagined version! 😉

  • Anun giggled with glee,as he saw the panic and disbelieve in the colonists faces.”Time to up the ante, this is so much easier than raiding a colony. They bring us all we want.”
    “Make sure they add one of those virgins.” said Bondor, his partner.
    “They look pretty and I am horny, it’s a human thing. You would not understand.”
    “We Saresii have ceased to procreate in this disgusting carnal way, a few millenia ago.”
    “I give you pointers later. Now activate the transformation sequence..”