Haven't posted one of these in a while, partly due to lack of time preventing me from taking part in Microcosms' weekly competition but I managed a return recently with my story, Goat.
Elements to include were: Vet, Nazareth, Horror
Mount Precipice loomed over him. Khalid wiped his brow and stared at its steep slope. Abba was up there somewhere with his injured sheep. From this point, he would have to leave his car behind and go the rest of the way on foot. Hoisting his bag onto his shoulder, Khalid started to climb, wondering why Abba continued to keep sheep instead of goats. Goats didn’t get stuck on mountains. Goats jumped. He had herded many goats up here as boy and man.
A distressed bleat reached his ears and Khalid increased his pace, regretting not having passed the call to his partner but the young vet had his own goats to herd.
Khalid was almost at the top and the bleating grew louder. He knew the area well. Also known as the Mount of the Leap of the Lord, many misguided fanatics—like Abba’s brother—had attempted their own literal leaps of faith from here. Khalid had often walked with them, helped them on their way, his own cloven hooves keeping him surefooted.
A goat trotted up beside him, nudged at his hand, then butted him sharply.
“Hey,” he said. “You could send me over.”
At these words, another goat appeared, its horns hard and painful as they too rammed at him, made him stumble.
“Abba,” he called, seeing the man appear at last. “Goats, not sheep? Why didn’t you say when you called.”
The creatures bleated noisily and began to shepherd Khalid to the edge.
“Thought it was about time I saw how my brother died. Watched a goat jump. You never know, I might enjoy it.”
“How did you…”
“Said a prayer. But it wasn’t God who answered.”
Khalid looked down and saw Abba walked with Devil’s feet. The mountain had a new goatherd.
A writer - I think that says it all.