Close up photo of a highland cow with cloudy sky background by Jacco Rienks used for sonya's three line tales microfiction prompt.
Photo by Jacco Rienks on Unsplash

Every morning—I assumed it was morning, but couldn’t be sure as the only light came from stark fluorescent tubes that were always lit—my horns were clasped and measured with calipers cinched by gloved hands.

‘Growing too slowly…’

The man in the white coat would mutter to himself each time before shuffling away, almost tripping over his too-long trousers, to top up my trough with a bland oily porridge that was served cold and congealed. It was unappetising but I’d eat it all, nothing escaping, not even the irony of all the meals I once snapped and shared with friends as though they’d mattered (the meals that is); the freedoms I’d taken for granted had never been photo worthy.

Following my awakening, I’d been kept in isolation and wasn’t aware there were others; my reflection on the glassed enclosure bore a strange resemblance to the me I’d been; my bangs were intact, I could still hear my mother nagging to let her cut it—what I’d give to hear even that now.

Microchipped, and scorched with a hot iron prong, I was led out onto a field where I met the others; on hearing the language—our language—for the first time, I let out an instinctive clicking, salivated yowl that surprised no one but me:

‘Tchestlte mgooosh’

to which the others nodded in response:


The sapped mollasses of their eyes and the drone monotony of their voices made me suspect that life within the glassed walls was better than what lay ahead, even in the absence of company and the intrusive tests; that thought confirmed by a crackling alarm through the air on what I call my day zero, the day I shut my eyes for good, hoping to un-see that which had followed.


This not so micro-tale inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 105.  I wrote this a while back but held off posting as I also started an illustration of this beautiful creature that I wanted to share. It requires more time than I have at the moment though, so illustration will be posted at another date. What do you think the cow saw? Also, the image reminded me of the film Beasts of the Southern Wild, even though the ‘beasts’ in that film were aurochs, in my memory this is what they looked like. Have you seen that film? I highly recommend it.

17 thoughts on “Awakening

    1. Well, that is one possibility, but not the one I vaguely had in mind. I will leave it to the readers’ imagination. Thanks for sharing what popped up in yours, Kathy…it always amazes me that there are so many ways a story can be interpreted- after the writing is done, it kinda takes on many iterations depending on who is reading/interacting with the story. Is there any way to watch it without committing to Netflix? How does Netflix even work? Is it a monthly subscription, or do you just pay for a series?


    1. Thanks x 2 Nadine, for each read. Perhaps ‘it’ is possible? Maybe something we will never know….cue the twighlight zone music 🙂

      It is a beautiful film. What specifically gave it a special place in your heart? On another note, have you seen ‘The Shape of Water’ which sounds quite similar to the title of your novel! I want to see it, mainly as an exercise in seeing how a magical realism story is told- my ‘research’ in this area never ends, but also because I loved Pans Labyrinth.


  1. Thanks e. I think we all are (creative)- it is just a matter of time and trust to tap into it. This is the photo, illustration to come! I’ll post on insta and re-blog this story when it is done (holding of breath is not recommended haha).

    You gotta watch it! You would love it x


  2. Hi Mek! I love how you have imagined a bovine’s experience with present/future world and technology.
    “….my bangs were intact…” made me laugh out loud; and I love the phrase “that thought confirmed by a crackling alarm through the air on what i call my day zero.” Glad you decided to share this even though your illustration for it is still in the works – I look forward to seeing the finished visual.
    “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is one of my FAVORITE movies💔💝 The movie is magical. The whole thing of Hushpuppy’s Daddy trying to make her tough and capable is so poignant; and I love her narrating voice throughout the film. Some favorite scenes/lines (hope I’ve remembered them correctly): “I want to be cohesive;” “we all lose the thing we come from;” and “Not MY daddy!”
    ….obviously its time for me to see it again😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leslie. I love your comments and so glad to know I made you laugh- one of my favourite things to do! Wow, you remember it so well…I am so bad at recalling details of books or films, but have vivid memory of how they made me feel. You make me want to watch it now. Come to think of it though, I do remember the line “We all lose the thing we come from”. I saw the film before I became a mum and so wanted to have a daughter just like Hushpuppy, if not Hushpuppy herself. What a fierce, sweet, adorable, bright star. You know what? I read one of your posts recently and typed out a comment in my phone memo to post at a later date but never got round to it…was over a month ago now! I’ll get there…

      Hope you’re well xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ….I’m only able to recall details from films I’ve seen at least 5 times😂😂….
        well, I hope your phone is enjoying the comment you were going to post😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Mek, this is such an exquisite blending of beauty and sorrow. I haven’t seen the movies, sadly I rarely get to watch movies anymore. What do I think the cow saw? Possibly the horror of the slaughter. I also loved the line about the bangs, it made me smile, and I liked cow’s response to hearing their language for the first time. The photo is so expressive and wonderful, and I know you’ll do a great job with the illustration. Outstanding work, Mek and I hope you have a super week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

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