I think I’ve mentioned a few times now as a whole Queers Destroy Science Fiction (the audiobook) was fantastic—but also often a massive downer. It took me longer than most anthologies to listen to because of that point. It wasn’t a quality thing, just that I was listening to it in the middle of winter, and there were often a seemingly relentless series of tales where victory was marginal at best, or some variation of settling for scraps. It’s possible were I listening to it in the bright months, it wouldn’t have worn on me quite as much.
Anyway. All that to say “The Lamb Chops” by Stephen Cox was such a little ball of sunshine relief in a tonal sense. It’s such a simple little flash fiction piece: a guy is having a terrible no good very bad day kind of day, and honestly the thing that’s been keeping him going has been the thought of the lamb chops waiting for him at home, and potentially the cooking thereof by his partner.
Except his partner isn’t exactly human, has to hide that, is also maybe not having a good day, and he has a taste for raw meat which has already ended said chops, and it’s just that one thing too much on a bad day and so they argue, but it’s adorable, and the resolution had so much “Aww!” that I was grinning while I trudged through the snow, listening.