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Hillary Lyon: Coyote-Murder-House

99_ym_coyotemurderhouse_bholtzman.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2023

Coyote-Murder-House

 

Series of 3 Thematically Connected Drabbles

 

by Hillary Lyon

 

 

 

Coyote Knows

 

Laughter woke us around midnight. Not laughter, but a coyote’s special howl—the one celebrating a kill.

Next morning, I found Bradley, my husband, by the backyard wall, staring at the coyote on the other side. “Fetch me my gun,” he growled, like when he told me he’d filed for divorce.

I took the pistol from his nightstand, came up behind him. Looking over his shoulder, my eyes met the coyote’s predatory stare. A stare that challenged, What are you gonna do about it?

I raised the gun. The coyote threw his head back and laughed.

I squeezed the trigger.

 

 

 

This Heat Is Murder

 

“Why a ‘dry heat’?” Lana whined as we hiked into the canyon. “How’s that a good thing?”

“When it’s humid, your sweat doesn’t evaporate,” I explained. “So—” She wasn’t listening; she was scowling at the desert scenery.

“Take water everywhere, take sunscreen. And the car is like an oven! Next year, I pick the vacation destination.” I whacked her on the back of her head, hard, with my binoculars, then half-carried, half-dragged her out of the canyon.

I tossed her into the trunk of the rental car, locked it. “You’re correct,” I admitted. “The car is like an oven.”

 

House of Scorpions

 

New couple moves in across the street. Being neighborly, I give them a little UV flashlight. So you can see scorpions at night, I explain. They glow in the black light. I warn them, Check your shoes before you put them on—scorpions love to hide inside small, dark places.

Why am I being so friendly? Because her ex pays me handsomely.

Next day, the pest control van is in their driveway. That night, a fire truck. Seems she set their bed ablaze, convinced the mattress was scorpion-infested.

If she’s scared of scorpions, just wait until she hears about tarantula hawks.

 

 

Hillary Lyon founded and for 20 years acted as senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. Her stories have appeared lately in 365tomorrows, Black Petals, Sirens Call, Night to Dawn, 50 Word Stories, Legends of Night drabble series anthology, and Revelations drabble series anthology. She’s the Assistant Art Director for Black Petals and is also an illustrator for horror & pulp fiction magazines.  

https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/



Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023