of 3 Thematically
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
I squeezed the trigger.
Heat Is Murder
“Why a ‘dry
heat’?” Lana whined as we hiked into the
canyon. “How’s that a good thing?”
humid, your sweat doesn’t evaporate,” I
explained. “So—” She wasn’t listening; she was scowling at the desert scenery.
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.”
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
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
If she’s scared
of scorpions, just wait until she hears
about tarantula hawks.
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.
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.