Flies swarmed the carcass and I cursed. This was the tenth heifer that had been ripped to shreds. A low rumbling growl made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I spun away from the remains and came face to face with Fang. His lips curled back, teeth gleaming. Five other coyotes circled the carcass. What devil drove these beasts to confront a human in broad daylight? And since when did coyotes hunt in packs?

Fang glared with an almost human hatred. I raised my gun, shaking so hard the shot went wild. The coyotes didn’t flinch. Gramps thought the wild horses were a problem, thought they would ruin the field and contaminate our cattle. At least horses didn’t kill. I fumbled to reload, dropping a cartridge. Fang leaped before I could raise the weapon. I stumbled back, tripping over the carcass. Sixteen was too young to die.

Something flew over my head, crashing into Fang. Dominator, the chestnut stallion that led the wild horses, trumpeted his challenge. A strange reddish hue glimmered in Dominator’s eyes and the white patch on his head shone like some weird third eye. His sharp hooves made short work of Fang and the other crazed coyotes, trampling even those who tried to flee. Was this the same bold colt I had spotted only two years ago? I stared in wonder, thankful to be in his favor. Dominator seemed to nod once with an eerie intelligence. Then he trotted off.

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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