out by the car, Randy whining for a cigarette while Pete and Mel
smoked. They were all sore and cranky, their faces bruised with
exhaustion. The gel in Mel’s hair was stiff with dirt and lint. Bay
supposed his hair looked pretty rough, too. He needed a shave,
and he needed desperately to brush his teeth. He was thinking
about his furry teeth and spiky hair when he saw the coyote, and
his first thought was how much better the coyote looked than
It was a handsome animal, not flea bitten and skinny like
other coyotes. Bay remembered his biology teacher saying that
the huge outbreak of fleas was a global warming thing. Somehow,
that coyote had missed out. He stood silently in the woods and
observed them with eyes that seemed dispassionate, maybe
cynical. He doesn’t like us, Bay thought.
“Uh, look!” Randy hissed on a sharp intake of breath.
“Is that a wolf?” Mel whispered.
“No,” Bay told them. The coyote was almost big enough to
be one, but wolves had been shot out of the woods long ago. The
coyote lounged confidently, head up, ears forward. Bay felt a
trickle of ice water in his spine. The coyote was not at all afraid
“He’s waiting for us to die,” Randy shrilled suddenly, “so he
can eat us!”
“Oh, shut up.” Pete’s hand tugged Bay’s sleeve. “Got your
gun?” he whispered. He’d ordered them to have their weapons
handy at all times.
“Yeah, Bay,” Mel jeered, but quietly. “Get your goddamn gun
Bay didn’t move. His pistol was in his holster and he felt
the weight of it on his hip. The coyote was only forty or so feet
away, clearly visible, standing on a mossy log. Its eyes were
mesmerizing: yellow, back lit and iridescent, like opals. The
coyote seemed to be assessing them, evaluating them for some
quality that Baylor was not sure he had.
Laura started off life as an artist. Even in early elementary school she could draw with near-photo realism. She liked to tell herself stories while driving, or doing boring tasks such as housework, but never thought of herself as a writer.
That is, until she got involved in the rescue of an abused dog. Her first book, a collection of short stories entitled The Dog Thief, made the Kirkus Review list of one hundred best indy publications and set her on a course of writing.
With one exception, her subsequent novels are in the genre of fantasy, though four have themes relating to current events, and three are also dystopias. Wild Hare, the story of a half/man-half/nature spirit and his feud with the local civic powers also made the Kirkus Review “best of” list.
The exception, I Once Was Lost But Now Am Found, is the nonfiction account of the largest dog rescue in the US to succeed without help of local authorities.
Laura is a retired teacher and lives on an island in Puget Sound with her husband; her one-eyed cat; and her elderly, disabled and chronically grumpy shih tzu. She is volunteers at a rescue for unadoptable cats.