Dead Coyotes

Dead Coyotes

by Robbin Nickaell

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Would you like to meet a shape-shifting coyote or a cannibalistic beetle? Or does the prospect of discovering a valuable Indian artifact intrigue you? Perhaps you're more of the hunting type, or an adventurer of the mysterious and unknown. If you enjoy ghosts and the abnormal then "Dead Coyotes" is the book for you. Join a variety of victims as they explore Mexico,…  See more details below


Would you like to meet a shape-shifting coyote or a cannibalistic beetle? Or does the prospect of discovering a valuable Indian artifact intrigue you? Perhaps you're more of the hunting type, or an adventurer of the mysterious and unknown. If you enjoy ghosts and the abnormal then "Dead Coyotes" is the book for you. Join a variety of victims as they explore Mexico, Northern Arizona, and the remote desert. Watch as they search for gold, seek the ship of their dreams, or make a pact with the wrong fellow to fulfill a lifelong ambition. Was any of it worth it? Read the book and find out. But take this advice, don't do it alone. You never know who, or what, might come scratching at your door.

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Double Dragon Publishing
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A Howling Good Time

When Quince saw the coyote slink up to the fence, he snickered. The rancher cowered deep into the brush with a toothpick between his rotten teeth as he watched the animal sniff about. Taking careful aim, Quince sighted in on the target, ready to savor the moment as he slowly applied pressure to the trigger.

"Easy boy. Don't be movin' none now, ya hear," said the old rancher. His face was dry with red chapped cheeks and lips that pealed from the sun. He licked at the cracked mouth and crisp pieces of skin floated to the ground. It sounded like the raspy rubbing of sandpaper on an old rotted log.

The coyote shivered in the bright sun. It sensed fear. Something dangerous lurked nearby. A nappy head whipped about and nostrils flared as the canine's keen sense of smell kicked in.

The old rancher remained immobile as his finger cocked the hammer into position on the shotgun. Adrenaline mixed with excitement while he homed in on the target, the barrel pointed at the animal's heaving chest. He had strategically placed himself downwind. The coyote would never detect his presence, unless another movement gave him away. He didn't intend for that to happen.

His greatest pleasure in life was ridding the world of coyotes, and he grabbed every opportunity to kill them whenever possible. Today was his lucky day. This would be his third confirmed kill. Two others lay dead in traps along the range.

The first one he discovered earlier, as it jerked and struggled to get loose. It actually tried to gnaw the trapped foot off. That was a real pleasure to see. Quince sat back and watched that one yank around for a bit. Every timehe got near, the desperate coyote would snarl and snap. Finally, Quince tired of the game and shot the animal. He figured he did the 'yote a favor by putting him out of his misery.

The other was dead, stiff with maggots crawling out his ears, eyes and most every orifice on its body. It smelled really bad. Quince was always amazed that the 'yotes wouldn't eat their own kind. The darn things would attack and consume anything else, even bugs, but they wouldn't kill their own breed. He'd even heard that clever female 'yotes conned anxious domestic male dogs into the open to be pounced by the rest of the pack and eaten alive. They were smart animals. Their ability to survive was a true challenge to his hunting instincts.

The coyote sniffed at the calf carcass sprawled on the desert ground. Quince used that for bait. The calf was born prematurely and died. He decided to get some pleasure out of his loss by using it to attract predators. The carcass was starting to get a little raunchy and attracted a lot of flies. Quince kept it in a freezer and had been reusing it for a couple weeks, but between the intense desert heat and the natural decaying process, the calf was downright rank anymore. The extra aroma enhanced the number of interested coyotes. They seemed to thrive on stench and filth. To Quince, they were the filthiest creatures that ever walked the earth. He despised them. That's why he got so much pleasure out of killing their scrawny asses.

Quince drooled as he pulled the trigger back, waiting for the explosion to follow. The moment of impact gave him intense pleasure. Killing was a huge turn on-better than sex, in his opinion.

The gun slammed hard into his shoulder, and the noise shattered the silence. Ecstasy from the jolt rushed through Quince.

Without a chance to react, the coyote was belted hard in the chest. It blossomed open as if the animal had exploded from the inside out. The force of the impact sent the 'yote flying into the air like a rag doll. It landed on its side with feet splayed. A bloody tongue dangled from a gaping jaw.

Quince stood with a grunt and a huge grin. He wiped drool from his stubbled chin with the rough back of a hand, then wandered over to observe the kill.

It was a perfect shot. The chest was almost completely obliterated. He noticed that the animal had crapped itself, probably at the moment that it heard the gun explode and before it died.

"Scared shitless, were ya?" said Quince. He laughed good and hard at that one.

"Well, ain't that the shits," he added. He laughed even harder at his second joke.

Tired from the hot long day that he had already put in, Quince laid down the shotgun and extracted a large buck knife from a hip strap. The blade gleamed in the sun.

"Enough talk. Time to get this show on the road, you nasty critter."

Grabbing the coyote's nape, Quince sliced off the head. He extracted a sharp pole from the bed of the truck and shoved it into the ground, then impaled the head on top like a gory trophy. Already flies were attracted to the scent, climbing over the stiffening tongue and glazed eyes to feast.

"There! You miserable sons of bitches take a good look now, ya hear. Let this be a warning. I'm comin' for each and every miserable one of ya. Ain't no place ya'll can hide that I won't find ya."

After kicking the 'yote's headless body for emphasis, Quince tossed the calf carcass into the bed of the old Ford pickup and zoomed off in a cloud of dust.

Yellow eyes watched the fading image.

Copyright © 2003 by Robbin Nickaell and Marston K. Banóach

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What People are saying about this

Atkerson, Brandi
From the start, "Dead Coyotes" promises to keep you spinning at the slightest noise and breaking into a cold sweat at the sound of animals in the night. This fine collection of short stories by Robbin Nickaell and Marston K. Ban�ach is broken into sections ranging from tales about desert animals to alien attacks. "Dead Coyotes" is a great novel; the stories are just long enough to scare the daylights out of you, have more twists than a pile of spaghetti, and make you think twice about whatever you are doing. One after another, these two writers tag-team your senses and keep you off kilter throughout. I recommend this to anyone who needs their quick horror fix and for anyone that collects short story compilations.
— Editor of The Murder Hole and book reviewer.
David Bowlin
Horror can be found in virtually every life at some point or other; from the misery of a sleepless child in the dark of night to the terror of premature burial, it relentlessly stalks each of us on our journey through life, and we love it. The fondest memories most of us carry are of sitting around one campfire or another with roasted marshmallows and a good storyteller spinning a tale that chills our blood and makes our skin crawl. Although I wasn't sitting around a campfire when I read "Dead Coyotes", the stories were so good that my skin pricked with gooseflesh. I glanced out the window at the black night, time and again before finally finishing the book, and lay awake long into the night, listening intently for the lone sound of a coyote howling in the distance. Rain was beating into the ground, a wet wind was moaning through the trees and I just knew the electricity was going to go off any second... From 'Highway 666' to 'Way Out There' and every other tale in this book, the reader is drawn into a dark and forlorn world where anything is possible, where those things that dwell in the desert should be left alone, untouched, cloaked by the cover of darkness. Authors Robbin Nickaell and Marston K. Ban�ach would be welcome at my campfire on any dark and dreary night.
— Editor of and book reviewer.
Rie Sheridan
Blistering days and bone-chilling nights are common on the desert, but "Dead Coyotes" will bring chills to even the steamiest daylight hours, and downright shivers to nighttime readers. A twisted blend of murder, madness, and mayhem...and you'll never dismiss a doll again!
— author of Zombie Invaders from Mars...or Someplace like That, and reviewer for The Chronicle.
Chase, April
A delectably dislikeable cast of dark and demonic characters populates the Southwestern deserts in these chilling tales. A dancing coyote goddess, a harmonica-playing cowboy with a devil of a surprise for his victim, and a clever cook who serves the meal of a lifetime to an obnoxious food critic make for spine-tingling reading. "Dead Coyotes" will leave you howling for more!
— freelance writer and book reviewer.
Bill Wilson
Get ready for a generous helping of fearful tales from a pair of talented up and comers in the field of speculative fiction. "Dead Coyotes" will introduce you to maniacal cowboys, temptresses with a deadly secret, and a cook with a nasty recipe that will give you more than a bad case of gas. These stories will keep your head spinning while you double check the locks on your windows and doors. The tales are well written, imaginative, and sure to live on in the dark recesses of your mind long after you have finished the book. Enjoy--if you dare.
— freelance writer and book reviewer.

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