Another Animal/HorrorCon – Fp3

Imagine the life of the coyote. As desert suburban sprawl continues to corner the species, what does it do? It learns to adapt, helping itself to our overflowing garbage can buffets, feeding on our smaller and slower pets (R.I.P. Georgia 😦 ) and finding places to hide and raise its young. As it becomes more accustomed to its surroundings, it becomes braver and takes more chances, passing an even more audacious nervous system to its offspring. Soon, you have a creature that becomes demonized and identified as an evil pest, even when society has literally played a major role in its behavior.

Now imagine your average teenager. As modern technology and its inundation of objectifying messages isolates them and at the same time sublimates their importance by selling them images of who they are meant to be that few will likely match, they become pushed into their own set of corners where they are also forced to adapt. Sometimes they create electronic personas with which to communicate, other times they withdraw into lives of quiet desperation where any number of dead ends await including drugs, crime and massively dysfunctional family cycles. In cases all too common these days, violence against innocent people becomes another choice.

In both cases you have an intelligent creature who somehow falls in between what is expected of them and what we allow them to be. Usually what accompanies such expectations is a serious lack of understanding, and a tendency towards generalization and simple definitions of what they mean to our adult concepts of progression. In my opinion, only one generalization can be made: both mark a failure of society at large. Sure, human beings need to spread out and a cursory glance to the food chain means that little, furry fellers like the coyote need to move aside. But are we doing all that we can so that the transition demonstrates an advocacy for both species? And what of teenagers who are fed images and expectations that they can never meet because the tools of achieving them – our educational system, for one – is insufficient, or worse, itself sublimated to a culture where they are only as important as what can be taken from them. Both creatures adapt by their instincts, and to counter those instincts is to create an enemy.

Think about that for a second: create an enemy. What if all of our problems could be solved by looking forward, taking the time to understand all the factors involved, and then taking steps to avoid them? Sound like a perfect world? Am I doing some kind of tired, out-of-my-ass Eddie Vedder impression? Sadly, I guess I am.

My point here was not to soapbox but to draw parallels and relationships between two interestingly connected elements of modern society, and in particular, elements that we find every day in the city of Los Angeles. In California alone, 2007 NRS statistics put the number of crisis calls from runaways at 28,178. Needless to say, not every one of them calls. And in most cases, I gather, no one calls at all. As for the coyotes, well, there is only so much room, and it’s running out just as fast as the tolerance for these “evil vermin”.

So I got to thinking: what about a story involving – not a boy and his dog like we have become accustomed to seeing – but a boy and his coyote, and connecting it to the problem – our problem – of marginalized youth? The Lost Boys did the runaway thing to an extent with fantastic results, and to be honest, mullets never looked better. Of course, there has to be a killer, horror hook or I’m not interested. And I think I have one – but more on that later. For now, let’s get back to our story (note: parts one and two available in the “stories” section):

As Friday winds to a close, Dr. Radan is strangely compelled to work an introduction to our pill-popping heroine. Soon after, he indulges in a rather unusual happy hour up in his room while Eliza finds her own way to wind down from the day’s events. And as Friday comes to a close, we’re left with an eerie suspicion that the two will meet again.

HorrorCon – Friday (part three) available by request only.

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About S. Norton

Writer, marketer, musician.
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11 Responses to Another Animal/HorrorCon – Fp3

  1. Josh says:

    The teenager and coyote idea has a hook, but I’m not quite sure how it would work on a film level.

    It would probably make a fantastic novel.

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh, I don’t know – I definitely see a film there. Of course, without the horror hook it does read ever so slightly like a Disney movie. 😛

    Either way – movie or novel(la), it sounds fascinating.

  3. scottyuss says:

    Believe it or not, I actually have a “Disney movie” in my files. Well, I should say one that sort of twists the concept of theme parks and big rats and such. It’s called “Dickie Mouse”, and it’s in queue. 🙂

    But I see what Josh is saying. My preceding description of a “boy and his dog” throws the idea off a bit. But when you add demonic possession and hiding out in the Psycho House on the Universal Studio Lot, maybe then you can see that I’m taking a very different tone.

    Guess it didn’t help to break out the tissues for runaways first either.

  4. moonbeamwalker says:

    I like the idea of a coyote and teenager paired together. I gather you have studied the habits of coyotes and their various cries? They live near my house and come up from the river. They kill the livestock and also dogs and roam about at night. They can jump a six foot fence with ease. I own a Great Pyrenees to chase the coyotes away – but the coyotes don’t just howl – they have this haunting yapping cry that scares even the bravest of dogs and people too. When you hear it, the first instinct is to hide.

    The ones that chased me at the river, marked their territory by taking a dump on the road in front of us (14 feet away) at the time I had two coonhounds with me, huntrs, fighters, full of courage, so I knew we would win against a nasty coyote. The female stalked us and then when we passed, she sat in the middle of the road behind us, like a lion, ready to charge if we made one false move. She was protecting her cub den nearby in some tall dry weeds. Still, it unnerved me. At one point I was ready to release my hounds so they could protect themselves. But ordinary dogs, even big ordinary dogs, are no match for the coyote. I use a lot of coyotes in my stories. I hope you get some first hand experience with them so your story will “shine” with truth.

  5. scottyus says:

    Awesome stuff, moonbeamwalker. I wonder how different a coyote would be that made its habitat in an urban setting rather than someplace more rural. I’m kind of surprised that they’re so fearsome, as they appear more slight. But you can’t beat the “wild”, I’m sure.

    I will seek out some first hand experience for sure. I must say I’m deeply fascinated by them, and their current plight.

    Thanks so much for your comments.

  6. moonbeamwalker says:

    Actually I live in a rather urban area, in the burbs, outside of a big city. We are surrounded by rivers, so the animals come up from the river bed and hunt in the neighborhoods. I don’tlive on a ranch, but I walk my dogs in a county park at the river beds that weaves through housing tracks.

    Coyotes and cougars come up and prowl the neighborhoods – early in the morning or late at night. I don’t know if one can tame a coyote. I own a wolf hybrid, 86%, and he is quite tame and I treat him with great respect. His ball is his ball and no one takes it away. I really really like the idea of the a coyote maybe that bonds with a teenager – for some good reason that you will think of I am certain. Mismatched pair of misfits. I see dead coyotes on the roads when I drive to work. Even though the area where I live, is the burbs, it is also surrounded by fields with goats and livestock…..but it is easy pickings to catch and kill a small dog. Good luck on your idea – it’s a great idea and I like it alot.

  7. moonbeamwalker says:

    Oh, I must mention the “Central Park Coyote, Hal that lived in New York City (2006). You can probably google him. He was captured by a stun gun, tranquilizer, and taken to a wildlife refuge up state and then died one day before he was released. He died from the stress of being put in a cage. He tried to dig his way out of the enclosure and then just gave up his ghost – living in a cage was too much for the poor guy.

  8. scottyus says:

    Thanks so much for your encouragement. The idea I have definitely involves the misfit concept, and something of a double meaning for “demonology”. I just couldn’t resist exploring the rejection of such a beast that was – as all animals are – purely acting on instinct. And it sure wouldn’t hurt to separate the coyote from the Road Runner at long last. 😉

    And funny you mention “Hal”. I just learned about him yesterday as I was shamelessly borrowing my photo for the entry. They mentioned that he might have had some pre-existing condition, but that sounds like a lame spin to me.

  9. moonbeamwalker says:

    Oh it was a very lame excuse – heart worms. I will tell you a little secret – I am also a pet psychic and during that time was trying to help with the search for the lost Whippet Vivi also in Queens, just north of Central Park – via psychic visions.

    Well one night, when Hal was dying (I thought it was Vivi) and the images and impressions I received were so sad as this animal labored to dig out and later struggled just to breathe. It was truly the most terrible experience to connect with a dying animal and the next morning I read where Hal had died and I knew that the poor creature did not want to die alone – animal spiritual natures are quite fascinating. I was very annoyed with the wildlife preserve for keeping him so long – probably to run their tests – when they should have released Hal right away…..but of course, science knows best (not)!

    And when writing my Wolf Story – that is not yet published, I ran across an out of print book about these wolves that would not be caught (true story written by one of the hired government agents)_ – so the governement hired bounty hunters to track these very smart wolves across several states – It is a sad and wonderful story at the same time. After all, how can man let animals live that can outwit the law?

  10. scottyus says:

    So much for wildlife “preserve”. Sounds like a horribly trying experience for you. Fascinating in spades, as well.

    And I truly love the idea for your story, as well as your final sentence there. Not sure it’s entirely related, but the feeling I got reading it reminded me of the feeling I get when I run across these hunting programs on TV. To hunt is one thing, but I’ve often wondered what was behind the almost fawning “love” these guys have for their prey once it’s been destroyed. The part when they raise the head of the expired animal and talk about how beautiful it is…it just strikes me as deeply perverse.

    Good luck with your story and if you remember, please let me know where I can find it when it’s completed.

  11. Yeni says:

    Coexisting With Coyotes: Is It Working? How Will We Know?The current plcioy to “co-exist with coyotes” is being practiced our urban Atlanta community. No data, however, is being collected to determine how the coyotes are impacting the area. People are losing pets and our populations of rabbits, raccoons, opossums, and feral and domestic cats have drastically decreased over the past few years in my neighborhood. Coyotes are known to be their predator. Buckhead communities are reporting routine coyote sightings during the day and in close proximity to their homes. A child was bitten in Cobb County when a coyote attached her dog on leash. A small child, in his own backyard in Cobb County, was being stalked by a coyote until his dog started barking and the child’s mother came to his aid. An older woman in Buckhead was walking her leashed dog when it was attached by a coyote. Is this acceptable “coexisting”?It is only reasonable that the coyotes are attacking these animals for food. As the food supply is reduced and the coyotes multiply, what will be the results? Coexistence will certainly require study and action. Human beings are the only predator for the coyote in our urban community. Are coyotes evolving into a species that realizes their only predator poses no threat? How will we, their only predator, tell the coyote that the “balance of co-existence” has gotten out of balance in their favor? Your voice is needed now more than ever. Please also plan to attend the City of Decatur Council meeting*, Mon, December 5th at 7:30 p.m.. What happens in my front yard, affects your front yard. If you don’t speak out, how will we know if our “coexisting” is working or not?*City Hall is located in downtown Decatur “on the square” 509 N. McDonough, next door to Eddie’s attic and across from the Court House and Chick Fil. The entrance to the meeting is on the backside of the City Hall building. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m

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