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.