She answered the coyote’s call.
Her back yard butted up against a nature preserve, a swampy place that had yet to wholly emerge from the Mesozoic era. When Annabelle sat on the back steps in the gathering dusk with only the sounds of insects, an occasional sharp bird call, and the ice settling in her glass of water, she could almost believe she lived in a post-apocalyptic world.
A month after Cooper left, a coyote yip-howled into the late night darkness. There was no answering call. Coyotes traveled and hunted in packs but a lone coyote wasn’t unusual.
Annabelle would have to move the compost bin further from the house. The rodents it attracted no matter how tightly she closed it up would keep the coyote fed and away from the chickens. She’d check out the chicken coop again, make sure it was still secure. The emus would be fine, too large and vicious for a coyote to attack on its own.
Annabelle picked up a bucket of live crickets and roaches along…