The morning was cool and fresh. Laura inhaled the invigorating mountain air and the solitude as well. The trail she hiked was packed dirt on solid rock, flanked on both sides by two storeys of gray mountain rock. Small caves, holes and worn ledges marred the cliffs - homes of feral creatures of the woods.
All through the previous night coyotes had howled loudly. Laura figured they were so near to human presence because they were hungry. Earlier, in the woods, she had sighted three small, emaciated ones skulking along the creek. As she continued, she saw another, a large one, lurking in the rocky ledges above her. When she began her return to the camp by hiking through the woods, she saw him again amidst the cedars. Frightened, she hurried through the trees and then over the rocky trail again.Suddenly, the coyote dropped from a ledge and stalked her.
The coyote attacked. Laura grabbed its snarling jaws in her strong hiker's hands, forced them shut, and twisted, twisted, twisted until she broke its neck.
She had killed the coyote.
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