Chapter 3 – A Coyote with a Hole in Her Heart

COYOTE examined the hole in her chest where he heart should have been. She’d have worn her vest if his cat hadn’t pissed on it. The bullet to her left leg she remembered. She hadn’t noticed the blood, dried now and covering the inside of her thigh. Must have hit an artery. It should have taken me down. She remembered the hit to her leg, remembered returning fire. But she didn’t remember getting hit in the chest, and that big bullet hole wasn’t as bloody as the one in her leg. No way I should be walking around with a hole like that unless it hadn’t gone deep enough to hit my heart, and even then…. She poked. Nope. Almost all the way through. This is weird. She touched the bullet hole in her thigh. She could feel the wound, but felt no pain when she poked it. She cautiously touched hole in her chest. It doesn’t hurt. I should hurt like a sonofabitch, if not from the bullet then from the breakup with…. No name, but I remember the argument. His cat was just the latest. She couldn’t remember whether she had kicked him out or packed her things and left. All jumbled: all the boyfriends who left her and all those she left. No faces or names came to mind. Too many.

The wounds were impossible or she’d consider it a blessing being shot. At six one, straight waisted where other women had hips, muscular and thick-boned where other women were delicate, and plain to ugly depending on her mood when she looked in the mirror, she got used to taking hits to the heart. The white boys in the high school she was bussed into called her ‘big brown dog’ so often, she took to calling herself Coyote, and when they teased her she would howl. After that, they called her Coyote too, but they left her alone. She heard the word ‘loco’ spoken behind her back. ‘Loco’ she knew from her grandfather who grew up in Mexico, a descendent of the Chiricahua Apache. But he passed before he could tell her Coyote was a creature people should avoid — most often a trickster, thief, cheat, and troublemaker who all too often got played a fool and made the butt of jokes.

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