The coyote wasn’t gone. It continued its saunter along the path that surrounded the Hollywood reservoir. Under the sliver of a moon, the forest on either side of the path was dark. Lizards and bugs scurrying around the woods tempted the coyote but it was hungry for – hoping for – bigger fare. A few minutes later it reached a familiar spot on the west side of the reservoir. It leapt over a low wall and scrambled through the brush to a woody ravine at the base of the hill below the Hollywood sign. There it stood, still. Poised. Listening for what soon came: the sound of an animal scratching in the brush. The coyote pounced.
On the top of the hill above the ravine, an old stucco house nestled into a ridge overlooking the forest and reservoir below. Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy Valentine sat barefoot on a low stone wall that partly crumbled down into the brush. She was eating a MoonPie. An old Pentax 35mm camera rested in her lap. She watched a few tiny shimmers of light drift up from the bramble, so small they looked like dandelion fluff. She listened to the coyote and its prey scuffling. “Sadie?” she called out into the dark.
Deep in the brush, the coyote looked up. It had a squirrel in its mouth.
“Sadie! Let it go–” It heard Daisy’s voice call again but it ignored her.
Daisy was uneasy, it was always hard to hear those sounds. She waited for silence. When it came, she raised her camera. As a larger shimmer of light – about the size of a squirrel – drifted up out of the brush and disappeared into the sky, she took its picture.