Island Life: Otterpocalypse II

Early morning, a week or so ago. I’d just come downstairs, in my yoga clothes, ready for my daily strenuous yet peaceful and contemplative Ashtanga practice. Before I rolled out my mat, I glanced out the front windows at the pond, as I always do. Ripples! Oh, what kind of lovely ducks are visiting today? I wondered. Or maybe it’s a Great Blue Heron?

And then I saw it.

I flung on some sandals and ran outside, shouting and clapping my hands. “No!” I yelled. “Get out of here!”

The five-foot-long river otter, who had just finished pulling a bright orange goldfish out of the water, stared back at me. Then it hissed, and growled.

I hissed and growled back.

Unimpressed, it then caught and ate another fish.

It’s dreadful but you know you want to read more…



About Shannon Page

Shannon Page is a Pacific Northwest author and editor. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Interzone, Fantasy, Black Static,, and many anthologies, including the Australian Shadows Award-winning Grants Pass, and The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk. Books include The Queen and The Tower and A Sword in The Sun, the first two books in The Nightcraft Quartet; novel Eel River; story collection Eastlick and Other Stories; personal essay collection I Was a Trophy Wife; Orcas Intrigue, Orcas Intruder, and Orcas Investigation, the first three books in the cozy mystery series The Chameleon Chronicles, in collaboration with Karen G. Berry under the pen name Laura Gayle; and Our Lady of the Islands, co-written with the late Jay Lake. Our Lady received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014, and was a finalist for the Endeavour Award. Forthcoming books include Nightcraft books three and four; a sequel to Our Lady; and more Orcas mysteries. Edited books include the anthology Witches, Stitches & Bitches and the essay collection The Usual Path to Publication. She practices yoga, gardens, and has no tattoos.


Island Life: Otterpocalypse II — 3 Comments

  1. Shannon, I relate to all those stresses, and your contemplative escapes. Yes, it’s hard to watch a predator — as when our cat brought in a tiny bunny that I tried to save but couldn’t. But I happen to adore river otters, every bit as cute as sea otters, and just doing their nature thing. I’m sorry your fish had to be the food again.

  2. I’m… sorry for the koi, and i’m sorry for the scale (sorry, I can’t help the punnery) of the destruction, but on the other hand I”m sitting here going “you have otters you can watch from your house? how unotterably COOL is that!”

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