The Rooster Box

I stuffed him into a filthy pillowcase and drove to a lonely stretch of desert highway. With one hand on the wheel and an eye on the rear-view mirror, I hurled the demon out the window. He bounced hard and tumbled through Sagebrush until he slammed into a Joshua Tree. “You are out of my…

Free Horse

  The Cook Peak Review, June 2009 – Edited February 2018 In the last issue of The Cook Peak Review, Elizabeth described her personal experience with the death of her free horse, Silverado. Shortly after publication, a generous reader gave her another free horse, an Arabian mare named Amber to join Tulsa, our free gelding….

Afraid of the Dark

I slept alone in my room as a child, hidden beneath the covers with a hole small enough to breathe. I wasn’t afraid of darkness; I felt terrified of the dangers that accompanied darkness, the monsters, the intruders, and lightning on stormy nights. Hidden beneath the covers, I felt safe in my cocoon. Boarding school helped…


After the Erskine Creek Fire of 2016, the feral cat population dwindled to one; a cat called Nobody. Nobody had belonged to the big white house on the hill above Cook Peak, one of four in a row, one of 257 homes destroyed by fire. The owners never returned to rebuild or look for their cat….

Welcome to Cook Peak

The English name their houses. I’ve always admired their tradition, mostly because I grew up in Pakistan where hill station bungalows were named Robin House, Hillside Manor, and Rose Cottage. It’s familiar to me. When we purchased our home in the Kern River Valley, located on Cook Peak Road at the base of Cook Peak…