Tingles of anticipation coursed through nine-year-old Jen’s body as she unlocked her front door the day before Halloween. Upstairs on her bed was a shiny black box, and under rustling sheets of black tissue was a Halloween costume. Jen shrieked with disappointment.
Morning light poured onto the front porch like syrup. It glowed through the leaves of the sugar maples, setting them afire, though their blaze gave no warmth, and the chilly fingers of night clung in the air. Ghosts of leaves burning a long way off floated and hovered.