may bring! Her imagination filled with magical forests, but just as she stepped forward— “Indigo!” Her father shouted after her. She looked back at him, and he said simply, “Inside.” She sighed, whispered to the trail that she’d be back soon, and began skulking to the cabin as the sun sunk into the horizon. As she climbed the steps to the front door however, she noticed something in the corner of her eye. There was a small fairy door affixed to a spruce just outside the cabin. A violet tentacle was carved into the door. She had half a mind to open it, but she worried what beast may lurk inside and decided that was an adventure for another day. The evening passed by with little note — save for an argument with her father over where she was to sleep. Their Airbnb host had left a bedroll and sleeping bag, which Indigo took as a sign she should sleep outside under the full moon. Her father disagreed. Eventually, they compromised, and Indigo cozied herself out on the porch, where she could still “hear and smell the trees.” She was soon peacefully asleep — but it would not last. Indigo woke with a start to the crazed shrieks of coyotes. They howled and screamed, discordant eruptions of delight that brought tension to a peaceful night. Indigo was delighted too, for they sounded close, and she had never seen a coyote before. Quietly, slowly, hopeful not to wake her father and brother, she slid the sliding glass door open, slipped the flashlight from its hook, and stepped out into the moonlit night. She hardly needed the light. The moon shone full and bright above, casting dim, quivering shadows on the ground below. She wondered at what mysteries such a full moon may conjure. No. 118 She set off down Indy’s Trail, hoping with an eagerness only a child could cultivate that it might lead toward those shrieking coyotes. She passed a field of once vibrant golden rod, now drooping in the late fall chill. She continued down the bend, ducking under branches of an apple tree from an orchard long abandoned. The woods around her were still, and there was an eery silence that filled the void. Though she would never admit it to herself, she felt the tiniest prickle of fear as to what may lurk beyond the moon’s glow. She flicked on her light and cast it out into the woods finding only empty brambles. But then, as she flashed her light back upon the trail, it was no longer empty. She froze, light fixed upon the beast before her. A coyote with glowing eyes gazed back at her. Its tail flicked with apparent delight. Indigo tried to still herself, but she too, was delighted, forgetting her fear from moments ago. She’d never seen a coyote in real life before. She’d never seen anything so wild. “Hey there, girl,” she said as she stepped toward the coyote, admiring its fluff. But just as she flinched forward, the coyote turned and ran. Instinctively, Indigo chased after it, sprinting down the trail, eyes fixed on its tail. Her flashlight bounced as she dashed, casting haphazard shadows into the night. She ran and ran, as fast as her tiny legs could carry her. But it was not fast enough. The coyote vanished into the night. She stood in the trail catching her breath, grateful to have finally caught a glimpse of something truly wild. And then, as if sensing her gratitude, the same coyote returned, emerging from a drooping thicket of goldenrod. She crouched down and whispered soothingly to the coyote, “Hey there, girl, I’m not gonna hurt ya.” The coyote stepped toward her, and Indigo steadied her excitement, fearful not to scare it PETER GLANTING, CABIN EXTERIOR

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