It began with the fireflies, as magic often does. Jenny was in the field behind her grandparents’ house with her younger brother, chasing fireflies. She spied a good one, low-flying and lackadaisical, and followed it past the shed and into the darkening woods.
“Jen-ny,” Billy’s voice echoed through the trees. Jenny smiled. He was worse than Gran. That night, though, Jenny wouldn’t be bothered about Billy and his fretting. Or about her grumpy grandparents and their boring old house, or her always arguing parents a million miles away in Evanston. She scanned the woods like a prowling jaguar. She wanted that flashing light, and she was going to get it.
The light flared to her left. Jenny crept up to it. She had her blue jar, the one her dad gave her right before she left, tight in her hands. She lunged for the firefly, but it darted past a thin beech.