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Outside my French doors, phantoms roam amongst the rooted shadows. Night and day greet each other with their usual monochromatic exchange. Dogs burst forward chasing sounds they can hear, but I can’t. I watch, foot poised over the threshold, voice of reason screaming like a viewer at a horror movie, “Don’t go.” Curiosity leads me forward into the darkness, seeking the shapes that have canine coats standing on edge.


One step, two step, my feet shuffle forward. McGyver pushes against me, his large form reassuring in the dark. I stand still, listen, wait. Slow as our resident box turtle, light begins to illuminate the blackness. A night of rain gives way to the scent of clear air. I pause, let out my held breath and fill my lungs. Morning’s earth sighs in pleasure, and the fragrance awakens all my senses. A soft nicker reaches my ears. I gain courage and move deeper into the yard. Dark phantoms turn into horses, and great monsters turn into trees.

As I turn back to the house, I am greeted by the smile of my own reflection, and I think, ‘a smile is a great thing to run into in the dark’. My scary adventure over, but my day barely beginning, I stroll forward enjoying the dawn and brave beyond reason.

Outside my French doors, I never know what I will find, and this morning I hesitated to go, but curiosity won, as it usually does. It feels good.