That first hint of chill in the wind as it came down off the mountains; the thunderstorms that softened to a grumble without warm, humid air to sustain them; the way her truck took just a second longer to start in the mornings — a clear sign that winter was on its way. It arrived as a welcome reprieve after the summer months, always too hot and too full of tourists.
The cold brought quiet with it and when it was quiet, the trees looked different. The ground was softer. The air smelled better. It reminded Maggie why she loved this job. But that year, October felt different, and Maggie felt different, too.