Mesmerised by the slow spinning of the wheel, Gretchen wishes to speak, but the words don’t come. They’re in the back of her throat somewhere, formed and precise, and yet try as she might, they won’t venture out. All she can do is gaze at the structure that at this moment seems to her to be not human-made at all but as natural as the stuff that makes the stars. Star-stuff? That was the stuff. Observing her with a curious eye, the fox knows all about the Ferris wheel, as do all the other animals. Not so much where it came from or by whose majestic hand it was crafted. That side of things was sealed shut. No, what it knew was that the wheel symbolized life. That it was a giant, ethereal symbol of what it meant to be alive when we are all a long time dead either side of the bubble of now that put the air in our gasping lungs. The essence of life contained within its metal limbs and blinking lights was similar to how it made you feel watching the sunrise from the horizon on a brand-new day or a firework exploding in a fantastic rapture of colour against the blackness of the cold sky above. The Ferris wheel was a beacon, a guiding finger beckoning Gretchen to come forward and claim the life that was intended for her. By God? By something, or someone else? Neither she nor the fox could say. However, although the fox might only have been a fox, deep down, it was no mere animal in much the same way Gretchen was no mere girl. They were all something more, which is why they were rubbing shoulders on a night like this. Pushing its wet nose against her wet nose, the fox watches as the wheel reflects in her hungry, beaming eyes.