At the center of S. P. Miskowski's novel-length fairy tale are three restless girls, best friends stuck in the backwater of Skillute, Washington, in the late 1960s. Their neighbors and families are petty or poor, or both. They warn the girls not to wander into the dense forest. Something evil lurks there, people say. The girls are not convinced. During a playful oath, they wander too far into the woods. Their mistake unleashes a malignant spirit that terrorizes Skillute for the next 50 years.