I woke up last night with the moon shining bright on my bed. I struggled to my feet and crept as quietly as I could to the front room.

Usually mom wakes up the minute I stir, but last night she was really tired and didn’t hear me.

I had to pee real bad, so I wet on the floor next to the living room rug. That way mom would see it and clean it up in the morning.

It was dark in the house and I knew I would have trouble finding my way back to the bedroom, so I lay down on the rug next to the couch. That way I could see the moon and smell where my mom always sits.

In a few minutes Codie appeared. She was wearing her transparent fur and she looked beautiful.

Ash told me that Codie was a princess. People came to call on her and brought her treasures like hamburgers from the local fast food joint.

This was the first time I saw Codie. When she came to me in my dream at the shelter, she was still on the other side of the bridge and I could not see her. I lowered my head so Codie would not think me impolite.

“It’s okay, Nellie,” she said. “Once you’ve crossed the bridge you don’t worry about who’s top dog or who has more stuff. You can look at me eye to eye.”

I was so grateful that Codie explained the rules to me. I mean no one any disrespect and I would hate to do something to offend Codie. After all, she is the one who saved my life and arranged for me to come to Asherpark.

I watched as Codie looked around her old home. She seemed nostalgic and I was afraid she was going to cry.

“Are you sad, Codie?” I asked.

“No, Nellie. I am just remembering the good times I had at Asherpark before I got sick.”

Codie came closer to me and nuzzled my face. Her eyes were soft with feeling and I knew she was about to tell me something important.

“Nellie,” she said. “You do not have many more weeks at Asherpark. It takes all your strength to stand and walk. Soon your body will give out and your soul will be released. When that happens, I will be with you and lead you across the bridge.”

I heard the words but could not fully grasp the meaning.

“It’s okay, Nellie,” Codie said. “I will come back in a few days and we can talk more. I hear Asher stirring and must leave before he sees me. His little boy heart is so sad when I have to leave him each time. It is better that he remember me when I wore my fur.”

With that Codie slipped away. The moon was piercing bright and I could not see how she left the house. I fell into a peaceful sleep. I will await Codie’s return.




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