Year 11 Day 45

Some images stay in your head forever.

I think I will always remember WildDog, sitting on the ground next to the snowfield I teleported in for the Gather, with Patches’ head in his lap. I knew she was failing, but she so obviously wanted to go with WildDog that I didn’t even think to object. I don’t think WildDog encouraged her to overdo, it, either. It was just that her time had come.

Death is nothing new or strange to the children of the People, and WildDog looked up at me with tears running down his face, but with complete understanding that his companion was gone. “She just laid her head in my lap and died,” he said.

“She was old,” I told him. “I think she hung on to see you again, and I believe her last moments were happy.”

He looked down at Patches’ head, and gently stroked her half-bald ears. “Can we bury her?” he asked. “Or is that just for people? Because she’s sort of people too.”

Yes, the People buried their dead, but my own people teleported their dead into the sun. I couldn’t manage that; my esper skills weren’t up to it. But I could wait until night fell and send her body toward the stars, and that somehow felt right.

So I told WildDog to look for Patches in the stars, where she would be guarding him as she had done since his birth.

Advertisements