“I’m so cold, George.”
“I know you are, but I need you to keep with me. Can you do that?”
Breathing heavy, she fought away her tears and steadied herself. The stars before her were shining so bright, yet unlike George, she wasn’t aware that those behind her were beginning to fade.
“I guess” she replied. “What do you need me to do?”
Trying not to panic at the sight of those diminishing stars, George channelled his thoughts to the animals as they pressed their paws and beaks into X’s body in the bathroom of her apartment. Back there, only a few minutes had passed, and the sun, their sun, was still in full blaze, and yet in this place, it felt to him as though a whole lifetime had been and gone.
“If I’m to bring you back”, he said, “I need to bring, something, back. I might only be a cat, but they’ve always said I was a wise one at that, and if I’m not mistaken, to rescue your mind I need to rescue your body, for one without the other just won’t do.”
In the silence that followed, he was again filled with dread—a dread that she had already slipped from his grasp, and yet as his heart beat within his mouth, her words, at last, came to him in laboured breaths.
“But how am I to do that? Oh, George, I feel so weak. It’s like I’m shrinking.”
Again, more stars blinked out of existence.
“I know you’re weak,” he said trying not to show his agitation, “but you have to picture yourself as you are in life. I shall, too. That way I’ll be able to find you. And if I’m here just like you, you’ll be able to grab hold of me, and we can return.”
“But how can we do that?” she sighed. “If you’re here the same as me, then we’re both as lost as each other.”
He felt as though she was on the verge of breaking down, but he was quick to nip her despair in the bud.
“The others will help bring us back. They’re in your bathroom, ready to do as I tell them.”
“Others?” she asked, confused and yet the tiniest bit hopeful.
“Yes,” he said, “the other animals. They’re the reason you’re not, well, not yet dead. They’re working hard to keep you from slipping into whatever place you’re slipping into. I must say they’re doing quite the job of it, but they can’t do it for long. They’re only small after all.”
This time the silence that followed wasn’t so dreadful.
“But why are they trying to save me? What reason could they, and you for that matter, have in wanting to help me?”
Although he yet had no form, he felt his whiskers and nose twitch, and even though the stars behind her kept popping out of view, the sense of hope in his voice lifted not only him but her too. It also raised the spirits of the animals that were frantically doing their best to keep her alive despite how exhausted they were beginning to feel.
“Because dear Prudence, you are a Child of God, and without you and the music you make, the colours of life would grow so dim.”