Here’s a short excerpt from my piece of fiction “Wandelaar van de Duisternis”, that I wrote about when describing the catharsis of creative writing. What started as a concept for a short story has rapidly evolved into a sizeable full-length novel with potential ideas for a number of additional stories using the same characters and setting.
Large flakes of snow were falling the following morning when I returned to the “Hallowed Grounds” to meet with Sanne again.
Striding down the street was a burly man with an excited young Kooikerhondje puppy, a Dutch breed of spaniel. That would not be so unusual. Despite the snow, there were plenty of other people walking their dogs at this time of the morning; except that this dog was a ghost. She trotted alongside the walker, holding her leash in her mouth. Occasionally she scampered away to sniff at a tree or post, but always returned quickly to his side. The man, surely her owner while she was alive, was oblivious to the fact that his canine companion still came out on walks with him.
Looking more closely now, I guessed that she hadn’t been dead for very long. His aura had a strong air of sadness. His shoulders were slumped, not just hunched against the wind and snow. And the way that his hand occasionally twitched as though he was still holding a leash.
I crouched low among the row of bikes parked along the pavement before shifting into the Veil. I didn’t want anybody to notice my sudden disappearance. Then I called her over. She was a good and faithful dog, and she deserved some fuss and attention. She paused and gave a quick look up at the man, then bounded over to me. As I stroked her, I saw both the puppy and the elderly lady that she had been when she died.
“He does miss you, you know. I can see the sadness in his eyes,” I said to her.
While fussing her I took a look at her collar.
“It could be a long wait for you, Minne; but be patient. You can still watch over him and guard him.”
Her eyes looked at me imploringly.
“I can’t tell you how long it will be, it could be a long wait for you, but he will be overjoyed to see you again when the time comes.”
She nuzzled my hands with her nose, before running back to the heel of her owner.
Again, I shifted to the living realm, then straightened up from my place among the parked bicycles. The walker started slightly at my sudden appearance close by, but I hoped that he’d assume I’d simply been chaining up a bike.
Still, I was taking a risk that he might report the encounter, so I waited until he’d walked past me before I spoke.
“Minne still is a good girl, and she will be waiting for you at the rainbow bridge,” I told him.
He probably thought that I was a crazy, and turned as though to say something, but I’d already vanished.
As I watched them from within the Veil once more, they continued on their walk. Minne stopped briefly and looked back at me. Then she was running back to his side with a new pride in her step.
Waiting until they’d turned the corner and were out of sight, I shrugged the snow from my jacket and stamped my boots. Then I pushed open the door and entered the “Hallowed Grounds” to see Sanne.
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