Now that The Secret Life of Hamish series has ended, the Marjorie takes her creativity in a different direction: meet Casper, a fictional pup, with a secret life of a different kind…
Casper’s Tale: Chapter One, First Encounter
The warmth of a crackling fire spread like a blanket over the sleeping golden that lay on the hearth. Casper had seen a lot of things this day. His weary old bones ached from his long trek in the afternoon snow. His life was good, as a dog’s life goes. He had a nice warm fire this night to curl up by; his mistress was never far from his side; he ate well, but the bane of his existence was those pesky cats. Spook, a jet black tom cat, and Alastair, an orange tabby with an attitude twice his girth, made life rough for the old dog. Those cats were forever getting him in some trouble or other.
Casper sighed as he lifted his head from the warm hearth rug to survey the room. She sat in her reading chair, his mistress; but those devil felines were there, too. Spook was on her lap, and Alastair kept a watchful eye from a perch on the back of the chair.
“One of these days,” Casper thought. “I am going to see to it that you are in the right place when the snow slides off the roof, and you will both be under it.”
Reluctantly, he lowered his head to the mat and dozed. A wind was rattling the windows. A little and snow fell softly outside, but inside, the little house was calm.
Casper let the warmth wash over him, and began to drift into a blissful place in his mind. He was running in the snow. There was a snow machine trail that he had good footing on, and he was running along at a good speed. He could see in the distance the trail to the frozen lake. He loved it when the lake froze! So much open space for him to run on! He would play frisbee with his mistress for hours out there. She would throw the frisbee great distances, and Casper would run and fetch the disk. How he loved to drag it back to her, half chewed and slobbery. His life was good! She was a great mistress. He liked it best the days she would clean him up and brush his soft coat and dress him for his visits. He was a therapy dog ~ he had a JOB! Unlike the cats, he was special to more than just his owner. Twice a week he would go and visit his extended family. So many hands to pet him, loving people to scratch his ears, soft voices and gentle cuddles.
A sudden thunk outside roused him from his dream.
“Woof” He barked as he rose to his feet. *Alert! Something is out there!”
“It’s just snow sliding from the roof, Casper,” His mistress spoke softly to him.
“Grrrrr…” He walked to the patio door and looked out over his terrain. He was not convinced that it was that simple. “I sense something more.”
“Go lay back down, you silly old man!” His mistress scolded.
“Woof!” He looked at the door as if willing it to open. *There is more to this, lady, than snow sliding from the roof!”
“Do you need to pee? Or are you just being over protective?” She laughed as she pushed Spook from her lap and rose to let him out.
“Okay, big fellow…I know the look.” She slid the door open for Casper.
The cold night air bit into his flesh like a ravenous predator. He felt the cold so deeply he almost retreated to the warmth of his house. He knew something was going on outside, and he was just the dog to check into it. With steely nerves, he pressed past the glow from the windows to the darkness beyond. He could feel the sensation of being watched. The night had eyes; somehow this night the eyes were different. To show the watchers he was not scared, he lifted his leg and let a flowing stream mark his place in HIS yard.
“I know something is here,” He spoke to the darkness. “Show yourself!”
“Nothing to fear.” A soft voice answered him.
Casper turned to see where the sound came from. Almost haloed by the light from the house, he saw the small white dog. Did he need to bark at it? He thought not, and decided better to approach and sniff. As he stepped forward, he was overcome with an intense COLD. He made his way as close as he could. The small dog didn’t move or even flinch. Even though Casper was up wind from the dog, he could not smell it.
“Friend or foe?” His voice growled.
“Friend…I should think!” The little dog wagged its tail. There were no pawprints in the snow. The dusting snow seemed to fall around this pup and not even touch it.
“Who are you? Are you lost?” Casper inquired.
“If you are Casper, then I am in the right place.” The Dog stepped forward. “Do not fear that you can not smell me. I am no longer of this world.” The pup met his eyes. “No human can see me, only animals. I am here because you and I have some work to do. We have a very special job to take care of.”
“No human can see you?” Casper pondered this. “Just animals?”
“Yes. Only animals can see me,” The pup answered.
“What are you called then?” Casper looked him squarely in the face. As he was focusing and stepping closer, the wee dog disappeared.
Casper heard the voice in his mind. The white dog was gone. No evidence of him lay in the snow. No pawprints, no smell. Nothing but the cold night, which seemed a little warmer now, and the falling snow. Casper circled the yard and checked for evidence that the dog had been there. He found nothing. Deciding he was imagining his encounter, he headed to the door to return to the warm fire.
As he settled on the hearth rug once more, Casper heard Alastair hiss. Spook arched his back and his fur stood on end. On the corner of the sofa sat the small white dog! Both cats were not amused by his presence.
“What has gotten into you two?” His mistress tried to smooth their ruffled fur. Spook dug his claws into her leg as he launched himself away from the sofa. Alastair spat and hissed at the little dog, cursing it. “You two are certainly acting strange!” She said.
Casper lowered his head to the hearth rug. Perhaps an invisible dog might come in handy!