He lay down on the bed, looked up at the reflection in the window

on

The dog was also in it, sitting in a corner, looking up at him. It was a dainty
little blue dog. He touched its small soft fur, kissed its ear, and felt tears.
He remembered. He was here, just out of the sun. There was something familiar
about him.

He reached out, touched the dog with his mind. The dog jumped and spun. He
pulled himself up into the bed, pulled the edge in, looked at his reflection,
saw himself staring at him, wide-eyed. He pulled away and looked down.

He saw himself, in the same old clothes, the same old hair, sitting on the
toy dog. The same eyes. The same eyes that he knew, and was so proud of.

He blinked fast. He was on his own bed, with the same old dog sleeping in the
corner. The same old room. The same old house.

He looked about the room. There was a book on a little table, an old quilt on
the bed, and a picture of a little boy on the wall. He opened the book, took
it into his hand. He looked at the picture. He looked at the boy. He looked at
the boy’s parents. He looked at them in the picture. He looked at the boy’s
parents in the book.

He put the book away, took the quilt off the bed, and sat on the bed alone. He
took the dog out into the sitting room. It followed him. The house was silent.
He came out the front door, the dog with him. He walked down the street,
slipping into a little garden in the back.

He looked down at the dog. His mouth was dry. He let it lick his cheek.

His arm was over the dog. He hugged it and kissed the tip of its snout. The
dog licked his face. He kissed the dog again and felt, in his hand, the
little toy dog’s tail. He turned around and looked up.

He was back in his room. The door was still open. The dog was sitting on the
bed. He lay down on the bed and the dog put its head on his stomach and
breathed on him. He was in his bed and the dog was there. The house was quiet
and still. He wasn’t alone. He was here.

He pulled the dog up to his chest, held its head under his chin and cried
softly and with laughter. The dog snuffled against his face. He stroked its
head and kissed its nose.

The dog was warm in his arms and he realized that it was just like the dog in
the dream.

He could see the little house a little further up the street, and in the
opposite direction a little further away. He was back in his own home.

He pulled the dog off and ran out with it to the back, put on his clothes and
went to his parents. “I’m back,” he said over his shoulder and they laughed and
ran out the door after him.

He had to get out of the house. The dog was waiting at the door. It pulled him
up out of the chair and jumped into his arms, clinging to him. He went to
the front door, his parents still laughing. The dog was there, following him
trying to get in.

The dog was there in the garden, jumping around, trying to get in. He took it
into the house and put it in the den. He went out and looked back at the
window. It was light out on the street. He saw his parents, still standing out
there. He stood in the doorway and the dog came with him.

He closed the door, turned and looked at the dog for a minute, and kissed
its nose. They went into the house and the door shut in their faces. The
house was quiet.

He put the dog in his old room and lay down with it. He went back to the dog
and hugged it and kissed it all over. “I’m home,” he said.

The dog sat on his chest, its head resting in his hand, and slept.

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