The Betwixt and Between

courtesy of pixabay.com

“Cosita!  I have another mission for you.”

The black and tan terrier turned towards the feminine voice and flashed a smile of recognition.  It wasn’t often that the woman in white came to visit, but when she did, there was always a request.  Cosita knew what was going to be asked of her, it was always the same thing. 

“I would be happy to do it ma’am,” the dog replied, chest puffed out and eager to please.

“I knew you would be,” the woman said, reaching down to stroke the top of the terrier’s head.

“You are such a perfect little angel!”

With her offer agreed upon, the woman leaned over and kissed the dog on the tip of her nose, then moved towards the door, her posture perfect and her stride leaving the impression that she was floating on air.  The old dog followed the woman with her eyes as she crossed the room and out the door, vanishing into a curtain of golden sunlight.

Retrieving her collar from the hook on the door and sliding it over her head, Cosita bounded out the door and into the light of day.  Her little home was on the outskirts of a tiny village whose streets were paved with cobblestones.  With head held high and tail wagging, the dog turned onto the lane and followed it out of town.

Soon she was trotting along the narrow walkway through a meadow filled with wildflowers.  The sun shone down from its home in the rich blue sky overhead.  The day was warm.  Not too hot, and not chilly at all, as always, it was just right.

In the near distance, a tall structure began to emerge from the horizon.  Drawing closer, the dog could make out the tall supports of the suspension bridge.  The loveliest serenade came from the trees where birds of every color and species had gathered to weave their voices together in haunting and beautiful harmonies, while butterflies flitted and danced about the wide-open spaces in joyous surrender.

At last, the dog came to a standstill at the place where the cobblestones met the oak planks of the bridge’s deck.  It was here that she chose to stop.  Perhaps chose is not the best word, because the awesomeness of the sight always held in her in check when she came to this place. 

A thick mist rose from the bubbling and cascading river below to merge and intertwine with the steel cables on the span.  The sun cut through at just the right angle to light the cables up in all the colors in creation, giving the structure its name.

“The Rainbow Bridge,” the dog gasped in delight.

Having traversed the span, Cosita took one last look over her shoulder at the overpass and marveled at its magical appearance for the last time before stepping off and into a thick cloud of vapor.

Emerging on the other side, the terrier was immediately filled with a sense of longing for home.  Cosita sighed deeply, then looked around at this new world shrouded in darkness and protected by a layer of impenetrable drab clouds.  It was a vast empty space, save for a solitary point of illumination at its center.

Knowing what was necessary to complete her quest, the dog sucked in a deep breath of air and began to jog towards the light.  As her advance continued, the light began to grow closer and take form until at last, she found herself gazing at a young woman her flaxen hair draped over her shoulders, seated in a wooden chair, her eyes intently focused on a streetlamp.  A double helix of light blazed around the antique-looking fixture as though it were doing an intricate waltz.

Cosita silently stood her ground for a moment taking in the woman.  She wore a red dress, which accentuated her form, upon her feet were a pair of white shoes.  With one leg crossed over the other, her head was tilted upwards, her eyes fixed upon the streetlamp, but her gaze was in a faraway place.  The dog hated to interrupt the woman, but alas, that was a necessary thing if she was to accomplish her mission. 

Wasting not another moment, the terrier slowly strolled around the woman and approached calmly from the side.

“Hello, how are you this evening,” the dog ventured to ask.

“I am fine, thank you, and yourself?”

Like her sight, her voice too was far off, in another world so to speak.  Having visited here before, as well as having been in the woman’s position, Cosita knew what was going on inside of the young lady’s mind.

“If I may be so bold, may I ask what is your name?”

The dog’s query had been enough to break the light’s hold on the girl.  The young lady’s eyes met the terriers.  Her head slowly cocked to the right.

“Sheila,” she answered, her face beginning its transition from peaceful wonder to complete bewilderment.

“Nice to meet you, Sheila.  I am …”

“A dog,” she said, her voice a little shaky.

“Yes.  Yes, I am a dog, but what I was going to say is my name is Cosita,” the canine said by way of introduction, then added a chuckle.

“But you can talk, and … “

“and you can understand me.  I know,” the terrier said, finishing her sentence.

“We are all able to communicate and understand each other easily in this place,” the dog informed her.

That was the statement that brought her forth to the present moment.  She sat forward and craned her neck over one shoulder, then the other, so that she could examine her surroundings, which were no doubt much different from the last place she remembered being in.

“Where am I?”

Her voice trembled and her eyes gave away the fear that was beginning to creep into her.  Cosita remembered this part all so well.

“This place is called The Betwixt and Between,” the dog answered is if were simply a matter of fact.

“The Betwixt and be where,” Sheila tried to repeat what the dog had said, but got lost somewhere along the way.

“Between.  It is in the middle of where you were and where you are going,” the pooch answered.

She was silent, letting the dog’s words roll around inside her head.  Her expression said that she was turning them over and over trying to make sense of them and struggling to do so.

“You mean … I am no longer alive.  I am going to be here alone?  Forever?”

The words tumbled from her lips with so much sorrow and finality.  Cosita let her sit with the thought for a few more minutes before answering her.

“You are not alone.  I am here.”

“Sorry,” she said, jutting her head forward and scrunching up her face.

“This is not forever.  This is just a place where you can kind of prepare for what’s next,”

“There’s more,” she asked, nervousness making an appearance in the tone of her voice.

Cosita studied Sheila’s face and wished there was a way for her to download all the information she needed from her brain into Sheila’s so the girl could understand, but then, that would take away the purpose of The Betwixt and Between.

It was at that moment that the clouds began to part, and let sunlight filter in to reveal the splendor of the arches and the glowing cables.

“What is that?”

The tone in her voice had shifted, revealing a calmness that had begun to settle around her.

“That is the Rainbow Bridge, we cross that and go into The Meadow,” Cosita explained as the two of them walked towards it together.

“So … that is where we will live forever?”

“Forever?  I don’t know about forever; I have only been here for five years myself,” the dog answered, grinning from ear to ear.

They came to an abrupt stop.  Sheila swung her head in Cosita’s direction.  They locked eyes and fell silent for a moment or two until at last, Sheila covered her mouth with her hand and burst out into laughter.

“You are too funny Cosita!”

“Are you ready Sheila,” the dog asked, her lips curling into a wide smile.

“Ready Cosita!”

Together, they took a step forward, setting foot upon the bridge.  The mist rose behind them, leaving The Betwixt and Between quiet and empty once again.

© Copyright 2022 H. Scott Moore

Author: H. Scott Moore

H. Scott Moore is a native of Western New York, where he grew up enjoying the rhythm of life in the changing of seasons. Intrigued by his pets and curious about what they were thinking led H. Scott to combine his passion for animals and love of reading and writing to create a world where everything is experienced from their point of view. When he is not working or creating, H. Scott likes to spend his time in nature with Cindee, Mylo, Rapi, Mommy, and the rest of the gang!

One thought

  1. Lovely story. Wonderful job for little Cosita. Gives me all the warm feels. I wonder what missions Rudy and Mandy are undertaking?

    Like

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