Chapter 21

I ran over to my bed and dropped to my knees.  I started reaching between the under-the-bed bins used for storage…all the while calling Emma’s name…but only hearing the deafening blare of the fire alarm.

Tears now streaming down my cheeks, heart literally breaking, I sobbed, “Dammit Emma, you can’t die on me!!  You’re my best friend!!  You’re my…only friend.”

I laid on my stomach so I could reach farther and suddenly I felt that soft fur so familiar to my touch and I grabbed on tight, scooted backwards and dragged Emma out from under the bed.

Her little blue eyes popped open and she looked at me and coughed.

“Did you burn dinner again, Tobey?”

“C’mon you little rascal, we’re blowing this pop stand.”

I sat up and put Emma under my tee-shirt and tucked it into my sleep pants and pulled the drawstring tight.  I was taking little breaths but it felt like all smoke.  The only light was from my laptop on my desk.

With one hand under Emma, I pulled up the blinds, climbed up on my desk chair and then onto my desk.  I slid open the window and cold air rushed in.

I took a deep breath, backed up and ran full force through the screen and landed with a smack on a snow-covered bush.

I looked up and there was Fred.

“Well, I see you made it.”