The Paperback Edition…
I ran over to my bed and dropped to my knees. I started pulling out all the under-the-bed bins I used for storage…calling Emma’s name…but only hearing the deafening and increasingly irritating blare of the fire alarm.
Tears were streaming down my cheeks…my heart felt like it was literally breaking.
I sobbed, “Dammit Emma, where are you? I’m not leaving you! You’re my best friend, Emma!! You’re my…my only friend.”
Oh God, I thought…where in the holy hell is she???
I laid full out on my stomach so I could reach farther under my bed and then suddenly I felt that soft fur, so familiar to my touch, and I grabbed a bunch of it and held on tight. I 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 then pulled the drawstring tight underneath her.
I was only taking little breaths but they all felt like pure smoke. The only light in the room was from my laptop on my desk…thank God for battery mode….
With my left hand firmly under Emma, I pulled up the window blinds, climbed up on my desk chair and then onto my desk. Crouching low, I slid open the window and cold, fresh air rushed in.
I took a couple of deep breaths, backed up to the edge of my desk and then I ran…head and right shoulder down… full force through the screen!
There was so little resistance…I flew through the air! My butt landed with a smack on a snow-covered bush.
I looked up and there was Fred…shimmering on a snowbank…about three feet away.
“Well…I see you two made it.”