The Guardian

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I am dead. I have been for some hours now. But my dog, Shane, does not realize this. He stands guard over my lifeless body, awaiting the moment in which I will awaken.

But I won't. And Shane does not understand this. How could he? Dogs cannot comprehend things such as life, death, after-life, mortality and immortality. They just know is and was. And he believes I still am. But I am not.

I wonder when they will find my body. My body so mangled and bruised from the affliction my murdered thrust upon me. Although my corpse is rotting away, no animal has touched my skin. Shane won't allow them to. He has lived up to his name of Guardian, yet his strength is failing. How many hours has it been since he has left me side? Too many. He seems to care more for the dead corpse of his owner than he does for his own well-being.

But I see him getting desperate. He knows he has not much longer until he, too, no longer is, but was. He whines endlessly. Mourning my absence and mourning his state of health. He nudges my body, like he has done every day of his life, expecting me to awake and put on his leash. But I won't. I can't.

How can he know this? How can I tell him? It's alright, Shane. I'm in a better place. Go, live, don't die because of me. He can't hear me. Even if he could, he wouldn't understand. He would only understand that it was my voice, coming from somewhere outside my body. He would search for me, wandering the vast desert land searching for my voice. But he would never find it. Dogs are not able to come where I am. He would die of a broken heart and starvation, still searching for me.

He nudges me again, whimpering. I believe he finally understands. I am not. I was. He understands. He lays beside me, licking my withered cheek and breathes one final time.

Goodbye, my dear Shane. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. Goodbye, my Guardian.





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