Tonight, standing in front of full ocean brunt, underneath a hazy sparkle of dims, the sky, finally, in her dark and muted whisper, revealed a best kept secret to an ever listening, though half deaf, ear. Her voice, filtered through the tiny pinholes only stars have managed, over the course of light years, to punch into the Nights immutable darkness, shook me and then I was silent. Consumed by the vacuity and enormity of this, this… numinous, I let go of the red leash. Lights flashed behind old grey brain, threatening to send death charges through the wrong vain: I dropped to one knee and, behold, seraphim and nephilim said unto me with voices, furious and intertwined:
PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
And all gravity fled. I stretched, reaching upward, to cling to red leash, but, lo, Barkley had, by then, drifted off: happy in the heavens. The stars now behind him, he continued to rise. He was without fear, smacking his lips in the face of all eternity. I called, I called, I called in vain—only the ocean offered a reply: her sweet brine met my face and, once again, I fell silent.
At home now, I consider his empty dish. I almost filled it, upon arriving home out of habit and then I remembered. His toys litter the floor of our small apartment: even his most beloved purple Squirrel is now abandoned, with only tooth mark for memory. And I will miss the frantic sound of his claws on hardwood. I will miss the way he snores and the way he kicks his paws in his sleep. I will miss all that but know, beyond a doubt, that paradise is his at last.