Author’s note: This is the third and final chapter of Addy’s Hill. If this is your first time here, please start with Chapter One farther down this page.
Kathleen walked across the bridge that spanned the small stream in this place that she had worked so hard to build. There were large open areas as far as the eye could see, shade trees everywhere, and lots of running water. She felt that running water was particularly important as it was very soothing and just plain fun to watch.
She looked across the fields at her charges and was happy with what she saw. But then, in this place, happiness was the predominant feeling. Sadness, anger, or other negative feelings simply didn’t have a home here.
Kathleen was a very matronly person. She was large in stature but not fat. Had nearly pure white hair that was always done up in a bun without a single hair out of place. She presented an air of authority, compassion, empathy, and understanding all at the same time but she wasn’t to be trifled with. She dressed conservatively and in any other situation could easily be mistaken for someone’s grandmother. Which, she had been on more than one occasion.
You see in this place so near and yet so far from the terrestrial world, she was the Head Spirit Master of her many charges. In this realm, things that are scientifically accepted outside are not the law here. The normal laws of science don’t apply. You see in this Spirit World, the rules of the Spirit World apply.
While the human spirit may reside anywhere in this realm, this particular place is home to all the hound spirits. There are other homes for all the other pure bred dog spirits and each home welcomes mixed breed dogs. These mixed breeds find a home wherever their particular spirit is needed. That’s the joy of the mixed breed, it’s adaptable.
Kathleen became the Head Master following many years of being responsible for hounds in the earthly realm. Her particular talents were noticed and when her turn came to remain in this spirit world, she assumed responsibility for the spirit hounds.
She preferred the term Head Master rather than Head Mistress as “mistress” had a connotation that she didn’t particularly like. After all, she was a very conservative lady and adhered to the principles of a bygone but not forgotten era. She was comfortable with this persona.
The term Head Master was used to describe the role she fulfilled. In essence, the Head Master was the great teacher of a large school. It was her job to ensure that the spirits that arrived here and then continued their journeys in the terrestrial world were prepared for their next growth experience.
“Oh hello Creator”, she replied.
He actually startled her when he said hello. He had the ability to really sneak up on someone. It wasn’t intentional by any stretch. Contrary to popular belief, the Creator didn’t appear with a show of fireworks or loud cracking noises to announce his entrance. He simply arrived. After all this time, she should be used to it but there were some things here that took some getting used to.
Kathleen called the Creator “he” but in reality, the Creator was whatever sex you wanted to see. This was one of the differences between here and the other dimension. With some exceptions, you could create what you wanted to see or a place you wanted to be. In Kathleen’s case, being so called old school, she firmly believed that the Creator was male. Her Creator was a robust elderly looking gentleman with a radiant smile, strong physical features, and similar white hair to her own. Both perfectly coiffured. Other human spirits saw him differently but this was hers.
No one ever bowed or deferred to the Creator. Everyone was here because of him and referred to him more as a great teacher than anything else.
“I see that you’ve got a new lively bunch today” he said.
“I sure do. We just had a bunch of new puppies arrive and we all know that you can’t keep a good puppy spirit down.” She chuckled a little and so did he.
The spirits arrived in various states of maturity. Kathleen prefers the term “spirit” to “soul” as in her mind a spirit is full of life, wanting more, learning more, and never giving up. A soul to her on the other hand was sort of an insipid word. Sort of like bread dipped in milk.
With all the spirits under her direction one might think it would be difficult to tell them apart. It wasn’t. Each spirit had its own aura with one predominant colour at the top. The underlying colours of the aura were like a fingerprint and gave each spirit an identity. The overarching predominant colour was the state of maturity or age of the spirit. Puppy spirits had nearly translucent primary auras. These auras changed with each stage of their maturity until they became a solid colour. These colours in turn had different densities and intensities. The highest aura was a golden hue so pristine that it can’t be put into words.
The reason the animals and people kept their earthly composition was because it was simply easier this way. If they were all just ethereal spirits it would be like watching wisps of fog constantly moving. How boring would that be?
The Creator said, “I hear you made a special call today Kathleen.”
“I did” she replied. “I’m looking forward to seeing her again. It’s been a long time for both of us. Addy has always held a special place with me.”
“Do any of your charges know that there is a special arrival today?”
“Well, the Elders have a sense that something is up. But they should have as they are now permanent residents and have seen me make the call before. The puppies, juveniles, and general adult population really don’t have a clue at this point.”
“Kathleen, I’ll let you get to it and I’ll continue my rounds. Call if I can be of any assistance.”
“Thank you Creator but I think I have it well in hand”
“Yes you do. I’ll see you later than.”
“Farewell” she said and just as quietly as he arrived he was gone.
Kathleen looked toward the gate. This wasn’t the Pearly Gates of biblical proportions. It was a simple white gate in a long white picket fence that had a hinge that allowed it to swing in and out. This was the location from which all spirits arrived and left. The journey from the earthly realm wasn’t painful or tiring but it wasn’t easy either. If it was easy, this dimension would have been discovered by now. The physical beings on Earth weren’t stupid by any stretch.
The gate started to open and a sudden hush fell over the hounds. Usually when the gate opened, there was a glance at the new arrivals or departures and then back to whatever they were doing. Not this time.
The puppies lay down and all the juveniles and adults sat. The Elders stood ready as they now knew what was happening. It was deathly quiet (so to speak).
A large figure materialized at the gate and began the slow walk through it. There was no hesitation, no concern, just a slow steady pace toward the awaiting masses. As it approached, it became clear that this was no regular spirit returning. This time the aura was the brightest gold any of them had seen. Spirits of this colouring existed all over the Spirit World in both human and animal form. It designated that their journey in learning was done and no further trips to the physical world were necessary. These spirits were now the Elders. This was Addy and she was home.
Once she completely passed through the gate, Kathleen met her and gave her a big hug.
“Welcome home, old girl. You’ve earned your rest.”
This was the voice that Addy now recognized. This was the warm voice and caring sensation she remembered. As all who return to this place, she no longer remembered that she had been a corporeal being but she remembered this place.
Kathleen came over and gave her a massive hug which due to Addy’s size was rather easy. The Elders gathered around and with vocalization only they understood welcomed her back. The rest of the pack approached with reverence but not fear. It didn’t take long for one of the puppies to decide that he needed to get closer to this being and began tugging at her heels. A simple look from Kathleen put that to rest. Addy didn’t react at all. In this place, her contentment was beyond explanation. It was as if she had arrived home from a long journey. In fact, she had.
Meanwhile, the comings and goings through the gate continued.
In a home on a small farm a new batch of puppies was being born. One of these new puppies was not amused.
“What is going on?” he thought. “A few minutes ago, I was warm and comfortable and the next thing I know, I’m getting the daylight squeezed out of me, I drop on a hard cold surface, and something wet and slimy is running itself all over my body rolling me around.”
“If I could see, walk, and had any teeth, I’d roll them around for a while and see how they like it!”
Another life begins and this one has attitude!!