Ghost Dog Secrets

Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret Read Free Book Online

Book: Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peg Kehret
“What do you want?” I whispered. She pawed at the blanket again. I wondered if she could hear me. I wondered if she could bark.
    â€œYou want me to get up, don’t you?” I said. The dog left the side of my bed and glided to the door.
    â€œI can’t go outside with you,” I told her. The dog lifted one front foot and scratched at the door.
    I put a pair of jeans on over my pajamas, slipped my feet into my flip-flops, and grabbed my jacket. Then I picked up my camera, aimed it at the dog ghost, and snapped. The flash briefly illuminated the room but did not startle the collie. I opened my bedroom door and looked toward Mom’s bedroom. Her door was closed. No light showed under the crack. I put the camera in my jacket pocket.
    The collie’s ghost was already partway down the stairs. I followed quietly. I hope I don’t regret this, I thought.
    I unlocked the front door, stepped outside, and closed the door softly behind me. When I got to the sidewalk, I looked up at Mom’s bedroom window. It was still dark. I turned and walked quickly down the street.
    I followed the ghost, but I already knew where she was taking me. I felt like Timmy in one of those old Lassie movie reruns that Mom and I used to watch. I remember snickering at those films and thinking, no dog is that smart. Now I wasn’t so sure.
    When we reached Ra’s yard, he wasn’t there. One end of the chain still circled the tree, but the other end lay in the dirt. Ra was gone. Had he broken loose? Was he running through the streets? Is that what the collie’s ghost wanted me to know?
    Two cars were parked in the driveway near the hedge. Loud rap music throbbed inside the house and harsh voices rose angrily. I couldn’t make out what the people said, but I could tell a huge argument was taking place.
    The collie trotted up the driveway toward the house, then stopped to look at me. She clearly wanted me to follow, knock on the door, and see what was going on inside, but I knew I couldn’t do that. Whoever was in that house would not be pleased to find a twelve-year-old kid on the doorstep, asking about a missing dog.
    I got out my camera and snapped a picture of the chain lying on the ground by the tree. I’m not sure why, but I also took a picture of the two cars. Then I turned and ran for home.
    Instantly I was running into a strong, icy wind. It was as if a cold front had suddenly moved down from Canada and the full force of the storm was blowing at my face, trying to keep me from going forward. I put my head down, pushing ahead, but I barely moved. When I looked up, I saw the collie a few yards ahead of me. She faced me head on with her legs braced stiffly, as if she were using all her energy to create a barrier that I couldn’t get past.
    I stopped running. “I’m sorry,” I told her. “I know you want me to go back there, but I can’t do it. I want to help Ra, but I can’t talk to the people in that house. I need to help Ra my own way. If he’s lost, I’ll do everything I can to find him. If he’s in that house, I . . .” I what? My voice trailed off. “I’m sorry,” I said again.
    I was glad there wasn’t anyone else around. If someone saw me standing there in the middle of the night apologizing to a dog’s ghost, they would probably haul me off for a mental evaluation.
    I didn’t know if the collie could understand me. I didn’t even know for sure if she could hear me. All I knew was that the cold wind stopped and I was able to make it home with no more trouble. Mom’s window was still dark. I eased inside, locked the door, and tiptoed upstairs to bed.
    I didn’t sleep, though. I lay there wondering where Ra was. It had been awful to know that he was always chained outside, lying in the dirt no matter what the weather was, but it was worse not to know where he was or what was happening to him. I was certain the

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