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She’d sat down on the floor, her back to the wall, looking at the door. It wasn’t good, this wasn’t good. Whatever was wrong with her, she had to get hold of it. She couldn’t lose this place, couldn’t get thrown out. She’d never make it, never make it to the sun, if that happened. She’d never ever, ever make it on that bus if she lost here. Never have another dog to play with in the park on long summer days, to cuddle up to on winter nights, to brush and love and be loved by. Never have another good day in her life. She was rocking, tightly curled up on herself, when a shadow appeared on the other side of the door. Her EMT card was pushed back through to her. She looked at it, feeling so hot there, in her lovely coat, that sweat was sticking the lining to her. Maybe she had the flu...?

Her electricity running out was a complete shock. She woke to a room in complete darkness. She woke at three a.m., as usual. The nightmare was shredded and fading as she stumbled around to try and find the flashlight she kept in her bedside cabinet. She had lost her coat somewhere, in the thrashing from the dreams, and the cold sliced her. She stood up and felt faint. She was oblivious to the crash as she tumbled headlong back into the tunnel she’d been running out of, with the wolf’s breath at her heels.

The pain of lying there drove her to consciousness, her body demanding she move. As her eyes opened she saw the coat on the floor, under the bed. It was daylight and she felt transparent, like a window. She was sure the daylight was going through her skin and bones. Her mouth was dry and her lips cracked. A terrible sunken feeling was clawing up from her stomach, hurting every bone in her body. She rolled forward, snaking her hand under the bed. The barest touch of the fur and the pain receded. She found the strength to inch forward, grasp it with one hand. She pulled it towards her, feeling better the nearer it got. Finally, she pulled it over her head and rested. The darkness she was in, under the weight of the coat, was warm and comforting. She wasn’t sure if she’d slept again but it was late afternoon light that greeted her when she finally pulled the coat on again, and stood up. The shakiness was gone. She felt fine, what had happened..?

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