Wet and dreary, that was Benny’s existence even before the car struck his umbrella stand last December. One flash of pain, then he was back standing in oblivion, invisible. People rushed by. Cold rain on his back made him shiver, a memory of his last living days.
How could anyone be more miserable? Just then he spied a rain drenched puppy shuffle across the sidewalk. Tangled strands of yellow fur lay plastered across its ribcage. Eyes, void of hope, gazed down. He held an umbrella over the dog, following as it wandered into the street, but rain continued to flow through the ghost umbrella. If only he could do more.
Benny saw the car barrel down the road. Wheels slid across the slick pavement just like last year, only this time the pup lay in its deadly path. He didn’t think about how an insubstantial body could help as he tossed the dog to safety. He just did it.
“The choice is yours, Benny.”
Choice? Benny blinked with understanding. He could continue his empty existence or live one short, cold, hungry life. Loneliness was worse. His arms wrapped around the dog and he felt their spirits meld. Cold seeped into his body. Hunger drove sharp pangs in his gut. Yet he felt strangely warm for the first time.
“How would like to come home with me, little fellow?” A young man wrapped a scarf around his new body and held him close. “I think I’ll call you…Benny.”