Morgan could not breathe. Somehow, he knew he was going to die. His throat was constricted and no oxygen was getting to his lungs. As his gaze filled with blackness, he could barely make out the alien that was holding him. His eyes closed and he started drifting to that place between life and death and he saw his life flash before his eyes.
When little Bo was born he had been a trifle disappointed. He had only been five years old and wanted a brother. When he saw the little pink bundle in his mother's arms he wrinkled his nose in distaste.
"It's a girl? Where's my brother?" He had asked.
His mom had smiled at him. "This is your sister, Morgan. Her name is Bo."
Bo. What and unusual name. He knew a dog named Bo but never a sister. But as she grew older he learned to appreciate her. She would always tag along with him and want to do everything he did. He acted annoyed but he had not minded really. It felt good to be admired. Even when her frequent requests for water seemed to make him burst with impatience he just had to look into her wide blue eyes and comply with a sigh. He really could not refuse her anything, especially after Mom died.
He remembered the day he had first gotten his dog. Isabel was just a puppy and had jumped all over him as soon as he saw her. He had fallen in love with her instantly and had begged Dad to take her home. Dad had hemmed and hawed for a while but finally relented. Morgan and Isabel had been ecstatic. He had played with her every day. Together they went on fantastic adventures and she was as loyal a dog that could ever be.
He remembered the day Uncle Merrill moved in. His uncle had acted all happy and kept telling jokes but Morgan could see the sadness in his eyes. He had really loved baseball, it had been his life. But now he had to live on top of a barn, never to play it again. His bat hung up in their living room, a symbol of the glory days. Morgan had caught Uncle Merrill staring wistfully at the bat more than once since he had moved in with them and Morgan always had felt a bit sorry for him.
He remembered the day after his mother had died. He had woken up that morning thinking it was a day like any other. Bo was in his bed for she had had a bad dream. She had dreamed that Mom had been in a car accident and had died. Little did they know that her dream had been a premonition. He and Bo had gone downstairs to breakfast and found Dad with his head in his hands and Uncle Merrill, his face pale and his hands clasped in front of his mouth. Morgan had felt something was wrong right away. His breath had quickened and he felt that familiar pressure on his throat. He had started wheezing and had to take a breath from his inhaler before asking the question.
"Dad? What's wrong?" He had asked hoarsely.
"Where's Mommy?" Bo had asked in her small voice. She had reached out with her little hand and had clutched his. Morgan had squeezed her hand back.
Dad could not talk. He had gestured to Uncle Merrill to tell the kids. Uncle Merrill had beckoned the kids to him and hugged them tightly. He had sobbed in their hair and could hardly speak.
"Your mommy . . ." Another sob. "Oh god, your mommy got in a car accident." Bo had gasped. "She's dead, kids."
Bo had started crying. Dad had pulled her onto his lap and she sobbed in his shoulder. Morgan had frozen. He was now surprised he did not have an asthma attack. But it was not that he could not breathe, he had stopped breathing altogether. All he could do was stare into Uncle Merrill's red eyes and not believe it.
"No!" He had shouted. "You're lying!" Now the hard breathing came. Racking breaths in and out, in and out. Uncle Merrill had tried to reach out to him but Morgan had jerked away. "She's not dead! She can't be!" He breathing had gotten worse. He had started seeing spots. He quickly brought the inhaler up to his mouth and took three long, deep breaths. But when he was done he had not felt any better.
"This was in my dream." Bo had kept crying.
Morgan had bolted to his room and sobbed in his pillow, taking a drag from his inhaler every now and then. Morgan could not remember another time when he had felt so terrified, alone and horror-struck.
He had not cried at the funeral. Bo had given little sad hiccups but he could not bring himself to cry. For a long time he had denied his mom's death. Dad never talked of her again. He and Bo used to sneak up into the attic and look over Mom's stuff when Dad was not home. They used to pretend she was still alive. But in their hearts they knew she was gone.
All these memories passed through Morgan's head as he lay unconscious. He felt he was going to die. He knew he was going to die. Yet he was not afraid. He was going to be with his mother. That was something he had wanted for a long time. He felt a great peace come over him. He opened his eyes and saw a hand reaching down to him. It was a woman's hand and looked so familiar but he could not quite place where he had seen it before. Surrounding him was a blackness deeper than any he had ever seen. Her hand however, was bathed in golden light. As he reached toward it he heard her speak.
"Come back to your family Morgan. They need you more than I. I will see you in time but not yet, my dear son. Not yet."
He grasped her hand and suddenly felt a rush of oxygen rush into his lungs. He took a deep gasping breath and opened his eyes slowly. He was in his father's arms outside of their house. Bo and Merrill were kneeling beside him and as soon as they saw he was awake they gave a great cry and hugged him tightly. He could not remember why he was there. The last he had seen was the aliens face and then he woke to his father's. He did not remember the hand pulling him to the light.
"Dad?" Morgan asked, "What happened? Did someone save me?"
His father started crying, holding Morgan close to his chest. "Yeah baby, I think someone did."