Design copied from Victoria Randall’s newsletter.
Sammie’s Bridge (link to story)
Louise is an elderly woman living in an unnamed city with her roommate and companion, a devoted 15-year-old tabby named Samantha. As she walks home one damp evening carrying a bag of groceries heavy with cat food and peanut butter, two staples of their lives, Louise hears footsteps behind her. However, by the time she manages to turn around, careful not to let the bag knock her off balance, the street is empty.
Samantha is waiting for her on the porch, stretched out on her favorite rocker, and Louise reaches its shelter just as the rain starts pelting down. As she unlocks the door, she feels a sudden shadow pass over her, perhaps a dark premonition. She dismisses it, though, carries the groceries inside, and pours Sammie a bowl of chow. They settle on the porch together, and Louise regards her closest friend with a tinge of fear: both of them are getting old. What if she dies before Samantha? Who’ll take care of her companion, provide the love and comfort Louise has lavished on Sammie since she found the skinny kitten shivering behind garbage cans at the grocery store? It’s her worst fear.
As the rain stops, Louise turns to the east, expecting a rainbow. Instead, she hears a thump behind her and a gloved hand covers her mouth.
What happens next is a testament to the eternal love between animals and their humans. When two hearts are entwined, nothing can separate them.
Samantha’s Bridge is a moving story of love on a cold, crumbling planet. Just as our world is falling apart under the strain of an invisible enemy, Victoria Randall reminds us that love, kindness, and cat chow always destroy evil.
Like many writers trying to rally readers’ spirits as the world copes with COVID-19 quarantines and lockdowns, sci-fi/fantasy author Victoria Randall included a short story in the March 21 issue of her newsletter. It’s an encouraging tale about a older woman and her cat, perfect for this frightening time when our world is seized by an emergency no person alive has experienced: a viral pandemic sweeping nearly every country on our unprepared Earth.