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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: The Hairy Encounter
By Tammy Cannon


The Hairy Encounter

Amanda merged into traffic after wrangling her four-year-old daughter into the booster seat next to her sister, three and brother, twenty months. Pre-Kindergarten had just let out and the cars scattered like ants to various destinations. Amanda had one last errand to run, the UPS Store to ship her Mother’s birthday gift. She dreaded this task because it seemed every time she pulled in, the line was out the door and the wait too long for her three active children. She wondered if she had enough energy to go through with it, but pushed aside those thoughts and instead envisioned her mother’s smile as she opened her birthday package.

Driving in the after school traffic, Amanda thought about her bumpy ride into motherhood. She was finally getting the hang of caring for her children and home full-time, but she couldn’t believe the logistics involved with ordinary details like going to the UPS Store. She was a proponent of everything drive-thru and favored ordering items online, anything that would make her errands few and her to-do list easier. It was all worth it, she knew that full well. God had really helped her along and changed her perspective. In her weakest moments she called upon Him and was learning to submit everything else to His care.

Her destination in view, she pulled into a parking stall and started gathering her things. The cold temperature always made it uncomfortable to step out and unbuckle all three car seat straps, but she was used to it by now and prepared to get through this errand.

The tinted windows made it hard to see how many patrons were in line, but at least the door wasn’t propped open with people forming outside. Only three people waited and two people were at the counter. Not too bad, she thought. She went over to the supply wall and selected a festive packaging envelope. As she turned to get in line, she noticed her son hanging from the door handle, red puddle-jumpers and all. Her girls were crawling under the shipping island, giggling. Trying to maintain her composure, she quietly gave a couple of stern commands and a threat to return them to the car. She slid in line behind a gentleman who seemed amused at the display.

How could she think with all the commotion? One of the girls found a lonely plant trying to survive near the entrance. She gave a “shh” combined with a narrow stare as she saw the little hand going for the weak stalk. Should she send the items UPS or standard post? Would she have to fill out any paperwork? The packing slips were gone, so she decided to fill out the address label she found inside the envelope. Just then she heard one of her kids say, “it’s sharp.” She turned to eye another little hand heading toward the paper tray of the copy machine. This hand she grabbed and silently prayed, Lord, Help!

“Where’s my pen?” she said aloud. The kind gentleman in front of her was reaching a pen in her direction.

“Here you go,” He said.

“Thank you,” she replied and took the pen from him.

When Amanda looked at the pen to click the ink into view, she noticed a coarse, black hair sticking to the base. She tried to contain her amusement/disgust so she wouldn’t embarrass him, but she could not believe this was happening. She held the pen at the halfway point with the strand still attached, and filled out the address information in record time. She gave the pen, and the offending DNA sample, back to the patron in front of her.

Amanda giggled to herself until it was her turn at the counter. God did have a way of sending help in the most unforeseen ways. The incident relaxed her and served as a starting point for the rest of the evening. She decided to let the stress of the day melt away and enjoy the evening with her family.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/01/06
A cute story--it fizzled a bit at the end; perhaps you could have included earlier that the mother had a particular disgust for stray hairs, so that the "DNA sample" (very clever) would be even more ironic. Fun read!
c clemons03/05/06
I had almost forgot the title but you did manage to bring in before the end of the story.
c clemons03/05/06
Sorry, correction *bring it in*