Lock, lock, why won’t it just lock, her mind screamed as she fidgeted with the little thingy on the door handle. He’s coming, I can hear him coming. Heavy footsteps made there way up the stairs, slow methodical footsteps. He’s gonna be mad! I just know he’s gonna be mad! She worked with the lock a little longer. Wisps of golden blonde hair carelessly fell about her angelic face as she did. Maybe I could just move the chest. . .no, too big! The bed, she thought. Same problem, too big. Yet she had to do something. Hide, I’ll hide. . .under the bed. No, that was too obvious. She always hid under the bed. The closet! No, that was too messy. I’ll just close my eyes and pretend I’m invisible. She actually did this for a few seconds. No, she decided, too stupid.
He was in the hall now, drawing closer. The door wasn’t locked. There was no place to hide. She must stand tall and face her fate. . .
The door opened, her father took a step inside, held a small rat terrier in one arm.
“It’s the oddest thing,” he said with that look, the look that told Anne Marie she was probably going to regret not being able to find a hiding place. “Sir Richard had hair this morning. Would you know anything about this? I thought you might since I found Daddy’s electric razor in your room. . .and this.” In his other hand, he held what used to be on the dog.
“But Sir Richard was suffering.”
The dog had been scratching all week and there was no sign of fleas. As of yet, Dr. Sanders had no real answers about how to make things better for the animal either.
“Yes, we’re all aware that Sir Richard has been suffering—”
“And God said to shave him.” There, she’d said it. And she didn’t care if he did give her that other look, the one that told her he wasn’t happy with her explanation.
“How many times have we told you that you can’t use God as a scapegoat?”
Another rush of footsteps up the stairs saved her for the moment.
“John,” her mother called out, raced down the hall. “That was the vet’s office on the phone. Dr. Sanders says Sir Richard has a skin allergy and we should bring him in tomorrow to be shaved.” She stopped cold, stared at Sir Richard, the hair, her daughter and then her husband.
“God told her,” John said matter-of-factly. “She used my electric razor. A little direction would be nice.”
Anne Marie shrunk back at her mother’s look, the one that told her she’d now be held accountable. “Did God tell you to use Daddy’s electric razor?”
“Well, that’s the funny thing about God,” she said as only a six-year-old could. “He’s real good about telling you what you need to do but he’s not always clear on the how part.”
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