Entry for Faithwriters.com challenge – 19 May 2016 – Topic: Sneak
Sally slowly pushed the door open and peered inside. She could just discern the outline of the bed, the duvet carelessly tossed in the centre and pyjamas dumped unceremoniously on the rug. The wardrobe door creaked as Sally pulled it open. She hesitated for a moment, listening for any hint that her mum had heard the noise. Then she quickly poked her head inside and started rummaging through the assorted bags and shoes piled on the floor of the wardrobe.
“Gotcha!” she thought, holding aloft a grey plush dog of uncertain pedigree. “Now then, Sandy, you are coming with me.” Sally closed the wardrobe door so very gently, and tiptoed back to bedroom door, glancing both ways before emerging onto the landing and sealing the bedroom behind her.
In seconds she was back her own room. From a small suitcase she took a white doll’s dress, and with some difficulty inserted Sandy’s head through the neck hole, and the front legs through the arm holes. “Don’t you look cute,” she whispered, grinning at the dog.
Hurriedly pulling on her boots and shrugging into her coat, Sally pushed Sandy into a rucksack decorated with princesses and headed for the door. She bounded down the stairs and called to her mum as she passed the kitchen, “I’m off to see Seb and Lily.”
“OK! Don’t be too long,” came the reply; but Sally was already in the garden, leaving the door to close itself.
Minutes later, seated on the couch at her friends’ house, she pulled the befrocked canine out of her bag, and offered him to Lily. “O how cute he looks. But what will Carrie think?”
“Don’t say anything yet,” Sally breathed. “You know what to do. And when you’re finished, pass him on to Vicky.”
“Don’t worry; I have everything planned. See you in two weeks.”
Twenty-four hours later, Sandy was squashed into a suitcase, along with swimming costumes, sandals, sunglasses and floppy hats. The next few hours were a rough and tumble affair, until he emerged into warm sunshine. For ten days he was put in and out of beach bags, rucksacks and totes, until the suitcase journey was reversed.
Four more weeks and a host of bags, boxes and coat pockets later, Sandy was returned to Sally, who tucked him into her rucksack, carried him home, and stuffed him in a box under her bed.
One Friday evening, mum came into Sally’s room. “Come on young lady, it’s time to get ready. We don’t want to keep your sister waiting.” Sally jumped up ran to the bathroom and locked the door. After some time, she emerged, clean and bright, with her hair all curled up. Returning to her room, she began to put on the pink prom dress that her mum had laid out for her. Just before she left the room, she grabbed Sandy and a thick book that had lain on her desk. Sally skipped down the stair and headed for the front door, joining her brother and parents in the car.
At the restaurant, Sally fidgeted as she waited for everyone to arrive. Last to come was her sister Carrie, who stared open-mouthed at the crowd that awaited her. “I thought this was going to be a small family affair,” she protested.
“We tried to keep it small,” said Mum, “but so many wanted to wish you well for you special day, we had to let them come.”
After everyone had hugged Carrie and given her presents, she sat down at the table next to Sally. “Hi, kiddo. How are you doing?”
“Great,” replied Sally. “I have something for you.” She reached under the table and brought out Sandy, still in the white lace dress, and a scrapbook with “Carrie and Carl” on the front. “I couldn’t afford anything posh, but I wanted to do something special for you.”
She watched as Carrie opened opened the book, and leafed through pages of photographs, Sandy (in white dress) in front of mountains in Tenerife, museums in London, bicycles in Holland, castles in Scotland and a host of other sights.
Tears filled Carrie’s eyes as she gazed at the scenes. “You little sneak!” she said. “If I knew you’d taken Sandy, I’d have been furious. But it’s the best wedding present ever.” And she turned and hugged her little sister very tightly.