Friday, June 23, 2006
Lily giggled. She was in a room filled with stuffed animals. From wall to wall there was nothing but bears, giraffes, bunnies, dolphins, more bears, and a myriad of other creatures. All she could think about was playing with them. She couldn't help but bounce and play for hours.

Amidst the piles of stuffed critters she managed to find a dozen pairs. She lined them up neatly two by two and re-enacted Noah's story. Her step-dad was a minister, and he always read her stories from the Bible when he put her to bed. Noah and the Ark was one of her favorites because of all the animals. Lily loved animals. When she grew up, she wanted to be an animal doctor--a vet-er-rin-air-ean.

Lily always loved it when Jimmy came over to play.

* * *

Arlin was a good man. Nobody would deny that. He had been a reverend for fifteen years, and had touched the lives of thousands. Every Sunday morning he'd get up in front of his congregation at Our Savior Jesus Baptist Church, and he would deliver a sermon. They were always good. They were always filled with conviction. Every member of his flock brought their problems to him. He was a marriage counselor and he was a youth guidance counselor. He coached the church softball team and the church volleyball team. He spent so many hours at the church, not even God could doubt that he was a good man.

When he met Stacey, he thought she was nice. But it was really her daughter, Lilian that he fell in love with. Her adorable little face. Her rosy cheeks. Her silky hair. She was such a sweet little toddler. Who could resist? He wanted to help Stacey raise her. He wanted to be her father.

* * *

James didn't have to do this, but he took such great pleasure in seeing the will of good men crumble. The other Guilders wouldn't even flinch if they knew. They all did the same.

It was all to easy, really. He just had to tuck her away in her own little place while he got behind the wheel and drove. The look on his face had been priceless the first time. James didn't realize it would be so easy. It only fed his desire to do it more.

At first he did it only on Saturdays, but he quickly made it a nightly ritual. He was surprised he could keep it up this long. It had been nearly a year. Nobody seemed to be the wiser. He couldn't have picked a better pair.
Posted by Samuel Tesla at 6/23/2006 11:04:00 PM ::


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