© 2018 Rebecca Wralstad. All Rights Reserved. Time-stamped by Beta Readers.
He had to step aside or she had to go through him. As he snarled and gnashed his teeth, she considered her options: go home and watch her father play house with his new young bride; sleep in her car for another week; or let the police catch her. The sirens blared into the parking lot and she took a step forward.
The Rottweiler lifted his lip again. Seconds later his growl reverberated off the walls, and Anna wondered if she should count like people did between lightning and thunder. She counted to five and hoped his stormy thoughts passed, hoped the hotdogs in the next aisle over tempted him, but mostly she hoped she had her mother’s stare. If only Anna could reflect that cold dagger blade look full of insight without empathy, then the hulking dog would back away.
Car doors cracked open and terse orders were called across the parking lot. Anna was seven feet from the glass case and a few long strides away from smashing her hand into the cause of her nightmares. She was seconds away from silencing the sickeningly persistent call.
Or getting charged with breaking and entering. Either or, Anna thought.
“Go home,” she said and realized she was talking to herself instead of giving the Rottweiler a convincing command.
The police were not at the back door yet. The dog might chase her but Anna could be up the shelf and out the window before he lunged. People left cars in pawnshop parking lots overnight all the time. All she had to do was get away and come back in the morning. The knife would still be under glass, glinting on a swath of green canvas, and tomorrow she could stop the visions it caused.
Anna knew it would not be easy; this object hit hard enough she’d abandoned her regular plan and broke in just to stop it. The original plan was to buy the knife or at least ask a clerk to open the case so she could hold it. One touch was usually enough yet here she was ready to steal it as the police shone flashlight beams over her desperation. If she didn’t get a handle on this one it could carve out her sanity, drive her to suicide like her mother.
Just grab it now, who cares if you get caught? Anna thought.
The Rottweiler flinched away from the glass case as a frightened growl ripped straight from his throat. It pushed through a rack of military overcoats and disappeared. Anna knew the police would hear the breaking glass but she raised her fist and ran forward.
The vision slammed into her and knocked her breath out in one sharp cry. The room went black and Anna fell into unconsciousness without another sound.