This is the second part in a series, so if you have not already done so, you might want to read Part I before continuing.
They went out the back door to avoid the monsters in the front hallway, and as soon as they were outside, Dad breathed a sigh of relief. It was odd that this particular brand of monster only ever attacked when you were at home – never outside or at work. Instead, they destroyed the sanctity of the one place you should feel safe. It was just one more thing Dad hated about them.
“Where are we going, Daddy?”
Dad finally stopped walking to think about this. He had been so focused on running away that he hadn’t thought about where they could run to. They were standing in the middle of the condo building’s back courtyard, which was surrounded on three sides by the walls of the condo and on the fourth side by a wrought-iron gate that stood 10 feet tall.
Dad realized they were already safe back here. Those clad in pastels only knocked on front doors, never back gates, and they wouldn’t go all the way through someone’s unit to harass someone in the courtyard.
“We’re going to play out here. How would you like me to bring out your kiddie pool?” It was a hot day, the kind of day Dad figured was perfect for splashing around in the water.
Daisy looked back the way they had come. “But my bathing suit is inside.”
“That’s OK, you can get your dress wet.”
“Mom will get mad.”
“No, she won’t. I’ll explain.”
Daisy looked doubtful, but Dad knew how much she loved playing in the water, so without any more arguments, he fetched the kiddie pool and filled it up. Just as he had suspected, it didn’t take long for Daisy to jump in.
“What’s this?” Mom asked when she got home from work.
Daisy froze when she saw Mom, then pointed at Dad, saying, “Dad said it was OK for me to get my dress wet.”
“Oh, he did, did he?”
“There were Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
“Doris buzzed them in.”
Mom’s jaw dropped. “She didn’t.”
“Oh, she most certainly did. Fortunately, they got to her door before they got to ours, and she answered, so I decided to use that time to get Daisy out there, but I forgot about her swimsuit until we were already out here, and you know how long Daisy can take to get ready.”
“I just didn’t want to risk it.”
“Are you mad, Mommy?”
“No, honey, I’m not mad. But I do want you to understand that this is the only time this will be allowed. Is that clear?”
Daisy nodded, and although Mom wasn’t sure it really was clear, she would have to let it go at that. “It won’t be easy to train this out of her, but I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“That’s what I said. Or, rather, that’s what I thought.”
“I’ll have to have a talk with Doris about letting strangers into the building.”
“Good luck. I’ve already warned her about it several times, but she just keeps doing her thing. I can only hope today’s experience taught her a lesson.”