Paying for my Crimes (Part II) 

Exactly twenty-nine days later, I pulled into the parking lot of the sheriff’s office in downtown Abbeyville. Extracting the ticket and a money order from my purse, I stepped out of the car.  The loose gravel of the parking lot crunched under my sandals as I strode toward the door.  Anger boiled in me at the whole situation—anger at myself, anger at every member of law enforcement in the whole world, anger at Mr. Norton.  I tried not to think of the things that three hundred dollars could buy, to focus instead on something else, but nothing worked.   About halfway from my car to the sheriff’s office, I saw a white blur tearing around the corner of the building. Before I could react at all, a snarling, slavering white English bulldog had me frozen not six inches from his massive jaws.  His feet were planted several inches apart, and a low steady growl rose from that massive chest.  A drooling mouth revealed sharp teeth. The car appeared to be miles away and besides that, I had locked the door.  Before I could unlock the door, the dog would have me—even if I could beat him there, which was unlikely.  And the office was as far away as the car.  I stood very still, trying to think.

“He senses your fear,” I thought.  “Calm down.  You’re not scared of dogs.  Just calm down and talk to him.”