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“It’s in there; I just know it,” she told me with a quivering lip. “Can you go look for it?” I rolled my eyes at her but complied anyway. Inside, I scanned it her room, looking for it. The walls were covered in pictures of us drawn in crayon and Disney princesses. The little lamp on her nightstand glowed surprisingly bright.
“It can’t hurt you. It’s afraid of the light,” I said, trying to calm her, but she still hid behind my leg.
I looked in the obvious areas. All I found under the small, twin bed were tattered dolls and the smell of dust forming on top of them. She peered under the bed with wide eyes and panicked when she saw me coming back out coughing, choking on the dust.
“No, no. I’m fine. It’s just really dirty under there. Oh, and I found Annie,” I reassured her and held up one of her dolls. She gasped and grabbed the Raggedy Ann doll, which was missing an eye and half bald. “I don’t know why you still like that thing.” I jokingly asked.
“She’s pretty!” She retorted, defending her answer.
I stood up and smirked at her. “Okay, I’m going into the deep, dark closet!” I marched over to the closet door and slowly turned the doorknob. She was hiding behind me again, clutching her doll. I cautiously peered around both ways on the inside of the closest, and then flicked on the light. Nothing. I heard and quiet sigh of relief. I pushed the multiple dresses and leggings aside to examine the back of it. The cedar wall was the only thing there. I took a last sniff before we closed the door.
“Well, where else would it be?” I asked her; she knew best.
“Um… I don’t know… I guess it could be gone for now. But I swear that it’s here at night!” She replied, convinced that she was right.
“Okay, sure. I’ll come back later and look for it. Does that sound good?”
She nodded and I ruffled her hair.
“Come on,” I said as I walked out of the room. “Let’s clean up Annie.”