Avon's Callings

Avon's Callings

A Chapter by Cherrie Palmer

almost there

I merged on Hwy 5. It is a small, unimportant roadway with little traffic and no shoulders. For all the things it doesn’t have, it is loaded down with hairpin curves that offer a front-row view of the foothills, with glimpses of the White River ribboned along the way. This time of year is grand. Each passing day nature adds one more thing. The fields are just a little greener. Even the sky transforms filtering through tones of cool grey to various shades of island blue. Dogwoods and redbuds now bejeweled with new life fill the countryside, and wave at me as I pass, displacing both time and wind.
The Hemi-fed charger built to corner, and she howls down the open roadway. However, I do not enjoy my drive; instead my mind loops over the details one by one. I’m not sure if a person can consider a vision a fact, but I’m confident of its truth. Now the question is what will I do with this information. I come to the only three-way interest on this stretch of road and keep driving east, only ten more miles to town.
My headache will not let up. I roll down the window for a spot of fresh air. Up ahead, I see a small gas station. I pull in for a cola and an aspirin. As I walk in, I immediately notice the woman behind the counter. I smile. Even though it is a lovely day, she remains bundled for winter; turtleneck, sweater, and scarf. 

I pick up a small bottle of Bayer. “A little under the weather, are we?” she asks louder than my pain threshold liked. I stifle a grimace as I set down my two items.
 “Yes, ma’am.” I smile then quickly pay her and retreat to my car. Out of habit, I tap the top of my coke can, and as it opened my imagination unfolded. I see the hooded man holding a freshly opened beer, reading the article about the Bogart’s. They were not a random choice. He knew them, no, not them, he knew her.

The article mentioned that she had retired from teaching. She was his fourth-grade-teacher. All those years ago seemed like yesterday to him. At the end of the 2001 school year, she had told his mother to keep a close eye on Pete. 

“His name is Pete,” I mumble.

 “Your son is headed for trouble.” Mrs. Bogart had said. She wore a plaid dress with teased hair. 

In my vision, the women sat in small wooden chairs in the classroom. They looked uncomfortable and awkward. Mrs. Bogart seemed very intent on conveying her message. Pete waited just outside, sitting in the hallway, seething in hatred. 

“The boy is obsessed with matches. Yesterday, he started a small fire in the trashcan. I’m hoping you, and I can deal with this. I don’t want to tell the principal if we can help him.”
    I don’t know how I can fill in the blanks, but shortly after that meeting, his mother died. He could not forgive the old woman. His mother died, thinking he would turn out, to be, no good.

“How’s that for trouble,” he snarled, tossing the article into the trash, with a match chaser. My visions were more connected and no longer foggy. The man looked up from the smoking metal can, and for a split second, it felt like he was looking straight into my eyes. The lid from the aspirin bottle popped into the air.
 Out of fear, I gasped spilling the aspirins and closing this window in time and place. Quickly I took a drink of my soda and started the car. For no reason, I turned right on Hwy 5, taking me back toward the three-way intersection. I took the next right onto Junction B then I stopped in front of Goodnight Lane. I slowed the car and placed it in park. I stared down the road. I had a slight tremble in my hand and to settle my nerves. I lit a cigarette.

 In my mind, I could hear Mercy’s voice. “He lives down that road.” 

“What kind of angel are you? Leading me on a wild goose chase.” But there was no answer, no shining light, nothing. “Figures,” I muttered, “You could just tell me what I need to do,” but silence was his answer.
 Without, even thinking, I turned down the lane. Right there, on the left-hand side of the road, an old chrome single-wide trailer. The mailbox read Pete Miller Route 4. Panic washed over me, I turned around on the road and headed back toward town. I didn’t mean to kick up dust as I speed away, but I did. So much for being sly.
Whenever the angel spoke, I would lose track of my surroundings. As my mind cleared, I found myself sitting in front of the address from my vision. 

“Not now.” I heard in my thoughts. 

I was gripped by fear. The need to remain anonymous washed over me. I took out my notepad and began to write.
I am sorry to leave you such a cryptic note, but I believe a man named Pete Miller will try to burn your house down tonight.
My boots felt more like concrete galoshes rather than the air-glides that they were. With the note in hand, I headed to the screen door. A knot in the pit of my stomach was teetering on the verge of exploding. 

“not now.” again echoed. 

All I had to do was secure the note and hurry home. I stepped up on the landing, to slip the note inside the screen. 

The front door swung open. Pete opened the door. My back foot not entirely on the ledge lost its balance. I tumbled to the ground, turning my ankle and like a paper airplane, my note took to flight.
 “Oh, dear,” he shouted. His voice was more angry than worried about my health. “I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right?”
I’m a fool, is what popped into my head no one on earth knows where I am. Well, no people, anyway. 

“I’ll be all right. I just hurt my pride, and possibly sprang my ankle.” I jumped to my feet before he could open the screen door and grappled for my note. Thank goodness it was folded, but with ease, he beat me to it.
“Here, let me help.” He handed the note to me. I tried not to overextend my hand and remain casual. “What brings you here? I don’t think I know you.”
    “A, I’m,” I brush off my blue-jeans as I try to think. “with Avon. I sell Avon cosmetics.” What kind of excuse is that! I yell at myself. I don’t even wear Avon, haven’t even seen an agent since the ‘90s.
“Well, my sister isn’t home right now.”

“Your sister!” I blurted out. 

“Are you sure you’re all right?” his plastic expression darkened as he took a more serious look at me. 

“Yes, I’m fine. I’ll try, and catch her later,” and I turn to go.

“Hey, do you want to leave her a book?”

 You’ve got to be kidding is all I could think. As the phrase ‘not now,’ sprang to my memory. Great, I think my angel is a wise-guy. I match Pete’s plastic smile with one of my own. “No, not right now I want to get some ice on my ankle.” Quickly I hobbled to my car and drove away.

© 2019 Cherrie Palmer

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register


Thoroughly enjoyed again.. just had to read through and check on your last chapter... a great write .. but a tip maybe for anyone that follows me to this page .. maybe dont leave it too long between chapters... try and read it like a book.... for some reason.. this approach might not always apply.... maybe its just me and my recall problem..... write on Cherrie :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Months Ago

Cherrie Palmer

9 Months Ago

I like the sneak and attack style of reading.
Matches my style of writing. :)
AND read more

9 Months Ago

Haha... I intend to read the whole lot... :)
That's good one Avon could have sold tupapware, ....good chapter. I am really enjoying this story moving to the. Next chapter .

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Months Ago

Cherrie Palmer

9 Months Ago

I know Tupperware is awesome, everyone needs a celery keeper. I have the one my mother bought in 72.. read more
I just read this chapter & the one that came before it. The previous chapter was a little bit more scattered than the others that I’ve read so far. I had to slow myself down & somewhat study the previous chapter to follow it. But in this chapter, things pick up in your storytelling again & I love the way your narrator sounds a bit scatterbrained, but the overall sequence of events in this chapter flow logically & quickly while reading. The stops & starts in this ending scene are well-crafted & realistic. I love the imagination that goes into crafting some of your best scenes, like this last one here (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago

as they say, "the plot thickens..."

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


4 Reviews
Added on April 6, 2018
Last Updated on September 2, 2019


Cherrie Palmer
Cherrie Palmer

Oakland, AR

I am a published poet and love poetry. My husband and I live near the White River, and love trout fishing. I find my surroundings a great inspiration to me. I also have two books on Amazon Kindle: O.. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..

the Quest the Quest

A Chapter by Cherrie Palmer