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Did You Bring Me Here To Fail

Did You Bring Me Here To Fail

A Chapter by Cherrie Palmer

The young family lived on the outskirts of town. They shared a subdivision broke up into lots with three other families. Their home sat on the crook of two cross streets. It was a lovely triangle-shaped homesite surrounded by towering pines and robust cedars. The two-story house could use a fresh coat of winter white, but it was still very charming with its cranberry doors and shutters. 

It was too early for the roses to be in bloom. However, I was certain the bushes that encompassed the house would bare a yellow blossom. I parked on the backside of the property; the foliage was thick enough to hide my car and headed toward the back of the house.
The bordering neighbor had a large Kojo type dog that was fighting his chain and barking in my direction. The dog was enormous, and the shadow he cast doubled his size. The 200 feet I had left to cross seemed to be growing with my anxiety. Finally, I reached the security of the northwest corner of the house and melted into its cover. The house lights were all on, but it seemed very quiet inside. I eased along the outer edge of the wall and peered in the living room window. To my surprise, the family of 3 were all on the sofa asleep. An empty pizza box sat on the coffee table as did an empty 2 liter.
“He drugged them,” I whispered. I reached for my cellphone, but it was not in my back pocket. “Damnit.” I left it plugged in the car charging. What kind of sleuth forgets her lifeline.
I headed to the front door and entered the home. I’d call the police from there phone in the living room. A whiff of gas hit me, as I looked around, I saw a shadow in the kitchen. It was Pete. He was still inside. Quickly I moved to the coat closet. The closet was arranged awkwardly. The front door and the closet door overlap, I saw a small fire in the fireplace. From the crack in the door, I watched him pull a burning log on the rug. The little boy who looked about four stirred, but did not wake up.
I didn’t have time to close the door all the way, and I hoped he didn’t notice it slightly opened. A single bead of sweat sprung up on the back of my neck, and I could hardly still my breath. Instinctively I covered my mouth with both hands. My eyes flushed with moisture as my cheeks burned with fear. Pete pushed the door all the way closed, and the small closet went black. Immediately the air went stale, and I felt panic wash over me.
The front door hit against the closet door, making a loud bang. I jumped and fell back onto a box stored inside. I heard a car start up and speed away. I could smell the hint of smoke. It was now, or never, even if Pete was still inside, I had to do something. Grabbing hold of the doorknob, I tried the door, but it was stuck. I was sure the front door had it penned. I put my shoulder on it and push with all I had. Nothing happened.
“Hello! Please help me! Hello! Wake up!”
 I beat on the door, in-between each word. I affixed my gaze upward. “Did you bring me here to fail!” I shouted as I hoisted a fist. “You asked for a willing hand, here I am, now help me save them!”
Smoke trickled under the doorway. “Please, no,” I said softly and began to cry. I jerked on the door handle, and that’s when I got an idea. My hands searched in the dark for a coat hanger.
I could hear the crackling of wood and a small clicking sound from somewhere in the house. Cooking on a gas range myself, I thought it was the stove turned on but not lit.
 I found what I was looking for. Quickly I began unwinding the hanger sliding it under the doorway way I pushed against the front door wedged over the door holding me captive until I felt it give-way. Jumping to my feet, I opened the door and ran to the phone. I dialed 911 and yelled fire, then dropped the phone to the chair.
“Hello, Hello. Is anyone there? Can you hear me, where’s the fire?” but there was no more time for talking, action most work quickly.
The little boy was partly awake. I scooped him up and took him to the front porch. “Wait here,” I said to him and kissed his forehead.
The whole west wall was on fire. I grabbed the women by the shoulders and yelled at her to wake up. She did not move. I smacked the husband on the face and shook him lazily he opened one eye. “Fire!” I yelled. Wake-up, your house is on fire!” he stumbled to the floor. Like a drunk on a stupor, my words meant nothing.
 “Get up!” I yelled and grabbed his wife by her feet and pulled her off the couch. “Get up, man! Get up and move!” I started pulling her to the front door as I kept screaming for him to help me.
A loud explosion came from the kitchen, knocking me down to the ground. The young man was now alert enough to help me get his wife to the front porch. The siren sounded from the darkness of night. Soon I could see strobing lights pull down the drive. The small family of three melted into each other’s arms, and I didn’t know how I was going to explain any of this.
 After two hours of explaining Fire Marshall, Tom let me leave. They found Pete waiting on his front steps. The man flew into a blind rage when the officer told him the family lived. “That brat stole my birthday and my sister’s love!”
He shouted, “She danced her way through life, what did I ever have? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing, and that’s what they deserved.”
Because he was born on his birthday, I could not understand. I was perplexed by his wickedness. Crazy or not, who does that? I asked Mercy.
 “Figures, now that I want to talk, you have nothing to say.”
 I tossed the last pack of cigarettes away and jumped in my car. It didn’t take me long to get back on Hwy 5. I couldn’t get home fast enough when the urge for an Eskimo Pie, washed over me. I just had to have one. My mouth watered at the thought of it. My stomach grumbled with anticipation, and I knew Mercy, was at it again.

© 2019 Cherrie Palmer

My Review

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I've enjoyed all of these Cherrie. But this one sticks out more than the rest.
I've asked the powers that be this same question so many times in life

Thank you for sharing this with us

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Months Ago

Safe and. Sound what else does Mercy have in store for her? I wonder. Keep up the good work and let me know when have more of this story to read.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Months Ago

Cherrie Palmer

11 Months Ago

I'm not sure, it was always my intent to pick right up and have a smaller adventure with a child (.. read more
i like the sotry line...i think the hook is strong ..i was wondering what this person was sneaking around for...a peeping tomette? a cat burglar ..or worse?? nicely surprised that she is the heroine ... i am not much on the short story but my impression is that perhaps combinning some of the shorter sentences might be something to consider .. as a reader ... i think their names at the end seem to pat .. "Fire Marshal Tom" struck me as kind of child bookish for some reason..perhaps just me eh!? i want more background on "Mercy" ... tho answered in your closing, when we first "met" i went back and read that paragraph over thinking i missed something ... overall i was hooked and drawn in ...watching the scene unfold was not difficult ... closing kind of points to the "next" adventure of your protagonist and "Mercy" ;)
ps. oh! i just noted that you have a previous chapter! perhaps i should go read it first eh!?? ;)))))))))))))))))))

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Year Ago

Cherrie Palmer

1 Year Ago

I started the story with the idea the woman need a secret.
Einstein Noodle

1 Year Ago

going to try and read this from the beginning ... ;) but it may take me a while ... top o' the mahrn.. read more
Cherrie Palmer

1 Year Ago

I'm so glad you did I needed a good perspective.

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3 Reviews
Added on April 8, 2018
Last Updated on October 4, 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..