Link to Part One: HERE
It seemed to curl around the edges of my brain and I could feel the smoke choking me as if I were standing in the middle of the inferno. I saw Mr. Jenkins’ glass jars of licorice and hard candy melt into the wood counter. I saw Mrs. Jenkins trapped behind the wall of flame and the amber starting to lick at the bottom of her apron. I screamed out loud for Mr. Jenkins, but the only response was a woodpecker nearby busy poking holes.
I didn’t know what to do. What if I told Mr. Jenkins? He would think I was crazy. What if I didn’t and Mrs. Jenkins died? But how did I know when, or even if, this would definitely happen. Other visions I had had were not this dramatic. I saw people meeting on the street, children playing in the schoolyard, a crop of healthy garden vegetables, a thunderstorm or sunny day. Never did I see such an ominous sight. I had no idea what to do or who to trust. So I kept silent.
Two weeks later, to the day, a terrible fire destroyed the Jenkins store and Mrs. Jenkins died in the catastrophe. It was said that someone accidentally dropped an ember from their cigar on the wood floor and the place caught fire so quickly there was no time to save the poor woman.
But there had been time. So while the entire village went to the funeral, myself included, I was the only one who sat there knowing I could have saved the poor woman. I felt like my soul would burn, visibly, for everyone to see. But no one noticed. I was left with the guilt eating me up inside and the rest of the world was blind to it.
How could I not say something if a vision such as this one happened again? I would speak out, I must, or I would go to Hell, for sure.
It didn’t take long. When the harvest season came, along with cooler weather, so did my second ominous vision. I was sitting in the field of tall grass, playing my concertina, thinking lovely thoughts while feeling a butterfly upon my shoulder. It allowed me to touch its silken wings. The only similarity is that the vision came fast, without warning and jolted me by its clarity. It was in these moments of vision I got to see what it was like to see, but there was a steep price to pay. This time there were fragmented images – lashing rain, a full moon, my concertina, the river in the woods, a bloodied hand. It was not enough to go on. I waited, still as could be, for the vision to continue, but there was nothing. I went home feeling ill at ease. I had made a promise to myself to speak out if I had another vision and now, I had to keep that promise. But who to tell?
The pastor? Mama? Jessie? Papa? Melissa, my friend? I decided to tell Mr. Jenkins everything, ask for his forgiveness and request his help.
I went to his store the following day and asked to speak to him. At first he was warm and friendly, but the moment, no the second, I started to explain to him about my vision of the fire, he jumped up.
“Get out! Get out of here! I always knew there was something wrong with you! How dare you come in here and tell me such a thing, you evil girl. Get out!!!!!!!!!”
I didn’t even get a chance to explain anything more. He frightened me so much, I ran out of his store, bumping into some large sack near the doorway. Someone was walking in at the same time; I think it was Mrs. Holland.
It was difficult to walk home because my legs were like burning water and my mind was collecting the ashes. I never expected Mr. Jenkins to react that way and now I had no idea what to do next. Should I tell someone else?
In the meantime, little did I know but Mr. Jenkins went to the pastor that very day and told him about my visit. Heads bent, as if in prayer, they discussed and strategized their plan.