TITLE: Welcome to Coventry
Avery Desjardins and her mother watched as the flames and smoke poured out of the small country store. A white crucifix was painted across what was left of the front door and underneath it was the message: 'May God Save Your Soles.'
Avery sighed. They could have at least spelt 'souls' right. She doubted this was done because they had made some kind of fashion faux pas.
She knew it hadn't been a good idea to open up a neo-pagan book shop right smack in the midst of the most radical Baptist region in the country. She had tried to tell her mother, but Natalie wouldn't listen.
Avery turned and put an arm around the slender woman by her side. Tears made clean trails through the ash and soot on the woman's cheeks and Avery squeezed her shoulders protectively. The sound of sirens came from somewhere in the distance.
* * *
"I'm sorry Avery." Her mother said for the fifteenth time as they continued to pack their belongings.
"Mom, stop saying that! It's not your fault."
Natalie continued to fold clothes but was tight lipped. "I should have listened to you. And the cards. All the signs were there but I was just soready to settle, you know?"
Avery rolled her eyes. "I know mom." "Me too."