Buzzing sounds pierced the foggy end of Amber’s dream. She rubbed the crick in her neck and lifted her head. The pillow slid behind her armchair as she grabbed her cellphone from the coffee table.
“Mm-hello?” She rubbed the blear from her eyes.
A gravelly voice rumbled through the phone. “This is Mrs. Amber Werschall?”
“Ms., actually. But, yes.”
“This is Consuright Drugstore, calling in response to your job application.”
A thin ribbon of light wove through a hole in the window blanket. Eight-thirty, the wall clock declared. The morning hour failed to restrain her from a broad yawn.
“Did we catch you asleep, Ms. Werschall?”
“I was just about to get up.”
The clock’s tick resounded in the silent pause.
“We are looking for someone who can handle morning shifts starting at seven. Will this be a challenge for you?”
“Not at all, sir. I work well in the mornings.” She squeezed the bridge of her nose. Bit her lip to restrain an echo yawn.
“I have an interview slot available at nine-thirty. Can you be here by then?”
“Yes, of course.” She scooted to the edge of her chair.
“Bring your resume. And be prompt. See you soon.”
“Wait, sir. Who shall I ask to see?”
“Mrs. Talvert. And try not to call me ‘sir’ again.” The call ended with a click.
Amber stood with a groan. Urged her swollen body to hustle. Flinging two dresses from the rack, she snatched another. Less maternity-styled. Never had she hoped to look fat. A few layers might hide her pregnancy a little until she got hired.
After a final primp, she hastened to the front door. Her messenger bag swung awkwardly around her as she unfastened the drapes over the exit. With trembling hands, she opened the door. Amber burst across the threshold and stumbled through a stack of cans. Flailing, she caught herself against the outer wall as the non-perishables clattered and rolled across the stoop. Condensed milk, chicken, and heat-to-eat foods lay strewn across her doorstep. With a grunt, she bent and chucked most of them inside. The last can was infant formula, slushy after a night in the cold. A cramp seized her belly. She stood. Locked the door. The rest would wait.
As she defrosted her car windows, a depression in the lawn’s surface caught her eye. A four-foot, ten-inch snow angel lay just past the drifts in the center of her yard. Child-sized footprints led from the angel’s hem to the wagon-tracked sidewalk.
***TO BE CONTINUED***
“… blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.”