Flash Fiction: No Refuge

The house is quiet now.  I stand in the hallway coming back from the bedrooms.  The walls are covered with family photos from happier days.  A frame with a half dozen photos grabs my attention.  Camping in the mountains.  The time we rode the ferry.  High school graduation.  The canoe trip.  I pull it off the wall, rip off the cardboard back, and take a photo of me, my mom, my dad, and my brother standing in front of a long forgotten restaurant.  The old photo fits in my fanny pack behind the extra boxes of ammunition.  I make my way back to the remnants of the front door.  My eye catches a flash of purple, yellow, and black, as a skink scrambles under the deacon’s bench in the front foyer.  It doesn’t have to worry.  The cat is long gone. 

I step out and glance at the tattered flag hanging limply from the flag pole in the overgrown front yard.  Little lizards dash for cover as they see me.  They find hiding places everywhere.  But, not me.  The old family home isn’t the refuge it once was.  There is no refuge.  There is no stopping.  The neighbors from down the street are dead but still nosy.  They see me and start to shuffle my way.  It’s time to go.