Frank had assured Annie that the evacuation order was just a precaution. He was sure the firefighters would be able to get the wildfire under control in a few hours. They were professionals.
Annie and Frank packed what they could, grabbed their two kids, piled into the car, and headed south. Frank told the kids to think of it as an adventure. Annie told them it would be like they were going on vacation.
They drove to Annie’s father’s home a safe distance from the area of fires. Frank kept checking his smartphone for updates, while Annie played a board game with her father and the kids. She could see how worried Frank was, and that worried her.
The next morning Annie fixed breakfast for everyone. Annie’s father agreed to watch the kids while she and Frank drove back to their neighborhood. But the road was closed because the fire was still out of control.
Franks stopped the car and they looked in the direction of their home. Annie saw the heavy smoke billowing high into the sky. She grabbed Frank’s hand and squeezed hard as she fought to hold back her tears.
They both knew that everything was lost.
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile May 2018 1382470355ix82z.