I look at the walls and couches. The black blank TV over the fireplace. The ceiling fan. I take it all in with wonder. Wonder at the comfort that this room gives me. A comfort I never realized or respected before today. The thanks I should have had for the safety I took for granted. The roof over my head and a family who looked after me and cared for me. Now they’re who knows where and unreachable. I suddenly remember I have grandparents. The urge to reach into my pocket and call them is unbearable but I recall the heavy weight of the revolver in my pocket and I know it is there for a reason.
“You grab the weapons, I’ll get food and water. Grab us both backpacks to carry all that we can with us” Rippy wakes me from my stupor as he strides across a living room he has only seen once before toward the kitchen. I nod emptily and slowly walk up the stairs feeling the gentleness of the handrail under my partly closed palm. It greatly contradicts the sprint I normally take up these very stairs. Two steps at a time.
I reach the top and look to my right into my room. The lime green walls and trophies along the wall farther to my right. My bed sits in the middle of the room to allow room for the closet on one side and the window on the other. I step over my charging Kindle and belt rack on the doorknob and look into my surprisingly neat closet. Something I spent half an hour organizing the day before. Conveniently.
To the left of the closet sits some shoe boxes and books I didn’t have space to put elsewhere along with some old NERF toys I haven’t touched in who knows how long. To the right there’s a plastic tub containing old bookbags, balls, and old school supplies/paperwork. I dig out a combat backpack my dad gave me when I was five, a Patagonia duffel bag, and a regular Patagonia backpack. My dad was willing to spend over a hundred dollars on a high quality bag in exchange for several years of service. I roll up the smaller Patagonia and stuff it into my duffel then toss the combat pack down the stairs.
“Rippy, here!” I call down as it clatters against the plastic flooring. I head back to the closet and pull down several of my nicer jackets and my sweaters and toss them into the bag. Then go through my underwear and socks, shirts, shorts and longs pants drawers and stuff a few of each into my bag. I grab my hats and a few belts and throw the in as well. I look around my room and grab a couple of beanies. I don’t know when I’ll see my family again or how long I’ll be with these people. But I do know that they’ll be needing clothing and I have some to offer.
The duffel appears to be almost full but I know it can still fit double what it has with room to spare. It’ll be tight but it will work. I walk to the closet directly across of my room and pull out two small blankets and slip them inside. This takes up a lot of room. I can fit little else and pull the second Patagonia out. I move all of the blankets and grab a pillow to stow in there. It’s immediately full.
I turn to my left to face my parents room. I walk in and head straight to the back right corner of their room. A small safe sits next to the bed under a floating shelf. I press in the code and open the safe to a satisfying click. Inside sits a loaded pistol and various caliber rounds scattered about without care. I reach for the weapon but stop myself. If my parents come back and they need a weapon this is the safest and easiest access of all of them. I instead grab all of the ammo that won’t fit in the gun and slip it into the duffel.
I close the safe again and walk to the shelf across the room and look at the third shelf up from the ground. A little cardboard box sits there painted to look like wood. I fold it open and pick up the barely used .22 revolver sitting within. I load some of the .22 bullets I found into the weapon and pocket it as well making sure its safety is on. Then grab the keys off the top of the shelf and head to the walk-in closet through the master bathroom. To the left of the door sits a large green safe.
I stick the keys in and slide it open. A single-shot switch barrel sits inside next to a pump shotgun next to two hunting rifles. I stick them in the duffel diagonally so their barrels stick out. Then I reach up onto the shelf on the opposite side and bring down an AR that I’ve never taken a close look at but have spotted on several occasions. I don’t even bother inspecting it but slide it in next to the others. I don’t know if we have ammo for it or anything and don’t feel like searching. Finally I go back to the safe and take my arm and slide it across the top shelf effectively dumping all of the safe’s contents into the duffel. Which is now heavy and quite full.
I walk back through the kitchen to another floating shelf on the other side of the bed. I open it and shuffle around some of the paperwork. Under the paperwork lies the immediate defense pistol. Large caliber Glock with no safety. Just a five pound trigger. I undo my belt and slip the holster through before redoing it.
I leave my parent’s room and look down the hall to my left. Past the laundry room (to the left) and the to my sister’s room. Which is eight feet down from my room. I walk abscently to her room and take a look around. I run back to my room and grab a fourth bag, and back in her room stuff some of her clothes in there with her favorite blanket, a couple of her books I think she hasn’t read yet. Semi satisfied I grab a few books I want to finish and a all the flashlights I can find as well as go through the top floor for all the knives we own.
I walk down the stairs laden with three of my own seven bags. One of which I left at the school.
“Rippy, you get all the food?” I ask him. He comes back shrugging the bag I gave him on his shoulders. In his hand I see the Yarborough. The nicest knife in the house. A fantastic knife that fits into the form of your hand, well weighted and sharp.
“Yeah, you got ammo for that thing?” He asks nodding his head toward the .50 caliber muzzleloader sitting in front of the fireplace.
“No but grab it, it might be a pretty good deterrent. Now give me the Yarborough.” I demand. I know It’s excessive. As if I need another weapon. I have a pistol at my hip, my own combat knife also belted against my other hip (a gift from my dad for my tenth birthday with his team engraved into the side) and a bag full of rifles on my back.
“Give me a gun.”
I shrug and pull out the .22 pistol and give him some spare bullets. He takes it and looks at it with disgust then checks if it’s loaded. Then eyes the pistol at my hip.
“Look, I’ll give you the Walther when we get back. Just hold onto that for now,” I tell him. The Walther is another .22 pistol my dad bought for me and my sister so he could teach us how to shoot. He eyes the pistol at my hip again before handing over the Yarborough.
He grabs the muzzleloader and I hand him the bag full of my sister’s things and we’re on our way.