photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash
She found the first flag the day after she moved into the new house, when her things were still boxed and labelled and the rooms still smelled of other people. EXPLORE it read, black ink bleeding into the fabric as it hung limply from its twig flagpole.
It didn’t worry her – something about the forced nature of the move, the rush and mess, made her wonder if she’d owned it all along and had merely forgotten. So many things emerged from the crates and boxes – a depressed looking fox fur stole, a Nativity set with a crib but missing a Jesus, a set of bowling pins carved and painted to resemble Russian babushka dolls – that she wondered if her things had been swapped with those belonging to someone better travelled, more interesting, less … suburban.
On her third day in the house she woke with the blackbirds and scuffed down the narrow stairs to make tea. Across the living room doorway were pinned two more flags –