2013

Your New Home

Your spouse wants to move out of your new apartment, saying that there is a large space you both can move into. When you go to visit the new digs, you find it’s an abandoned warehouse at an old train yard. Clearly you can’t live there. Only your spouse just spent your life savings to buy it. What do you say?

Writer's Digest prompt

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Derek looks around expressionlessly. He hadn’t said a word since we entered the place; it’s not what I had intended to buy. 221 Riverside is a lovely old house, admittedly a fixer-upper, next to the park by the old rail bridge. This is 122 Riverside, a half-destroyed warehouse on the edge of the old rail yard. That explains why the price was so reasonable.

Finally his gaze alights on me. “I love it, honey.”

“What!?!”

“I said, I love it honey. You’ve made an excellent choice.”

“But this isn’t the property I wanted! It isn’t even habitable by human beings!”

“You’re right of course, dear. It will take some fixing up. But we’ll be fine.”

“Fine! Fine! What’s got into you, Derek?”

“When we married, it was ‘for better or for worse’, correct? This is probably one of the ‘for worse’ moments, but we’re still together. You and me together, we can do anything.”

“Derek, we have no money to fix it up! It’s two weeks to the end of the month, and that’s when we have to give up our apartment! Where are we going to live?”

“We’ll find someplace. Everything will be fine, Kate.”

I burst into tears. My husband, ever the optimist. Why can’t he see just how bad things are? He holds me until I’ve cried myself out.

“Are you all right now, Kate? I know this doesn’t seem very good, but let’s take a look around. Maybe there’s a bright side.”

Yeah. Maybe the building will collapse and kill us quickly. A half-hour’s searching turns up precisely one feature not visible from the street. A basement. Be still my beating heart. But Derek is acting like a kid in a playground.

“See Kate, the freight elevator still works!”

“How, Derek? This building hasn’t had electricity since the 90’s!”

“It obviously has some kind of internal generator. You know what that means: free electricity!”

“You could fall into a pile of shit and come up smelling like a rose, couldn’t you Derek?”

But he's right, of course. Somehow this place still has power. I wonder what’s next.

Derek finds the hidden door in the basement. A short flight of stairs leads down to a small landing with a steel door and a high-tech handprint lock. Derek is grinning from ear to ear.

“It’s still here! Jackpot!”

“What are you talking about, Derek?”

“You know how I said my father died when I was ten and I grew up in that orphanage? Well, Dad was the Insidious Doctor Plasma. This is his old lair. I had to find a way to get the land without alerting the Justice Sentinels. That’s why I steered that real-estate swindler at you.”

The door opens to his handprint and we go inside to an underground paradise. I don’t know for sure that he’s going to follow in his father’s footsteps, but at least we have a home. Him and me together, we can do anything. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-haah!