Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Fences (A To Z Challenge)

QUICK NOTES: If you're here for A To Z Challenge, there's two parts: the short, 250-word story in this post and the longer serialized story in the next. Read 'em both! You'll thank yourself later. Probably by sending a nice note! You're so polite.

ALSO: FREE BOOK!  the After, a "brilliant" (according to reviewers, not just me) book about Saoirse's life after she dies is free on Amazon, saving you $3.99.  This book is an amazing adventure that's hard to describe. Unless you use the word "brilliant," which someone did. CLICK HERE TO GET THE BOOK FREE.

And not only am I giving a book away every day of the A To Z Challenge, but also remember I PAY FOR STORIES, ETC. See the tab at the top of the page!

AND NOW, your 250-word short story:


Ainsley wanted to tell his neighbor he was going to put a fence between their yards, but the first thing people ask when you tell them you want a fence is why you need a fence, as though need always equals want and vice-versa.

He didn’t need a fence. It wasn’t like Terry was an invading Mongol horde, or the Allied forces in West Berlin, or…

(Ainsley decided later on he would look up to see whether there were other famous fences in history, because what is a wall but a fence with delusions of grandeur?)

He wasn’t sure yet what kind of fence.  A picket fence did not appeal; too grandmotherly.  Picket fences meant doilies in your house and you could be bothered, after all, just be polite about it.  Nor did he want chain-link, redolent of prisons and large dog-ownership, foretelling bare patches of dirt in the backyard and an above-ground pool.

His fence must be head-high. It must be wood, with paint eventually peeling so someday when noticed that, he could plan a trip to go get new paint.

He took to walking around different neighborhoods, eyeing fences. He imagined this summer digging post holes, putting the fence up, sitting back in his plastic yard chair, a book and a Coke and a radio playing the ballgame.

“You don’t like baseball,” his wife said at that last part.  As though that was important, he thought, and told her what kind of fences he’d seen that day.


Robin said...

I have mixed feelings about fences. On the one hand, I like a privacy fence. I can putter around in the backyard and no one bothers me. On the other hand, I can putter around in the backyard and no one talks to me.

Do you get the feeling that we are losing our sense of community in so many ways? People used to know their neighbors very well. Now, not so much. Fences are just one more tool for us to separate ourselves from everyone else.

Don't get me wrong... it can be nice. I like it because I don't worry about the dog getting out. And still I think that maybe, just maybe, we are moving backward somehow. In the wrong direction.

This is a good story. It evoked an emotion from me. I could imagine myself as the neighbor faced with this strange, new fence and wonder why... Did I offend? I thought we were friends. I will miss talking over the fence. Was I the only one who enjoyed that? And I could imagine wanting the fence so that I felt freer to do stuff I wanted otherwise do. Even if is just turning on the radio and chilling out.

Robin said...

Here we go with words that (sorta) start and the same.

At the end. Not WANTED, instead WOULDN'T.

Liz A. said...

He needs Pinterest. I bet someone has a fence board...

Andrew Leon said...

Now I want a big wooden fence with a mural painted on the inside of it. (The outside is bad: 1. I wouldn't be able to see the mural by looking out the window. 2. People would have the opportunity to deface it.)
Of course, our yard is so small that there wouldn't be room for a mural, and, really, there's no window to look out of to see it, anyway. Not for the front yard. The backyard's a possibility, but that fence would need work before I could do that.

Rusty Carl said...

A wall IS a fence with grandeur. Nicely pointed out.

Makes me think of King, um, Louie(?) who turned his throne into a toilet. I guess that's why people call their toilets their thrones nowadays. Probably.

I liked the story.

Briane P said...


You're talking to the wrong guy. I don't want to know my neighbors. I'd put up a fence in a second.


Or you could KNIT one. That'd be awesome.


Now I want that, too!


My story made you think of... toilets. I will take that as a...compliment?

Anonymous said...

Oh shucks I don't have kindle, i really prefer reading my books on paper, apart from what i read blogging...bleh..never mind, grins..i just ordered four books so i am sure that will keep me busy for a while. I personally think fences are good, I don't however mind a fence with a gate, I think that is a happy medium, a persons home is his castle and hence privacy, i hate people just wandering in and out LOL ps hello from another a-z blogger x

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