September Prompt - A News Story Turned Fairy Tale or a Fairy Tale Turned News Story
sustainable, ecological building methods—straw bale-walls covered in an adobe plaster—was the first to buckle under the intense wind.
“Out of nowhere, the wind picked up and chunks of the green building flew off. Petunia [Porcino, owner of the eco-home] fled through a hole in the wall running full tilt, arms waving in the air. Inside my log cabin we crouched behind the wood stove,” says eyewitness Richard Hogston. “I was shocked when the hurricane lifted the porch roof off. I shouted ‘let’s get outta here,’ and we high tailed it for the big place.”
“Porky, I mean Richard, was immobilized with fear and mumbled something about the stove protecting us. I had to shake him. I grabbed him and we raced to Babe’s mansion,” Porcino reports.
The pair sought shelter in a square two-story brick Georgian home in the crescent. Babe Swiner, resident, says he was happy to help.
“The wind wailed through the chimney like a banshee. I checked the sky out my triple-paned front window and saw them running as fast as their short little legs would go. It took all three of us to close my massive door once they were inside,” Swiner says.
The trio expressed concern for a homeless man left out in the storm. They say a tall man in a shaggy coat swaggered up the lawn and pounded on the door, and then began to growl and grunt.
“I was scared, so I begged Babe not to open the door,” Porcino explains. “Now, I feel badly.”
“I hope he survived the storm, poor fellow,” Swiner says, visibly upset.
“Something was strange about that guy,” adds Hogston.
No reports of a missing person have been filed and nothing further is known about the stranger.
What responsibility does Wilderness Builders have for the disaster?
“We took all precautions,” says Lina Loupe, company founder. “We’re a reputable company and our construction methods are beyond reproach.”
The property owners, however, offered an alternate perspective.
“I assumed there was adequate hurricane protection since we’re in Florida,” says Porcino. “I should have asked more questions.”
Asked if he was worried during the storm, Swiner shakes his head, no. “I had full confidence in this house. I was involved in every step of construction. I think that type of oversight ensures a builder doesn’t cut back on quality.”
When asked about if others ignored possible shoddy construction, he pauses. “I don’t wish to disparage my neighbours, but they seemed focused on the lowest price. That’s understandable in today’s market, but I live by the motto, You get what you pay for.”
Heather Bonin MacIntosh is a Calgary based writer of flash fiction, published in two anthologies, Lavalamp e-zine, and Humber Literary Review. She is editing her first novel.