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For Want of a Nail

(2004)
If you drive, you must park. Sometimes when you are really unlucky, you come back and the car is gone.

This contemporary tale of the streets involving a homeowner who learns there are rules of engagement and they may be used against him is pure revenge. All legal and zoning references are accurate.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

“Never smarten up a chump. And I don’t know how you were raised, but revenge is good. The object is to level the playing field until it tilts completely over into your lap.”

—Welcome Linden Fraley III

 

Evening and a slight chill was in the air. Ed lounged on his front porch cadging a smoke because Maxine wouldn’t allow him to stink up the air inside their home. In his opinion, she took an overly zealous stance on the issue now that the renovation of their Victorian was complete. On the other hand, Ed enjoyed standing at the front entry way admiring all he had accomplished, gazing out at his neighborhood which had turned into a gentrified destination that had been written up by every upscale magazine on the West Coast and a number in the East.

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He patted himself on the back. Boy, did I buy at the right time.

Ed surveyed his property down to the sidewalk where his eyes landed on the acacia tree, his black acacia, planted at the foot of the drive. One thing about Victorians, he thought, they didn’t provide much of a front yard. He was proud of that acacia, a tangible expression of his ability to take charge and direct events toward the outcome he wanted. A take charge kind of guy, that’s what I am. Several years ago he submitted plans to the city and paid a contractor to install a garage and run a driveway, because that’s another thing Victorians lacked: off street parking.

The plans called for the acacia to remain. But when he saw the work in progress, Ed decided he did not like the angle of approach to the driveway, so he slipped the city building inspector a hundred dollar bill to offset the curb cut by five feet. Ed got his way.

This story is 20 pages long, available in PDF format.
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