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Built To Last

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers! This week our lovely hostess Rochelle is taking a break so the prompt is from long ago – long before my time at Friday Fictioneers as well.

The photo has apparently defied all attempts at enlargement, but appears to be of a house under construction or renovation, and was contributed by Mary Shipman. I managed to resist my first urge, which was to have a body discovered in the wall.

To read all the other stories this week, click on Bracken, the little blue frog.


Copyright Mary Shipman

Work at the construction site was in full swing. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians – all scurried around with planks, pipes and wires.

“Two inch planks here, Frank.” The contractor pointed at a doorway.

“That’s not really up to code…”

“I’m not made of money!” joked the contractor.

“Uh, boss?” asked the plumber. “There’s some mistake, this pipe is lead-lined…”

“Got a great deal on that pipe!” laughed the contractor.

“Ten gauge wire into this fuse box,” the contractor told the electrician.

“Twelve, boss, surely?”

Ten, Mark.”

The contractor was pleased. The new children’s home would be completed on time, and well under budget.

  1. June 20, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Totally unscrupulous. Poor children.


  2. NotAPunkRocker
    June 20, 2014 at 8:14 am

    First thought was “oh no!”

    Then I started laughing. I guess I am as evil as the contractor there 😉


  3. June 20, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Ah, if only it wasn’t so true 🙂


    • June 21, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Exactly, there must be loads of buildings out there built the same way.


  4. June 20, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Al, This was a combination of criminal truth and dark humor. 😐 This happens all too often. A good monsoon here and things tumble. There are so many buildings here (and I suppose other places in the world as well) under code that at the first mild earthquake they’ll come tumbling down. It doesn’t even take that sometimes. Well written. —Susan


    • June 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Truth/dark humour was what I was going for. I’m sure millions of buildings are built on the “hope for the best” scheme, rather than actually spending money on doing it properly.


  5. June 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Poor children – sad that this sort of thing actually happens. I liked the way you wrote it – it felt like it was leading up to a punchline.


    • June 21, 2014 at 8:21 am

      I almost put lines between the dialogue sections but it didn’t look right.
      It chills me to think of how many substandard places exist.


  6. June 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I think this contractor worked on our last remodel at Mecca….


    • June 21, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Does your water taste a bit “leady”? 🙂


  7. June 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I think these are the guys who built MY house.


  8. June 21, 2014 at 7:10 am

    It sounds familiar. Distressingly so.


  9. June 21, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Where is the inspector? Hopefully he/she will catch the shoddy and dangerous workmanship. Good story! Nan 🙂


    • June 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      I hope so too, but I bet he’s received a little brown envelope with just enough inside to make him look the other way 😦


  10. June 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

    And the contractor was laughing at each dubious command! Bet he has a moustache he curls up at the corners, too. I enjoyed this story.


    • June 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Now I have a picture in my head of the Monopoly Man stalking around the building site 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  11. June 21, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Good dialogue! Hmmm…his employees seem well-trained in their respective crafts. I predict at least one of them will call a whistleblower hotline. Hope they nail the smug bastard!


    • June 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      I hope so too. I can only imagine the swimming pool and classic cars he owns off the back of his dangerous cost-cutting.


  12. June 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I could “hear” the building noise and – I really hate that contractor. Well done.


    • June 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Hopefully he’ll get his comeuppance. No everyone can be bribed to look the other way.


  13. June 22, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Uh oh. This spells trouble. Nicely done and great take, Alistair.


  14. June 22, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Hmm…that’s it.


    • June 22, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Yep. Poor future inhabitants of the home.


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