It is time to join in with Friday Fictioneers and here is the photo prompt (by B. Rudberg) this week:
Spite House (fiction word count: 100)
So let me get this right, sir.
You want our company to build a five-level home that is 10 feet by 40 across?
This will be the thinnest house we’ve ever constructed.
Now you DO realize that narrowest point inside will be about 6 feet?
Yes sir, this is what I want.
I may not even live in it – might rent it out.
My family inherited 200 acres. When I came back from serving in the Gulf – the quitclaim deed allotted me this small quarter acre with a crumbling cliff.
Oh I see – you’re building a SPITE house.
Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle – Go HERE to join in this week or read more entires for the photo prompt.
Today’s 100-word story was inspired by two things:
First, when we were looking for property in Northern Cal back in 2001-2002 – things were grim. Most lots (and homes) were way out of our price range (we were not too bothered by that because we knew it was expensive – the snobby zip code type of thing). Anyhow, during the time that we were looking, we actually drove a far distance to see an affordable piece of land (with so much hope) to find ourselves looking at a slice of land that was a joke to even consider building on. That experience came to mind when I saw this photo – although imagine a bunch of switchbacks and Redwood trees in our scenario.
And did you know that U.S. home prices are back on the rise? Yes, the housing crash of 2008 is an afterthought in some areas: U.S. home red flag areas are Phoenix, AZ (10 percent to 14 percent overvalued) and the cities of Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa (5 percent to 9 percent overvalued). But I guess there is only a problem if the median home price is six times the median income (?) – more here.
Second, Have you ever heard of a spite house?
A spite house is a home that was constructed to irritate neighbors or get back at someone. The house itself might create an obstruction to block a scenic view, sunlight, or even limit access. The spite house is a symbol of defiance and there are many examples in history.
Today’s fiction was considering building a spite house that was high – and thin, but wide enough to cut off the view of greedy siblings. (not that I personally suggest this type of retaliation – sometimes we might need to walk away and let mean and greedy go… sometimes a loose hand and yielding attitude can bring much peace to a greedy situation…). And this idea was based on the story from the Skinny House in Boston, MA (ca. 1870s).
Legend has it that two brothers inherited land. The first brother built a big ol’ home, slighting the other brother (a soldier serving in the military at the time)and only left him a slice of the property. The greedy brother assumed the slice of land was too tiny to build on – but the second brother had an idea – he built a spite house: 4 levels – approx. 10 feet by 9 feet. and it is still standing today.