Building the Future

I stood on the back porch with my cup of coffee, looking out across my modest property and trying to gauge just how far back my boundary fence was.

‘It’s not far enough, is it?’

I jumped, almost spilling the coffee, and Laura snickered behind me.

‘What?’ I grumbled.

‘The edge of the property,’ she gestured with her own cup. ‘Where you’re planning to put her.’

‘You don’t have to say it like she’s a supervillain.’

‘Admit it – she’s going to be closer than you thought.’

I took a deep, long, no-comment sip of my coffee.

Laura raised an eyebrow.

‘Fine,’ I relented. ‘No, I didn’t realise when I was just looking at the plans.’

‘Incredible,’ Laura laughed, shaking her head.

‘You seem to have changed your tune,’ I shot back at her. ‘I thought you still hated the idea.’

‘Oh, I do,’ she nodded enthusiastically. ‘It’s objectively terrible.’


‘But I’ve decided to enjoy watching you squirm.’


‘On a hook.’

‘Yep, got—’

‘Of your own making.’

‘It was clear, Laura.’

She laughed, and had another drink.

‘Well,’ I sighed. ‘I had good intentions. Speaking of, I need to duck down to the store in Cheltenham. Timber supplies are running low, you see.’

For some reason, that made her laugh again.

‘What?’ I asked, frowning.

‘You’re not gonna be able to do that forever, you know.’

‘Do what?’

‘You really don’t know?’

‘Know what?’

‘Every time you’re reminded about your mum coming to live here, you disappear to that quality hardware store near Bentleigh and buy more supplies for the flat.’

‘I don’t do…’ I trailed off, frowning at the horizon. ‘Oh. Oh, god.’

‘Yep,’ Laura nodded, patting me on the shoulder. ‘But when the thing is actually built…’

‘I’ll have nowhere,’ I whispered, feeling very claustrophobic all of a sudden.

‘You’ll have your workshop,’ Laura pointed at my shed, sitting in the yard. ‘Just out of curiosity… how close is your workshop gonna be to the boundary line?’

‘Very close,’ I whispered. ‘Very, very close.’


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