Ground, Breaking (A to Z Challenge)

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Welcome to the seventh of twenty six stories during the month of April

Welcome to… The Apartment Building

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The blast sent the rock shards flying,  raining down on the gutted soil around the project.  The drift was thick, the bedrock deep, and the machinery needed the extra help if the building was going to go up as scheduled.

Wild life went flying as well from the explosion, the ducks, geese and swans that had been drifting along the Swan River. Other birds were startled out of the trees, forming a moving blanket under patches of the sky, and feral rodents who made their homes in the open patches of trees and earth scattered. The noise was announcing the threat: this area was changing.

It was going vertical.

1958, and the urban sprawl of the city reached out and continued to grab land as fast as it could. The population was growing, babies booming, and the emerging families needed new living space.

Cars, cars, cars zoomed along parkways, leading away from the cities, but still remained close enough to enter the Gotham environs for work and play. Thousands drove along the Swan River Parkway already; the future was bright for car manufacturing and sales, and the anticipation of more mobility pushed the apartment building expansion.

Why build houses for one family when you can reach for the sky and satisfy many, especially the landlord?

For close to two years the area morphed from green grass, trees and walls of rock to extended paved roads, metal, concrete and glass. Street signs went up, money for the first and last month were laid down, and in 1960, the  tenants of Swan Rise Apartments moved into their new homes.

Mr. and Mrs. Beatty, newlyweds, were the first to take up residence.

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12 responses »

  1. I like that you’ve taken us back to the very beginning of the building – and Mrs. Beatty was a good choice – the story begins with her (and an explosion) and you complete the circle with the same.:-)

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  2. Hi Stuart, I really like this flashback. It’s refreshing in the sense that it’s not “typically” nostalgic and yet as I was reading it, there was this sort of urban documentary playing in my head that sets the scene to your big story very well. Awesome!

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    • Thanks Mel. I was struggling with what to write for G (as I am with a few other letters), and this one hit while I was driving. I’m glad you felt it worked, being shorter than my other pieces.

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  3. This had a dual feeling. I had that feeling of traveling back in time to the beginning stages of Swan Apartments. Yet, that last ling noting that Mr. and Mrs. Beatty were the first tenants held a jolt knowing the explosive future about to unfold.

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