500 Word Short Story
The Jenkins House...Almost
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

Robert Miles, his wife and young son had recently moved into a neighborhood of older homes. They both worked and didn't spend a lot of time or money on landscaping. The neighbors were hard to meet. Whenever Robert or his wife tried to introduce themselves, they would be treated coldly.

One day Robert was out in his yard. He had just mowed the lawn when one of his neighbors came walking by. Robert said hi and tried to make some small talk, but the man barely gave him the time of day.

Robert had had enough. “Hey, wait a minute. I know you're one of my neighbors. I've been polite and tried to talk to you on several occasions and you've blown me off every time. What is your problem?”

This stopped the old man in his tracks. He walked back toward Robert. “You want to know my problem. I'll tell you my problem. You shouldn't be here. This is a retirement community. All of us on this street are retired. We don't have noisy children or these god awful plastic toys laying around in our yards. We mow our lawns and keep them weed free, watered and green. Everything is in order. A place for everything and everything in its place, as the saying goes.”

“Hey, I bought this house to raise my family,” replied Robert. It's quiet here. We both work full time, so no, our yard isn't as well kept as yours, but we like it a little rough around the edges.”

This enraged the old man. “You weren't suppose to be here. We had all agreed that this house would be sold to our friend Jenkins and his wife, not to you. Jenkins is one of us. He should be here, not you. I don't know how this happened. I don't know how you ended up here. Abraham was to sell this house to Jenkins!”

Robert was surprised to get so much information out of the old man without even having to pry. “Well, I guess I just outbid ol' Jenkins now, didn't I,” replied Robert rather snidely. “Maybe you should have been a little firmer with your 'orders' to Abraham. I guess money talks... as the saying goes.”

“Listen here young man. We've held a meeting and we all agreed. We don't like you. You're not like us. We take care of our yards. You should too”

“You've made that perfectly clear,” replied Robert.

The very next day, Robert and his wife began tilling in the grass on their front lawn.

The old man happened to walk by while they were working. “I see you took my advice.”

“Oh yes,” replied Roberts wife. “You'll just love what we're doing.”

The old man smiled. “I'm sure I will,” and walked on.

Three weeks later Roberts yard was starting to green up nicely.

The old man happened to be walking by. He stopped and took a double take. “Good God! They've planted dandelions!”

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.