Dream House #ThursdayDoors @StoryADayMay

In today’s Story A Day May story, I’m featuring a house I pass occasionally. It’s kind of Storybookish, so of course I love it.

Dream House

Everybody tells you that selling your soul to the Devil is a bad idea. They say he’ll trick you, every time.

But here I am, in my dream house. Small, but perfect, and on prime real estate.

Just beyond those trees and a block over was a church. Big church. Lots of members.

The first time I walked in, I laughed as the preacher shook my hand.

“I was afraid the roof would fall in on me,” I said.

He laughed, too, and gave my hand an extra shake before releasing it.

“We’re all sinners, here,” he said. “If we weren’t, we wouldn’t need church, can I get an amen?”

“Amen!” I said.

I attended regularly, and had myself put on the prayer list. I spoke to the preacher about baptism.

On the way home, my vision blurred.

Time seemed to stand still, and hot breath whispered in my ear, “No baptism. You will die first. And the prayers? Effective, but long-term. Again, you will die before they negate your contract; they’re only shortening your life. Have a nice day.”

I went home, took myself off the prayer chain, and swore off church.

Then one morning I woke to the sound of heavy machinery. It was still going when I got home from work. For days.

I ventured out of my little paradise to see what was happening. The church had been demolished. So had the house next to it, on my side of where the church had been. The other houses between the destruction and my tree screen were boarded up.

Serves me right, for never following the local news.

Back home, I learned that the church had outgrown its building and the congregation was tired of paying for increasing upkeep on the crumbling old structure, so they had voted to demolish and rebuild. They had bought the properties adjacent and on the street behind and parallel, and were expanding into one of those Six Flags Over Jesus complexes.

Why had I never heard about this? I work in real estate — You would think a deal of this magnitude would be the talk of the office.


I had been cut out. The boss had given a deal literally in my back yard to his son-in-law, and the whole firm had been sworn to secrecy. Son-In-Law is the old man’s Golden Boy, but they both know who the real star of the firm is, and they didn’t want me to find out I’d been passed over.

The church had a website, of course; it’s how I had removed myself from the prayer chain. I hadn’t looked at it since my withdrawal, but I looked at it now.

There it all was: The decision, the plan for expansion, architect’s drawings, even including my tree screen at the end of the parking lot.

And a number for contacting the pastor and Building Committee during the interim.

I didn’t discuss particulars over the phone — that would have been suicide — but I’m very good with clear generalities.

The next time the pastor and the necessary church officers came into the firm, I was there, papers in hand, my signature already on them.

They read the two pages, signed, Betsy notarized them, and the church’s financial officer handed me a dollar.

They might have to expand that parking lot, or put up another building. I have no family. So the church now owns my property with my having life tenancy.

Just like that, I’m living on holy ground. Just like that, I’m not only free, I’m blessed.

And Satan thought lawyers were tricky.


Thursday doors is the brainchild of Norm Frampton, photographer extraordinaire. Visit his site, enjoy his wonderful photographs, follow his directions, and enter a world of doors.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a deal gone wrong.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Dream House #ThursdayDoors @StoryADayMay

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 7, 2020 at 9:39am

      First A+ I’ve had since #4 Daughter and I used to grade one another’s art work when she was a kid.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • Dan Antion

        May 7, 2020 at 10:00am

        Print that comment and put it on the fridge, if you like πŸ˜‰

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  1. kirizar

    May 7, 2020 at 9:24am

    You have an uncanny insight into the mind of a realtor. We’re you, perchance, one in a former life?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 7, 2020 at 9:40am

      Not that I know of. Part of the job of a writer is crawling into other kinds of people’s minds and making it look authentic. I’m always happy when I’m told I’ve succeeded!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. sustainabilitea

    May 7, 2020 at 11:26am

    I was all ready to believe that was your house at some point. Then I read on. πŸ™‚ Very happy to learn you hadn’t sold your soul to the devil. πŸ™‚


    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 7, 2020 at 1:09pm

      No, my house just looks like a regular American house. πŸ™‚ And the devil has offered to buy my soul, but he doesn’t have anything I want. If the quarantine goes on much longer, I might go for a four-pack of Dragon’s Milk Imperial Stout, but maybe not.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • sustainabilitea

        May 7, 2020 at 1:52pm

        Mmmm, I might go for that, too, although when we moved, I brought a stash of Cashmere Hammer, my favorite dark beer from 3 Sheep Brewing in Sheboygan, WI, but sadly not sold anywhere but WI and the Chicago area. πŸ™ How many can I pack in my two free suitcases with Southwest if I fly back for a visit??? πŸ™‚

        Permalink  ⋅ Reply
        • Author

          Marian Allen

          May 8, 2020 at 7:01am

          Clever girl! You need to get them to ship it to you. On the other hand, I’ve seen The Hallelujah Trail, so … maybe not.

          Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Norm 2.0

    May 7, 2020 at 11:33am

    Nicely done. Is it terrible that I have lawn envy over that first shot?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  4. joey

    June 28, 2020 at 10:27pm

    Well done! That’s a few deals done wrong, so complex and clever!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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