by Kenny Paul Clarkson

Kenny Paul Clarkson is the pen name of
Kenn Gividen, author of The Prayer of Hannah.

Contact Information:
Kenny Paul Clarkson
PO Box 2012
Columbus IN 47202
1492@usa.com • 1-812-372-1663

Click on book cover to buy
Cool Water for the Thirsting Soul
(Vol 1)




This site contains a collection of fiction sketches for your enjoyment.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

• EMINENT DOMAIN
by Kenny Paul Clarkson

.
There were the dreams, of course — and the memories. A dusty haze permeated the Victorian house; shallow strokes of sunshine seemed unwelcome through drawn shades and lace curtains. There was a cluttered feeling about the house; though everything was neatly in place — Agatha saw to that — a show place of antiques of oak and maple that few seldom saw.

She sat in her ornate rocker, frail white hands lay on a fat, lazy cat. One hand stroked it gently. Her dress was long and proper, neatly trim to her neck where a cameo spoke of a century gone by.

Times were changing, they said. She paid little mind. Life had already changed enough for her. It wasn’t over; just mostly in the past. Photographs of unsmiling faces stared tirelessly from their places on the mantle; a few were on the walls. The chime of the grandfather clock noted is was half past three with a single, smug gong. She didn’t move; she hardly noticed.

The chug-a-lug of a machine rumbled down the brick paved avenue. It was an unusual sound to Aggie; even a bit unnerving. Decent folks flitting about in dirty gasoline-driven carriages? They’ll never catch on, no doubt about that, she decided.

Electricity. Motorcars. Telephones. Some said they had seen pictures that could move; had seen them at the fair. She didn’t believe them. The world was going mad. It was insane.

The rap at the door caused Tobby to raise his furry head and cast an inquiring eye at the massive oaken door. Agatha inhaled deeply. She didn’t want to be disturbed. She never did.

The knock came again. Louder. The image of man in a buttoned- down suit bending over to peek in the front window appeared. She didn’t notice because she didn’t move. There was silence, then the rapping sound.

“Get up, Tab,” her voice quivered. The cat leapt from her lap the stood hunch back and confused on the fine Persian rug. Agatha pulled her cane close and stood, ever so slowly, then looked at the door.

There was another knock.

“Mrs. Holderstmith,” a male voice inquired. “Are you home?”

Step by measured step she made her way toward the voice. A fumbling hand grasped the knob, turned hard to the right and pulled the door open enough to see and hear, but no more.

“Mrs. Holdersmith,” he said, “my name is Richard Daniels. I’m from the city. May I come in?”

“What do you want!?” her voice was weak, but defiant.

“I’d like to talk to you about the new store they’re building, Mrs. Holdersmith. It’s very important that I speak with you.”

She stared into the eyes of a husky man with a bushy mustache and a proper hat. His suite was stylish, but needed to be pressed, she decided.

“Why do you need to talk to me about a store?” she all but mumbled. Only curiosity kept her from shoving the door back to its latch.

“It’s very important that I talk to you, Ma’am.”

She, then, tried to push the door closed, and would have, but the man had the presence of mind to place his foot on the threshold. He was experienced at such visits and was prepared for the worst.

“May I speak with you?” his eyes were determined.

“No! You may move your foot, if you please.”

“I need to speak with you,” he insisted.

“About a store? I don’t care about a store. Now go your way before I call the police.”

“They’re going to raze your home,” the man said, knowing she had no phone to call anyone, let alone the police. “It’s going to be torn down to make room for the new store.”

“No,” her voice was weak and tiring. “No one is going to tear down this house. My husband built this house sixty long years ago. It belongs to me and I will not have it detroyed. Good day, sir.”

“Sorry, Mrs. Holdersmith,” he feigned a tone of compassion. “I have orders to serve you with an eviction notice. You’re going to have to move.”

“Why didn’t someone tell me about this?” her voice gathered strength as she spoke. “You can’t just shew an old woman out of her house!”

Daniels placed an envelope through the door. Agatha stared at it.

“We sent you letters by mail requesting your response,” he said. “Many of them.”

Agatha took the envelope and held it like one would hold a burning ember.

“Go away,” she said. And he did.

There is a store at the corner of Elm and Fifth Streets. And there is a stone in the cemetery marking the grave of an old woman who cared for nothing in life but to be left alone.

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