Dedicated with love to my husband, Dennis, and our two greatest accomplishments, Sarah and Daniel.
The following is a work of fiction, based partially on fact. The house is real, but the story around it is entirely a work of fiction, created to satisfy my desire to understand what chain of events could lead to a beautiful home’s being left, just left, in the middle of a growing subdivision. No one who knows the real story is telling, so I’m left to create a story of my own.
I had always been curious about that house, but that didn’t set me apart from most everybody else in the neighborhood. The stories surrounding it were many, most of them unsubstantiated, of course. Teenagers enjoyed accessing it from the golf course, slipping in at night through a breach in the fence, engaging in God-knows-what behind the privacy of the thick line of bushes surrounding the eight-acres which hadn’t been sold off to realtors after the place was abandoned. Moms on their way to the grocery store or to swim team practice nearly break their necks every time they drive past the only space from which you can actually get a decent view of the house, the driveway gate. It’s a wonder there haven’t been more accidents at that curve.
The thing that makes everyone so curious is that there it is, right in the middle of a bustling subdivision, for the most part ignored. I say, “for the most part,” because someone regularly mowed the lawn during the many years it sat empty. The property has always been maintained to some degree, and taxes were paid, but no one lived there for over forty years, a modern day Satis House, without its Miss Havisham.
The house had been built – and this is substantiated – by a couple from the city. He and his wife had hired a prominent architect to design the Frank Lloyd Wright-style home. They’d had stones shipped half way across the country to build it. In its day, it was undoubtedly magnificent. The family had used it as their country estate. Thirty miles outside of the big city, it was nestled on several hundred acres of pasture which had a creek running through it. If you’re really interested, you can look it up on-line. There are a few photos and some details about the people who built it. What came after, though, that’s what makes my imagination run wild. It’s high time somebody explained why a beautiful, multi-million dollar home was just left, sitting empty for decades, while a whole new community sprang up around it. Since no one else is talking, I’ll make up my own story.
Stay tuned for Chapter One