image of house with sold sign to support flash fiction story

Is the value of property more than money?

Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch flash fiction prompt property values

This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about property values. Perhaps its a home, business or pencil museum. What makes them go up or down? Go where the prompt leads.

In my response, I’m adding a little more to Marnie’s story. As soon as she could, Marnie disappeared from her abusive family. It was years after her parents had died that the authorities found her. Though she’d travelled back to view the house in which she’d spent her early years, it held no fond memories and she instructed the solicitors to sell. In doing so she thought she’d closed the door on that chapter of her life.

This event occurs some months later and suggests that perhaps property values, as beauty is, are often in the eyes of the beholder.

Property values

The letter lay unopened for weeks. She had no more interest in its contents than she had in the house. She’d finished with all that when she told them to sell. Why were they contacting her now?

When a second envelope arrived bearing the same logo she thought to bin them both, but hesitated, and opened the first.

A cheque? She squinted at the numbers, then held it to the light. She counted the zeros, again. Really? How could a property that held so little value for her hold so much for someone else?

The second letter explained — developers.

Thank you blog post

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39 thoughts on “Is the value of property more than money?

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    Aw. Marnie. It’s been a bit since I’ve seen her. This is a welcome development (couldn’t help that pun—sorry). Two-fold sweetness here getting rid of that place and getting some financial security from it. A bit like ginger coated in dark chocolate. Win, win. 💖

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  2. Hugh's Views and News

    A lovely twist in that tale, Norah. I was going to say ‘as one door closes, another opens.’ Of course, many of us know little of the history that went on in the property we choose to live, or even the places we work. I suppose property is a little like art. I struggle, sometimes, as to why someone would pay so much for something I wouldn’t give a second look at. Which brings me on to another quote ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’

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    1. Norah Post author

      I agree with all that, Hugh. Both beauty and value are in the eye of the beholder. I, too, am staggered by the prizes that some artworks carry. If only our books did! 🙂

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  3. Jules

    It is all in what the market will bear or bare? When a city area gets ‘re-gentrified’ the prices soar.
    I sometimes watch the home fix it shows where they take the worst house on the block and revitalize it. Then of course it probably becomes one of the more expensive properties.

    It is so hard in some countries to buy real estate. In some Asian countries the mortgage is multi-generational! I’ve family that tell of buying a home fifty or so years ago in California for (I would guess normal cost at the time) and then now in the selling the same home is worth over a million.

    Yes I do believe as you say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hoping that Marnie does something nice for herself too.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Ah yes, Jules. The vagaries of real estate. I’ve seen some of those fix-it shows too. It always amazes me how high the price goes with a deceitful splash or two of paint. We are easily fooled.
      I hope Marnie does something nice too. She hasn’t told me yet. 🙂

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  4. Charli Mills

    Norah, I’m reminded of how you first developed Marnie’s story and how she no longer needed her unicorn from childhood. Now this development. It must bring many mixed emotions. Developers, on the other hand, have no compulsion about the humanity they give and take from in their quest. A good choice for property values!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Charli. I’d gone all over town in my quest initially and had settled on the Monopoly board, then, at the last minute Marnie came to mind. Glad it worked okay.

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  5. Mabel Kwong

    A nice continuation, Norah. It is creative how you can weave in Marnie’s perspective and also someone else’s in the background. A place to someone might mean nothing but to someone else, it can be an opportunity for something more. Maybe Marnie has been disconnected with the place long enough to know she’s stuck and can’t see otherwise. That’s probably what happens when we are stuck: we can’t see beyond what we know and often it takes others to help us see what we’ve got.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Mabel. I like the way you’ve thought about being stuck. Perhaps it applies to me more than Marnie at the moment. Funny how sometimes I write more of me into a story than I intend. It can be difficult to see beyond what we know and can take a push from someone else to get us out. I’ll think on it. 🙂

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      1. Mabel Kwong

        That is such a good observation – that we write ourselves or at least part of our thoughts into stories. Sometimes we write about ourselves because that’s what we know…and often there are others out there who are similar too 🙂

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  6. Annecdotist

    Good to meet Marnie again, you’ve certainly captured her need to block out the past. Nevertheless, I think she’d benefit from a bit more therapy so she doesn’t have to deprive herself of the benefits – small as they might be – while moving on from the pain 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased too, Pauline. I think Marnie would like to escape her memories of the house. Perhaps she can put the money to good use. Binning would not have been one..

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