Thursday, July 27, 2017


425 words


"They recalled the house."

"What!? What's wrong with it?"

"Dunno." Linn said. "It was on the news. 32,000 recalled by NanoBuild. I checked the serial number; this is one of them. And we just moved in!" Her lip quivered.

"Oh honey," Bell said, taking her hand. "I'm sure it can be repaired. We won't have to move again."

She jerked her hand away. "I'll be in the garden." She stomped through the kitchen and he heard the back door slam.

Bell looked around. What could be wrong? Shoddy workmanship? He rapped on the walls and doorframes, but nothing happened except his knuckles got sore. He went out the front, walked to the street, turned around and looked back. White frame comfort with nothing out of place.

Bell went back in and sat down in front of the screen.

"On. NanoBuild recall." Windows flashed; teasers scrolled in and out of view. "That one."

A blonde, sculpted, talking head. "NanoBuild, the country's largest provider of quick-grown homes, today announced a recall of more than 30,000 homes planted in the last two years. A defect in instructions has caused some homes to spontaneously resume growth weeks or months after completion. The unwanted growth takes the form of knobby extrusions on walls or ceilings. These extrusions, dubbed house tumors, expand without limit until they fill available space, and resemble broccoli or cauliflower. Biorenovators are scrambling to develop treatment regimes that can be applied without damaging essential elements of the homes. Recalled homes need to be vacated immediately, because cancerous growth could begin without warning and progress extremely rapidly. The Attorney General will issue a statement tomorrow about whether NanoBuild will be charged with a violation of the Safe Business Practices Act. Ironically, Ralph Natter, CEO of NanoBuild, co-sponsored the SBPA when he represented southern Illinois in the House in the early 20s."

Bell told the screen to shut down, then sat for a minute, stunned. He needed to warn Linn; they had to get out. Just then, something bumped his shoulder. House cancer! Bell jumped up, tripped on the throw rug, and whacked his head on the coffee table.

Linn rushed around the couch and checked Bell's pulse. Still strong, thank God. She'd never seen him so jumpy. She made him comfortable under a blanket, then stood and stretched. She'd clean up outside and then see how he was doing. On her way out she noticed a bubbly spot on the wall. Have to get that fixed, she thought, but then remembered. The house was no longer their responsibility.

Publ. Daily Cabal 2010

No comments: