There Is A Story Here

A house that had previously escaped my notice called to me today. I was actually looking for interesting doors to add to the Thursday Doors collection of Norm 2.0. When I saw this one, though, I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate for that setting because it isn’t the door that is intriguing. The interest is in the planks that bar the door and the situation of the house.

My first question was why the planks were over the door and the windows. Then I noticed a couple of broken windows and I had to assume the house was unoccupied, but that is not a safe assumption. In a cold Edmonton winter, any shelter is a good shelter.

It was only after I stopped wondering about the occupants that it dawned on me that the house was unusually situated. In this neighbourhood and on this street, the houses are all closer to the street and the back yard is bigger than the front yard. This one does not follow that pattern.

In this area, when a homeowner has built a garage it is close to the back alley. In fact, most houses have a garage in that location. In this case, though, as you can see, the house is placed where virtually all other homeowners have built garages.

I wondered if this was once a garage, but the presence of a house number (which I have obscured) and a mailbox convinced me that this was, in fact, a residence. Also, it has windows and a side door which suggest it was never a garage.

It is possible that the large front yard was deliberately created so that the homeowners could grow a vegetable garden and take advantage of the southern sunlight. Now, though, that area is all grass which has been kept short.

The conundrum, then, is yours to solve. For those of you using newfound time during the lockdown to devote yourselves to creative writing, I hope that this will add some detail to a mystery tale or a springboard to a short story.


Update 20 April 2020

Here is a photo of the house as seen from the alley. The presence of a tarp-covered vehicle and an empty garbage can at the property line suggests to me that the house is currently occupied or was recently occupied. Also, there is no litter and the grass has been cut.



  1. I love the house and will be making up stories for a long time. I am amazed at the huge apartment complex hovering behind this little house too. I must wonder if the house feels threatened. I would imagine it would be fun, were money no object, to purchase the little building and refurbish it. I would hope that it would be able to handle a re-do and be really lovely again. It seems to tug at my heartstrings.

    1. I’m glad to have inspired you, MB! Yes, that apartment building does seem to loom over it. The next time I walk by there I think I’ll walk down the alley and see what it looks like from that angle.

  2. Odd little place! It looks like a garden shed to me. That’s what I would turn it into anyway 🙂 If you head down the alley I love to see the back side of the place. I’m so curious now!

    I have a similar house near me. It’s tiny and one of the front windows is blown out to the elements. It sits on a puny lot between two large lots and looks like it may have been a garage to an other older house. I swore it was abandoned but I’ve seen signs of life there. And not furtive signs of life either. Normal residential signs of life…so weird.

    1. Hmmm. It is the right size for a shed, I agree. Now I’m wondering if this lot was once part of the yard of one of the neighbouring houses. But, it doesn’t appear to be for sale and the building has a house number.

  3. As dusk began to fall the Police Chief ordered for the doors and windows to be bordered up. Not even squatters she thought, should see the horrific sight inside. to be continued………

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