Good Narrative Principles

The Art of Gentrification


IMG_4222Ten years after the official beginning of climate change, Pat and Anise were still trying to get pregnant. They now lived, to their great delight, at a beach house abandoned after the great floods of last fall. The house was quite a find. It had everything; a generous second floor patio, rosewood detailing and working solar panels to heat the house and power the downstairs sauna. Best of all, the house sat on stilts.

They purchased a dependable sea kayak (just in case) and tucked into their next adventure. At first they were the only ones on the block. No one in their right mind would go near this stretch of infamous devastation; the pictures of bedframes and lawn furniture floating out to sea were still too raw and vivid. But gradually, word of Pat and Anise’s sweet setup proved irresistible and friends showed up to claim the houses nearby. Planning and hosting dinner parties and communal art projects occupied their vacant days while the threat of the rising ocean added a spice of immediacy. It was, in short, a perfect time to be full of ideas and daring.

Despite the comforting sounds of the pebble beach, now feet from their bedroom, Anise’s insomnia came roaring back to life. Her stomach was in turmoil. Anise was secretly convinced that she was being punished in some fashion for not making more of her life or not following the trend to migrate north. After a particularly tough breakfast where she fought the urge to puke, Anise realized she was pregnant. The fact that she and Pat would soon be parents set into motion the next chain of events.

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