Two days after the wedding, I got the letter. It was in a brown envelope and, just as I picked it up off the mat, Ettie knocked on the door. She lived at number 19. She had one as well.
We sat on the doorstep and opened them. Compulsory Purchase Orders. Numbers 3-37 Harlequin Street were being knocked down to make way for a new estate. There’d been rumours, but we hadn’t believed them. Who’d take away our homes? Who’d do that to me and Ettie and Mad George? We read the order over and over again and, that morning, I felt the first corner of my heart crumble. They were going to throw me out of the house where I’d raised my kids and watched my husband die. Eight cats and four dogs were buried in the back yard. And two budgies. Countless gerbils. I’d watched my children’s tears for their dead pets falling into the turned soil. We couldn’t believe we’d have to give up our homes.
If you’ve enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the rest of the story, why not purchase a copy of the book? The Stories for Homes anthology, containing 63 stories and poems by both award-winning and yet-to-be-published authors became a bestseller AND all royalties go to the charity Shelter.