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The Trouble With Turf -- FWG Flash Fiction for 1/14/2023

I tried for humor with this one. The prompt is:

Pixabay.com/photos/house-green-grass-iceland-village-4811590.



The Trouble With Turf


Susan looked at the house in horror.


“Yes, I know it’s cheap and environmentally friendly, and self-sustaining, but it looks like crap.”


Doug was immediately defensive. “But it’s exactly what you asked for: a house made with local materials that blends in with the landscape and doesn’t harm the environment.”


“Yes, but—“


“The only parts of the building that didn’t grow here are the windows, and I salvaged them from a barn that was torn down for a Walmart.”


Susan took a deep breath. “It’s all those things, I know. But, is it safe? I mean, how sturdy can it be? What are those walls made of, anyway?”


Doug brightened at his chance to explain his design. “The walls are made of sod bricks dug from the footprint of the house itself. The topsoil is so deep here you don’t hit clay until about three feet down. I cut slabs of the soil and piled them up to make the walls. Effectively, it’s like the house is underground, so it’ll be cool on hot days and easy to heat in the winter.” He paused, but got no response, so he continued, “The roofs are pairs of offset stacks that meet in the middle. They actually hold each other up.”


His explanation seemed to ease Susan’s trepidation somewhat. “But, why all the green stuff on top?”


“That’s the best part.” Doug smiled broadly. “Its the same turf that surrounds the house. It acts like a living thatched roof. Enough rain is absorbed by the turf to keep it alive, but the rest is repelled and just runs off.”


Susan finally realized what bothered her the most. “Won’t worms and bugs, and small creatures want to live in the turf?”


Doug’s smile faded. “Oh, yeah, I hadn’t thought about that.”






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