The Boardinghouse

Henry had worked hard all his life. He had never married, had no kids, and, due to his modest lifestyle and general frugality, had managed to save around a hundred grand for his retirement, which was fast approaching.

Then he met a guy who knew a guy who was a financial wizard. Henry was introduced to this financial wizard, who chastised Henry for keeping his hard-earned savings in a low-interest bank account. “You need to put your money to work for you,” the financial wizard told him. “I can double your money in a year,” he assured Henry.

Henry was never much of a gambler or a risk taker. Still, this guy was a financial wizard. His tales of exponential growth in the stock market, investments in something called “futures,” and in “cryptocurrency,” whatever that is, were compelling. It all sounded very exciting to Henry. He’s a financial wizard, Henry thought. He must know what he’s talking about.

And so Henry handed over most of his hard-earned savings to this financial wizard.

That was three years ago. Henry’s money did not double in a year. It disappeared. As did the financial wizard and the guy who knew a guy. And now Henry, retirement postponed, lived in a rundown boardinghouse with five other forlorn families, all sharing a communal kitchen and single bathroom.

This was not how it was supposed to be, Henry thought.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “communal.”

9 thoughts on “The Boardinghouse

    • Fandango December 23, 2017 / 11:07 am

      The only “boardinghouse” with a communal kitchen and bathrooms I ever lived in was a college dorm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rugby843 December 23, 2017 / 11:50 am

        This was a real one. An older French woman ran it, very funny and wonderful. We shared a bathroom, dinners and chats. One other young woman, her fiancé, another man, probably middle aged. She was great, compassionate and understanding to me, as an 18 year old.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. newepicauthor December 23, 2017 / 11:50 am

    I rented a one bedroom room in a house where I was able to use the bathroom and had to share the kitchen. I hated it and I soon found my own apartment, which cost more money, but it was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marilyn Armstrong December 23, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Boardinghouses were actually a pretty useful place to live when there were more choices. It wasn’t always considered “down on your luck” to be in a boardinghouse. Many single people and young couples chose them. It’s a pity they are almost entirely gone because they were a reasonable choice for people who were just beginning to make the climb upward. Now, there are just sleazy apartments or motels and cockroaches. I think boardinghouses were better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BuzzCut December 24, 2017 / 8:40 am

    these comments give me some ideas! I liked your short story (and ‘media’)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sight11 December 24, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    You can’t survive as a youngster, without those around. Just ask my sibling.. Nice work Sensei..

    Liked by 1 person

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