The Pauper

Photo copyright Amy Reese

Photo copyright Amy Reese


He arrived a pauper, all his money spent getting to safety. He spent his first few nights sleeping in a cardboard box. Then found employment sweeping the pavement outside a grand store. Each week he would save a few dollars. He had a dream, but first he needed somewhere safe to sleep. He started by renting a redundant warehouse and sleeping in the office. Soon he was renting all the space for storage. Saving hard he purchased his first derelict building. Within seven years he had built up quite a portfolio of industrial sites. A wife and the house could wait.

This Post Has 54 Comments

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    sounds like he’s on his way to becoming a slumlord. Nicely done.



    1. Michael Humphris

      I hope not, I saw him as driven, but also as a good person. I did somewhat fluff the last line.

  2. neilmacdon

    Something tells me his roots are already severed

    1. Michael Humphris

      It does feel like that, but he is a caring person.

  3. ceayr

    Very clever piece, Michael, the start of something big.
    Do you realise you developed a slight stutter right at the end?

    1. Michael Humphris

      I did struggle with the end.

  4. FabricatingFiction

    Cold and ambitious man. Hope he doesn’t regret his choices.

    1. Michael Humphris

      He is ambitious, and he does work to hard. He would love a family. I am sorry that my last line left him looking cold.

  5. wmqcolby

    I know of many people who became “accidental entrepreneurs.” I didn’t see him looking cold at all. Maybe not knowing what he did with the derelict building seemed like he came across as a slumlord, but I didn’t see that. We don’t know what he did with it anyway. He could have renovated it for all we know.

    Fine piece of work, Mike. Really gets the entrepreneurial juices flowing. πŸ™‚

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you for your kind comments, my character is determined to build a firm future. I did not see him as a sad or cold character.

  6. S.M.Peterson

    Proof of his dedication to build the life he wants! Excellent!

    1. Michael Humphris

      He had a bit of luck getting stable employment, and he was certainly determined.

  7. Lynn Love

    The birth of an entrepreneur, as Kent says. Nicely spun tale, Michael. I just wonder where he’ll end up – top of Trump Tower, maybe? πŸ™‚

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Lynn, I also wonder where he will end up.

      1. Lynn Love


    2. Michael Humphris

      I certainly hope not.

      1. Lynn Love


  8. BjΓΆrn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I hope he manages to find time for house and wife… It sounds like he’s on solid ground.

    1. Michael Humphris

      He has drilled his foundations into solid rock. I do believe that he will find love and it will deliver him a house.

  9. Morgan

    Is his name Scrooge? Priorities….priorities πŸ™‚
    Nice take on the image. It was a tough one!

    1. Michael Humphris

      When the image does not speak, then I feel challenged. I think it is good to be challenged until I write something that I don’t like. But then I do that even when the prompt quickly gives me a story. Ha the perils of being a writer.

      1. Morgan

        LOL you are so right. I was uninspired initially as well and it was fascinating to see where the image led me.

        1. Michael Humphris

          We can’t be inspired all the time, can we?

          1. Morgan

            fortunately not. Have to sleep sometime πŸ˜‰

            (*^β€Ώ^*) ✫¸.β€’Β°*β€ΛœΛœβ€*Β°β€’.βœ«αƒ¦Λš ‒。* ˚ ˚✰˚ Λ› Have a Wonderful Weekend my Friend~ β˜…* 。 ღ˛° γ€‚βœ«ΒΈ.β€’Β°*β€ΛœΛœβ€*Β°β€’βœ« (*^β€Ώ^*)

          2. Michael Humphris

            You too. Mike

  10. jademwong

    Funny how priorities change! Sounds like he’s building up quite the real estate resume πŸ˜‰

    1. Michael Humphris

      He is, but he cares about people.

  11. nonsmokingladybug

    From one extreme to the next. I hope he will come to his senses.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Although he is driven to build for his future, I do see him as a caring person.

  12. Siobhan McNamara

    He certainly is focused. I found myself really rooting for him

    1. Michael Humphris

      When a character go public, our readers may feel different emotions. I was so pleased that you felt positive about this character. As I hoped that he would evoke positivity. Mike

  13. aliciajamtaas

    I love the strength in your character – one step at a time, no wandering. Kudos.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much, I am so pleased that the strength of my character across, he really had a determination to achieve, but not by any means.

  14. Clare Hempstead

    Quite the entrepreneur! Amazing how some people build an empire from nothing.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s very true, thank you for reading my humble attempts. Mike

  15. The Writer's Village

    Aside from learning a new meaning for the word redundant, the duplicative nature of his investments and his ability to put off for the future what he may have desired for today, is quite admirable.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I am pleased he came across alright. I was concerned about the last line of this story, as it almost implies that he denied himself love and a home, which was not how I saw his path in life. In fact I saw him as making many good friends and having a office which worked well as a home also. But when a character goes public, it’s up to each person what they read into a story. Mike

  16. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    I liked the pacing of the story and how it built up with his success. Like others I was dismayed with the last line. Being a wife I can never wait.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The last sentence does not really reflect his view, but is more about me trying to cope within a one hundred word limit

      1. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

        I saw you got lots of grief over that last line. It’s a throw away line that doesn’t impact how good the writing was.

        1. Michael Humphris

          That’s very true, one lives and learns,

  17. Amy Reese

    I think this man has the drive for success. I hope he can have a happy home someday, too. Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Amy, I ran out of words on this story I did not intend to imply he was driven at the expense of friendship.

      1. Amy Reese

        I was just reflecting on his future is all. I didn’t get the sense he ruthless about it or anything. πŸ™‚ It’s good to be driven.

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thanks Amy.

  18. Michael Wynn

    I can understand why he would let a wife and family wait for now, but he needs to makesure he doesn’t wait too long. Nicely done

    1. Michael Humphris

      I agree, however fate and events have impacted on him. I saw him as a friendly caring person.

  19. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    If you build it they will come (the wife and the house πŸ˜‰ )

    1. Michael Humphris

      I agree, in this case. I have a story in mind to illustrate how that happens, I think I do, that is.

    2. Michael Humphris

      You have encouraged me to try and write a sequel. Building the house.

  20. gahlearner

    A great tale of how hard work and persistence can move you up–with a bit of luck. He knows what he wants, let’s hope he finds happiness too. Great story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s true. I intend to write a follow up story when a suitable prompt photo appears. Thank you so much for your supportive comments. Mike

  21. patriciaruthsusan

    A similar story as the beginnings of many an early entrepreneur. Good writing, Mike. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hard work and a lot of luck, it’s the same for a writer to become a published author I suspect.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: