Carbon Footprint - a Short Story
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Thomas O’Leady has fallen on hard times. The loans he has taken to refinance his pencil factory along the shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are being threatened with foreclosure, and his mother has only recently been diagnosed with cancer. Thomas is desperate for money, and he’s at his wit’s end over how to save his business.
Enter Billy Breeze, a smug 26 year-old from Chicago, who catches wind of the factory’s dire financial straits. Billy travels north from the Windy City in hopes of swaying the industrialist to make a deal, and to bring renewable power to the homes and businesses of Milwaukee.
It takes months to get the necessary approvals through the city to develop the site, but Billy finally comes through. Thomas is relieved and excited about his new lease on life, but soon discovers a problem. One of the soils engineers has measured dangerously high levels of lead in the land, and Thomas is left holding the bag for its clean-up.