When a burgeoning municipality sets out to annex a strip of land previously considered to be the sticks, the local inhabitants have to find the means to fight back.
The convenience store had stood for years in the middle of nowhere, at the intersection of two streets which, though they were major thoroughfares in the city, petered out here to two-lane roads, with one curving around and intersecting the other to avoid plowing headlong into a man-made WPA fake-lake that itself had been built one notch beyond the scope of interest of anything or anyone. But it held water and was connected to the city by old, old pipes that burst like clockwork every winter, and in any case, both it and the convenience store happened to simply be a place between places, happily bypassed for a more direct route by everyone but people up to no good or wanting to be left alone - well, and fishermen.
It was during a horribly mismanaged state highway "improvement" project that the city folk managed to rediscover this stretch of rural road because they found themselves redirected onto it as a detour for eight painful miles, and over the course of 18 months during which the highway was improved, fixed, tore up, pondered, and improved again, and finally passed muster (that is, the last federal dollar was spent), it became frequently trafficked by uptight alpha types and financially thrived, though the exasperated patrons were less than polite. The small shop suddenly became crowded by agitated men and women in business suits who talked too loudly into their cell phones, shaved and applied make-up while grinding their teeth and bumping into each other, growled when asked to show their ID, and generally ran down the place:
"You call this coffee?"
"You don't stock panty hose?"
"What do you mean you can't make change for $100?"
"You ought to call yourself the "Made in China" store!"
Dan and Denise, who ran the place, had to hire extra help from amongst the non-ambitious college students whose dwindling academic careers led them to the semi-proximate community college, for between the hours of 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and again between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, the place was hopping. But even the extra staffing was not enough to ameliorate the self-loathing bitter business types, and despite the extra money the traffic had supplied, Dan and Denise were glad when the highway improvement project was completed several million dollars over budget and one county commissioner indictment later, and the irritable drivers returned to their more direct route, now with slightly smoother lanes and misspelled signs congratulating every politician vaguely affiliated with the falderal.
But the forbidden apple of the semi-rural languor and "rustic charm" had been tasted, and one or another real estate developer had looked over the sparse land populated by tiny shacks with huge "NO TRESSPASSING!" warnings and seen dollar signs rise up before their eyes, and the lonely convenience store at the intersection of nothing and nowhere, standing beneath the green-blue glow of a single street-light on the pole that trailed a single electrical line to the place, would never be the same, nor would its vicinity.
Within weeks of the highway's completion a monied developer with connections at city hall and a Manhattan-minted ideal of 'rural charm' had greased the right palms and rubbed the right elbows to get the matter of annexation formally underway.