The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.
Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.
I wonder, what am I going to do today? Pete’s gone to watch football with his dad. I hate football. All that running around, and what for, nothing. I don’t mind running around in a field of grass chasing dragonflies, now that’s fun.
“Ouch! Damn scabs!”
I thought they’d have fallen off by now; it’s over a week since I crashed my bike on Back Lane and got half the road stuck in my skin. Mrs Pauley told me not to pick it when she walked past yesterday. Said it would leave holes. Can’t see no holes.
She’s nice, Mrs Pauley, lets me cut her grass in the summer for some extra pocket money. Said I did a nice job, as good as old Mr Pauley. Liked him too, was always tinkering in his shed. Mending something or oiling something else. He showed me how to grease me bike chain. Right nice he was. Shame he died. Feels kind of dead around here now and Mrs Pauley looks so sad.
Wonder where all the kids she had are? Mum said she’d got six of them and hasn’t seen them in years.
Suppose I’d better go and do what mum said – ‘go and see if there’s anything she needs help with’.
Ah well, going to have to find some other way of subbing my pocket money. Mum says Mrs Pauley’s had no money since Mr Pauley died. Wonder what she’s been having to eat then?
Charlie wanders across the road, hands thrust deep into the pockets of his long shorts.
The grass is looking a bit longer, than yesterday, must’ve warmed up and made it grow quicker. That’s what Mr Pauley used to say.
As he was waiting for Mrs Pauley to answer the door, a car pulled up and a man got out wearing crumpled brown suit.
Who’s he, doesn’t look very friendly. Aye aye, and now plod. What do they want down here? You never see them down here with their black uniforms. Don’t want to either they look like they’re looking for trouble.
“Now then son, off you go, on your way. You shouldn’t be hanging around other peoples doors.”
At that moment the door opened and Mrs Pauley, seeing Charlie, smiled at the boy and said,
“Hello Charlie, were you coming to see me love?”
Phew thought old plod was going to arrest me then. They make me feel bad even when I haven’t done anything.
“I said on your way son.”
“I’ve got to leave Charlie. Maybe the next person who lives here will need you to cut the grass for them.”
Leaving? To go where? She’s always been here.
And why are they here, where are they taking her?
Are you alright Mrs Pauley, I can go and get me mum if you want me to.
“It’s alright Charlie, I’ll be alright. Always remember love that when one door closes you can be sure that another one always opens.”