Writing 101 DAY 18 – Hone Your Point of View – Charlie’s World

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.

“Ouch!”

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.”

Writing 101 DAY 4 – Serially Lost

Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

‘Serially Lost’ immediately conjured up many images, a flow of them in fact. How appropriate the words. Over the years I have lost so much during my life that the pain and suffering opening me to an eternal journey of self-exploration and one which has become a way of life now. Ever exploring, ever expanding and thankfully experiencing the pain of loss less and less.

I have lost numerous people and animals in my life from a mere parting of the ways to their passing from this world of form. I have lost games, races, possession and I have on many occasions ‘lost face’!

But one that sticks in my mind that I would like to share is the loss of my father. In fact, I lost him 3 times, there was a fourth but that is way too complex a story. Here is the first experience I can remember.

In my early years I had a loving, caring and fun relationship with my father. I have snippets of memory where we spent quality time enjoying each other’s company, playing games and laughing. He was a keen gardener and I enjoyed ‘helping’ in my own way with watering the plants, particularly the tomatoes in the greenhouse. Just thinking about it I can link with the balmy warmth of the heat contained in the tiny space and smell the intensity of aromas emitted from the tomato plants.

“Be careful” he would say. “Mind your dress on those leaves, if you brush against them all the green will come off your dress and mummy will have to wash it.”

I don’t remember liking mummy very much.

After a couple of years my father’s work took him away from home during the week and I felt such loss and abandonment. I pined for his return. We eventually moved to the area where he worked and joy returned to my life, at least for a short while. But then my grandfather, my mother’s father, became ill with lung cancer and it rocked the whole family’s world.

My brother had arrived on the scene and my mother had long since lost interest in me. I experienced life as if I was an old doll, dated, no longer desired. A new replacement had come along and all attention was on the new addition. I felt like I was just a nuisance and I began to withdraw further into myself.

My grandfather’s illness also rocked my father. He smoked the odd cigarette but he immediately stopped smoking. He drank the odd ½ pint of bitter when he and his brother went to the occasional football match together. He became tee-total. He also became fanatically religious and devoted himself to his religion. He read the bible and lectured us all on its morals and teachings. I became judged and punished. I was forced to attend Sunday school every Sunday, no long able to wander hand in hand with a loving caring, sharing father, along the riverbank on Sunday afternoon indulging in nature’s beauty, appreciating the seasons.

My father was gone from me and it rocked my world.