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.
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.
Wonder why the police are knocking at Mrs. Pauley’s door. That old lady can’t be in trouble with the law, she never even leaves the house. Ok, maybe she goes to the store. Yeah, she must go to the store because she always gives me cookies when I go over to help her out. Man, she makes the best cookies. Maybe I should go over to see if she needs my help after the police go. Hope she has chocolate chip today.
I look down and see my shoe is untied. If mom was home, she would help me. But Jason is the only one here. He won’t help me do anything. Keeps saying I have to learn to do it myself. Easy for him to say, he’s way smarter than me. He can read and he is only 10.
Glancing back up, I see old Mr. Peterson talking to the cop. He has been hanging around lately. Mom said he comes to get the rent from Mrs. Pauley. I’ve seen her peeking from behind the curtain, but won’t answer the door. Wonder why.
“Hey!” I yelled. The cops glance up and me but don’t answer. Now Mrs. Pauley is starting to cry. I am going to see what they are doing to make her cry.
Jumping up, I tripped on my shoelace and landed on my hands and knees. It hurt, but I am twelve now, so I tried hard not to cry.
“Mrs. Pauley,” I said when I got to the other side of the street.
She sniffed and looked at me. “I’m ok,” she said trying to smile.
“Why are they pulling your stuff out of the house?” I asked. “Do you want me to stop them?”
She sat on the porch swing and pulled me down by her.
“No, these nice men are helping me move to a new house,” she said.
“Why are you leaving me? Why are you moving? Who will make me cookies? Are you going to come to my birthday party on October 12th when I turn 13” I ask her more questions than she can answer.
Bending down to tie my shoe, she explained that she was moving to her son’s house to live with him.
“Ok,” I answered. I didn’t really understand. Maybe Mom would explain it to me when she got home from work. I hope she brings home some cookies.