Thursday 26th June 2014
Write 101 – Day 18. 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.
Gaa/C© June 2014
Mother brought me a lemonade while I was watching the events unfolding across the road. She asked me if there was anything exciting going on, “Yeh, those men and the police have turned up at Mrs Pauley’s again. That is three times in three days now.” I said watching the men busying themselves around the house of Mrs Pauley. The police were banging her door, but Mrs Pauley was not opening up to them. I finished my lemonade, and got up and walked over to the men at her door. “Hey mister, what’s going on, why you pestering old Mrs Pauley?”
“Go away boy, none of your business.” said the policeman that was leading the group. There were four policemen and four other men, I don’t know who they were.
“She an old lady, what harm she done anyone?”
“I said go away boy, stay out the way.”
“Can’t do that mister, Mrs Pauley is a friend of mine.” I said and trying to get in their way. They wouldn’t hurt a young kid I was thinking. But I was wrong. The policeman that was telling me get out his way grabbed me by the arm and pushed me away, I fell to the ground, and I rolled about pretending it hurt and that I was in pain.
“Hey kid I will really hurt you if you don’t go away, move on, go getaway.” he shouted at me not believing I was in pain.
Knocking the door of Mrs Pauley’s harder now and another man shouted, “Mrs Pauley, you have to leave, you have been warned and given time to pay up and you have chosen to ignore. So if you don’t let us in we will force entry as soon as the papers arrive from the court.” He pinned a piece of paper on the door.
“You are nothing but bullies, picking on an old lady, big hard men.” I ran and kicked the big policeman on the shin and ran away, and when at a safe distance I stopped and laughed at him. I then ran in to my house and asked my mum what the time is, she told it was just past midday. “They are late.” I said as I ran out into the road again.
The sun was high and I could see the men sweating, they were continuously wiping their foreheads, some looked like they might explode. Red puffy faces, and damp patches under their arm, they all looked rather unwell. I ran back to mum and asked if she could give me a jug of lemonade and some glasses, and after explaining she duly obliged. I needed to disrupt them and give Mrs Pauley a little time.
“Hey, you nasty people do you want some nice ice-cold lemonade?”
They turned and stared at me, tongues hanging, they all came to get a glass of mums best lemonade.
It was when handing their glasses back to me they all came walking down the street, heading towards Mrs Pauley’s house. The whole street had united and came marching to the old ladies help. Mr Bridge leading the way headed straight to the landlord of Mrs Pauley’s house. “We believe you are seeking back rents, and you are showing how cold hearted and selfish you are by wanting to evict an old lady and put her onto the street. She has been loyal to you for many years and this is how you treat her. So we as friends of hers and the community, we have untied and collected the back rent and more. We believe you intended to sell this house once the old lady had been removed, well, you have sold it, to us the community and we are letting Mrs Pauley see out her days.” Mr Bridge slapped a wad of money into the landlords hands and some other papers, I learnt later they were the legal papers of the sale. Everyone applauded and booed at the same time, the landlord no longer walked away to loud chants of ‘good riddance’
The following weeks we the community and myself helped Mrs Pauley redecorate her house, and after I often visited to make sure she was well.
Gaa/C© 26th June 2014.