Writing 101, Day Eighteen:
Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue. The neighborhood 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 I came out on the front stoop for a while. It’s been really hot and stormy outside and mom wouldn’t let me come out in the storms. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the police and the landlord next door. Poor ole Ms. Pauley, I don’t know what she’s going to do. Mr. Landlord said she couldn’t pay her rent and he couldn’t let her stay any longer. I wonder where all those boys are hers are, why can’t they help her out. I know I would if I had any money, that’s what I told the man and the policeman too. I think he kinda felt sorry for her but I guess he’s just doing his job. Forty years is a long time, I can’t even understand how long, I can’t imagine it. It seems like it’s been forever since I turned 12 and that was just a few months ago.
She used to make cookies and ask me to come over and eat cookies and drink milk with her. Man, those chocolate chip cookies would melt in your mouth, wish I had one right now and a big cold glass of milk. Somebody has got to do something about this, it’s just not right. I gotta go get Momma, she’ll know what to do. “Momma, momma, where are you?” I listen, she’s on the phone with somebody telling them what is going on next door. When she hangs up, she’s smiling and runs out the door to stop the landlord. She just told them that she was on the phone with one of Ms. Pauley’s sons. He had no idea that his mother couldn’t pay her bills and was coming to get her and take her with him until they could get it straightened out. I was so scared for Ms. Pauley, now I know she’ll be ok and she even told me she’d send me some cookies. Whew, had me worried there.7