Writing 101, Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

Writing 101, Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

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.



I knew I would miss the good cookies that Mrs Pauley used to make. She and Mr Pauley were always kind to us. She would bring treats out to us as we played here on the steps. Warm cookies, super-sweet with a spicy taste. Mom said she probably used cinnamon and a little ginger. She said she made them for her own boys and forgot they moved away but secretly I think she made them just for us. She’s not as infirm as she makes out but we never mind helping carry stuff into the house from her beaten up old sedan. She would look around for Mr Pauley and shout inside for a little help, so we would come over and help. She still seemed to miss Mr Pauley so much and not just for carrying bags. Mom said Mr Pauley was in a better place now and I don’t think she meant uptown where the houses are better.

I liked to sit outside the front door on the steps. You could just sit and watch people or my buddies would come over and play. Today it isn’t so nice. Mr Simons is outside, banging on Mrs Pauley’s door. He’s been around a most days lately, shouting about rent. Last week some men came and towed away her car. This time the police are at the door and they will break it in if she doesn’t open up. I cross my fingers, hoping she hasn’t done anything bad.

I see her at the window and she looks sad. The she is at the door, letting them all in. The police don’t seem angry, they seem kind, so I think she will be OK.

I sit still for a time, counting the clouds. Little fluffy clouds that don’t look like rain. I wish Raymond would come over and play, sometimes he likes to play games with numbers, sometimes he says they are so boring. Numbers are never boring!

A big sedan pulls up outside. I think it’s Mike, he waves hi to me. He looks sad and a little angry. He got all growed up and had to get his own house, Mrs Pauley says. She comes out with two suitcases and Mike opens the car and while he is loading them, she comes over and gives me a boiled sweet and a kiss on the cheek. ‘Goodbye Charlie.’ she says. ‘Be Good.’

‘Bye Mrs Pauley. I will be good I promise. When will you be back?’. She says ‘Soon I hope.’ but I don’t think she means it.

Soon they are gone and the landlord and the police as well. The house looks sad.