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It’s Not What It Seems (Writing 101)

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 should be inside doing my homework but I want to practice my new cheerleading moves, only two more days til tryouts.  I’ve just got to make the team.  I hope my yelling doesn’t bother the neighbors, maybe I’ll practice my jumps instead.   Oh I know, I’ll sit here on the stoop and write some new cheers, that won’t bother anyone, ya that’s what I’ll do.

I remember when this neighborhood was so noisy with kids.  Especially across the street with all those boys.  They would always be playing some game in the yard.  Their mom and dad would be sitting on the porch, drinking lemonade and laughing at their sons’ charades.  It wasn’t just them either there were lots of kids and parents who would be out playing, visiting, doing yard work, keeping an eye on me as I was so little then.

Now that I’m almost an adult I miss those days and all those kids.  Everyone has grown up and moved away.  The new neighbors seem to keep to themselves and don’t have a lot of interest in making their homes look pretty.  Sad.  Since Mr. Pauley died a few months ago I haven’t seen Mrs. Pauley at all, even her home looks run down.  Well back to my writing…two, four, six, eight who do we appreciate…nah, that’s an old one…hey that police car is slowing down and stopping in front of Mrs. Pauley’s house.  Uh-oh.

I’ll pretend not to watch, hmm they don’t look happy I wonder what’s wrong.  Who is that man with them?  I hope Mrs. Pauley is okay, maybe I should get Mom.  Boy they’ve knocked on her door a couple of times and she hasn’t answered yet, oh wait, there she is and she’s letting them in.  Wow I wonder if she did something wrong, why else would the police be there?

Hey isn’t that Joshua pulling up with his wife and kids?  Mrs. Pauley will sure be surprised to see her son and grandchildren, they haven’t been here in forever!  Hey wait here comes, Andy, Bart, Michael, Larry and Carl, Carl was named after Mr. Pauley.  Wow!  All of her sons are here and look at how old they are.  A moving van?  Are they moving in or out?   MAAAAAAA come here…MAAAAAA…

Oh Mom.  Look!  A moving van and all of Mrs. Pauley’s sons are here plus the police, what’s going on?  Are you sure?  Joshua and his family have come to buy the house and live here with Mrs. Pauley?  Oh she’ll be so happy….and there will be kids again.  I can babysit them and maybe we can play in the yard.  I know, I’ll show them my cheers, oh won’t that be fun!!  I can’t wait!!!

Oh hey, there’s Mrs. Pauley, she looks so happy…I’ll wave to her…HI MRS. PAULEY WANNA SEE MY NEW CHEER???