Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View 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.
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.
Mom and dad were at it again last night. They call it discussing. Sounds like fighting to me. This time it was about Mama Joe. I’m on Mom’s side. I think we should help Mama Joe. Mama Joe has always been there for us. Me and every other kid in this neighborhood.
I’ve felt sad before but this is different. It is more than just being sad. Mama Joe is being forced out and they need cops to help do it. She’s like a hundred and two. Do they really need cops? There is something wrong with this situation. I’m 12 and I can see the wrong ness in what is going on. Why can’t anyone else see it?
Mama Joe is this neighborhood. She babysat my parents before they were my parents. She watched me and every other kid around here. She was always there. When anyone needed anything, she was there. Now she needs us and there is no one.
Mom and dad think I don’t know what is going on. But I know. I hear things. I know more than they think I know.
Sitting here, boy my butt is getting sore. I don’t want to leave. I want to see what happens. I want to see how they get this lady out of her house. I have seen the letters sent to her. I have read them. That’s how Mom and dad know what is going on. I told them. If I hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t know crap. If they didn’t know crap, they wouldn’t have been “discussing” her.
Do they really need the cops? Everyone knows Mama Joe can be stubborn, but the cops. Come on. Really? I haven’t seen any sign of her kids. I wonder if they even know this is happening. Do they even care? She probably hasn’t even mentioned it to them.
Mom is right. Mama Joe should live with us. We may not be able to help with her money stuff, but we do have that extra room. I would love to have her to talk to all the time. She has the best stories. I have learned more about history from her than all my teachers combined. She didn’t just read about it. She lived it. Listening to her makes me feel like I am there living it with her.
The cops have been in there a long time. What could they be doing in there? Doesn’t anyone else see something wrong with this? Mama Joe has taken care of people her whole life. Now when she needs help, no one is there. I’m here. But I am 12. What can one 12-year-old do?
Hmmmm…. maybe…. Nah that would be bad. I’d so love to slash the tires of the police car. Maybe hit the landlord’s car as well. Damn I wish I had thought of that when they first got here. It’s probably too late now. I’d never get away with it. Plus I couldn’t disappoint Mama Joe like that.
The funny thing is I am supposed to be in school right now. Nobody has noticed me sitting here. If Mama Joe wasn’t so busy with her crap, she would notice. She doesn’t miss a thing. I am learning more here than I would in school anyway. Here I am learning about life. I am learning that life truly sucks. It just isn’t fair.
Mama Joe always called me an old soul. She never did tell me what that meant. Well this old soul has no answers.
I wonder where that ambulance is going? Most people on the street are at work or school. Wicked bummer. It is stopping across the street. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well, but I did not expect this. It can’t be that much of an emergency. The ambulance dudes are moving pretty slow. I hope Mama Joe is okay. Maybe they aren’t even here for her. Maybe she fought back. Not that she could, but I’d like to think she did. It has been too quiet for that.
I guess I’ll just keep my butt where it is. At least until I know what is going on or someone notices that I am sitting here. Only Mama Joe would notice. Mama Joe is the only one who ever notices me. I am going to miss that. I am going to miss her.