Writing 101 – Assignment.
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.
Write this story in the first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
It was a couple a weeks ago – bout supper time. I was out on the porch here. The sweat kept runnin in my eyes, and I had ‘ta use the bottom of my shirt ‘ta mop it up. I was practicin my Trucker’s Knot with a piece of rope Gramps give me last time we was visitin him at the old folks home. Gramps always has a present for ya but not many words. I already have my merit badge for tyin knots but I want to get good at the Trucker’s Knot cause my daddy’s a trucker and next time he’s home I’m gonna supprise him!
After about the millionth time tryin the Trucker’s Knot is when the cop car showed up. Usually when one a them comes ‘round, the lights are flashin and the sirens are a wailin, but not this time. It pulled up nice and quiet and didn’t make no ruckus.
Two men got out and knocked on Mrs. Pauley’s door. While they waited for her to answer, they turned an saw me on my porch. We’ve lived across the street from the Pauley’s since before I was borned. The Deputy waved but Mr. Grimley didn’t. Mama calls Mr. Grimley a slumlord – whatever that is. All I know is nobody likes him and when things get broke he takes his sweet time a fixin ‘em.
I ‘member when James and John, the Pauley twins was still at home, they’d bring me candy and John even let me ride his bicycle until it went flat. Them was some fine boys accordin to Mama. They had four older brothers who got kilt in the war. All the Pauleys was good people. Mr. Pauley, God rest his soul, brung us okra and tomatoes from his garden right up to the day he died. Mama doesn’t know it but Bobby Joe and me snuck and saw Mr. Pauley in the casket at the funeral home. Mama thinks I’m too young to see a dead body, but I’m not. I done seen one an nothing bad happened. He just looked like he was a sleepin. I hope he’s not afraid of the dark like Jim Bob is.
They musta waited on Mrs. Pauley’s front porch for five minutes but she never opened the door. Mama called me in for supper but I didn’t go. I wanted to see what was happenin across the street. After a while Mr. Grimley got mad an pounded on the door, “Mrs. Pauley, come on out now, ya hear? We talked about this, you have ta leave now. You ain’t paid a penny in rent since Byron died. Me and the Deputy here have come to take you to Garden Acres. Mrs. Pauley?”
“Hang on now, Willard. Give the poor old lady a minute to collect herself. We’re forcing her to leave the only home she’s had for forty years, the least we can do is give her some time.” Deputy Monroe said.
About that time Mama come out lookin for me an I told her what was happenin. “Them men oughta leave poor Mrs. Pauley alone.” Mama said as she walked down the steps into the street, wiping her hands on the apron at her waist.
“Mrs. Sanger, this ain’t none a your business.” Mr. Grimley said to Mama when she got across the street. “Go on home now, leave this to the men folk.”
Deputy Monroe knocked again but there was still no answer. “Ok Willard, use your key. Let’s go in. Somethin don’t seem right.”
Before long, an amblance came screamin down the street and squealed to a stop in front of Mrs. Pauley’s house. It made plenty a ruckus. Mama was cryin when they brung out Mrs. Pauley on a bed on wheels. “She’s been dead a couple a days, looks like.” I heard the Deputy talkin into his radio. “She left a note. Said she wasn’t gonna be moved to no old folks home and that she was ready to join Byron in heaven.”
Mama come back across the street and give me a hug. We watched everyone drive off then went in for supper. Now you and your Mama live across the street. I hope we get the same teacher in school this fall.