Writing 101, Day Eighteen: The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. Mrs. Pauley had fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict her from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
I look at my kid sister sitting beside me. This little scallywag is growing up fast – I can’t even believe her first tooth dropped yesterday. I mean, she’s only six! I think mine started falling off at seven. Anyway, I have been scaring her about her teeth. I told her that they’re all going to come off within the next few days, and that she’s going to look like the crazy ol’ Mrs. Pauley. I’m an evil genius, aren’t I?
Speaking of Mrs. Pauley the Loony; she’s the neighbourhood nutcase. She used to sit by her porch almost daily, book in hand, waiting for some poor little soul to walk past her estate. Once I was walking home from school, and that maniac screamed at me about how I’m going to grow up and leave my parents and never call them again. What does she know? She’s just a crazy old lady. Anyway, when she wasn’t screaming at random people, she was always screaming at her husband. I don’t even know how that poor old man survived all those years. Thank goodness, he kicked the bucket a few months back. I can only picture him floating towards heaven with a crazy gleeful smile pasted on his face. I would too – if I had to live with that one.
My attention is redirected to Lisa. She attempts to catch an alluring butterfly that flies her way. I’m not supposed to admit it, but the butterfly is truly stunning. It’s bluer than any sky I have seen, and those dots – they look like the chocolate chips in the cookies mommy makes. I try to look bored about the butterfly. In school, they tease boys who don’t say or act like how boys are supposed to be. Anyway, I pretend to swat the butterfly as though I want to crush it. Lisa looks at me. Her face is scrunched up and she’s about to tell me off. But then something causes both of us to turn our heads toward the direction of Mrs. Loony’s house at the exact same time.
A police cruiser comes to stop at Mrs. Loony’s driveway. Two policemen in uniform come out of the car, and so does another big fat giant of a man. Anyway, the policemen look so cool. Maybe I will become a policeman when I grow up. I could certainly see myself with a gun and badge – I’ll be jumping through hoops catching all the bad guys! And I get to shoot my gun at them. I can’t wait to grow up.
I feel someone tap my shoulder. “Jakey, why is the police here?” Lisa asks.
“I don’t know,” I say.
“But why don’t you know?” Lisa asks again, with a serious look on her face – her eyebrows look like they are about to touch each other. Sometimes, she thinks I am so smart that I know everything that is possible to know in the universe. And most times, I let her believe it.
I pause for a moment. “You remember a few months ago when Mr. Pauley died?” I ask.
“Yeah…” She nods her head.
“It turns out. Mrs. Loony was the one who killed him-”
“What?” Lisa exclaims, eyes widened. “You are lying, aren’t you?”
“No! This is the truth,” I say, looking offended. “Anyway, when Mr. Pauley was sleeping one night, she took a skillet from her kitchen and…”
“…and what?” She demands.
“She crushed his head with it,” I say while gesticulating with my hands, “over and over again. It was so bad that there was blood everywhere in the bedroom. And I heard she slept beside his dead body after she was done.”
Lisa panics. I think her eyes would drop out if she opened it any further. This is hilarious. I cannot believe how she is believing the nonsense I just spewed for the benefit of my entertainment.
“Daddddddyyyyyyyyyy….” Lisa screams as she runs up the steps and into the house.
“Oh shit!” I mutter out loud. I run after the tattletale to shut her up before she gets the chance to tell daddy about everything that just happened.