Tag Archives: English

Writing 101 – Day Eighteen

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 came outside because it was just too stuffy inside. Mom is cooking something in the oven and it’s making the whole house hot. I cop a squat in my usual spot on the stoop and wait until the next car rolls by. I pop a cherry flavored nowlater in my mouth and savor what satisfaction tastes like. I smile at nothing in particular and look up at the sky. To the right I hear the crunch of gravel on the street and glance in that direction. I spy the police and another car I’ve never seen. It’s real fancy. Social worker, maybe? I sit back and watch just to see who’s in trouble this week. I watched as they get out of their cars and begin to point at Mrs. Pauley’s house. I wonder what they want with her. Mrs. Pauley has never done anything to anybody. She’s a really nice old lady. She always gives me little cakes and makes me promise not to tell my Mom that she’s given them to me. Really nice lady. Mr. Pauley died. That made Mrs. Pauley really sad. She hasn’t given me little cakes in a long while. I watch the police and the suits walk up Mrs. Pauley’s driveway. I wonder if I should get my Mom. She’ll probably just tell me I’m being nosey again and I’ll get in trouble. I decide to sit and wait. Nothing is happening. I shrug my shoulders and turn my face to the sky. I check the clouds to see if I can spot any faces. A long loud scream breaks into my thoughts. I stand up from my spot. I look left and then right. I see nothing. At first I think I must be hearing things. Until the suits comes running out of Mrs. Pauley’s house. The lady suit is breathing hard and waving her arms all around. The mister suit looks like he is trying to either grab her arms or hug her but I am not sure. I call for my Mom. I never take my eyes off the suits in front of Mrs. Pauley’s house. Suddenly I hear a siren sound. I cannot tell if it’s the police, a fire truck, or an ambulance since they all sound alike to me. Moments later an ambulance and then a fire truck come barrelling around the corner. My mom is standing behind me now. We are both looking across the street wondering why the ambulance and fire truck stop in front of Mrs. Pauley’s house. Mrs. Pauley is a nice lady and she always gives me little cakes. My mom’s gasp breaks me out of my thought. I look up at her. I follow her eyes across the street. I see Mrs. Pauley. Mrs. Pauley is being pulled on a stretcher by the paramedics. The firemen are talking to the police. The suits are standing by their fancy car. My mom moves from behind me. She begins to walk down the steps. I move to follow her and she tells me to wait on the steps. She continues across the street. I am puzzled. After a couple moments, my mom slowly crosses the street towards me. Just looking at her face, I know something is wrong. She walks up to me and grabs my hand leading me back into the house. I slowly turn and look back. Mrs. Pauley is inside the ambulance. Mrs. Pauley used to make me little cakes. Mrs. Pauley is with Mr. Pauley. The police found Mrs. Pauley sitting in front of her oven. Mrs. Pauley is dead.

My Reflection

Where are the voices like mine? Where is the representation? My history does not begin and ends with slavery.  I am angry because it matters to me to be able to see my image, my voice reflected in the words across a page. I am beyond frustrated with my English Department. The lack of diversity is appalling in both curriculum and faculty. I am fed up with literature fuelled by the white supremacist patriarchy that continually marginalizes women and ignores thoughts, ideas, and opinions of POCs. I am not sure if meeting with the chair will be enough to make a change. I am having a what the fuck moment. Excuse me while I contemplate my next move.