Day 18 – 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.

Okay, so maybe I won’t continue on with the Writing 101 assignment.  I have too many questions about the holes in this story line.

  • If Mrs. Pauley lived in a house for 40 years, why the heck didn’t she own it?  Does anyone live anyplace that long and still rent? Really?
  • Knowing what I know about eviction (which is very little), does the landlord ever really show up with the police or just let the police do the job?
  • Does it really only take three months to go that behind on the rent that the police show up to evict you? Did Mr. Pauley die on the first of the month without the rent being paid?
  • Why isn’t Mrs. Pauley moving in with one of her boys? She has 6 of them for heaven’s sakes. Surely, they wouldn’t just let her get evicted!
  • How could Mrs. Pauley have absolutely no income?  It just doesn’t seem feasible that she wouldn’t at least have some kind of social security or something.  Maybe I’m just ignorant of it all.
  • Which way are most people going to take this story – will it be very sad, and what is to happen to Mrs. Pauley? Will she become homeless living on the streets.   Will some try to put a positive slant on it?  Will Mrs. Pauley be saved in the end by one of her boys, or the life insurance person showing up, or what?
  • Is WordPress based in Canada or something?  Who spells neighbourhood with a “u”?

I know, I know, I was supposed to have answered these things, but I couldn’t wrap my head around all the questions I was supposed to answer.  Yes, I have an imagination, but I guess I tend to reality,  of which I do not know how this could happen, if it could happen, how it could happen, why did it happen.  Didn’t someone once say, “Write what you know?”

10 thoughts on “Day 18 – Hone your point of view”

  1. Mr and Mrs Pauley moved into this apartment block, owned by her brother-in-law, 40 years ago when she was a young, pregnant bride of 17. Their new home was comfortable but unfurnished and their children arrived quickly. Mr Pauley worked for low wages and Mrs Pauley went out and did a few low paid cleaning jobs, cash-in-hand, to make ends meet.

    There was never enough money to put a deposit on a home of the same quality as where they lived. They needed to put money aside to educate their children, determined they would all go to college.

    But this year, has been a bad one for Mrs Pauley. Mr Pauley became ill, lost his job, and died. Her sister died in the same week and and the brother-in-law was quick to tell her he was no longer amenable to the low rent that had not kept pace with what the other tenants paid. She managed to pay the increased rent for a month. She had previously been sacked from her cleaning jobs because she had to stay home to look after Mr Pauley who needed constant attention. It was fortunate he had a funeral plan and they had amassed some small savings since the kids had left home.

    The rent became due and, despite Mrs Pauley telling her brother-in-law of the couple of cleaning jobs she was starting, he was anxious for her to go as he had a tenant ready to move in at an even higher rent.

    Mrs Pauley was not yet eligible for a widow’s social security because she was not old enough, nor disabled. Mrs Pauley was too proud to ask her kids for money and. given enough time could support herself..

    She would obviously have to rethink her pride once she was out on the street and surely one of the children would take her in. I like to think so.
    Thanks for those excellent questions! You did ask.

  2. Mrs Pauly could be many things: what first jumps to mind are the stories I used to read (and watch) of the old lady who secretly worked for the government 🙂 or she could be a magical spirit from another time; or an angel; or an alien lol; or the police could not really be policemen…… it’s fun 😀

  3. Sue, I’m so sorry about the first part of my story earlier in the comments, I wasn’t aware you lost your mum and grandma in the same week until I read today’s post. ❤ Sorry.

    1. Christine thanks for the thoughts, it was a crazy week, but 6 years ago. This blog has prompted me to relive it a bit, but it’s easier now, still, does one ever get over losing their mom?

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