Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
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.
That landlord was there again, but this time he had all those policemen with him. One of them was Billy’s dad, maybe I should go over to say hello and to please leave Mrs. P alone, but I just felt safer to stay put. All those big grown men…
Well, there’s Mrs. P and, uh-oh, she’s got that black rifle in hand and the men, they stopped walking, now just standing there. I guess they didn’t want to get shot.
“All you wicked men stay where you are, if you don’t want to die and see the Lord today! ~ and you, John Smith, I told you I would pay you as soon as I got Timmy’s Social Security.” she said. They were all whispering now so I think they were a little worried that she was going pull the trigger. Little Mrs. P was only 5 feet tall, why on earth would that wicked landlord need 3 other men with him?
As the tallest man put his two arms out and said “Wait a second Mrs. Pauley, we’re not here to cause any trouble. Mr. Smith here said you might want to move closer to your sons and we can help you move your things.”
Mrs. P just wouldn’t budge. She kept waving the rifle and told them to get off the property. That’s when suddenly the little droplets came down from the darkening sky followed by a flash of lightning and the sound of a crack very close by. Maybe Mr. Pauley was looking down from heaven and trying to scare them off.
I could see the men were in a stressful discussion, probably wondering whether to walk on and risk getting shot at as they were already wet, or to just walk back to their car and wet all the seats in there. Thank goodness they chose the car.
As they got in and drove off in the now heavier downpour, I could see Mrs. P looking up to the sky with a sad face. She probably knew her Timmy was looking after her since all those useless boys had left home to be with their crazy wives.
As she lowered her gaze and looked straight ahead, she saw me. Our eyes met and she smiled, while raising the toy rifle in the air. She then started to giggle and pulled the trigger and out popped that red flag with the word “BANG!”.
Daddy gave me that rifle two years ago and Mr. P and I had always played Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in their backyard. I’m glad I left that toy there after our last game, 2 days before he died. I’m really glad.