The Chocolate Cookies

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.

Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
Today’s twist: Think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.

I was sitting on the porch and dribbling my basketball against the wooden floor when I saw them. They arrived in a police car. Two men walked up the stairs of Mrs. Pauley’s pink house. She is the neighbour who lives across from our place. She’s lived in that pink house forever. She’s nice to me. She gives me chocolate cookies almost every time she sees me out on this porch. I haven’t seen her lately. She is very old and mom said last week that she was asking her about nursing homes in the area. Mom is a nurse you see, so she would know these things off the top of her head. Mom told her about one that was in the next suburb. I don’t think she liked that suburb because she told Mom so. Maybe these two men came to check if she’s still alive inside that pink house.

One man was dressed in a long black coat, black trousers and had a police hat tucked under his armpit. The other wore blue jeans and a checked shirt. I recognised the second man. I think he owns the pink house. He’s been to our house before, although he doesn’t own it. His name is Jim. He talks a lot. I find most of what he says boring. It’s always about money and buying land. How he lost it or made it. He never pays me any attention even if I’m standing right in front of him. He just looks away towards mom or dad and continues talking. I feel bad for Mrs. Pauley. She has to listen to his jabbering today or maybe not. Nobody came to the door after several knocks, so the policeman tried the door handle and the brown door opened right up. I stood up to see what the two men could see. I couldn’t make out what was in the doorway. I hoped Mrs. Pauley was alive, but something must be wrong if she didn’t come to the door.

They took long to come out of the house, but when they did, I was surprised to see the two men laughing and Mrs. Pauley right behind them with a plate of chocolate cookies. The policeman looked back and said, “You take care now, ma’am!”. Jim did not say anything, but he had cash in his hands, which he quickly stuffed into his jeans pocket. I wondered what had happened. I’d probably find out the next time Jim visited our house. Mrs. Pauley looked in my direction and shouted, “Would you like some of these cookies, dear?” I smiled.

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