The Eviction

Today’s Writing 101 Challenge – to describe an eviction from the point of view of a 12 year old boy witnessing it, and try to get across a feeling for his character…

Me and Martin used to climb through a hole in his fence to pinch plums from Jed Pauley’s back garden. They were purple and juicy, much nicer than what you can get in the shops. We never meant no harm, it was just a bit of fun. Jed was a nice old guy, and him and his wife used to get the bus into town every Saturday morning. It was kind of sad watching them at the bus stop when the rain came down in buckets and that cold wind blew in from across the lake.

That’s all gone now. Mr Pauley got ill and died really quickly. It was like one day he was there, then he was gone. Muriel – that’s his wife, or I suppose widow now – was knocked for six. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have someone go missing like that, so sudden. No-one to talk to or play board games with. I was upset when my granny died, but I think it must be different when it’s your wife or hubby. I don’t think I’m gonna get married anyway.

I guess she missed the money coming in too. The trips into town stopped. I don’t know what she ate after he died. I asked mum if she could do shopping for her. She did call on her, but in the end it seemed Muriel was too proud to accept help from anyone. The cold weather was getting a grip as well. We worried about the frost on her windows in the mornings.

And now it’s come to this. I’m sitting on the wall out front looking across the street. No-one else is about. But they’re looking. I see movements behind the curtains in the neighbours’ houses. You can almost here the whispering. Why doesn’t anyone go out and try to stop this? It will make a good story next time they meet for their morning coffees.

Mr Baker the landlord has just got out his car. Flash one too, a Jag. And the copper has just got out his car. Ha, not so flash – a Fiesta! Poor Muriel was looking out the upstairs window and now she’s standing at the front door. She has her Sunday best on. Floral patterned dress, shiny shoes, and a pink woolly coat. There’s an old brown suitcase next to her. The stickers from their travels together have faded and some are peeling away. Don’t you think it’s sad that everything is going to fade and peel away one day?

I’m angry about the copper. What do they think she’s going to do? Clobber Mr Baker with the case? She can hardly lift it. She comes down the path when they open the gate. Gazing straight ahead, not saying a word. The men move aside to let her pass. Muriel walks down the street to who knows where? That’s what I call style. Pride. Juicy pride. Like what you can’t get in the shops.

7 thoughts on “The Eviction

    1. Thank you! I think your take on this really came across as an authentic 12 year old’s voice, nicely observed. It’s great how the same prompt can produce so many differing responses.

  1. Oh, very well done! I feel like I should say something more constructive, but I’m a little caught up in the story and finding good words is hard. But well done. The frost on the windows was heartbreaking.

    1. Thank you! I hadn’t planned to break anyone’s heart, but I’m pleased the pathos came through. I like your site – you had me convinced up to the bit when you mentioned the Nobel Peace prize!

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