Day 18: Best Served Cold

Today’s prompt: write this story(the first paragraph is already provided) in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

Today’s twist: Build this twelve-year-old as a character.

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.

Or so they say. It could even be more. I never knew them personally, save two reasons. My dad used to work with Mr. Paul. And I used to live with them.

Yeah. Used to work. Used to live. That was till six months ago. That was when I saw Mr. Paul push my dad in front of the train. It was later stated that my dad committed suicide. Suicide as he couldn’t handle the death of his wife, my mother, a couple of days before. It happened in public – and no one appeared as a witness. That thought doesn’t make sense, and so I’m pushing it out.

And so, they ended up adopting me – but I couldn’t shake off the sneaking suspicion that they  had played a hand in the death of my mother too. She died due to food poisoning. She had consumed some mushrooms. Mushrooms probably gifted by Mrs. Paul. Mrs. Paul later attributed the mix up to improper cooking. Mom didn’t know the difference – but she has been cooking mushrooms for quite some time. That thought doesn’t make sense, and so I’m pushing it out.

And it was, six months ago that I set out for revenge. Vengeance. I’m twelve years old. Other boys of my age hardly know to spell out vengeance. And here I am, wreaking vengeance on the killers of my parents.

The first step was including mushrooms in the diet of Mr. Paul. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. And the landlord had promised a visit. Along with a few police officers. I know that she can’t bear imprisonment. First, it would break her heart to be arrested. Next her health would deteriorate. And she would slowly rot away.

I see the cars approaching in the distance. The landlord, accompanied by the police, has come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Revenge. The dish best served cold. They’ve even brought an ambulance, just in case. I’m fascinated by the sirens on both the vehicles.

And then it strikes me. It’s them! They’ve me cornered and helpless. I turn around – they’ve caught me. I’m in an ambush. I scream. The doctor injects something into my arm – all I feel is a jab. And then, I can’t even hear my own voice. But I See. I See my parents; I See Mrs. And Mr. Paul. I must be stark raving mad. Or haunted. And the world darkens out, as I am carried into the ambulance.




The old man, who sold balloons walked past the TV showroom, decked with a wide variety of television sets. All of them showing the same pretty young girl  talking. He felt a hint of pride at how much women have moved out of their homes. Strange, she resembled his daughter. Maybe it was because he felt the same pride with both of them.

She was saying,”… has been caught and returned to the hospital. The doctors thank the public for quick notification to the authorities. It is said that the patient suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Apparently the inmate observed the deaths of his parents – due to suicide and food poisoning. Doctors claim that the young boy, all of 12 years old, believes whoever he meets to be the reason behind the deaths of his parents. He fabricates a story around whoever he meets with whatever facts his brain could handle. Proper medication and counselling would be enough to solve the problems, is what the doctors claim. They also say that…”

The old man walked on with his wares. He wondered why the father would commit suicide abandoning his kid. He wondered why the mother had to die, making an orphan of the child. He felt bad for the boy – in whose head there was trouble, when other kids of his age had nothing but fun.

I had a few positive ideas in which the boy would provide a solution to the problems of Mrs. Paul. But I noticed too many others had similar ones. So I took a darker theme. Is this fine, or shall I carry forward with posting another post with a positive outlook?



13 thoughts on “Day 18: Best Served Cold

  1. I thought your take on it was very interesting, and I liked that it was way different than all the others. After all, the prompt didn’t really say the kid was all that sorry about it. I’m still amazed at how many different ways there are to interpret the basic information. Probably as many different ways as there are writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly right. Each one has his/her own stream of thought. No wonder there is a budding writer in each of us. Thing is some stick to FB updates and some go to write novels.


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