Writing 101 – Day 18 – Hone your point of view

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Writing 101

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Todays prompt was to write from the Point of view of a 12-year-old. So, I cheated. Today’s post is an extract taken from my novel ‘Checkmate’. It, coincidentally, is from the POV of my main character – Jason – who in this chapter is 12. So, enjoy…

***

Jason woke up thanks to his ever dependable body clock. It was dark outside. The darkness of his room enveloped him. He could hear footsteps padding around. Mum’s up, he thought. He couldn’t determine whether she was upstairs or down. Another one of his mum’s present problems was insomnia. The doctor had prescribed her with sleeping pills to try and get her into a routine pattern of sleep. They clearly didn’t work, or she wasn’t taking them properly. “Thick bitch can’t even take pills properly.” he briefly laughed through his nostrils.

He reached to the lamp on the table beside his bed, fumbled around for a second to find the switch, and the bulb burst into life, through the blue lamp shade. The initial shock of light made him squint and forced him to shield his eyes for a split second. He then opened his eyes fully to the lamp and overcame the challenge the light has posed. Satisfied at beating the light into submission, he looked at the wall across from him at the analogue clock ticking away. He liked this clock a lot as the second hand made a loud ticking noise on every step of its journey around its circumference. It lulled him to sleep at night and focussed his attention through the day when he needed some comfort and time to reflect. Maybe mum needs some help taking her pills. She needs to sleep. Mum needs help to sleep and I can help. Mum needs putting to sleep. Jason thought as he watched the seconds tick round and round. “Mum needs putting to sleep,” he whispered, “forever.”

The clock proudly displayed 6.23. He had planned out in his head, for the last seventeen minutes, what he was going to do. As the clock ticked around to 6.25, he quietly manoeuvred himself out of bed. He eased his feet into his open back, blue slippers and glided the four small strides to his door. Cautiously, without wanting to make a sound, he placed his right ear to the wood and listened. Hearing nothing, the door handle was turned and he pulled the door towards him. He shuffled backwards to accommodate the space the door would now take. He edged his head out of the gap he’d created and held his breath. Faint noises were coming from downstairs. Content that his mother was below, he allowed himself to relax a little and go about his morning ritual, albeit in a quiet fashion. Jason opened his door and stepped across the square void of the landing to the bathroom and closed the door till the latch caught in its natural groove of the door frame. He used the toilet but didn’t flush. He ran the tap and rinsed his hands. He reached up into the cabinet, pulled out his toothbrush and paste and brushed his teeth.

By 6.29 he was back in his room. He removed his slippers, took off his pyjamas and left them on his bed. He walked across the room to his wardrobe and pulled out fresh underwear and socks. He quickly slipped them on. He pulled out his school uniform and got dressed: white shirt, black trousers and black jumper with the white school insignia emblazoned on the fabric where his left pectoralis major muscle hid underneath.

With his feet back in his slippers, he set off on his journey downstairs via his mum’s room.

A short time later, in the living room, his mum was sat in the red arm chair, reading a magazine with her feet up on the matching red ottoman. The lamp, on the table beside the chair, was illuminating the far corner of the room. Jason walked to the mantel piece and picked up one of the two birthday cards he had received five days earlier. The card he picked up had a picture of a footballer on it shooting at a goal with a big number ‘12’ in the top right hand corner. He opened it and re-read the message he had read a number of times in the last few days:

To Jason

Happy Birthday

Love Joan

P.S don’t spend it all at once.

Jason smiled at the thought of the two £1 notes he found when he opened the envelope. He smiled because they went out of circulation in 1984, but he had asked a teacher, and he told Jason they could still be used up until June next year. Joan was an elderly neighbour. Jason did the odd job for her on occasion when he needed to get away from his mum’s abuse. Silly old boot, he thought, bless her. He afforded himself a little smirk at the thought of the old dear. The second and only other card he had received had a picture of a clown holding a balloon. A very babyish card, certainly not meant for a twelve year old. Inside it read:

To Jason

You’ll always be our baby boy

Love Mum and Dad

xx

Jason put his thumb over the word ‘Mum’ each time he had read the card and focussed on the word ‘Dad’. Clearly, his dad had no part to play in this card’s presence over the fireplace, yet Mum must’ve penned his moniker. How dare she! The thought came through as a private yell. He glared across at his mum, who still had her head in her magazine.

Jason snapped his middle finger lightly against his thumb on his right hand and uttered, “click.” The mask was on.

 

 

 

 

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