To Kill A Mockingbird, Uncut

The following account was a creative writing assignment given to me in literature class. We were studying Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. This is my narrative of Mrs. Dubose’s history before her death as a morphine addict.


My story ain’t as grand as many of y’all townsfolks think. I don’t hide no pistol in my drawer of stoles and garments, and there ain’t no tragic tale of lost loved ones and scandalous behavior, so I reckon y’all do away with these ridiculous suspicions and leave me be. I’m bitter by mine own doing, and none of y’all in this darn town could understand. Children runnin’ wild and decent white folks defending them good-for-nothin’ Negroes – what is this world comin’ to? Back in my day, none such acts would be tolerated! Why, back in my day, I was nothin’ like I am now. I was young and social – went down to the parlor all the time and ordered a tall, fizzy Coca-Cola. I was liked by my peers, and even fell in love once. But that was a long time ago, and all them good folks left the sweet South to become Yankees in hopes of gettin’ rich. I never had such desires. Right before the turn of the century, I moved to Maycomb County; time don’t move quick here, but I ain’t mind one bit. I made my living assistin’ a shopkeeper, and busied myself with gardening and reading on the weekends. But my life changed for the worse in the year 1910 – my fingers and toes ached indescribably when it rained, and didn’t feel any much better when it wasn’t. The town doctor told me I had rheumatoid arthritis, somethin’ he described as chronic and wouldn’t git better none ‘til the day I died. He prescribed to me morphine – my savior and ruin, all in one. The slippery little pills helped, all right; my whole person went into a cloud of relief and nothin’ hurt anymore. The pain slowly lessened, but them drugs were clever little devils. They got in my bones and snuck up on me; my body needed ‘em to feel comfort and in my mind, stoppin’ wasn’t an option. Years passed, and my knees and hips gave out, confinin’ my decrepit body to a wheelchair – I didn’t feel none too much pain though. The pills took care of that. But my addiction rendered me weak and feelin’ sick, makin’ me always rely on Jessie, who’s really the only confidant I got. I feel the reaper’s on my doorstep, waitin’ to take me any minute. It makes me sad, lookin’ back on life and realizin’ I ain’t accomplished much. It makes me sadder to think I ain’t able to control myself, and how I’m dyin’ by my own hand. I wanna git better, really, I do.