A story




In the middle of the cyclone we had awhile back, the birds sat on the fence in the pouring rain rather than sit in a swaying tree. The photo is taken at slow speed to catch the rain drops.

Last week we were given a first page of work someone had intended to use in their novel. This was to test our editing skills. We had to read the piece then go by our gut reaction to say why we liked the story. Or didn't. Then we had to write the story in our own words on how we would have written the story. I can't put up the original piece to be able to compare changes because it wasn't my work. This is what I took from the story after I'd done some research. I don't believe this was done before writing the other story. I even had to change the names used to be able to upload.





Elsa was born in a workhouse to a poor mother. Or was she there after being thrown out of her family because of adultery. Rape.


She was orphaned after birth. During the pregnancy her mother haemorrhage to death due to complications. And lack of proper medical care. She died in her bed in the dormitory she had been placed in. Her labour had begun when there weren't any others in there to help her. The child birth was well advanced by the time she was found. The nurse who found her assisted with the safe delivery of Elsa but the mother couldn't be saved. Because no family were found to adopt or take in, little Elsa, she had to be kept at the workhouse until time came for her to find her own way in life.


Cold dampness entered the walls of the building to chill all those inside. The uniform Elsa wore had worn thin from all the washing and wearing. Everyone at the workhouse had to wear the same. No one was allowed to keep their own clothes on entering the poor house. Their clothes were taken away, washed and stored along with any possessions, until ready to leave. Each body was scrubbed to clean off any fleas, or other nasties, before allowed to proceed to a dormitory.


The day Elsa was old enough to hold a brush she was taught how to scrub the floor on her hands and knees. To try to remove some of the stench from the building, from spillage from the pots placed beneath their beds. The longer she worked the more the smell seemed to settle in the pores of her skin


You have to go to see Mrs Whistle, Elsa.” She was told by one of the messengers. “What trouble have you caused this time?”


I haven't done nothing wrong.” Elsa shoved the scrub brush in the bucket of dirty water before she stood. Some of the water splashed on the messenger.


I'll get you for that. You just wait and see I won't. I'm going to tell on you.”


Good luck.” With a heavy heart Elsa made her way to the office.


You wanted to see me, Mrs Whistle?”


Yes, Elsa. I'm sorry. You have to leave us, today. We can no longer keep you here.”


What? Why? I thought I had more time. Where am I to go?”


You are to go to the mill to work. You will be given a guinea piece which you will give to the oversea.”


What about clothes? Do I wear the uniform?”
No. We have clothes your mother had when she arrived. You can wear them.”


Elsa was given the bundle of clothes and possessions her mother had with her on entering the workhouse. This was the only home she had ever known. Now, she was being tossed out on to the street dressed in ill fitting clothes to go work at the mill. She didn't want to go there. Elsa had heard horrible stories of what happened there. She feared for her life.


With a few possessions wrapped into a bundle, Elsa walked from the workhouse for the last time. The fingers of the thick fog wet her clothes within minutes but she didn't notice. Tears slid down her rosy cheek from the scrub down she had been given before leaving. The words on the piece of paper she'd been given with directions to the mill, blurred. Not that there was too much light to see with the fog surrounding her. She couldn't see more than a foot in front of her. Her feet scuffed over the cobble stoned street. Elsa lost track of time while she concentrated on where she walked.



Too late. She registered the noise coming up behind her.

   

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