“No!” I screamed, squirming as they tried to get control of me. They grabbed my arms but I leaped forward, making them release me. They had me surrounded and were all trying to catch me so I slid between their legs.
I knew that I couldn’t let them get me. My parents had sacrificed themselves to protect me from these people, and I had to make their sacrifice worth it.
Cullern was the country that I was from and it was very poor. It was a place where battles always raged on the streets and orphans were everywhere. Some families didn’t have enough money to pay for housing so would sell their children.
The richer people in Cullern would take the children for very little money, usually only a coin or two and have them sent to work in factories sewing cloths or making things that could be sold. My parents didn’t have much money and wanted to save me from this fate.
My parents had both grown up as slaves but had escaped. Eight years later they had been found hiding with me. I was able to escape, but they weren’t. I couldn’t let these men get me now.
I sprinted away, but they were faster than I was and outnumbered me. They grabbed me and tied my hand behind my back. Someone put their hand over my mouth and yelled to another guy to grab a rag.
In anger I licked the hand holding my mouth shut. “Ew!” I heard the man scream, releasing me for a second.
I bit and thrashed around but soon they had control of me again. I screamed as loud as I could before a rag was put into my mouth.
They pulled me to my feet and pushed me forward. When I refused to walk they took to dragging me. I knew it was over. It was all over. Maybe a seven year old girl shouldn’t say that, but I felt much older than seven.
They took me into a big building that was large and gray. It didn’t have many windows and I assumed that it was one of the factories. We entered in a small entry hall and I was pushed up the stairs.
We went up to the second floor which was full of many doors which I assumed led into the servants rooms.
A man opened one of the doors and shoved me into the room, slamming the door and locking it behind me.
I collapsed on the floor and started to cry. I hadn’t cried for a long time, not even when my parents were taken away. I remembered crying of hunger once, but my mother had been there to hold me and comfort me. Now I cried because she was no longer here, and my dad was no longer here.
Several minutes later I felt someone’s arm around me. I wiped away my tears and looked up. “It’s okay.” a girl, about my age told me.
I sniffled a little and took a quick glance around the room. It was small and barely fit the two bunk beds inside of it. On one of the walls there was a window, but other than that the room was bare.
The girl helped me up and introduced herself. “I’m Delilah, though you can call me Lilah if you’d like.” she told me. Lilah had skin that was very pale, and had long, smooth blonde hair. She looked very different from me, since I had a tan shade of skin from my time out in the sun and wavy brown hair.
Then she nodded to two other girls who were sitting on the beds. “That’s Beatrix and the other one is Penelope.” Beatrix had narrow eyes and dark hair and skin. Her eyes glared at me, making me want to glare back. I already hated her and I had only been here for a couple of minutes.
Penelope on the other hand was someone who I might grow to like. Penelope had black hair and skin color that was a mix between mine and Lilah’s. She was very attractive and seemed easily likeable.
They looked at me, probably waiting for me to introduce myself. “I’m Everly.” I told them, walking over to the beds. “So, um, which one’s mine?” I asked, trying to break through the silence.
Lilah silently pointed to the top bunk on the left. I nodded and climbed up before falling asleep.
I woke up to the sound of the morning bell. It pierced the air, clanging loudly. I rubbed my eyes and rolled over, hoping to slip out of bed.
Unfortunately I was in a top bunk, which I had forgotten and the bunk beds were very simple, because servants are the lowest of people. Because of this there wasn’t any side rail to keep me from falling over.
I screamed as I fell, and ended up landing on the hardwood floor. I groaned as the girls ran to me.
“Are you okay?” Lilah asked, clearly concerned. I nodded as best as I could and looked over at the other girls and saw Beatrix snickering at me. I shot her a glare and then looked up at Lilah.
Lilah helped me up and I saw her eyes go to my arm which I could no longer feel.
“I think I broke it.” I said aloud. Lilah moved forward and studied my arm which was now an odd shade of purple.
Suddenly the door opened behind us. “Get moving servants! Master Corren expects work to be done today!” A woman said.
I looked at the man surprised and then back at the other girls who were already hurring about gathering their clothes.
As soon as the man left they all changed into their things. Lilah tossed me an outfit to wear which was the usual factory servants clothing, a plain gray shirt made of thick wool that scratched my skin and a pair of black pants.
I looked at the clothing in disgust before putting it on. “Who was that?” I asked. The woman had been wearing a dress, a very nice one. That meant she had some status.
“That’s Jenkin’s. She’s in charge of all the servants and is one of the more favored servants.” Beatrix said in a nasty way. I wasn’t sure if she was angry at me or Jenkin’s, although I had a feeling it was both.
Several minutes later the four of us were walking through the halls downstairs. We walked into a room which I assumed was the cafeteria and got our food, which was soup. We all quickly ate and washed our dishes in the sink.
I followed Lilah into the factory, which turned out to be a craft factory.
It was full of tables, all in neat rows. Most of them were covered in fabric and materials. Some girls were already seated and Lilah led me over to her table where I sat down next to her.
“This is the knitting section. This is how to knit.” Lilah told me, showing me all the steps. That is what we did all day, until dinner.
We didn’t get lunch and when I asked Lilah she just put her finger to her lips because one of the inspectors passed. There were about a hundred girls in the factory and a dozen or so inspectors who each carried a whip that would be used if someone did the wrong thing.
A little after lunch I saw the whip being used. A girl at the table in front of us was complaining about how hungry she was a little too loud. A inspector was nearby and frowned when he heard this, but the girl didn’t notice him.
He led the whip slash right onto the table in front of her. She jumped back in surprise at this and the inspector smirked.
“Do you not respect the wishes of Master Corren, servant?” he asked her. Her face had paled and she looked very scared.
She shook her head wildly and seemed to be pleading with her eyes.
“Get up!” he shouted down at her. Her eyes widened even more as she slowly got to her feet.
The man started to walk away and the girl followed, whimpering. I gave Lilah a questioning look.
“She’ll either be punished or sold away.” Lilah informed me. I never saw that girl again.