Aurora woke up in her dark room as it was dawn and there was no light yet. She lit the candle beside her bed.
She climbed out of bed, Her room was very small, depressing, and it was just enough to fit her bed, and a bit of leg room to put a narrow table where her uniform resided.
This was deemed to be more than enough for a female maid, and could not complain as she worked in the palace, as long as she got there on time and well-prepped that was all that mattered.
She wondered why they had to be so well prepped when they were the maids and no one saw them as they usually cleaned when the royals were either asleep or having dinner or attending balls and banquets.
She took soap and a sponge, then headed outside, It was cold as usual but she was still not used to it no matter how many times this routine of hers was done.
Aurora took a wooden bucket and went to the well that was a good ten minutes from where she lived. She got to the well and got some water.
She carried the water back to the bathroom stalls that were situated outside. They were a very small square, which had a wooden door.
It was very hard to move but she scrubbed herself whilst her teeth were clattering from the cold. She poured the water on herself and immediately woke up in an instant.
After finishing and putting back her garment on and headed out back to her room. The candle at least bought a bit of light, after undressing quickly and putting on her normal uniform which was a brown plain blouse and an ankle-long brown skirt, and long stockings underneath, with black, closed-off shoes, This was determined to be prim and proper.
Aurora took a worn-out brush and brushed her hair back, it was red and unruly at times but by now she was used to it and how to deal with it.
She tied it up around and it was a full bun. She took a can to see how it looked. She was happy with the results as this is how she was supposed to look at all times.
She made her way to the palace, It would take a good twenty minutes, not everyone was lucky enough to get a servant’s quarters in the palace which made it all the easier.
It was all about who you knew or how you were related, or the ranking of the workers played advantage to them.
With none of those, she was in a pickle. She got on her bicycle and made her way to the palace. The road was a bit bumpy and a bit hard as dawn was breaking.
When she was cleared and went in with her bicycle to the stalls where you could leave them there. She straightened her uniform and made sure to finish any last touches.
Aurora made her way to the staff kitchen and was glad that they at least provided her with some bread and tea before they started work.
The room was already booming with chatter and laughter, lucky to those that got there early as they stayed there and the perks of being in the palace’s servant quarters were great, hot water was available to them and at times they could eat the leftovers that were left behind by the prestige.
The temperature increased significantly from the cold and cruel weather that she had come from. She could now feel her face a bit.
Her nose was probably red from numbness, they used to laugh at her because of that but thank goodness the joke eventually died down.
She went to get some tea first as her hands felt frozen from the trip, After taking a cup, and went to the tea station where they filled it up and was given a piece of bread.
She said as they ticked off her name from the list, They only got one serving each but she knew that the ones who lived in the palace got more as they knew each other and the kitchen staff was often way more giving if you bought them something special such as a hairpin.
She had failed immensely to get a hold of anything worth of value to bribe them so she could get some more.
Aurora went to the table where her friends were seated, she sat down.
“Morning.” She greeted them all.
“You look like you froze to death,” Ida remarked.
Aurora took a sip from her tea and she burnt herself, “Ouch!”
“You forget every time you drink tea,” Ella added.
“It’s a shame you have to make it here through this awful forsaken weather.” This time it was Lucy.
“It’s sad that they can’t make all of us stay here. I mean they eat very well, the kings and queens but fail to give everyone decent living conditions.” Agnes said out.
“Keep your voice down, you don’t know who might be listening. The palace has eyes and ears everywhere you know.” Evelyn said in a hushed tone so that it was only her that could hear.
“It’s okay, really.” Aurora smiled at her friends, they all lived in the palace but she, it had come down to hard luck.
Not that her luck had ever been up, it was down in the slumps just like her life was. The money earned here was just enough to live by and get necessities.
Things such as eggs and cheese were rare to them and only the rich ate them and only they could afford such a lavish life.
She took another sip of her tea as it had cooled down a bit. She was grateful for the hot liquid as it was warming her up.
“Maybe a space will open up Aurora and we can all be together.” This time it was Barbara.
She was grateful for her friends wanting to help her so much, They finished chatting up and knew it was time for them to preset the palace.
The lucky ones worked with the cooks and they got a bit of a bite, but the rest of them had sweeping duty and scrubbing the floor which left one aching all over.
She got her broom and headed to the courts and the vigorous work of scrubbing began .She put her back and all her might into it.
The day had began to an awful start and it was a bit gloomy,
After two hours she was done, and needed to go in and scrub the indoors.
Aurora turned to the voice calling her and it was Cathy, she worked in the kitchen so she wondered what was wrong?
She was heaving in front of her, “You need to come with me urgently.” Cathy said between breaths.
Aurora followed her to the palace, she didn’t get a chance to ask Cathy what was going on. And why was she wanted?
She got inside and found the head maid standing there, Madam Beatrice, She was very scary, she was older and wanted everything done to perfection.
If it wasn’t you would be subject to her lashes or worse you lose your only income.
“Morning Madam Beatrice.”
Madam Beatrice motioned for Cathy to leave and she did immediately, and wondered if she had done something wrong.
“Aurora, we are in a pickle, I will need you to fill in for Constance, she caught the measles and will not be able to come to work for short while.”
It’s not like she could refuse the Madam after all,
“Follow me Aurora.”
Aurora followed her through the palace, and was trying to remember all the twists and turns but she knew that would not be possible.
They got to the room and the Madam stood aside for her to get in, “You will be cleaning this room Aurora, and you have to clean it to perfection.”
Aurora nodded, “Yes madam.”
“I chose you as I know you work hard,”
“Thank you, madam, I will not let you down.”
“There is an hourglass which you can use, You have an hour and a half to clean this room as they are eating breakfast currently.”
“I will leave you to it and don’t disappoint me Aurora.” She could hear her threatening tone and she became a bit afraid.
With that she left, and Aurora turned the hourglass and went to work immediately. She picked up the clothes for laundry and put them in a washing dish. She would take them out to be washed after finishing the room.
She made the bed and dusted everything, she swept the floor and made sure everything was clean. Whoever was in this room seemed to be extraordinarily well off, the silk sheets and the garments were made from the finest.
When she was done , there was a bit of time to spare, Aurora picked up the basket with the dirty laundry, and as she was going out the door she bumped into someone.