February 25, 2006 at 5:26 am #1791Helen FollmerMember
October 17 1857 White Chapel District, London
“Half a pound of tuppenny rice, Half a pound of treacle. That?s the way the money goes, Pop goes the weasel. Up and down the City road, In and out the Eagle, That?s the way the money goes, Pop goes the weasel.” She added the forbidden lyrics to the tune with a grin. “Queen Victoria?s very sick, Prince Albert?s got the measles. The children have the whooping cough, And pop! Goes the weasel. ” The door swung open to the dilapidated room she and her mother shared interrupting her song. Looking up she could see her mother with another one of her gentlemen friends looming in the doorway.Alayna rose from the filthy ground to rush over and embrace her mom but was quickly batted away. ” Mon Cheri, go outside and play for a bit, and please, do try and stay out of trouble.” The small child pursed out her lips and slumped her small shoulders. ” But mama do I have to? It's so cold outside.” A stern look was given and she cowered, defeated she watched the two as she walked by and headed outside. The man had one arm wrapped around her mother's waist while his free hand pawed at her chest. She could hear the two laugh as she slammed the door behind her and sat on the stoop. The cold london air made her shiver in her flimsy tattered clothing and she hugged her legs to her chest resting her chin atop her knees to wait once again as she had so many times before.
” Well if it ain't the whore's lil bastard!” Her head shot up and she saw the two boys approaching, a feeling of dread creeping into her empty stomach and working it's way throughout her entire body. ” She got you outside again eh? Just as well, ain't that right Tom?” The boy who had spoken elbowed his friend in the shoulder, a smirk on his face as beady brown eyes looked cruelly upon her. The one called Tom spoke up next with a laugh. ” Aye, waiting outside like a dog suits her just fine.” The two boys erupted into a fit of laughter all the while coming nearer sending her heart racing inside her chest. The tears welled up in her eyes but she fought to keep them at bay, at least until the boys left. ” Awww lookit Georgie, looks like the little slut is going to start crying. Go on then.” He taunted her. ” Go ahead and cry. You know ya wanna lil baby.” She prayed they would tire soon of tormenting her and leave but instead they paused in front of her looking her up and down. Like a frightened animal she refused to meet their eyes, maybe if she had she would have seen what was coming but instead the only warning she received was a sudden impact on her legs. She yelped and recoiled as the pair ran off laughing. From the smell of it it was horse manure. The tears came down in a steady flow now as she stood up trying to clean herself off swiping at it with tiny hands but it only seemed to worsen. ” Mama's gonna be so mad.” She sobbed quietly. The manure had spattered not only her dress but had sprayed onto her face and throughout her hair as well. Not knowing what else to do she sank back down and wept.
When the door swung open she scooted to let the man pass and winced as she heard her mother's voice from within call to her. ” Alayna!” With much effort she rose up, the stiffness the weather set into her joints making it painful as she walked in with her head down unable to meet her mother's furious gaze. ” What is this?! Look at you! I told you not to get into any trouble and now look at the state of you!” She tried to speak up to defend herself but was quickly cut off. ” You worthless child what am to do with you! Well you can stay like that until tomorrow when I have the time to clean you up.” Her mother wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and walked past Alayna without a second glance. ” I'll be back later, try to behave this time until I return.” The door closed leaving her alone once again her only company a rat with it's nose buried in filth in one corner of the room.
August 27, 1871
The few who had attended the service had already gone leaving her alone to watch as her mother was laid to rest. No tears were shed as she watched the dirt hit the cheap wooden casket. She loved her mother and someday she would cry for her lose but this day her thoughts were only on the bad memories. She wondered if her mother had ever loved her at all as the last of the soil was tossed into place burying the past along with it.
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