The Escape from the Orphanage
Clang! The sound of sword against sword echoed. I was facing of against a brown-bearded pirate, who was cursing heavily and had wild eyes. My hand clutched harder against the hilt of the sword in my hand, and I used all my strength to push the sword away and twirl back. Breathing hard, I charged -
“Alright girls! Time to get up!” Ms. Evee shouted in her shrill but demanding voice.
All the girls around me groaned. I opened one, shining green eye, peaked out of the covers, and groaned as well. No one liked waking up to Ms. Evee’s voice. I pushed the tattered but warm covers away from me. The cold air made the thin hairs on my forearms stand up. I opened both eyes and stood. The girls around me were already getting dressed behind the screens. I grabbed my clothes, a white dress that hung loosely on me, and dressed as well. Grabbing a small piece of fabric, I pulled my wild red curls into a ponytail.
Me, Alexis, and Sarah went down to the well to collect water for the day. The others got work on cleaning our room in the orphanage. The boys of the orphanage were already up, cutting the wood and helping out where needed. The blacksmith apprentices were already heading to the blacksmith shop. Me and Sarah pulled the bucket up for Alexis who filled up her water bucket immediately. Alexis, Sarah, and I took turns pulling up the bucket. Once we had all filled up the rusty buckets, we headed back up to the orphanage. Alexis split off to give Ms. Evee her bucket of water. Sarah and I would give ours to her helpers. After that, I would head to the markets.
After getting the water, I grabbed the basket and the list of food, and headed to the markets. I passed the harbour, where a pirate-looking ship was docked. I thought nothing of it, and continued on. Crowds of people walked from stall to stall, buying food, decorations, and medicine. I walked to Amanda’s stall, where she sold breads and baked goods.
“Hey Brig, how you doing?” Amanda asked, her happy glow shining brighter.
“Good so far, how’s Carlos?” I asked, my head tilting to one side. Carlos is Amanda’s close friend, and the guy that she really likes.
Amanda sighed. “Better. The medication seem to be helping. Now, what does Ms. Evee need?”
I read the list. “Bread, biscuits, and the cake for Miranda.”
“Coming right up.” Amanda replied.
Amanda got the goods, and gave them to me. I placed them in the basket. I paid her, and she snuck me piece of her chocolate chip cookies. I ate it quickly, then continued shopping.
As I approached the orphanage, a pang of sadness stopped me walking. After all the years I’d spent here, no one had adopted me. I stared at the orphanage. It stood alone on a hill. It looked dreary and unhappy, which it really was. It was painted gray, and wasn't built well. There was a cabin off to the side where Ms. Evee and her assistants lived. It was the only thing in a mile radius that was built well. It had expensive furniture inside, and no one was allowed to go inside unless given permission or was giving water to Ms. Evee or her assistants. Suddenly, I remembered we had to be there because it was adoption day.
I ran as fast as I could without tripping to the orphanage. I slid in through the doorway, almost forgetting Ms. Evee didn't like us running. I slowed down before she could hear me running. I walked up the stairs and to my assigned room before you could say ‘Pirates don’t eat vanilla and strawberry cake’ five times fast. Alexis handed me the dress we were supposed to wear adoption day and I hid behind one of the screens and dressed quickly. Then we all went down to the living room. Today though, I hoped to be adopted. I would be turning 16 in a few months, and therefore closer to adulthood. The adults streamed in, all going towards the younger kids. A good friend of mine, Eliza, walked towards me, two adults, a male and a female, in tow. Eliza is around 9 years old, and I remember when she came to this orphanage. I knelt to her level.
“Hey Brigid!” her happy tone made me smile gently.
“Hey Ellie,” I replied, “Did you find a family?”
“Yeah! This is Anna and Mark, they're gonna take me home.” Eliza answered, her voice soft.
My smile grew wider. Eliza deserved to find a home. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah!” Eliza exclaimed.
I stood and faced Anna and Mark. “Eliza is a good person. She’ll fit into your family easily.”
Anna, a black haired lady, smiled at me. “Good. Do you think you could show us to Ms. Evee’s office?”
I smiled and lead them to her office. I could hear voices coming from inside.
“Here we are. I’ll see if I can tell Ms. Evee about you.” I told the soon-to-be family.
I knocked on the door. The voices inside stopped talking.
“Who is it?” Ms. Evee called.
“Brigid!” I replied.
“Come in Brigid.” Ms. Evee said as I walked in. “We were just talking about you.”
A middle-aged man with a black beard was sitting in one of the velvet chairs opposite Ms. Evee. They were talking about me? Is he going to adopt me? Is he my real father? Ms. Evee, a brown haired, stout middle-aged woman gestured for me to sit down. I did.
“Yes Brigid?” She asked, her tone implying she didn't want me here.
“A family is here to adopt Eliza. They wanted to speak to you.” I told her.
“Of course. Mr. Teach, you wanted to speak to Brigid?” Ms. Evee asked the man.
“Yes.” The man, Mr. Teach, stood. “May I speak to you outside, Brigid?”
I blinked. “Off course sir.”
He led me outside. I was bursting with questions to ask. I took what he was wearing in. A white shirt, black, pants, black boots, and no tie. Definitely not in style anymore. Curious. But what was really strange was how he talked. He talked like he went to proper school, but looked as if he hadn't.
“Well, miss, I’m here to take you home.” He began. “I told Ms. Evee this, but she won't allow me to take you home, saying she can take care of you until you are old enough to do it yourself.”
“What she tells you is wrong sir. She doesn't take care of anyone but herself.” I told him. “Are you my father?”
“What? No, good heavens, no. Your mother and I don't quite … see eye to eye.” Mr. Teach said.
“But if your living conditions are not the greatest, I can take you home.” Mr. Teach told me.
“I can escape tonight. Where will I find you?” I asked.
“On the pirate boat docked in the harbour.” Mr. Teach said, leaving after finishing his statement.
Later, everyone was asleep. I was sitting up, counting seconds, and pretending I was asleep everytime someone passed the door. I had a bag of stuff underneath my bed. Reaching underneath, I pulled it out, laid notes next to my friends’ pillows, and turned towards the window. A board creaked. I stopped, shallowly breathing, and not moving. Miranda tossed in her bed, but no other movement took place. I darted toward the open window, and climbed out. My fingers barely held onto the ivy covered pipe. Once safely down, I ran. The harbour came into view. Shouting was coming from the pirate boat.
“Toss the ladder over! Hoist the anchor! Lift the sail!”
Mr. Teach’s face came into view. A ladder was tossed down one side. I jumped, and climbed up. Once in the ship, I looked over to the orphanage. Ms. Evee was running, her stout legs barely carrying her heavy set body. Mr. Teach was beside me, shouting at the crew to set off. I waved merrily at Ms. Evee, a wide smile gracing my lips. The boat lurched forwards, and I fell backwards. Someone caught me, and I barely got a glimpse of his sharp, dark blue eyes before he dropped me. Mr. Teach helped me up. I returned his warm smile. He turned toward the horizon and pointed toward the dark shape in the distance.
“Well, miss, looks like your heading home.”
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SAMBer since 2016
Proud creator of Haven for the Elements! It's on it's 22nd page.
'Cause this whole thing's really just a shot in the dark." - Old Dominion