I've been working on a story for a little while and thought I'd put a little of the beginning down here and see if anyone happened to read it and liked what they saw...
“You have been out of contact for two weeks and all you have to offer me is this dirty, scrawny thing?” a shrill voice emerged from the shadows of the dimly lit room. She had not had much time to look around, nor did she risk the chance now.
“With your abilities this rock will be shined up into a diamond. You know it and I know you know it, so there is no use trying to cheat me out of your part of the deal. I brought you the girl and I am going to get the money I was promised.” The grizzled man’s voice had nearly reached shouting before the woman interrupted his growling.
“Now do not go and get yourself into a tizzy, you will get what we agreed upon.” And with a puff she tossed a small bag into his waiting hands, in the same moment she tugged at the girl’s small wrist. As they made their way down the hall, with the man whistling his way out the door, she chanced a look around. The hall was long and narrow; she could barely walk alongside the portly woman without bruising herself against the old walls. The woman’s black hair was harshly pulled back in a tight bun and the hall, which was lit by several murky wall lamps, cast severe shadows on the woman’s face. The girl shirked away when the woman glanced down.
“I am Madame Weatherly and we have a couple of rules here, if you are a good girl you will like it here. Do not make a sound, lest you anger the Master. Never look the Master in the eye should you have the honour of meeting him. And never, ever think of trying to run away.” With that note of warning she swung open a door that had previously been unseen by the young girl. Within its depths she could see a wooden ladder leading up into the darkness.
“Come on, be a good girl.” Madame Weatherly said as she shut the door. The girl stood alone in the darkness looking up when she heard the turn of the key in the lock and the resounding clunk as it was bolted shut. She was a prisoner and only God knew where she was. With trembling feet she crawled up the ladder hoping to find something soft to sleep on. At the top she was surprised to find a feather soft mattress. Curling up amidst the blankets, a deep sob caught in her throat. Scared of angering the Master she silently kept her tears to herself. As she drifted into sleep images danced in her head, happier times with her father and her sister. Her sister; she wondered where her sister was.
With a jerk she sat straight up, thunder sounded in the distance. That was when she last saw her sister – the rivers were flooding with all the rain and the ground was muddy, so muddy. She remembered that mud, the way it squished between her toes; her sister Violet loved squishing the mud in her toes. Their dad had always warned them not to go out when it was raining, it was dangerous. One day, the rain had let up and the sun was shining. Violet said she wanted to go outside, with their mom gone and her dad at work during the day she was charge. She knew she had lots to do about the house before the rain started coming back down but Violet so wanted to play. With a smile Violet ran out the door, a couple hours later she stood at the same open door peering into the torrents of rain yelling out for her sister. She knew her father would be angry, she knew he would not be happy. Leaving dinner on the table she ran out to look for her sister, hoping to bring her back before her father was any the wiser.
That is what brought her here, wherever here was. In the room, now lit by some small rays shining from a small window near the ceiling, she sat; alone, scared, and hungry. The next morning she found some bread and water at the foot of her ladder, some mornings it was there and some mornings it was not; she took to saving half of it just in case. Days passed like this, the nights were riddled with nightmares and tears and the days with the sounds of wheels on cobbled paths she assumed were just outside her walls.
She knew not when, it may have been a fortnight or it may have been longer, but at the peak of her ladder one morning she awoke to a small dark face peering at her.
“Musn’ make a sound miss” the girl whispered as she crawled up onto the floor “Mas’er is comin’ soon and you mus look purty miss. Musn’ worry miss, I will help you.” From below she pulled up a small basket. “Here be some breakfas’ miss, I bet you’re a might hungry miss.”
“You need not call me ‘miss’, my name is Miriam.” She offered with a small smile.
“Oh thank you miss, but I mus’ or else the Madame will beat me, miss.” She said in an ardent whisper, “but ‘tis a purty name miss.”.
Trying to make amends Miriam asked, “What is your name then?”
“Oh we mus’n be friends, miss, the Mas’er don’t take kindly to that, nor does the Madame. I jus’ here to brush your hair and give you a purty new dress miss.” But in the slightest whisper she added, “My name be Maddy, miss”.....