|I would like this to be the cover for my book.|
|I would like this picture to be the on the back cover of the book if I get it published.|
Christy pulled the pail out of the well and headed back to the kitchen. As she returned to her dormitory, she rehearsed her plan to herself in her head. She would leave. She would be fourteen tomorrow. She would leave the orphanage. She had been there for eight years – ever since she was six. As she tucked the little girls in, she kissed each sleeping form tenderly on the forehead, deciding not to tell them. “They’ll know soon enough.” She thought.
For a long time, Christy had felt that her headmaster was hiding something from her – and her desire to find a living relative strengthened.
“Family – Christy, you must have some family somewhere.” Her mind was a blur. Surely she had relatives other than her fifteen-year-old cousin, Albert, who lived on his own just out of town. He had been so kind to her. She had taken the last name “Ward” as her own, for it was his surname. The orphaned assigned all unknown children with new last names if they did not know their own. Christy knew simply “Chrissie” when she was turned in – that was all she knew – she had no idea how she became an “orphan”, or where her family were; just “Chrissie” and “Chrissie lost.” The matron supposed her to be in a shock or a trance. Christy shuddered at the thought of not knowing anything about herself. She felt that fourteen was the time to grow up and start finding that out.
All this time she was thinking, she was packing her carpet bag, and a small leather satchel. She dressed quickly into her blue cotton dress, pulled on her white stockings, and buttoned up her black boots. She pulled the thick red coat and blue scarf Albert had brought her out of the closet and put them on.
Christy tied a yellow floral ribbon in her wavy brown hair and looked around. As she was the oldest girl in the orphanage, she had her own room. It consisted of necessary furnishings: a bed, dresser, mirror and a trunk. She surveyed herself critically in the mirror. Satisfied with her appearance, she emptied out the trunk of her personal belongings and transferred them to the satchel, along with an apple and some sandwiches she had saved from lunch.
Christy took her purse from inside her pillowcase. It contained money, which she had saved from her small monthly allowance, and the stagecoach ticket Albert had bought for her. This she placed carefully inside the satchel, fastened the buckle and slung the bag over her shoulder. She picked up the carpet bag, looked at herself in the mirror one last time, and crept out of her room and down the hall. Once outside, she advanced toward the tree where she and Albert had agreed to meet.
“Chrissie,” came the whisper.
“Albert.” Her cousin was a few inches taller than her, so she had to look up to him.
“I was beginning to think you’d changed your mind.” He said.
Christy took a deep breath. “No.” She breathed.
Albert handed her a corked glass bottle of fresh water from his stream, and a roll of dollar bills.
“Thanks.” Christy tucked the money into the bottom of her carpet bag, and the bottle of water into the brown satchel. She gave him a quick hug.
“I’ll write you.” She promised.
“So will I.” Albert replied. “Promise to tell me how you’re doing and...and stuff, okay?”
“Goodbye,” Christy said, “I’ll miss you.”
With that, she headed to the post-office where the stage-coach was waiting. Albert watched for a minute or two, then he also left.
Christy rapped briskly on the post-office window. A lady with wiry spectacles answered her knock.
“Excuse me,” Christy began, “When is the South Carolina stage due to leave?”
The lady checked her watch. “Five minutes.” She replied brusquely, and shut the window.
Christy sat down on the porch of the post-office.
Soon enough, the stage-coach appeared. Christy boarded it with one final wistful look around the town she loved. Several minutes later, and all familiar surroundings faded away.
In the coach with her were an elderly couple, who introduced themselves as Mr. & Mrs. Marvin and Petra Wright, and a young man (about 23, Christy guessed) who had stringy orange hair and a moustache, and did not speak at all.
“I’m Christy.” Said the owner of that name politely.
“What’s your last name, dear?” Inquired Mrs. Wright.
Christy thought quickly – “Carr.” She fibbed. She didn’t want the orphanage to track her down too quickly. She figured they probably would eventually, though.
The journey to Raleigh was a long, dusty trip. Christy slept that night with her mind full of jumbling thoughts: Albert, the orphanage, and Raleigh, where she wanted to start a new life.
There you have it! Hope you enjoyed reading - let me know what you think!
(Sorry the alignment isn't very good.)