The train came to a complete stop. The matron in charge of the thirty-four children—some so small they still needed nappies and had just begun toddling—rose from her seat. Her eyes scanned the group but landed hard on Bridget, a warning as shrill as the train whistle. Because, Bridget thought, my hair is red, and she says that means I have “no soul”, and I’m a “half orphan”, “the worst kind.” And “a thief.”
Matron marched to Bridget’s seat with spectacles slipping down her long nose. “That disgusting habit of yours. I see your tongue again, I’ll cut it off.”
Bridget squeezed harder at the band of wool and the thick coil of Grandma Teegan’s braid inside. She’d fight sadness and how much she missed Grandma Teegan. If you didn’t fight, one day you went to work, and three days later, a strange man stepped up to your bed and ran a dirty string from the top of your dead head to your dead toes. Measuring you for a burying box. Just like what happened to Rowan.
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