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County Clare 2020: A Day in My Life
Creative Writing Competition for children and teenagers
Winner of 10 to 12 category

County Clare 2020: A Day in my Life
by Caroline Hamilton

Why would I want to be myself during a crisis when I have my imagination to bring me to another world with my imaginary historical character ‘Bella Taylor’?

This is my story as Bella Taylor a Victorian foundling child and a maid of all work. I wake up as usual to the screams of my mistress, who was born into a stuck up, rich family. “GET UP, BELLA! I WANT MY BREAKFAST”, she bellows.
I do not exactly like the family I work for, but I was forced to have a job, being born out of wedlock. In addition, they were desperate for some skivvy to do the work they did not want to do. They hate me too I suppose.

On April 29th, in the year 1842, I got up as I always do, hardly excited about a day of toil. I made Master and Mistress Pomposity their breakfast comprised of bacon and eggs. Then, I got the children toast and dripping, dressed them and got their nursery cleaned, while the nursery maid, Winnie, played with them.

“BELLA! I WANT TO SEE YOU DANCE IN THE NURSERY”, Abigail screamed. Abigail was the wretched youngest daughter of the Pomposity family, born with not a silver but a gold spoon in her mouth. As well as being a maid, I was dancer and puppet to the Pomposities pretentious offspring. People just expected me to dance whenever they pleased. Reluctantly, I put on my ballet shoes and ballet dress, given to me as a gift from Nurse Ada who looked after me until I was 12, before I started work. I walked onto the stage and danced with little joy. As I danced, I began feeling like this day was going to get strange. A feeling I never get.

The doorbell rang. I quickly got my maid outfit back on and ran to answer the now violently ringing doorbell. I recognised that impatient ring. It was the Pomposities nearest neighbour and friend, William Aggressife. I opened the door and glanced at him. Cora, (his wife) was standing to the side, annoyed because of the recent row just concluded between William and her. Michael (the eldest boy) was muttering something under his breath, something about Eggs Benedict. Elizabeth (their only girl) was trying to talk to a silent James (her younger brother), who looked troubled. I do not envy James living with the Aggressife family and as I see his troubled expression, I wonder how his life must be.

The visiting family enters and something about Cora’s expression catches my eye. A gentle glint of sadness not far from my own, glimpsed on rare occasions I steal a look in the mistresses mirror. The children go to find their friends in the nursery while I seek out Mister and Mistress Pomposity. Cora excuses herself to go to the WC. I suddenly remember that I have not replaced the soap in the WC yet this morning. I hurriedly follow on to avert this embarrassing oversight. I creep into the small WC when I hear a whispering voice in distress. I hide and listen quietly to the musings.

Ohh, how I wish I could find my dearest Adelia again. If only that horrid foundling hospital had not taken her from me. Now that I have married into wealth, I am still not complete without my beautiful daughter. Where are you dearest Adelia, I hope you are happy. I wonder do you dance as I danced in my youth…
I have a strange sensation of a familiar voice and that face…I know it. I have a vague recollection of that distressing morning years ago when I was put in the arms of a stranger at the foul hospital. Could this be my mother? I stop and reflect.

Mr Aggressife is such a nasty man I could never dream of being a part of his family. If I said anything about my memories, my mother would surely be thrown out and disgraced? Besides, I am not fit for a life of luxury….

Excuse me ma’am, I need to replace that soap for you, I say.
Dabbing her downward glancing eyes, Cora shakily murmurs, ‘Thank you, maid.

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