Young Family (Chapter 4, page 2 of 4)

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Chapter 4

"I'm sure one of them can do it."

"I don't know-"

"Don't you want to see what it's like over there? You remember the books I read to you? You remember all the great things over there? All the beautiful clothes people wear? You could design things you couldn't even imagine here. No more plain gray dresses."

"I don't mind making gray dresses."

"I should have known you wouldn't want to go. You're just a big fat scared pig who doesn't want to leave her sty."

"I'm not a pig!" This brought chuckles and a few exaggerated snorts from some of the other children. Prudence ignored these, glaring at Samantha instead. "Even if I am, at least I'm not a freak like you."

"Oh, I'm a freak, am I?"

"That's right. You and your boobies."

"Fine, you just stay right here, getting fatter until you can't fit through the door anymore." Samantha shot to her feet. She stomped over to the counter where Phyllis had left the pots of stew. Samantha took one that was still three-quarters full. She carried it back to Prudence's table, dropping it with a thud next to her former best friend. "Here, I'll save seven or eight trips. Wouldn't want you to get any exercise."

Prudence stared at the pot for a moment, her lower lip trembling. Then she took off running faster than Samantha would have thought possible. She watched Prudence go until she felt the other children staring at her. "What?" she roared at them. They turned away.

Then Samantha stomped out of the dining room.


She locked herself in her room by leaning a chair against the knob. She tore open the drawers of her dresser, emptying them out onto the bed. Like most of the children she didn't have a lot of spare clothes, only three of Prudence's ugly gray dresses, two pairs of socks, and only one extra pair of underpants. She shoved these into an empty pillowcase to take with her on her trip. In the morning she would have to get some food from the kitchen, some apples and biscuits that wouldn't need reheating while she sailed across the sea. She would also need some fresh water to drink on her voyage.

Someone tapped on the door. Samantha figured it was that whiny brat Prudence or perhaps Miss Brigham. Then she heard Rebecca say, "Samantha? Can I come in?"

"What do you want?"

"I just want to talk."

"I don't feel like talking."

"Please? It will only be a minute."

Samantha sighed. She took the chair away from the knob to allow Rebecca inside. When she opened the door, Samantha looked around to make sure no one else was around. "Come on," she said to Rebecca.

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