My name is Erika Bloomfield. My father was a soldier in the army. My mother is a seamstress for a noble family. I used to have three little siblings. Two died within months of their birth, in the winter, when we can’t afford coal.
Lillia, the third, is still alive, but she is sick too. I have to find medicine for her.
Medicine I can’t afford.
Medicine she needs.
I have come to the point where I’ll do anything, anything, not to see that expression on my mother’s face, as if the world is breaking around her.
Father stopped sending us money four years ago. We’re all she has left, me and Lillia, and I can no longer dress as a boy and sneak into the marketplace to sell the handkerchiefs she makes out of spare fabric.
I am too. . .mature for that, and the market is no place for a girl.
I’ll have to resort to other things.