NOBODY’S CHILD

"Nobody's Child" Cassie is an eleven year old girl who has been in a children's home since she was four years old. Very bright, Cassie excels in most subjects and can play Brahms and Mozart on the piano at the age of only six. Because of her age nobody wants to adopt her. Mrs Cummings the manager of Auton House is a wicked woman who treats Cassie and the rest in her charge badly and beats her with regularity. One day she is sent to clean out the toilet and bathroom and Mrs Cummings comes along to inspect them. Running a white glove over everything and looking for dirt. When she doesn't find any she then reaches up on the door - Cassie is only three feet six inches tall and was unable to reach up to the top of the door and Mrs Cummings sets about her with a cane. She beats her so badly that Cassie runs at her forcing her back where she hits her head on a wash basin. Cassie in her panic rushes out and runs away.- It is there that she meets Don a ex docker who takes pity on the girl - rea

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“You could have got a chair you lazy little bastard she shouted then walked over and began to beat her with a cane that she carried.

Each stroke came down onto her back and legs. Cassie cried out for her to stop and she was struck across the cheek. All of a sudden Cassie was running at Mrs Cummings and knocked her backwards. The sheer force and momentum sent the woman crashing against the sink and her head bounced off the rim of the basin.

Cassie heard her moan and then saw the blood. She panicked and ran across the hallway to the large oak door and tried to open it. It was locked and so were the gates outside so she ran back to the toilet and unhooked the keys that were tied onto a leather belt around Mrs Cummings waist. She found the right key then opened the door then ran into the yard leaving the door wide open. She reached the gates and thought that Mrs Cummings would surely come and stop her from getting away before she unlocked the big iron gates. The gate opened with a click and she ran as fast as she could away from the home. She threw the keys down a storm drain as she ran down the street. She had sixpence and she took the nearest bus when it came to a stop at the bottom of the street. She didn’t know where the bus was going and cared not either. All the while she thought everyone was watching her and that the police would surely come and arrest her and take her to prison. The bus reached the depot at Jarrow where Cassie got off. Keeping her head low she walked around the town centre until she could walk no more. She was tired and hungry too. She came to the sign that said Tyne Tunnel and followed it. By then it was coming in dark looking down Cassie saw the lights from a ship sailing silently down the Tyne. If she could get on a boat she thought that she could stow away and maybe reach a foreign country where no one would know her and start a new life.

She was becoming more tired and her little legs began to ache; she looked for somewhere to sleep and saw the converted coble. The tide was going out she thought so she could get to the boat and sleep on board. Cassie climbed down and the mud was over six inches deep. It soaked into her shoes and up her legs to as she waded out to the boat then climbed on board. Rolling on her back she tried to catch her breath. Then she sat up and walked to the wheel house. The door was locked when she tried to open it so she sat back down dejectedly. As the night lingered on the moon cast its light upon the water. The sound from the gulls echoed around the slacks. She looked over the side a saw a giant sized rat scurrying along. It was as big as a domestic cat and had large orange coloured teeth. She watched it until it disappeared under the pier then breathed a sigh of relief she lifted the black tarpaulin cover to check to see if there were any other rats knocking about and she picked up a piece of a wooden pole. It was like a small rounder’s bat and she wondered if it was used to kill the rats that came on board the boat. She untied the end of the tarpaulin then peered inside. There was nothing in there so she clambered inside and felt a little warmer and secure. Eventually her head went down and she drifted off to sleep.

The sound from the moving staircase was the only thing that could be heard in the stillness.

When morning broke the sounds changed and she heard voices. Cassie woke with a start and looked around. She saw men walking to the tunnel on bicycles. She thought that she had to get down from the boat and back to shore the tide had came in and was going back out again so she waited. The sky had changed, the morning sky was now lighting up the river, and the moon had disappeared. It was another hour before she was able to lower herself over the side of the boat and walk along. She found a route where she could get back onto the Jetty without getting all muddy. The mud had dried on her jeans but her training shoes were ruined.

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