A cool rag bathed her burning brow and the angel’s small hand held her own.
“Ele, can you hear me Ele? Your cousin is here...we’re all here. This might hurt a little.”
The voice was soft and comforting. Even when the cut was made to her leg and the blood began to flow from it she barely felt the pain. She smiled and squeezed the small hand a little before she began to drift back to the cart in the north.
The cart rumbled on towards Penrith in Cumberland. Mama had explained that this would be their destination and that Ele’s true family would be there waiting for her.
“But...Mama, you are my true family. I know nothing of these people.”
Mama held Ele close to her and stroked her wild hair. She did not say a word. Ele gripped her tightly and hot little tears bubbled up in her eyes.
At that moment the cart jolted and shouts were heard. Ele sat upright and her Mama did the same with fear in her eyes.
They were dragged from the cart. Mama’s brother was nowhere to be seen and Mama was wailing loudly as they dragged her by her hair. A large man that smelled of pigs grabbed Ele’s arm and bundled her into a carriage. She screamed and reached out for her Mama but they had dragged her off into the darkness. The pig-smelling man gripped Ele hard and pulled her so that she sat in the carriage. She turned to him and scratched at his face, biting his arm when he got near. She felt the blow to her head and then the world went dark.
Dark within the darkness.