Diana was mute. Ever since she was born, her voice had been stolen. No one had wanted to talk to her, because they knew that she wouldn't be able to say something back. It was a cruel and harsh life, living in a big mansion with no-one to talk to. It was especially hard as she knew that she was a rich and privelaged person, but she wouldn't be able to be rich and privelaged when her great aunt died.
Diana sat cuddled up in her warm blankets. She was rich and privelaged - for the moment. Her only support was her great aunt, and that was the only reason she remained rich and privlaged, and even survived.
The morning frost was cold against her cheeks, biting her fingers and making them numb. Condensation had gathered on her window, rendering Diana blind to the world beyond her. There was not a sign of life about the house, and with a sigh Diana pulled the metal bell chain that rung the servants. Her nursemaid, Maria, ran up to her room.
Maria, get me my breakfast and dress me after that. Diana was balancing a slate on her lap, and had a piece of chalk in her hand. To communicate she had to write on a slate, and if she were to do that for the rest of her life, how could she stay in her current position? How could she give inspiring talks, auction things, do the duties of a Lady?
Maria was still brushing sleep from her eyes. "Yes, madame, right away." And she scurried from the room as quickly as she could go.
Diana sighed in her mind. None of the servants seemed to like her, they just obligingly did what she told them to do because she was the second Lady of the house. Actually, she was the First Lady of the House, but at the moment her great aunt was the person that had taken over until Diana was eighteen. Eighteen was the age that she would come of age, and finally own the property.
Diana self-conciously shivered. Eighteen. So far away. What would become of her then, when she was to take over the house, and her great aunt could no longer care for her? She might not even live to eighteen. She needed a plan. She needed someone to swap with. She had thought about it over and over again. She needed a servant girl.
There was a knock on the door of her bedroom. It was Maria. She was carrying a tray laden with hot, steaming food. She placed it on Diana's bedside table then left, her back to the door.
Diana tucked into the food. It was so warm and delicious. Her numb fingers gradually became warm again, and her cheeks rosy.
After she had finished her meal, Maria came back in again and helped to dress her. Diana disliked servants having to dress her, but she had to on her great aunt's orders. Mostly she did up the buttons and tied the laces herself, to prevent Maria having to do as much work.
Thankyou Maria. The chalk scratched on the slate.
"My pleasure, Madame," she said in a stiff voice, and backed out of the room. Diana felt a hot tear trickle down her face. No one really cared for her in this house. They were just doing it to get their pay, so they can feed their own families at home and tend to the ones they really cared about. Diana swallowed the lump in her throat and wiped the tears off her face. Then, taking a deep breath, she walked out of the room and once again became Diana of Testhmus House.