She didn't know how long she ran, but she hoped it was far. Letting herself think about this momentarily her legs started to ache and she gasped for air as her lungs began to feel as though they would collaps. They felt cold. A burning cold. She glanced behind her to see if it was safe to stop. She kept the speed until she found and allyway and collapsed there as not to be disturbed by passers by even though it was dark. She rolled onto her back and kicked her legs in the air for they were sore from stopping so quickly. She wanted to breath without breathing, heaving the firey ice out of her lungs with every hopeless gasp. After an eternity her breath became even and comfortable. She stretched out her limbs and smiled. Finally, she would be able to sleep comfortably.


"Thank you again, sir, for helpin' me get her inside." Mrs. Lovett's voice was soft as not to wake the girl sleeping in the other room.
"My pleasure, ma'am." He tipped his hat and stepped out of the door that Mrs. Lovett held open for him obligingly.

Mrs. Lovett walked to where the pitiful creature lay and sat beside her. With her finger she gentley moved strands of ratty auburn curls from the girl's pale face. 'Cor, you can't be more than 15." Mrs. Lovett's thoughts whispered in her mind. She examined the girl's thin, pastey white figure. 'She'd be so beautiful if she had been taken care of proper." She stood up cautiously and strolled to the kitchen. 'She ought 'a wake up soon. Better have somehtin ready for her to eat.' Mrs. Lovett looked for something more nutritious than the pies she served her "costomers". 'Be surprized if she can even move.'


"Come back here!" Mrs Lovett shouted after the girl stagering into the kitchen. The soothing words she had offered the girl when she awoke seemed to fall on deaf ears and her gentle cooing had slowly turned into shouting. Mrs. Lovett felt almost as if this were a normal routine.

The girl was so confused. She didn't know what was happining. She vaguely remembered an ally. Her stupid mind had put a block on her thoughts. Everything was blurred in her mind. It was as if some other force was controlling her body; some force that knew she was frightened. She remembered waking up to an unfamiliar face surrounded by a bush of almost perfect auburn curls. She knew the woman was saying something, but she couldn't understand a word. It didn't even sound like a language, just asenine babbling mixed up in her clouded mind.
She could tell vaguely that the woman was yelling, but she was more afraid of the strange face and her inability to understand what was going on.
The next thing she knew she was on the floor scooting back quickly against a wall. The woman was so close to her. She couldn't escape.

"It's alright, luv," Mrs. Lovett was now on the floor in front of the girl inching cautiously closer as not to frighten her again. "I ain't gonna harm you." She soothed. The girl, who'se face was expressionless, jerked her knee up a little. Mrs. Lovett looked down at her bare foot and noticed something a bit suspicious. "'Ello, what's this?" She lifted her skirt off of her foot and faund a large red gash. Mrs. Lovett gasped. She thought she noticed something red on her ankle and slowly lifted the skirt higher waiting expectantly for the end. When she saw what it was she felt her heart pound and blood rush. "What the hell happened to you?" She whispered more to herself. Carved onto her leg was the phrase "Property of George Manfield". She inspected her leg for a few moments and saw other little wounds. She dropped the skirt and looked into the girl's amber eyes. Nellie couldn't decipher what she saw in them. The blackness around them made her retinas seem to glow, yet she knew the poor thing must have felt anything but happy. "What is your name darling?" The girl suddenly looked frightened and Mrs. Lovett lifted her skirt to examine her legs. She looked ito the girls eyes as she spoke. "Did they at least have the desency to give you a name?" She saw nothing more on her legs than what she had seen before. Her arms were not covered so she gentley pulled the girl forward to look at her back and the inside of her dress. Maybe they put a name on her clothes.

She didn't like the way she was being handled and pulled away when she saw something in the other room. Mrs. Lovett watched as she ran into the parlor and slowly sink to the floor running her finger along the wallpaper. She outlined a flower on the wall with one finger and raised her freen hand to suck on the tip of her other finger. Mrs. Lovett rejoined her on the floor.

"Do you like the wallpaper?" She cooed (look it up in the dictionary, trust me). The girl jabbed her finger into the flower as if trying to make it come out of the wall. Mrs. Lovett continued to coo at the girl. "Do you like the pretty flower? Is it a pretty rose?" It didn't take her long to realize that this girl was not a normal 15 yr. old. "Rose" Nellie mused. "Well, seeing as how you don't seem to hav a name, what do you say I call you Rose?" She didn't expect to get any sort of response, but then the girl's head turned to her and for a moment she looked as if she understood Mrs. Lovett's words. She moved closer to the older woman and watched her lips with narrowd eyes as if she had never seen such things before. "Do you like the name Rose?" Mrs. Lovett spoke more slowly hoping that the girl understood.

"W, w," She trying to immitate the woman's mouth. That was the first sound Mrs. Lovett heard from her. She seemed to understand what she was doing.

"Rose...?" She was careful to make it clear to the girl.

"W, Wose."

"That's right." She gave a small, warm smile and the emotionless girl allowed her to take her in her arms. Nellie had a strange sense of satisfaction in naming the girl as well as holding her. Something about the girl gave her a strange feeling that she had finally acomplished something that she should have done years ago. The girl had a familiar quality about her (not just her hair), but Nellie just couldn't put a finger on it.

"Rose." She murmured with another satisfied smile.