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I lived on the streets for nine years. My first memories are on the filthy sidewalks in Little Hangleton. Of surviving alone, scavenging. Of sitting on the curb, begging. And of staring up at the forbidding manor on the hill, which the locals called 'The Riddle House', terrified of what went on behind those walls. I often woke up in the middle of the night, screaming, having dreamed of tortures applied within those shadowy windows.
Through the generosity of others I survived, as I'd been given to an orphanage when found all alone. All I had in the world was a little golden key around my neck, left to me by my parents I would assume. Although I didn't see why they would give a baby a key, and leave it on the streets of a small town.
I lived in the orphanage for most of my life, learning to read, write and do a few basic sums. But I never liked it there; I would have been surprised if anyone did. So I hatched a plan to escape, which went well. All too well, I reflected bitterly sometimes. For now I lived on the streets of the cursed town, a little girl who was too thin, good for nothing and garnered pity from the residents. Not enough to take me in though, not that I wanted to live with any of the posh, stuck up snobs who passed me as they entered the bar. One however, did extend generosity. On my ninth birthday, Frank Bryce, Riddle House gardener, took me in. He took me to that manor that I spent so long dreaming – having nightmares – of. Where I wouldn't leave unscarred.