Hello all. I'm kinda writing this on my own accord. I was just in our local production of Annie as Sophie in Hooverville and I really enjoyed the part. I now blame Herbert Hoover for everything that is wrong with this world. Being in the character's shoes, I want to kind of write what I kind of think Sophie's story was. Also I want to include her life after Roosevelt brings an end to the Depression.
Disclaimer: I do not own Annie or any of its characters.
To be honest, I was used to it by now. Living in a house made of old signs and rotted pieces of wood. I had to become some sort of criminal just to survive the next day. Having Anthony come up and ask me every day when the soup would be ready, the same old boring soup that I made every day. There was nothing really extra that I could add in to make it any better. Caleb always complained to me about how it tasted like crap.
It was routine for me, being a sort of mother to all the other homeless people. In spite of the fact that a majority of them were older than I was.
Standing outside my house, stirring my pot, making the one meal of the day, that was when my day turned upside down. When that little redhead girl showed up with her dog.
Anthony walked out of the house and up to me, "Hello my love." He kissed my cheek while placing a hand on my abdomen.
I gave a warm smile, as usual, "Good evening, dear." Watching him go over near the fire.
Eddie was hammering some wood onto the roof of his house where a hole was found the last time it had snowed.
"I need some more wood for the penthouse." He said gruffly.
His wife, Madison brought a bucket with more wood, "Hey Eddie, could you give me a hand?"
Eddie turned and helped her, "Sure thing beautiful."
The typical sound of police sirens echoed by, "Cops! Cops!" Rachel cried.
Morris grumbled near the fire, "Ah leave us alone ya lousy."
Anthony came back around to me again, "Hey Soph, is this junk ready yet?"
I rolled my eyes at the line he said daily, "Patience, patience."
"Make way for John D Rockefeller." Said the unhappy apple seller, the only one lucky enough to have a job out of all of us.
Hickory waved to her, "Hey Alice, how'd it go today?"
She sighed, "Seven million people in this city and I only sold one lousy apple."
That's when it happened. A little redheaded girl with a feral dog in tow walked into our territory, as innocent as could be. It melted my heart.
"Excuse me folks, excuse me. Did anyone here leave a redheaded kid at an orphanage 11 years ago?"
We all shook our heads. I tasted the soup and decided it was the best that it could get, "Ladies and gents, dinner is served."
"The soup is on."
Hannah, Caleb's wife, went over to the little girl, "Hey girl, you hungry?"
"No." She answered quickly.
My longtime friend shrugged, "Okay."
"But my dog is."
I smiled, "Here kid, eat your fill." I couldn't help but hear her little stomach growl amongst all the chatter around the pot.
She gave me a happy look, something I haven't genuinely seen in a long time, "Thanks lady."
Hickory went up to the girl, "So kid, what are ya doing out here by yourself?"
The redheaded girl sat down and let the dog lick from the bowl, "I'm looking for my parents. They're lost."
"Lost? Well how long have you been looking for them?"
He chuckled and walked away, "Now that's lost."
I chuckled with him, "Hey kid, it's time to give up."
"No." She replied strongly, "I'm gonna find them."
Caleb scoffed, "Now there's something I haven't heard since 1928."
"What?" Hannah asked.
I dropped my spoon into the pot and crossed my arms, "Optimism? What do we got to be optimistic about? Look at us! Life is a nightmare!"
She shrugged, "Well you gotta have a dream!"
"Traffic rattlin' overhead?" Elizabeth challenged her.
"To wake you up from your nightmares."
Hannah turned out her pockets, "Empty pockets?"
"At least ya got pockets."
Rachel shivered, "Freezing fingers?"
"Lucky ya got them empty pockets!"
I challenged her next, thinking I could stump her, "Newspapers for blankets?"
She paused a minute to think, "You can read in bed!"
I was impressed, "Kid, you shoulda been a politician!"
Alice nodded, agreeing, "Yeah, you could've run against Roosevelt!"
Hickory opened up a newspaper, "Hey everybody, take a look at this! 'Former president Herbert Hoover said in an interview today, 'Although I am in no way personally responsible for the financial crisis…''"
We all, originally gathered around him, went back to our places when we heard that, "Oh please. Yeah right."
"I have the greatest of sympathy for those families left ragged, hungry, and homeless.'"
"Ragged…" Caleb mumbled.
"Hungry…" Anthony said with a firm, protective hold around my waist.
"Homeless!" We all shouted angrily.
Then, all of the sudden, we began to sing.
"Today we're living in a shanty. Today we're scrounging for a meal."
I went up to the little girl with my arms out wide, "Today I'm stealing coal for fires. Who knew I could steal?"
All the men reminisced about pastimes, "I used to winter in the tropics."
The women did also, "I spent my summers at the shore."
Eddie picked up a newspaper that was lying on the ground, "I used to throw away the papers."
"He don't anymore."
Eddie stuffed the newspaper in his jacket.
"We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover, for really showing us the way. We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover. He made us what we are today. Prosperity was round the corner, a cozy cottage built for two. In this blue heaven that you gave us yes we're turning blue."
I looked at the redheaded girl with her dog, "In every pot he said a chicken."
"But Herbert Hoover, he forgot. Not only don't we have the chicken."
"You ain't got the pot." She said giving me a look of understanding.
"We're up to here with admiration." We made a motion of slitting his throat.
The girl held up her empty bowl, "You think he'd like a little stew?"
"Ha ha ha!"
All us women curtsied, "Come down and share some Christmas dinner. Be sure to bring the missus too."
"We got no turkey for our stuffing." Everyone got a devious look on their faces, "Why don't we stuff you?"
"You dirty rat, you bureaucrat, you made us what we are today!"
All of us went back to where we originally were standing, "Come and get it Herb!"
Just like any other day, a cop making his rounds spotted us and came up to us.
Hannah looked at him guiltily, "Uh… evening."
"Yeah, evening. Now get along you bums, get outta here!" He said shooing us away.
It was then that I heard the little girl yell at him, "They are not bums!" I was surprised that she defended us like that.
We all scattered, heading to our alternate place. Then he said something that worried me.
"We're tearing down this junk pile! Now!"
Now I wasn't sure what I was gonna do. All of us had just gotten settled after relocating again. Anthony and I both know we can't keep this up for much longer. No one can.
It was times like this that I wondered how long it would take for me to starve to death.
Dejection filling the air of our alternate place, an abandoned train tunnel, I had managed to salvage my pot to bring with me, as always. We all sat feeling very grave.
Being the mother of the group, I tried to hopelessly to lift everyone's spirits, "Don't worry, we'll get through this. Roosevelt will fix everything."
Caleb scoffed, "Let's hope so. Lord knows we don't have enough food to keep us going as it is. It's even worse that both you and Hannah are feeding for two now."
I sighed a little, Hannah rolled her eyes at him, "I'm only 8 weeks, my god. And Sophie is just 11 weeks. I think we'll survive for the time being. And anyway, it's not like you can blame us for it!" she said elbowing her husband in the side.
"You are welcome to have some of my apples." Alice spoke up willingly.
Hickory shook his head, "You know we can't do that. We can't take apples from you without paying."
She passed an apple to everyone, "I insist. I haven't sold a thing in a week anyway. I gotta get rid of them somehow before they rot."
Anthony gratefully took two and handed one to me, "Thanks Alice. You're an angel."
"I try." The apple seller shrugged.
I took the apple handed to me and took a bite, ecstatic about eating something other than soup. Hopefully, things would get better soon.
3 months later
We had relocated again to a place where cops didn't make daily routes around. That little redheaded girl still stayed in my mind. I remembered seeing her in the papers soon after about her being adopted by Oliver Warbucks. What a lucky kid she was.
Morris shushed everyone to be quiet as a cop came through. We all got really nervous. None of us could handle being relocated again. I was 26 weeks pregnant, Hannah was 23 weeks, and poor Madison lost hers within the first month from malnutrition.
The cop stopped in front of all of us, "Good evening."
We all grinned sheepishly, "Evening."
"Who all here isn't currently employed somewhere?"
Not used to this question, we were a bit shocked. Nonetheless, we all raised our hands. Alice lost her job as an apple seller last week when she continuously failed to get business.
He smiled, "Congratulations, thanks to Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'new deal', you lot will be part of the millions of people who will be receiving new well paying jobs. Living on the streets will not be required anymore."
It was silence for a few moments before Anthony let out a "Yahoo!" and hugged me tightly. We all began crying tears of joy and smiling so wide our faces hurt.
"And I can tell…" the policeman eyed Hannah and me, "that some of you will be really needing the money and shelter."
Caleb ran up to the officer and shook his hand excitedly, "Thank you so much sir! This means so much to all of us!"
He smiled and walked up to Hannah and I, "You two ladies, I don't suppose this would be the adequate place in which you would want to raise a child? I think you two will be excellent mothers. You look like the motherly type."
We curtsied in respect and admiration, "Thank you, mister, you are very kind. This really means the world to us."
"I'm sure it does. I'm happy to be able to deliver this news. It's a damn shame that so many innocent people suffered because of this. If all of you will follow me, I will show you to a lot of apartments where you will now be living."
Without having to be asked twice, all of us eagerly went with him, me taking my pot of course. All of us couldn't be happier and filled with more relief. This was the beginning of a brand new start. And it was all thanks to that one redheaded little girl.
So I hoped you thought it was good. I really enjoyed writing this. It helped me to explore and understand the character more. Thanks for reading!