Western Fiction posted May 26, 2013 Chapters:  ...24 25 -26- 27... 


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Johnny attacks Jo.

A chapter in the book AN ORPHAN NAMED JO

Chapter Ten - Part One

by c_lucas



Background
The next few chapters will deal with Jo being abused. Please do not read if this is offensive to you. I do not write graphic erotica.







CHAPTER TEN. PART ONE
NEW YORK ORPHAN ASYLUM
MARCH, 1879

Ending of the last chapter:
“You’re going to believe that child over me? I know when someone is being serious and when they’re being disrespectful.”
 
“It’s what you didn’t know that caused the misunderstanding on your part. Jo was reared in a Catholic family and taught to show respect at all times. She will do what she's told to do without question.” The doctor didn’t seem to be worried over the expression on Mrs. Griffin’s face. “Would you please go get her clothes? She will leave here immediately.”

***
Jo fell into her duties with Maggie’s help.  Their group had three different monthly duties, one month of cleaning, the next month of kitchen duty and the last month of laundry.
 
Soon, Jo worked the hardest of any member in her group. The evening quietness was disturbed by the sounds of cats catching mice and of rat traps going off. Saint Brigit, please keep Rudy safe. Her mind was filled with images of the rat safe and sound under the mattress in her old cell.
 
Being the shortest of her group, Jo couldn’t work at things requiring height. She helped another short girl, ten-year-old Melinda, mop floors and empty chamber pots.
 
When on kitchen detail, they cleaned the dining room and the tables. She frequently saw Johnny but did not speak to him. When he didn’t show up, she assumed he was in the dungeons.
 
The laundry detail was the most difficult for Jo and her friends. They often scalded their hands with the hot water and struggled with the damp clothes, taking them to their assigned clothes line.
 
The only thing good about the laundry detail, it was outdoor work in spring and summer. They worked in groups of four under the watchful eyes of the laundress, Mrs. Vincent, a short-heavy-set woman in her thirties. Two of the bigger girls would clean the clothes and Jo and Melinda would rinse and hang them.   They had to use small ladders to do the latter.
 
 
“Did you hear what happened to Scorpion?”  Melinda asked, as they carried two chamber pots to be emptied and cleaned.
 
“I haven’t heard anything since I been here.” Jo held her pot against her hip and opened the door.
 
“Some inmates bashed her head in and killed her.”
 
“Why?”
 
“She had beaten up one of their friends and put her into the infirmary.”
 
Jo held the door opened with her foot and shifted the chamber pot to her left arm. She crossed herself. “May she find the peace in Heaven she never found on Earth.”
 
Melinda stopped and stared at her. “Why are you praying for her? She tried to kill you, but you crippled her first."
 
“I did not want to fight her, but she insisted. She was soft in the head.” Jo pushed open the door with her back. “I wished her no harm.”
 
 
**
“Bring me some more water,” Johnny whispered to Jo as she walked past him doing her kitchen duties.
 
“You know I can’t,” Jo whispered back. “One glass per person. Since you just got out of the Dungeon, you only get a half glass.”
 
“You’ll be sorry. Just wait.”
 
Jo forgot about the threat as the days passed. She was reminded while on the lower floor cleaning off an end table. He knocked over a vase of flowers and walked on.
 
Jo stared at him just as Mrs. Griffin walked into the room. “Be more careful, or you’ll find yourself back in the cell.” She continued on her way.
 
“Yes, ma’am.” Jo cleaned up the mess.
 
“Why didn’t you tell her that Johnny knocked it over on purpose?”
 
“She would have claimed I was lying and throw me back in a cell. Liars get two days and four lashes. She blames me for the trouble she got into over the first time.” Jo looked at Mrs. Griffin climbing the stairs. “She would really love a reason to send me downstairs.”
 
Several weeks later, Mrs. Vincent sent Jo inside and told her to have a nurse look at her scalded hand.  The girl went downstairs and someone grabbed her from behind and struck her on the head with a heavy object, stunning her.
        
“I’ll teach you to disobey me,” Johnny’s voice filtered through her mind.
 
Jo tried to fight back, but he held her into a choke hold until she passed out. She woke up, naked and hurting, especially in the lower part of her body. She closed her eyes.

Johnny, fully-clothed, sat on her bare chest. He struck her with an opening hand until she opened her eyes. “You snitch on me and I’ll make you pay.”  He stood, stomped on her stomach and left.
 
Holding her stomach with one hand, Jo gathered her clothes with the other.  She went into a dark room and dressed leaning against a wall.  When she finished she stood, took one step and passed out.
 
Jo came to and heard movement in the larger room. By feel, she found a large crevasse and slipped into it. Shortly a light came on and she heard movement. It took her a little while, but her eyes adjusted to the light. Girls came in with wash boards, and other items used for washing.  Soon the light was turned off and she heard the door shut. Jo sat down and fell asleep.
 
The beaten girl didn’t know how long she slept, but Jo felt pain all over her body when she tried to get up. She edged over to where Melinda and someone else had stored the two short ladders. She opened one and climbed it, feeling for the light bulb.  She had to move the ladder several times before she found the cord with the bulb on it.
 
She found the chain switch and pulled it. Once her eyes adjusted, it didn’t take her long to find the stack of pipes in the corner. She chose one about the length of her elbow to wrist, slipped it inside her torn dress, and held it in place with her left hand.
 
Turning the light off and replacing the ladder proved to be easier than finding them in the first place. She eased back in her hiding place and fell asleep.
 
Jo woke up with less pain than she had earlier. She slipped out of the storage room and into the larger room. From memory, she walked to the foot of the stairs. The girl sat on the stairs and edged her way up the steps without making them squeak. With her back against the door, she stood. Jo heard footsteps on the other side of the door and froze.
 
She strained to hear and made out the sound of an opening and closing of a door. He’s gone to the Dungeon.
 
Jo knew her door only needed a key on the outside. The inside had just a latch that could open the door by twisting it. She eased the door close and kept to the wall as she slipped around to the boys' stairs. The girl placed her weight on the edge of the stairs and climbed.
 
She hurried to the open doorway and stopped.  She moved to the other side and spied a male guard, sleeping in his chair, leaning against the wall. The walled gas lights flickered on low.
 
Jo sneaked passed the guard and started checking the beds for Johnny. Half way down the third row, she spotted him. He was sleeping facing her. She sneaked around behind him and checked her grip on the metal pipe.
 
She tightened her grip with her left hand and freed her right hand. Jo tapped him on the shoulder. “Remember me, Johnny.”
 
“What?”….
 
Jo gripped the pipe with both hands and swung with all her might, connecting with his nose and upper teeth.
 
Johnny's scream woke everyone. Jo’s next two blows were to his bent elbows.  She raised it as high as she could. A heavy weight knocked her off her feet, but she rebounded and brought the pipe down on his right shin.
 
Johnny screamed louder than before.
 
Jo’s attacker gained his feet and ripped the pipe from her hand while the other arm trapped her against his leg.
 
“Let me go! I’m going to kill him!”
**
(Copy and paste each URL to your address bar.)

http://www.oldandinteresting.com/history-of-washing-clothes.aspx
Washing Clothes before Electricity

http://someinterestingfacts.net/first-electric-washing-machine/
The first electric washing machine.
 
 
 


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Thank you, Lndsmn for the use of you r image, "Shadow girl."
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