Welcome! This week's prompt is "catch". This is a continuation of Maggie's Story, which begins about thirty years go. Don't forget to go back and read the amazing Tuesday Tales authors.
30 years ago
“Aggie, it’s been two weeks and this pip ain’t got a job. Rent’s due in another week,” Burt said.“Maggie, any leads?” Agnes turned to face her roommate.
The brunette shook her head. She’d worn out a pair of shoes, walking the pavement, looking for a job, with no luck.
“Burt, take her in with you. They’re always looking for people at the hotel?”
“Yeah, yeah. Just fired a chambermaid yesterday. Everyone’s complainin’ they’ll have to do twice the work.”
“Burt works at the Gold Crown Hotel.”“You do?” Maggie’s eyes got wide.
“In the laundry,” he snorted.“Oh.”
“They’ll be needin’ a new maid. You game?” He looked at Maggie.
“Sure. What's the catch?” She twisted a napkin in her hands, dropping her gaze to avoid Burt’s piercing stare.
“It’s hard work, girl.”
“I’m not afraid of hard work.” She raised her chin.“Be ready at five thirty.”
“In the morning?”“Hell yes. Laundry, maid’s work is done in the morning. But you’ll get out around three.”
She nodded.“Don’t fuss about clothes. They give you a uniform. Just keep your knickers on, your mouth shut and your eyes to yourself and you’ll do fine.” He looked her up and down, then gave his head a slight shake.
“Thanks.” Maggie knew that her skinny form wouldn’t tempt anyone and for the first time, she was relieved.The next morning, she threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, grabbed a carrot and stuffed it into a small bag. She met Burt at the door.
“Come on, lassie. Don’t look so glum. A smile might get you the job. No one likes to work around a sad sack.”She missed her own room, her quiet life in England, taking care of children and reading. She sighed and kept her mouth shut. Good practice.
Burt introduced her to Mr. Vane, the man who did the hiring. He looked her up and down in the most demeaning manner.“Awful skinny. Gotta lift sacks of wet towels.” He leaned over to squeeze her biceps. She jumped.
“Don’t get ‘em in a twist, girl. Just seeing if you got any muscle on those bones.”“Yessir.” Maggie tried to keep the tremble out of her voice.
“I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. You’re hired. But you better keep up!” Mr. Vane fished through a pile of uniforms. “This looks like it might fit your scrawny frame. Catch!” He tossed the white cloth dress at her.Burt winked and gave her the thumbs up.
“Be here at six. Not one minute after.”“Yessir.” Maggie nodded, tucked the uniform under her arm, did a half curtsy and left with Burt.
“Ya done good, lassie.”Maggie let out a breath. Now my life begins.
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