*John is staying in shared lodgings, belonging to the mill.*
John awoke far too early, for it was only three but oh, he was hungry. How he longed for some decent breakfast, he always meant to make his own porridge but tiredness more often than not got the better of him. Instead, John had the last meagre piece of hard bread and dipped it in his cup of hot water, for he had run out of tea. There he sat eating and drinking what wouldn’t have been fit for a church mouse. He licked his index finger, dabbing the crumbs from the plate. He placed them in his mouth not wanting to waste a single morsel. John McGrath prepared himself for a long day at work, realising that as he had nothing to take with him, he would have to go almost an entire day without food.
Cold and hungry, John prepared himself for the next fourteen or so hours, determined not to have momentary lapses in concentration for he did not want to jeopardise his chances. John sat at his work space, looking over to the person to his left.
‘Focus John’ he thought to himself, and focus he did. He coughed as he prepared the fabric in the factory loom and the tiny cotton particles caught at the back of his throat. He continued to work away under the dim light, ignoring the churning of his empty stomach.
“Pssst John, what’s the matter with you today?”
John jumped, immediately stopped the loom and glanced at Cane Willis across the way.
“No, you’re not.”
“I am probably not in the boss’s good books at the moment, we shouldn’t talk when we’re working. We can when we have finished.”
“Alright. Pssst John?”
John raised his head again.
“What have you been eating?”
“It’s just; I saw that you only had that conker sized piece of stale bread left this morning. You look thin.”
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014