Becoming Sophia (24)

After several weeks, very close to the Christmas of 1633, I finally got my dreaded nickname.

“Marina!” I made my way to Margarete’s room, cursing her with every step I took.

“Yes, Miss?”

“I need the fireplace cleaned, soot is filling my lungs at night when the fire’s lit.”

“Okay, I’ll go get Sylvie; that’s her job.”

“We’ve let Sylvie go. Sylvie, Kathryn and Gertrude are all gone.”

“But that leaves only me, Jaqueline and the three gardeners!” Margarete shrugged and gave me one of those “why-does-it-matter-so-much-you-crazy-girl” looks. I wanted to smack that look right off of her face.

“Afraid of a little more work? It’s what you deserve after treating my mother and me with such disrespect,” she sniffed. I glared at her, imagining a broken broom handle being shoved down her throat. “Well? Are you going to keep standing there like the stupid girl I know you to be or are you going to clean my fireplace?”

I flinched, clenching my fists hard enough to dig my nails painfully into my palms. “Yes, Miss.”

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