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Paper Topic:

Gin Lane Character

SHORT STORY BASED ON GIN LANE ' CHARACTER

Mary slept undisturbed by the light flooding through the cracked shutters on the window , until Will nudged her ribs with the toe of his boot . She awoke with an intense headache , her throat dry and wasted muscles aching

Wake up ' Will muttered in a slurred voice . We 're pawning these at Gripe 's ' He held his tool case , an aging wooden box he 'd built years ago in Buckinghamshire , when he was apprenticed to his native village 's master carpenter . As Mary looked at it

for a moment , she had a few memories amidst the fog - how she 'd met him while he 'd worked on the home of her employer , of their courtship and marriage in the village church , and how they 'd migrated to London seeking more work . Since then , she could barely piece together their life , not that she cared to remember much of it

Still in the dress she 'd worn the day before (and the day before that Mary rolled herself off the straw pile they used as a bed , pulling herself slowly to her feet . She looked around the small room they shared , empty except for a table and two battered chairs , their bedding a chamber pot , pieces of partly-eaten food , and a few empty bottles of gin scattered on the floor . She saw her shawl and hat hanging on the back of a chair and moved slowly toward it , groaning with pain and fatigue . Will took the half-filled bottle from the table , took a swig from it , and passed it to Mary . She took a small sip at first , then a larger one , wincing after the second . As Will moved toward the door Mary grabbed their old iron cooking pot and kettle , then followed him down the stairs and into the street

The street was still muddy from the last rain , with puddles every few steps . Mary walked unsteadily behind Will , trying to avoid the puddles and sinkholes . The bright midmorning sun hurt her eyes , and the noises of the growing crowd worsened her headache . The smells of horse droppings , rotting garbage , and the open sewers along the edges of the streets produced horrid smells , which worsened as the temperature rose A few pushcart merchants peddling their wares called out , trying to draw people from the ramshackle houses . A tinker pushed his cart a short way behind Will and Mary , while an apple peddler several yards ahead of them fended off ragged children trying to steal apples from his cart Children , often without shoes and in ragged clothes , played in the muddy streets , while drunkards sat on doorsteps and leaned against walls either waking up from drunken sleep or feeling the effects of their first drinks of the day . A somewhat prosperous-looking , well-dressed man with a walking stick walked down the street toward Will and Mary likely a merchant on his way somewhere . He looked uncomfortable as he walked carefully , trying to avoid the puddles and...

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