Write a 4 verse poem (with at least four lines in each verse), a 1 page short story, or draw and color a picture illustrating some changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution.
Samantha stared out at the sky, or where she thought the direction of the sky might be. Dust and smoke clogged the air today, though it was no different than any other day. She coughed and wiped her hand across her mouth to try and rid the taste of dust from her tongue.
“Sam! What are you doing out here? If Foreman catches you, we’re both dead!”
Samantha turned around and faced her twin, who although they looked very much alike was quite the opposite of her.
“I’m coming Elsa. I just wanted to look at the sky,” she said.
“Lunch has been over for almost five minutes. Foreman will be looking for you soon. I told him you were in the bathroom, but he didn’t believe me. Come on,” Elsa replied, dancing nervously from foot to foot.
Dragging her feet, Samantha followed her sister back into the gaping mouth of the factory. It was like being swallowed by a monster, a monster that belched black clouds into the air and swallowed little girls for breakfast. Samantha hated the factory, but she had to work there. Her father had lost his job at the meat factory a few weeks ago due to an injury, and she and Elsa had left school to help make ends meet.
The air was stuffy and filled with little particles of cotton that floated like snow to the ground, making it hard to breath. The machines were whirring again, spinning thread around wooden spools at what seemed to be a hundred miles a minute. Samantha hesitated before entering.
“Go, hurry!” Elsa hissed, already scampering to her spot.
The door opened. Foreman entered the room, surveying the working children with a keen eye. He was looking for anyone who might still be missing.
Samantha bent her head down and made her way quickly back to her section and began to watch the thread, spinning, spinning, spinning. One spool stopped abruptly and held fast, the gears jammed on a knot. Samantha reached quickly around the machine and yanked on the thread, then jumped backward like a scalded cat. She knew that if a person didn’t get their hand out of the way quickly, they could lose fingers or whole hands. She’d seen a girl on her first day here who had been new like herself. The girl had reached around, yanked the knot out, and then given a terrifying scream of pain. Her hand had been caught in the gears, and the sight of her mangled flesh still gave Samantha nightmares.
I hate it here, thought Samantha as she stood on aching feet, I wish I could go back to school. I wish I could sleep until the sun came up. I wish…
She never finished her thought. A terrified and pained scream burst through her mind. Samantha looked around.
Probably a new one, she though bitterly.
But then she gasped, “Oh, no!”
Elsa had collapsed onto the floor two rows down from her, her arms wrapped around her head.
“Elsa!” Samantha cried, dashing to her sister’s side.
There was no hair left on the right side of Elsa’s head. Blood trickled down the side of Elsa’s face into her screaming mouth, crying for her mother. Foreman hurried over to see what had happened.
“Caught in the string, stupid girl,” he grumbled, “More work for me.”
“You two!” he barked, pointing at two bigger girls, “Get her out of here.”
Samantha pushed them away, “No! Don’t take her anywhere!”
Foreman grabbed her arm and swung her around. His face was inches from hers.
“You need this job, don’t you?” he whispered menacingly.
“Yes, sir, but…”
“You’re going to lose it if you don’t go back to your station right now.”
She gaped at him, mouth open.
“You-you can’t do that,” she whimpered.
Foreman grinned maliciously, “I can. And I will.”
He stood up and began to walk away.
“No! No. I’ll-I’ll stay.”
“Get back to work,” Foreman said.
Samantha stared down at her sister, horrified by her screams. She had to leave her. She had to keep this job.
Samantha took a deep breath.
She turned her back on Elsa, hoping against hope that she would be all right. The machines went right on spinning, spinning, spinning.