Chapter I Jessica's POV

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"Jessica!!!" My step mother, Arica, called. "Come here this minute!"

I sighed and dried my hands on the dish towel. Here we go again, I thought.

I lived in a very dreadful cottage on the east side of Westdale. Westdale is a country in the middle of Great Britain. It was full of farm land and even we owned a farm. Of course, I did all of the work.

I quickly walked down the dreadful hallway of our dreadful little cottage. I reached Arica's bedroom just as she screeched my name again. "Jess- oh there you are," she said with a slight smile. "I need you to take this tea tray out to the sink and wash it as well. Don't forget to wash Abby's cup especially well!" She called after me as I hurried down the hall with the tray.

Abby is my step sister. She is horrid. No, that's an understatement. She is horrendous and horrible at same time. Her laugh is a gurgle and a screech mixed. It sounds like a dying elephant, but Arica treasures her above everything. Including me.

I reached the sink and started to rinse the tray. I got so carried away I didn't realize Abby entered the room. "My, you like to scrub." She said, with a hint of a smile lingering on her words.

"Only because I have to." I retorted.

Abby mocked a gasp at my sassy attitude that soon changed to her shrieking laughter. "Oh, Jessica. You do have to. Because I'm in charge of you. And there is nothing you can do about it."

And she was right. Oh how I hated that she was right. She and my horrible step mother had complete control of me and I knew it. Oh how I missed my father. He had passed away five years before and had left me with this dreadful woman and her daughter. I could not bear to think of the pain he had gone through before his death, but I could only wish that he had picked a better woman to marry than Arica.

My father was a farmer, and a very good one. He was known throughout Westdale for his delicious tomatoes. Of course, I was always expected to grow tomatoes just like my father, maybe even better. But that was not to be.

I was a musician.

I sang, I danced, and I loved to play the piano. Whenever I sat down on the bench to play, I could just let all of my feelings flow through the instrument, into the sheet music, and out through the notes. It helped me to cope with my father's death and with the stress Arica burdened me with daily.

I must have been silent for too long because Abby began to get impatient. She started tapping her foot and glaring at me. "Yes, you are." I finally responded.

"Humph." She grunted. Then she whirled on her heel and stalked out of the room.

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