Fleshmarket

Nettie rolled her sheer stockings over her poised white ankles. They were silk, expensive, Parisian (so she’d been told) and they had been gifted to her by an all-too familiar regular. He’d given her a set of pearl earrings and her favourite blue petticoat, it was only when he’d attempted to give her a ring she had refused. He’d sniffled at that a bit, she’d felt sorry for him really- so fat and old, no wonder his wife wouldn’t go to bed with him anymore- she hadn’t seen him since. Nettie outstretched her leg as she curled her dainty stocking over the tip of her thigh. Nettie quickly brushed her hair one last time before throwing on her shawl. She wondered if Amelia would be back on the Fleshmarket tonight. Her timid little friend had been absent the past few nights. Amelia said it was out of respect for the latest Soho girl. ‘Take a break on the Sunday and come to church’ she said to Nettie. Nettie had curled up her nose as she declined, Amelia might have feigned piety but Nettie knew she was just scared. As Nettie bounded out in to the night she chuckled at the image in her mind of Amelia’s red head bobbing stupidly in prayer. Her woollen shawl fluttered in the cold wind. Amelia was good at her job cos she was pretty but she was really a very silly girl. The horrors of the past few months had been in Whitechapel and Edinburgh was worlds away. Besides the night was clear and there was money to be made. Nettie stepped gaily as she approached her favourite haunt of Fleshmarket Close. Her light footsteps echoed without the hearing of all earthly souls but one. Round the alley, cloaked in the shadows, a figure was waiting… patiently.

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