Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from the new opening pages of Little Ragdoll, the contemporary historical Bildungsroman (growing-up saga) which will be released on 20 June. It’s my imagined story of a poor Manhattan girl who could’ve been the one who inspired The Four Seasons’ famous song “Rag Doll.”
Five-year-old Adicia Troy, her four best sisters, and their surrogate mother were on their way to the Lower East Side Woolworth’s when they ran across Adicia’s two older brothers. Allen, the only sympathetic Troy brother, slips Adicia four quarters for round-trip subway fare and says the youngest members of their party ride for free since they’re so young.
After the short walk to the station, she takes Lucine’s hand and makes her way underground. Once they’ve gotten to the front of the line, Adicia stands on her toes and slides the coins across the counter in exchange for six tokens, three for the trip there and three for the trip back, plus a dime in change. Then they wait in line again at the turnstile. Lucine has to help Adicia with pushing it around, while Sarah hands Justine to Emeline and hoists the stroller over before going through. Adicia stays close to Lucine as they press through the crowd before the doors can close. They’re lucky to find seats instead of having to stand and hold onto poles or straps.
Adicia takes Emeline’s hand when they reach their destination in the Upper West Side. The subway lets them off near the Museum of Natural History, by Central Park, so they have to walk about two blocks east to get to the Woolworth’s at the corner of Broadway and 79th Street.
Originally, the Troy sisters were just going back-to-school shopping at some unnamed big department store in the Upper West Side, but when I reworked the first chapter and made it Woolworth’s, I did a bit of research on the store’s locations around Manhattan. I found one by 5th Avenue and 39th Street, which seemed like a good possibility, but then I discovered there was one on the Upper West Side, by Broadway and 79th Street.
At the store, the girls still run into some of their classmates and their mothers, who had the same idea about getting out of the Lower East Side and patronising an uptown store to look good.