The Mill Factory by Jiyun

Photo credit: Lewis Hine

Watching the Sunset

It was a quiet day, just as same as the normal days. The only sound—cotton mill spinning, and a few people sighing. The sun was going down slowly, and the sky turned red, which looked beautiful, but also told me that the time to go was coming. I looked at the sky—through the old, dirty window without any thoughts and worries.

Then I heard footsteps from far away, and the sound was getting louder. Every time I heard this sound, I could hear my heartbeat as loud as the voice of the factory owner—when he’s angry at us—the workers who work here. The sound of footsteps were getting louder, louder, and louder. I turned back and started working—pretended to be working, but I was late. He was there—in front of me, starring.

Photo credit: Lewis Hine

Working in a Mill Factory

I always wanted to work—looking at my parents working, I wanted to be helping my family and earn money.

The day finally came—earn money by myself! My mother said that because I became twelve, I could work in the mill. I went to the mill factory with my mother, who was working there for about five years. The place for us to work in was at the same factory, but was in different room. To see how I had to work—how everyone worked, I went inside the room that my mother works in with my mother. Other girls and women were there and were working.

A man was standing—tall, looked firm and scary. He didn’t say a word but stared at my mother. My mother let my hand fall from her hand and went to a mill machine as if she was being chased by someone. While the boss was glancing at the clock in a wall, my mother told me to go to my working room using her eyes.

I turned around and walked to the room where I had to work in. My mother have told me while we were walking. As I worked that day, I couldn’t take my mother who walked so fast to the mill machine out of my thought.

A Snowing Day

As I walked down the street looking at the people who looked so busy, snowing didn’t seem to stop. I used to like snowing until I was twelve, which is when I first went to the mill factory to work. Every time it snowed, I had to shiver for the entire time in the factory, which was even colder. I missed the time when I used to love the days that snowed. I concentrated to my feet and walking, because ground was frozen.

As I was walking down the street to go to the mill factory, I heard a familiar voice. “Lily!” I turned back, and my best friend, Katharine was there. We walked together, talking about how cold it was, and how we both used to love snow. Suddenly, I thought of an amazing idea. I turned and looked at her eyes, “Katharine, how about not going to work today?” Katharine seemed to like my idea as much as I did, too.

We didn’t go to work that day, and played with snow, just as we used to when we were younger. We played so fun, and forgot about going to work.


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