from where we stand
Well, this here’s the first chapter of whatever monstrosity that my brain unleashed. There’s not gonna be a lot really happening, it’s largely a buildup/background chapter needed to reorient yourself into this AU. Happy reading!
Also on FFN.
Somewhere in the Eastern Mountains, Amestris, 1905
It was the sharp ring of the bell that signaled to the workers that the work-day had ended. Twelve hours they had stood on their feet, performing the same task over and over and over again, baking under the high heat radiating off of the large machines that they worked on. Often standing hunched over their machine, performing tedious work with hardly any feeling in their hands, fighting from breathing in the dust and stray particles in the air.
But it had been a good day. There had been no major accidents. Nothing for them to halt the production line while the machine was being repaired because someone had leaned too far over and their loose items became caught in the machine.
Riza remembered the sight of Mary-Ann Arbor being hauled out, half of her scalp ripped from her body, simply because she had leant too far over and one of her beautiful red braids had gotten caught in the machine. They had taken her home to her family, where they bandaged their wounds as well as they could and prayed desperately for her to make it against odds and survive the night. Their prayers had not been heard and young Mary-Ann was dead by morning.
Riza solemnly buttoned the many buttons on her coat before grabbing her pail that served to carry the lunch she never ate and made to leave the factory. She would be back before the sun broke over the horizon in the morning, and give another full day’s work. Only for the cycle to repeat itself over the next day, and the day after that. Only stopping for the one day of rest required by the government, only for her ten to twelve hour shifts to begin again until the next day of rest.
It was a dull existence, but it provided food for the table and a way to keep the bank off of their property.