Copyright © 2009 Christy Leigh Stewart
Cover Illustration Copyright
© 2009 Megan Hansen
“Seven Goddamned notes for each. What in God’s name are they thinking? I can hardly buy bread for one person for seven fucking notes.” The children’s new guardian was saying as they followed her out of earshot of the orphanage.
The price she was paid to take them wasn’t the first complaint she had about the situation. She had tried to talk the orphanage into giving her more children, but three was the limit. If she agreed to take more in another month, then she could. Her real annoyance must have come from having thought the children went for a higher price. That was true for a time, but the organization was running out of money. And still, the orphanage was full.
The plan was to give people a stipend in exchange for caring for orphans. Return each month with the children, identified by the orphanage logo that had been branded onto their arm (or whatever limb was remaining) and the stipend would be handed over. The initial “adoption” used to constitute an extra few coins but the funds were running out and the taxpayers were already complaining about the costs.