Tell us something about where you live:
You would never guess it from the plush furnishings and the opulent décor, but I live in a prison where a few dollars will buy you more than a pound of flesh. It will purchase a piece of my torn-apart soul.
Is there anything special about your name? Why do you think you were given that name?
Madam Knight erased the name my parents had given me and replaced it with Bluebell. We all have flower names because we’re all her precious flowers. Most of the girls call me Bell. I think she just has a rotation of names that she works through – Daisy, Rose, Lily, Poppy, Clover, Jasmine – Bluebell is just part of the rotation. It means nothing to her. Or to me.
Do you have an occupation? What do you like or dislike about your work?
I live and work in Storyville. Do I have an occupation? Sure. I’m what they call a soiled dove. What you don’t know is that a soiled dove is just a pigeon. A plain old pigeon. Do I like it? Of course not. Who would choose this life? I was sold into this slavery when I was a child, but I’ve become numb. I just count the days until I’m used up and cast out.
Who are the special people in your life?
My best friend, Astrid. She’s also my roommate. She talks about her faith in God, and while I don’t get it, her hope gives me hope.
What is your heart’s deepest desire?
To get as far away from the brothel and Storyville as possible.
What are you most afraid of?
Nothing. I’ve lost it all already.
Do you have a cherished possession?
Only the memories of my parents before the fire. Before I was handed over to my greedy uncle who sold me for two dollars to Madam Victoria Knight. Those memories are all I have left.
What do you expect the future will hold for you?
I have no idea. Part of me wants to fight and run, but the other part of me is tired to the bone and weary.
What have you learned about yourself in the course of your story?
There’s this guy who came in the other day. A religious type, spouting on and on about Jesus loving us. But he doesn’t do it to condemn us, he does it to give us – me – hope. I don’t know, I actually felt like he saw me. The real me. Not only did my heart give a little flutter, which it’s never done, but it also felt hopeful.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
People think we chose to do this. Live like this. This is a last resort for some who had no other way of staying alive or caring for their children. Or some like me who were sold to a hardened madam who went through this herself. We don’t choose or love this. We don’t relish in it. We don’t enjoy being leered at, let alone being abused. We want a better life. And I will fight tooth and nail to give that to these girls, even if it means I don’t get it.
Allison Wells is a wife, mother, and sweet tea addict. Allison writes in two genres – Christian Women’s FIction and Sweet Romance. She writes what she calls “gritty Christian fiction,” books that show the hard truths of life but ultimately are stories of redemption in the end. Her sweet romances are clean and fun with a dose of laughter (the best medicine). She loves to bring a word of hope to readers worldwide. Her motto is, “Life is short, eat the Oreos.” Visit her website at www.whatallisonwrote.com.