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Two polish immigrants, Alina and Lidia (nine and twelve years old, respectively), run up and
down 5th avenue begging passersby for money.
ALINA: Excuse me, sir! My family lives in poverty!
LIDIA: Do you have any spare change?
[Man walks away]
ALINA: Its no use. Weve been begging for hours.
LIDIA: Look at the sun in the sky. It must be time for our shift at the factory now, weve been
wasting our time.
[shouts at man walking away] Excuse me sir, do you have the time?
MAN: [looks back, annoyed] Its ten till 8 am. Now scoot.
LIDIA: [cautiously] Thank you sir [to ALINA] We best be on our way.
ALINA: Okay.
[They begin to walk towards the factory. As they walk, they run into Miriam, who is playing
with her toys.]
MIRIAM: Hello! Do you two want to play ball with me?
LIDIA: No, sorry.
ALINA: We gotta work!
MIRIAM: Oh, thats too bad. Hey, whats your name?
ALINA: Alina! This is my sister Lidia.
MIRIAM: Where do you guys live? I always see you walking in, but I never see where you come
LIDIA: The Lower East Side.

ALINA: In a tenement. I try not to think about it [thinks seriously for a second] [cheerfully] You
know, one day were gonna be rich like you!
LIDIA: [embarrassed] Yeah, we have a plan. Something weve been working on for a while. Just
a fantasy.
MIRIAM: [intrigued] What is it?
ALINA: Were gonna save up all our money and run away!
LIDIA: And find a nice place to live and get an education.
ALINA: And mom and dad will never know where we are and never care and well be happy!
MIRIAM: How much do you make a day?
LIDIA: 10 cents each.
ALINA: Because were kids and dont need as much!
LIDIA: Thats what the boss keeps telling us. But I have a nagging doubt that might not be true.
MIRIAM: The boss? Thats my father.
ALINA: Oh, thats neat. Hes really big.
MIRIAM: Wait, but 10 cents? I get $2 for my weekly allowance!
ALINA: Whoaaaaa [mouth opens]
MIRIAM: Maybe you can come home with me after work! Ill give you my allowance for last
week. I dont really need it. Whenever I want something father just gives me a dollar.
LIDIA: [timidly] What kind of stuff do you buy? You have a house and food.
MIRIAM: Ice cream, books, dolls, a whole lot of stuff! Have you ever been to Macys on 6th
MIRIAM: Then let me take you there!

They exit. Alina enters and pantomimes being at work. Boss enters.
BOSS: [coming over to ALINA at work] What is your name, little girl?
ALINA: [faintly, surprised] Alina.
BOSS: Alina, that all?
ALINA: Kedzierski. Alina Kedzierski.
BOSS: Lidias sister?
ALINA: Yessir
BOSS: Ah. Well it appears she lost her arm in a little accident bout, oh, fie minutes ago
ALINA: [bewildered] Are you sure, sir? I know a little girl name of Liddie Majewski who works
over in the cutting department with her
BOSS: [glances at note] Yes, Im afraid it is your sister. Now be a good little girl and get back to
work. Your sister is being properly cared for.
ALINA: [mute, returns to work]
OLD WOMAN: Dont you worry dearie, Ill cover your shift. Go run on and find your sister and
get her home. Dont want her to get infected, Ive heard many a horror story bout little girls
much like you-all dieing this a-way.
[in the hospital]
(ALINA walks up to LIDIA at her hospital bed)
ALINA: Lidia! Lidia wake up!
LIDIA: [mutters]
ALINA: What am I going to do?
Miram enters
MIRIAM: Alina! I didnt expect to see you here at this hour. [sees LIDIA and gasps]

[LIDIA regains consciousness]

LIDIA: What in hell happened to my arm?
ALINA: You lost it at the factory.
MIRIAM: Ill stay with her for now. You need to get some sleep.
ALINA: Thank you so much. I better get home. God knows where my parents are.

A few days later, Alina is leaving work. Miriam stops her as she makes her way home.
MIRIAM: Alina. I visited your sister at the hospital today. Her arm was infected, and I-- she-ALINA: Is she dead, Miriam?
Miriam nods.
ALINA (devoid of emotion): Oh.
MIRIAM: Are you okay?
ALINA: Yes. You can go now. I dont wanna to talk to you.
MIRIAM: (hesitantly) Okay. Goodbye, Alina. See you later. (she exits)
ALINA (to herself): What am I gonna do about our escape plan? Wholl tell me stories when Im
afraid? Wholl make sure no one hurts me when I walk to work? [pause] Guess Ill go back
home, then. Go to work. I was never gonna escape anyway. We were never smart enough, strong
enough. I guess stupid ideas like this only hurt you in the end.

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