::as requested by athersgeo and katie__pillar::
Grizel lit a cigarette with trembling fingers, and, having done so, inhaled deeply. She leant against the door frame and gazed out over the featureless scrub that passed as her garden. She was struck, not for the first time, with a longing for home – not England, not where she had been so unhappy – but… and Grizel realised, with a bitterness so familiar it had ceased to burn, that she had no home. Poor little orphan girl. Not that she was a girl these days; not any more. Somehow most of her life seemed have been and gone, and she had scarcely noticed. She passed a hand through the short curls that here and there were threaded with grey, and glanced at the slip of paper on the kitchen table.
REGRET INFORM DEATH MRS COCHRANE STOP WILL WRITE FURTHER STOP MASON PICKERING SOLICITORS STOP
Maybe it was time for something new. Her stepmother’s presence had, one way or another, loomed large over Grizel her entire life, and now she was free. Perhaps she could find a home, find a place for herself. Perhaps it wasn’t too late.