Sometimes she felt like Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin had met in the middle of the road and made her from the dust on the heels of their shoes. She was locked in the highest room of her house with baskets of unspun wool and silk around her.
The wool was raw. The burrs in it grabbed at her hands, roughed her calluses, made them ache with a thousand tiny cuts and scratches. She would not yet permit herself the luxury of the merino, not until the raw bobbin was done.
Her hands began to feel raw. She looked at them, unsurprised to see that they were shiny with burns and blistered where the wool had raced against them. She stood, stretched, and carefully picked up a pot of comfrey ointment from a shelf. She smeared the green salve on her hands and waited for them to heal.
The next day she started with the silk. Although it was far softer than the wool, the long fibers made it harder to spin. The burns appeared faster that day.
Sometimes it seemed that she would never finish the bundles of wool and silk and cotton that her mother had given her to spin. She could not come down until she had finished spinning it all. Mother brought her food whenever she remembered her daughter in the attic; there was a sink in one corner for when she was thirsty.
Sometimes the task seemed endless.
Sometimes she felt hopeless.
Sometimes she knew that she would never finish.
Taking one last look at the spinning wheel and wool behind her, she stepped out the window, and escaped.