Mary Almond (D.O.B. 1528) was born as an illegitimate child in a small African country to the sister of the queen of said country. During a trip to Constantinople, her birth mother had an affair with a politician, and although the affair assisted in strengthening ties between the two countries, it resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Almond’s mother died due to complications that began during childbirth and continued for five months, eventually weakening her to the point that no remedy could save her. Before she died, she decided to name her daughter after the almond flowers she had seen on her trip and begged her sister to keep her baby safe. Almond’s aunt, angry that her sister had been taken away from her, and scared of the impact an illegitimate child could have, arranged for Almond to be sent away, but honored her sister’s dying wish by seeing that the baby was sent to an orphanage in Fittleworth, England, run by a Baron and Baroness Blackheath, as she heard word in her travels that the girls there were well taken care of and many of them married into good families. Almond arrived on the Blackheaths’ doorstep one year after her birth with a note stating her name and year of birth only. She was accepted into the orphanage and thus named Mary Almond.
Young Almond was a very proper sort of child. Shy and different, she chose to avoid any sort of activity that might bring attention to herself. She always sat up straight, always remembered her manners, always did her chores, and always made sure to avoid looking dirty at all costs. Almond was soft-spoken and obedient, qualities that had others talking about what a great wife she’ll be when she comes of marrying age, despite her complexion. The attention was the exact thing Almond was trying to avoid, but she continued on the same because it wasn’t really bad attention per se, but it was still uncomfortable. Almond didn’t really like the idea of marriage.
At the age of five, Almond met the twins Hansel and Gretel from “Not-here.” Almond thought they were very strange and had funny accents, but she was drawn to them because she was from “Not-here” as well. She started playing with the twins and soon became close friends with Gretel. Slowly but surely, with Gretel’s help, Almond started gaining confidence in herself and began playing with the other children of the village. Over the years, Almond’s aversion to dirt evolved into a passion, as she knew it would keep husbands away. She didn’t like the thought of having to spend her whole life in a rat-infested home taking care of her drunken husband and nine kids. Almond got reprimanded more frequently, but she believed it was worth it to keep her freedom.
The year of Almond’s eleventh birthday, the Blackheaths finally allowed her to attend the festival in Fittleworth. While there, Almond was astounded by the visiting nobility. Before that day, she had never seen anyone so clean and fancy, and at that moment she realized that she wasn’t repulsed by the thought of marrying, she was repulsed by the thought of marrying in Fittleworth. Almond promised herself that if she was going to marry she was going to marry up, as not only would that keep her out of the slums, but it would also keep her from becoming Mother Mary. She was not at all fond of the idea of being in charge of many children. Unfortunately, she had become so accustomed to playing around that no nobleman would choose her as a bride. Almond remained hopeful every year and was genuinely thrilled when another sister of hers got married, but she did begin to wonder how she went from being the topic of village chatter to being just another village girl.
The revelation came after her fifth festival, when she noticed a pattern in what kind of sister was chosen by what kind of man, and the pieces fell into place. Almond found that the noblemen preferred clean and proper women, and she was far from the clean and proper young girl she used to be. If she was to marry up, she had to stop playing around and be serious. She knew that if she reached the age of eighteen before she married, it would very nearly seal her fate as the next mother of a dozen orphan girls. Now, at the age of sixteen, Almond is trying to retrain herself to be a worthy wife, but old habits die hard. She has hope that at this year’s festival, she can catch the eye of a nobleman, and hopefully one that doesn’t mind a little bit of dirt.
Almond actually likes children and would like to be a mother one day. However, Almond is terrified of the thought of having many children. She doesn't want to be the kind of mother that only pays attention to a fraction of her kids and neglects the others or doesn't pay attention to any of them at all. This stems from growing up in the orphanage and always being raised by one of her older sisters. Almond firmly believes that children should have a present mother in order to raise them correctly. This is why she doesn't want to be Mother Mary, because with so many girls to look after, Almond does not believe she could be the mother the girls need.