Found Polaroid #89

Author’s note: I found a fascinating website where you write short stories based on old Polaroid pictures. This is my attempt at writing a short story for this image:

There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d be going back to the farm anytime soon, Mama and Daddy be damned. Daddy’d smack me silly if he heard the language I’m using these days, but Roy says God don’t mind the way you talk—it’s how you look that’s important. And I knew he was right. Because when Roy looked at me, and the way his hands felt—but I’m not supposed to talk about that, neither.

I got the letters from the farm the same night as the induction, so there wasn’t no time to read ‘em beforehand. I put on the white robe and waited for my Sister, Cheryl, to come and help me with my hair before the ceremony. Roy liked us all in white—says God told him that his girls should appear clean and pure as shorn cotton. I always liked white, anyways.

“Patsy?” I heard his voice, suddenly, startlingly me since I was waiting on Cheryl, not him.

“I’m coming, Roy,” my voice was shaking a just tad, an excited and terrified feeling erupting inside of me. Why was I scared? Mama always told me if I was scared, just to sing a little song, but Roy didn’t like us girls singing unless he told us to first. Said that God had certain expectations about a girl’s voice and how she should use her mouth, even if he didn’t care about your words when you were talkin’. It all seemed confusing at first, but it wasn’t hard to get it after a spell.

“Patsy, don’t keep me waiting,” he was right outside the door. Cheryl was missing—she was always running late—and my hair was all messy, but it’d be better to be punished for an appearance abuse than for keeping Roy waiting too much longer.



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