TITLE: Misery, Company, and Missy Malone
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Missy Malone hung the laundry in the hot Florida heat. She blinked as her salty sweat trickled in her eyes. Why can’t we have a dryer? she thought. Who hangs clothes on a line these days?
“Missy?" called Gladys, peering out the window. "You almost done?"
Missy grunted. “Think of the devil, and she will appear.”
Gladys was Missy's aunt and an Army veteran. She served during Desert Storm in the early nineties and lived her life like she was still in the military. She gets up and run one mile each morning. She takes Missy camping but calls it “going to the field”. And if you ask, “What time is it?” She replies, “Zero six hundred,” or “twenty-one hundred”; instead of “six o’clock or nine o’clock.”
"I know you hear me," Gladys bellowed from the window.
Missy flashed five fingers twice signaling she'll be done in ten minutes. She placed the last of the wet clothes on the line. "This better be right," she mumbled. "God knows crazy-woman will have a fit if it isn't."
Trousers, dresses, and skirts on the third line? Check. Blouses, shirts, and underwear on the second? Check. Sheets, towels, and pillowcases on the first? Check.
That’s how Aunt Gladys wanted them hung. She wouldn’t have it any other way. “Dress right dress!” she said. “Organization is the key to success.”
“Chow time, twelve-hundred.” Gladys shouted from the kitchen. “Don’t be late.”
Missy glanced at the pink and purple Barbie watch on her wrist. I have thirteen minutes, she thought.