TITLE: MOUTH OF THE SOUTH
GENRE: MG Historical Fiction
“Patsy, don’t make any plans for today.” Mother blew the steam from her coffee cup.
Eleven-year-old Patsy filled a bowl with Cheerios, poured milk from the Sealtest bottle over the mound of toasted O’s, and crunched the first mouthful. The first mouthful is always the best, she thought, before the Cheerios get soggy. “Why not?” Patsy asked.
“We’re going downtown.”
“Why?” Patsy felt like someone had sunk a rock down her throat. The Fourth of July sales were over last week; Patsy didn’t need any new clothes; and she hated shopping for herself. Today was Thursday, not Wednesday, so that ruled out the possibility of a Shopper’s Matinee movie. Patsy hoped Mother’s shopping list was for herself. “Where are we going?”
“To Belk’s foundation department,” Mother said.
“Foundation? Are we building something?”
Mother smirked and sipped coffee. “Yes. We’re building you some bras.”
“Bras!” Patsy croaked. “I don’t need a bra. I’ve put on Tussy deodorant every day this summer, just like you said. Isn’t that enough?” Patsy slammed her spoon on the table.
Mother shook her head, peered over her coffee cup, and pointed to Patsy’s chest. “No, you’re starting to show.”
“Show? Show what?” Patsy stared down at her chest. “I don’t see anything.”
“I can see something underneath your t-shirt,” Mother said. “You’re budding.”
Patsy scrunched up her nose. “Well, can’t we wait until I’ve bloomed?”
Mother glared down the slope of her nose at Patsy.
They would be on the Downtown Charlotte bus today.