FACTORY GIRL: A NEW Daily Serial

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Long hours, low pay, and big dreams...

Hi there.  I’m Hattie Morehead, and for a 19-year-old, I’ve screwed up my life pretty good so far. I grew up in a town in Tennessee the size of a mud puddle, and I’d planned to be somewhere else by now doing something important.  Instead I got myself pregnant, dropped out of high school, and took a job at the same sewing factory that sucked the life out of my mother and my grandmother.

My relatives are shady, my friends are freaks, and my romantic prospects are dim. But this small-town girl has big dreams:

Someday I’m gonna get out of here.
Someday everyone will know my name.
Because someday instead of sewing designer clothes for minimum wage, I’ll have my own clothing line.

I admit, at times that day seems far, far away. But I’m gonna make it happen. I simply have to.

For now, I’m hanging in and hanging on… by a thread.

 


 

 The FACTORY GIRL daily serial will run July 1 - December 31, 2019.  Each day's episode will display for 24 hours, approximately 4am-4am Eastern.   Come back every day to read the serial for free, or if you need to catch up or read ahead, a monthly novella will be available the first of each month, exclusively from Amazon. Meanwhile, please tell all your reader friends to join us for this fun project! 


 

September 20, Friday

I UNLOCKED one of the tall garage doors to the warehouse, then stood back while Booker tugged until it rolled up slowly on its rusty joints.

“I’ve never been in this building,” he said. Then he looked at me. “I know, I know—it’s my family’s business so I should’ve.”

I went in first, felt around for wall switches and illuminated the big space. Enormous rolls of fabric of all kinds were stacked and racked practically to the ceiling. Everything was covered with a thick layer of dust.

“What is all this stuff?” Booker asked.

“Leftovers from making work clothes and outer wear.”

“Some of the rolls of material look like they’ve never been opened.”

“I guess it was easier to warehouse it than to send it back.”

He scratched his temple. “Do you think it’s still usable?”

I shrugged. “Most of it, probably. It’s dry in here, so if we’re lucky, there won’t be any mold or mildew. I would say moths and silverfish could be a problem, but it might be bolt by bolt.”

Booker still looked dazed. He walked over to the cabinets I rummaged through a couple of months ago to find the smiley face patches. He reached into a bag and as luck would have it, pulled out one of them. “This has to be from the 1970s. And all of this stuff is just sitting here.”

I nodded. “So is that a yes on using some of it for the school play costumes?”

“Sure… whatever you need.”

I smiled. “I’ll keep track of the yardage so the company can write it off as a donation.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said with a wave. “This inventory was probably written off the books a long time ago.” Then he turned to face me. “So I guess you and Adam will be working together on this project.”

At his nearness, why did the space in this enormous warehouse suddenly seem to collapse? “I guess so. But I’m only making the costumes—he’s the director.”

“Adam mentioned he’s also helping you study for your GED.”

My face warmed. “That’s right. I didn’t finish high school.”

“I’m so, so sorry about that, Hattie.”

I lifted my chin. “It was my choice.”

“Because you didn’t have many choices at the time. I’m sorry I didn’t believe you. I’m sorry I left you high and dry.”

“It all turned out okay,” I murmured.

He stared at me until I squirmed.

“Do I have something on my face?”

“Yes.” He reached forward and cupped my chin, then came away with a white feather that must’ve escaped from some bolt of insulated down fabric.

“Thanks,” I squeaked. “We’d better be getting back.”

His jaw hardened, then he nodded.

We backtracked to the door, which he lowered and secured. When he stood, he handed me the key. “I assume you’ll need access after hours. Use whatever supplies you need.”

“Thank you, Booker.”

He smiled. “You’re welcome, Hattie.”

I was starting to like hearing him say my name.

When we walked back inside, he peeled off to go into his office, while I peeled off to the sewing room. My mother spotted me and charged over to head me off. She was wearing a pink and white polka-dotted bandage dress. “What was all that about?”

“What?”

“The little rendezvous with Booker.”

I scoffed. “We were in the warehouse looking at leftover fabric. He’s going to donate some for costumes for the school play.”

“Oh.” She sniffed. “Have you make quota today? I hope you don’t expect special treatment because of your connection to the boss.”

I realized she was jealous, so I swallowed a retort. “Of course not.”

That’s when I noticed she was fingering a new necklace that still had the tag on the clasp. I sighed—she’d been out “shopping” again. ~



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