First published in Steel Toe Review
If it hadn’t been for Daddy’s sickness, Opal Pratt might have worked a lifetime at the shoe factory no matter what had happened there.
It probably started at Opal’s high school graduation. Two of her mother’s sisters, three of her father’s brothers and one of his sisters, their spouses, and assorted, slow-witted cousins arrived to celebrate her accomplishment. She was the first from both sides of the family to graduate from high school. The aunts hoped she would be an inspiration to their broods. The uncles only hoped their brats would go to work.