Characters: Shirley, Viola, Sterling
Summary: Shirley joins the war effort.
Notes: Canon. This or something similar will probably appear in a future chapter, so it can be considered a spoiler.
Word Count: 390
“Mama! Papa! Where are you?” Shirley called as she came through the front door. “I have something I need to tell you!”
Viola came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a dish towel. “What is it, dear?”
“He was upstairs, but I’m sure with all your shouting he’ll be down in a moment. What’s going on? Has something happened?”
“I’ll tell you when Papa’s here. Let’s go into the living room to wait for him.”
The two women went into the living room just as Sterling was coming down the stairs. “What’s wrong, Shirley?” he asked.
“Nothing’s wrong, Papa. I just have something I wanted to tell both of you. Have a seat.”
Sterling and Viola sat down next to each other on one of the worn sofas, and Shirley sat down on the other one.
“I got myself a job today. One that will help with the war effort. Starting Monday, I’m working at the Portsimouth Shipyard as a welder. I’m going to build war ships!”
Viola and Sterling both looked at their daughter. “You’re what?”
“I’m going to build ships. Well, not at first, of course. I need to learn how to weld first. But then I’m going to help build destroyers for the war.”
“Shirley, there are other ways you can help in the war effort than going to work in the shipyard,” Viola said. “Rose, for example…”
“Don’t you tell me what Mrs. Prissy Pants is up to, Mama. Can you really see me sitting around sewing bandages?”
“No,” Sterling said, quick to defend his daughter. “But ship work can be dangerous, Shirley. We just don’t want to see you get hurt.”
“Is it any more dangerous than what the boys overseas are doing?” she retorted. When her only reply was the gaping mouths of her parents, she replied, “I thought so.”
Sterling and Viola looked at each other, silently admitting defeat. Their daughter did have a point, and women all over the country were getting involved in the war effort in a similar way.
“Our daughter, a Rosie the Riveter,” Sterling said, a hint of pride in his voice.
“Do you think you could help me make a few pairs of overalls, Mama? I can’t wear anything too loose fitting.”
“Of course, Shirley. Anything I can do to help.”