Billy Ray would make us take turns firing his rifle at rusty cans. He was not the most handsome man, with his blue cap and greying ponytail, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to the rumble in his voice as he ordered us to shoot. We need to be ready, he would say.
Life on the farm was hard. The men were old, dim-witted and wore sweat-stained tank tops. Among the women I was the youngest, arguably the prettiest. Annabelle and Doreen were jealous of the attention I got, but there really was no point to that. I was saving myself for Billy.
I think he felt it too. Our eyes would lock for an extra second or two as he handed out the tasks for the day. He spared me from the hard labour, the picking, the cleaning of the pigpen. I mostly just cooked and did the dishes.
At night we danced around the burning cross. We sang about Judgment Day and took our clothes off as Billy Ray threw shards of gunpowder into the fire.