ADVENT 1968.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A NUN AND HER THOUGHTS.

Submitted: October 08, 2009

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Submitted: October 08, 2009

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“The rosary moves between my finger and thumb,” said Sister Scolastica, “the prayers pressed and polished into the wood. Ebony wood, smooth worn by constant prayer and the feel of flesh. My mother’s fingers were worn to the bone by work and the fingering of beads; her eyes failed her and her mind gave way to the dark side of the moon. My father loomed large like a whale, his walrus moustaches sat beneath his large nose, his hard hands forever smacking, his voice bellowing like a cow in labour. He took me to mass with reluctant heart, his eyes dark as beads of my mother’s rosary, his heart as cold as the frozen north. I move the beads over and over; the prayers muttered under my breath. Sister Clare walks the cloister, her head held low, her eyes down cast, her voice mellow as a cat’s meow. She has me in her dreams, her nightly joys held in check by her discipline, the words she speaks are soft as butter, her hands search me out in the darkened evening after Compline. My brother crept into my bed when I was a child, his words whispered, his madness even then creeping into his joints and brain, his hands wanting me in his perverted love, the best-kept secret between us held. Nuns walk the cloister garth; their secret selves known only to God, his mercies finger each from each, His love buried in every soul, His words spoken in the conscience’s ears, his blessings pouring into the daily works. I finger the beads with the fingers of love; I feel the wood between finger and thumb, the hardness packed with prayers and confessions, the grain of the wood polished and perfect, my love for my God sings in each dawn. Some days my father’s hand vibrates along my flesh’s memory, the pain and humiliation burns in each cell. His words echo along the years and settle like rain, his eyes peer through the eyes of my sisters, the chilling touches tingle in pores of my skin. The bell rings from the bell tower, the voice of God speaks to us all; the birds fly from the trees in the gardens, the flight of fright as just begun, the sky dark with their flapping wings, their voices echoing around the cloister walls, the nuns walk to the church, their feet pacing like children at play, their hands hidden in pockets of habits, their eyes and minds divert from the world and the world’s wishes, their hearts and souls tingle with the touch of God, knowing His absence as well as His nearness, wanting His love, but fearing the loss, each sin reckoned , counting the cost. I put my beads away, I conceal them in my inner pocket, I walk toward the church’s door, finger the stoup with my fleshy fingers, make sign of the cross from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder and then let them rest. The ghost my mother walks beside me, her shadowy walk whispers and whines. My phantom father waits by the altar, his large moustaches wiggle and twitch, his hands rubbing together waiting to smack, ready to swish and whack. I kneel in my pew, my knees feel the hardened wood, my flesh senses the chill of air; time for the worship, time for my prayer. Looking up I see the eyes of Sister Clare, there is something warm and loving there, something waiting like a summer breeze, the scent of lilies, the sound of bees, but bound to God, can’t do as I please, but do as He wishes for a love quite profound. Just the silence now, no other sound.”


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