Aside 1 Jun

MARGARET AT MATINS

nun photo: Nun on the toiletbox Zusterophetkamergemak.jpg

Sister Bethany sat on her pew and prayed.

It was a mess, and she wanted her Lord to sort it out. She wanted the corpse to be shifted from where it lay in the laundry room and put somewhere beyond legal reach, before the constable called. It wasn’t her fault, surely? The fat woman who’d come for salvation and been flayed in the name of their Lord – the fault must be hers and hers alone. And why had she died, that easily anyway, that swiftly?

What had the creature expected?

This was a House of God, for goodness’ sake. You don’t take your perversions to a place like the House of God, do you, and expect painless forgiveness?

The bloated creature had said she’d laid with a man who wasn’t her husband and used the wretched excuse of rape to vindicate herself.

She’d probably cavorted. She’s most probably revealed her legs above the knees in a drinking den, with foul men leering all around her.. She’d as likely as not exposed her chest for the filthiest creatures of the village to ogle at, and then, when they’d been wound up to breaking point she’d almost certainly crooked a finger at one of them and dragged him off … and when her stomach started to grow fat the tart had called it rape.

It wasn’t like that, the girl, fifteen is she was a day, wept when sister Bethany had produced the Instrument. I’d been on the road past St Matthew’s when the pastor leapt out of the hedgerow and raped me … he with his big truncheon and greedy eyes, he with his prayer book in one hand and his button fly being fumbled with the other, he with his heart filled with greed for a hint of innocent flesh, and me so say no to what he did, and weep like I did…

The Instrument had hurt. Lordy, hadn’t it hurt as it cut into her flesh and brought forth dribbles of the sinner’s anguished blood.

This will help you, child,” Sister Bethany had rasped. “It will cleanse your soul when your time to meet the Almighty comes…”

And Sister Bethany had killed the woman. With the Instrument she had carved the poor creature’s flesh and the pleasure it had given her was probably even greater than the pain it had given the other. For the other had howled and howled, and then become silent.

Silence with death. And cold and all the other things that go with death.

So Sister Bethany was sitting on her pew, and praying.

She’d done nothing wrong, surely? But she needed help. Even in these enlightened times a dead body is no easy thing to dispose of.

A thought struck her, there as she sat on that precious pew. Sister Margaret was due to die soon – she was eighty if she was a day and if she chose to die today or tomorrow then her frail body could be joined by that of the corpse, and nobody wold be any the wiser. Two bodies in the one box … it wasn’t unknown…

Maybe Sister Margaret could be helped on her way, encouraged to die in a timely fashion … it would help matters and anyway Sister Margaret was the purest of souls, eighty and still a virgin by all accounts, and it would be no strange matter if she were to pass away today or tomorrow.

It’s the least the old angel could do.

Margaret, my love?” she hissed next morning at matins.

She had bundled the corpse into a wicker laundry basket. That had been some task, that had. The corpse had been no light weight, being heavy with child.

There had been blood, and she had scrubbed that away. And now it was matins

Don’t sweet-talk me, child!” hissed the old nun. “All these years and not a word from you, and now you call me love?

I need you to share a glass with me,” whispered Sister Bethany. “I need it, to cleanse my spirit … to help me on my way…”

Why? Where ya goin’?” hissed the octogenarian.

It’s where you’re going that matters,” whispered Bethany. “The Lord is beckoning you. I can see him.”

Ah! So you’ve got a lump of cold flesh to dispose of? Been using the Instrument, have you? Some evil fornicator, is it? Some tart with a swollen belly who couldn’t take the gift you have to offer..?”

How does she know? Was she spying on me? Has she told the Mother Superior already? Am I to be exposed?

Butcher it, woman, and we’ll have roast loin for dinner,” grinned Sister Margaret. “It’ll make a tasty change, and cold meats tomorrow and he day after won’t go amiss either. It’s what I did once. The Instrument can sometimes be a bit too harsh…”

You mean…” stammered Sister Bethany.

We all do it,” winked the old nun, “it’s in God’s name…” she added.

© Peter Rogerson 01.06.14

 

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3 Responses to “”

  1. pambrittain June 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Oh, this is so gross. I’m at a loss for words.

    • Peter Rogerson June 2, 2014 at 8:36 am #

      Moi? Gross? Never let it be said, Pam… but transfer the nun into one of the Islamic groups that we hear about these days and take away the canibalistic element, and I suspect it’s rather realistic.

      • pambrittain June 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

        Hmmm, interesting idea.

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