by R. S. Pyne
Michael made a
start on his second pint, choosing the words
carefully. You didnt need to reverse
over him four times, he hissed, worried who
might be listening. The common room of the Dog
and Duck was hardly the place for such
moves in mysterious ways, she said with her
usual enigmatic smile.
were seven witnesses. It wasnt God or one
of his little angels.
giving him a look reserved for atheists and
idiots. He was in my way.
his head to clear the image of a tall woman in a
nuns habit hitched to her knees, a crash
helmet and huge motorcycle boots. At twenty-two
he had led a sheltered life, but nothing could
have prepared him for Sister Evangelica. The way
she sang a muffled hymn about tolerance as she
accelerated would stay with him until the day he
died, his nightmares recalling how she snarled
across the tarmac. An Old Testament vengeance
updated for the modern age. A Bat out of Hell.
mad, he said, reverting back to state the
obvious. He had already told her so a dozen times.
voices. That is a different thing. I consider
myself a twenty-first century incarnation of Joan
She waved his
sarcasm away like a summer blue-bottle. In her
eyes, the departed was a low-life with no more
right to breathe the Good Lords air than a
creeping slime mould.
harmless old drunk who walked on sticks and fell
over a lot.
glitter in her eyes told him that she just
didnt care. He stood in the middle of
the road screaming at God to send him a sign,
she said with conviction. All I did was
give him one.
again, why did they kick you out? Not just once
but from three different convents?
loss, not mine. Her voice was like shards
of broken light bulb in a chocolate mousse.
A difference of opinion, if you must know.
Now that Ive started my own order things
will be different. The fact she was the
sole member of the only religious community to
involve motorbikes and the open road did not seem
to matter. He bought a packet of crisps from the
bar, cheese and onion with an extra scowl thrown
in for nothing. The Dog and Duck disliked
strangers on general principle but Biker Nuns
were a new and disturbing development, especially
those who drank pints of Guinness and smoked roll
has gone to a better place, she said and
raised her glass to toast the old street preacher.
You sent him there.
and told him to drink up, they still had a lot to