Sister Ezekiel’s Folly

Photo Courtesy of Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Sister Ezekiel took great pride in having the only sleeping chamber at Our Lady of Lost Souls that had a window. She had earned the privilege of sleeping in that cell by having outlived all her predecessors and at the ripe old age of 87 it was the only prideful indulgence she had ever allowed herself since entering the order.

Had she remained silent about the source of her pride, allowed it to be her own private folly, it’s presence would never have become an issue for the other sisters. However, her cup runneth over as the saying goes, and she could not always contain her joy.

Much to the contrary, she used every opportunity to mention her window in conversation with the other sisters, and her doing so had become a great aching bone of contention between them.

One morning Sisters Hezekiah and Ezra, the mischievous members of the otherwise solemn order, were polishing soap spots from the chalices before chapel- as punishment for giggling aloud during Mass- when they stumbled onto something that just might squelch Sister Ezekiel’s infernal boasting- well that is to say, save her from herself.

That evening while Sister Ezekiel was leading the novices in Vespers the two sisters armed with bars of white lye soap and a ladder, stole away into the garden and drew a hazy outline similar in shape to a mans head and shoulders on the leaded glass. Then they covered the rest of the window in an opaque film by using the soap to color in the remaining panes.

The next day, when Sister Ezekiel failed to show up for morning meal, the two sisters were clearly beside themselves with disappointment as they had greatly anticipated Sister Ezekiel’s topic of morning conversation.

Mother Superior on the other hand fearing the worst, given sister advanced age, promptly visited the sisters sleeping chamber. Entering without knocking, as was her privilege, she was both relived and confused when she found the elder sister prone on the cold stone floor fervently praying the rosary, sans her night clothes.

“Sister, I demand to know what is going on!” Mother Superior boomed, “First you failed to partake in the morning meal our Lord so lovingly provided for us, and now this?”

“But Mother,” Sister Ezekiel stammered without taking leave of her assumed position on the floor, “I have committed the gravest of sins.”

“And what, might I ask is the great sin you have committed?”

“Upon returning from Vespers last evening, I sat on my bed to remove my shoes, and when I looked up, perchance to catch sight of the moon in my beloved window- in place of the moonlight- I saw the distinct form of a man, head and shoulders, peering into my chamber.

Instead of leaving my chamber immediately, or calling out in effort to scare him away, I thought just once in this life I should like to know what it feels like to undress in the presence of a man. And that, Mother Superior is exactly what I did.”

Struck mute by the enormity of the aged sisters confession, Mother Superior was unable to immediately respond.

Uncomfortable with her silence, Sister Ezekiel continued in a small voice.

“And I must add Mother, that I am given to believe I was not alone in enjoying such a sinful indulgence, as he, the man, whomever he was- stayed well past the time the last of my underthings were removed. His continuance cause me to become greatly ashamed, and it was only then, that I assumed this position and began begging our Lord for absolution.”

Mother Superior, in effort to disguise her desire to burst out in peels of laughter, which would have greatly detracted from the seriousness of the situation, turned towards the window, where in place of streams of morning rain, she saw torrents of soapy bubbles pouring down the length of the window.

In an instant, she knew exactly what had happened..

“If you will excuse me, Sister.” She said abruptly as she turned to leave. “And Sister, please. Put some clothes on!”

“But, Mother! My absolution!” Sister Ezekiel implored as Mother Superior made haste for the door.

“Absolved!” Mother retorted, as in her hurry she nearly closed her habit in the door.

“Ezra! Hezekiah!” Mother Superior sang out, the timbre of her voice echoing throughout the Abbey.

“To my office at once!”

Written in response to Crispina’s photo prompt, although much too wordy to qualify as an entry in her weekly Crimson’s Creative Challenge. What can I say? Some stories just need to be told.

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