Summer 1990 – The Quiet Prayers of Sister Penance


I turned off the lights and the wipers but I left the motor running in order to keep the windows defogged. I hoped the exhaust would not be obvious from a distance. Stacy handed me one of the coffees. 

“We called her Sister Blister,” she said. “We called her a lot of other, nastier things too. She carried a ruler up her sleeve. If she thought you were out of line – whack! on the arm or the hand or the leg. She’d pop the thing out and slip it back up so fast you’d never see it. You’d just feel the pain. 

She stopped and thought for a moment. She shook her head. She said, “I just realized I started learning to conceal weapons from that bitch.”