Devotion

by 

The cloister, in the grand tradition of all ancient edifices like it, is cold. It is by necessity metallic, unlike its predecessors, but as if to make up for this failing, its cold is that of the utter desolation of space. To walk inside, I must wear a full survival suit, though gravity is maintained for the sake of the visitors. It does not impact the nuns in the least.

The cloister is composed of only three rooms. The foyer contains the airlocks, used by visitors and maintenance workers alike, as well as official dignitaries from the church. It is also the house of the cloister’s huge crucifix, depicting Our Savior in his moment of sacrifice. To the left is the control room, accessible only to those who come to maintain the station’s mechanical systems. Directly below the crucifix is the door that leads to the chamber of the nuns.

They hang on the walls suspended, preserved, each encapsulated in the soft blue glow of her life support pod. They are frozen in time, heartbeats only once a year, in perfect homage to He who drew them here. There are no novices in the cloister. The cold, silent hall is the pinnacle of a nun’s creed: from the moment she arrives with her vocation, she is inducted into perpetual solitude, perpetual suffering. Only His true brides, those who intend to spend eternity as His handmaids by eschewing all worldly ties, wish to enter here.

I stare at the faces of the nuns, high above, each illuminated by the humble glow of their chambers. Their faces are similar but unique, each contorted in a different stage of silent ecstasy. Some are worn and caved in. The tissue-rotting microbes have done their slow work over decades or in some cases centuries, blessing the nuns with the sweet scourge of His sacrifice, extended over millennia. These are the faces, drooping and unrecognizable as they might be, that hold the most joy.

They are strong. They are meek. They are beautiful. They are modest. They are filled with conviction. They are eternal.

They are Woman. I am mere flesh.

Next Story ·
Previous Story ·
Random Story · Expiration Date

Comments are closed.

I’ve Seen Things…

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since.

Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Tomorrows Past

A Point in Time

December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

What is Flash Fiction?

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries, Founding Member