BEFORE A DEAD NUN FOR ONE HOUR

But now I'm going to have to go to penance the next morning, and of course this will be a heavier penance because of what I'd done already. And when the Mother Superior says, "We're going to do penance the next morning," I'm going to be initiated as a Carmelite Nun. And I remember when she walked with me down into that particular place it was a dark room. Now remember, I lived above on the first floor until my Black Veil. After the Black Veil, they take me one storey under the ground. And I live there from then on until God delivered me. Under the ground, I didn't live in the top part of the buildings at all.

But you know, as we walked into this room, it's dark and it's very cold. And when we walked in, we came from back there somewhere. We come walking towards the front. And I walked along beside the Mother Superior. And when I got near the front I saw those little candles burning. Anywhere in the convent you'll find the seven candles burning. And when I came a little closer I saw the candles, but I couldn't see anything else. And I wondered what is she going to do to me. That's the thing in our hearts and we can't get away from it, because we have fear.

And when I come a little closer I saw something lying on a board there. And, you know, when I came real close then I realized here's a little Nun lying on that board. I call it a cooling board because it was that. And just as long as her body. And there she was. And when I could see where the candles flickered down on her face I realized that child is dead. And, oh, I wanted to say so much, "How did she die? Why is she here? How long do you keep her here?" But, you remember, I signed away every human right. And so I can't say one word, but I stood looking.

And then the Mother Superior said, "You stand vigilant over this dead body for one hour." And at the end of the hour a little bell is tapped and another Nun will come to relieve me. And may I say, I was advised every so many minutes I would have to walk out into the up to front of that little body and sprinkle holy water and ashes over the body and say, "Peace be unto you." And I did exactly what they told me to do. Oh, it was a terrible feeling. I'm not afraid of the dead. Its the live people we have to be very cautious about. And I wasn't afraid of that little dead Nun, but, oh, my heart ached for her.

And you know after the bell tapped and I realized my hour had gone, the Nun who comes to relieve us comes back here somewhere. And of course we walked on our tip-toes. No noise was made in the convent. And they don't speak, they just touch you. And of course, my being down there with that little dead Nun, and I was full of fear, when that girl laid her hand on my shoulder I let out a scream - a horrible scream - from fear - just fear.

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