I was standing against the pews, my entire body tingling from the after-effects of the holy water. The evil me version ‘nun’ was still standing before me with that metal cross. Several nuns had now amassed behind her, terrified and clutching their rosaries. Then the mother superior arrived.
She was portly, short, and out of breath. “Goodness!” she exclaimed at the sight of me. “Goodness, goodness!”
Ah, I thought smugly. A genteel and kind ol’ lady. Good.
“I-” I said, just as she drew out a small bottle from her sleeve, dabbed her fingers against it, and flicked at me.
I got holy water in my mouth. IN ME. That burns, okay? Frickin’ nuns. I choked and gagged, the stuff burning me from the inside out.
“Oh! Oh my!” the mother superior trembled, then steeled herself. She lifted her chin and looked to the nun version of me, who was looking downright evil with that cross. “This is your demon!” the superior exclaimed.
All other nuns nodded, murmuring. Evil religious me nodded, lips pressed together. “It certainly has taken on my countenance.”
“And you found it,” said the mother superior, looking at me up and down.
I, finally able to breathe, straightened on the pew and tried to speak again. “Sephira-”
“Hush, demon!” said the mother superior, flicking blessed water at me again.
AH! AH! I tried to shield myself with my arms. My rosary glinted in my grasp. On a gut feeling, I waved my rosary at them. “Look!” I exclaimed. “I’m not evil!”
They stared. I gulped. “I’m just – allergic – to – water!”
The mother superior’s eyes narrowed. She held out her hand. “Give me your beads, child.”
Child, that was a good sign, right? She was getting all matronly with me. I held out my beads, but kept them in my grasp. She fingered a bead and the moment she did a black cloud oozed out. Because why the fuck not?
“The touch of the devil!” she gasped, drawing back with a jump. Evil me lifted that cross and I cowered.
“Don’t!” I yelped.
“I’m- I’m here for the Sephira,” I said. “I’m looking to meet her.” I glanced around. “I’m trying to redeem myself.” Because why not? It was close enough to the truth, actually.
The nuns gasped. Mother superior frowned. “You want to join our order?”
“No!” I yelped. Who’d want that? “I’m looking for the Sephira!”
The mother superior sniffed and drew herself up. “We are the order of the Sephira. Our aim is to commune with her.”
Oh. I looked around at the nuns. “Does it work?” I asked stupidly.
“Mother superior!” squeaked a tall nun with a shrill voice. “You cannot be thinking-” and she seemed to suffocate on the thought, making her sentence somewhat questionable.
Mother superior drew herself up. “I am.” She looked solemnly to evil me. “This is your demon. I have long since felt you were ready for a new challenge. Your indomitable spirit rivals the best.” She extended a hand to me. “Care for this demon. It is your new charge.”
Evil me squinted their eyes at me. I just fish guppied. “No, no. I-”
“Silence, demon!” the mother superior intoned. For good measure, she flicked holy water at me.
She thrust out a hand to evil me. “Hand over your rosary!”
The beads were handed over without a question. Fingering them, the mother superior glared me down. “Demon, step forward!”
“Uh, I don’t think so,” I said, squishing back against the pews. “In fact, maybe I’ll go-” and I slipped backwards in the space between the pews, reaching for the black box.
The mother superior threw the rosary at me. I ducked, falling backwards as I tripped over the kneeling thingie and caught myself on the back of a pew, mid-sprawl.
Well, you wouldn’t fucking believe it. It shouldn’t have worked. But somehow, the rosary flew like a lasso (get it? A trap!) I snatched at it as the thing soared straight for my head (that nun had a good future as a cowboy in her next life).
Fwoomp. I felt the rosary land around my shoulders like a weight. Felt the crucifix land in my hand with a burning hiss.
I shrieked like, well, whatever. I shrieked. My hand was on fire and I just knew that something very, very, bad had happened.