fiction by Kevin Munley
“I love you.” Deirdre turned toward where she imagined him to be. Worried the other sisters would hear her, she whispered, “When will I see you?”
“When you pass through the heavens, I’ll be there waiting for you, my love. Soon my love, soon my love.”
Delicate sensations of pleasure swirled around Deirdre’s body. Though she couldn’t see her lover, she experienced his warm touches and gentle brushes against her body as miracles from the Lord. Beams of light crept through the windows and up onto the outer reaches of her bed. It was almost morning. Soon she would be in her habit, meeting with the Mother Superior, but not yet. She rested her eyes and drifted off to sleep in the sensual hands of Christ, her Lord and lover. Deirdre made the sign of the cross. “Forgive me, Father Peter, for I have sinned.” Father Peter ‘s hands were soft and wrinkled with age. It soothed her to watch him walk through the parish doing his sacred and daily work; he moved slowly in his robe with a gentle air. She trusted him, even though her Lord and lover had told her never to confide in him. She wanted to entrust him with her secrets. He would be so surprised.
Who ever would have suspected lowly little Deirdre? From the other side of the confessional Father Peter peered through at Deirdre.
“How long has it been since your last confession, child?” Deirdre explained she was suffering from guilt. Was it always wrong to want? She wanted to experience motherhood. She wanted to belong to a man, but she never would. She could never confess to the father, with his frail hands and good heart, the sensations that came to her at night. As Father Peter comforted Deirdre’s, she watched the sunbeams stream into the confessional twisting and turning slowly in air. She wanted to know if he had once felt like she felt: “Father, how were you as a boy? Did you have these feelings?”
The kind father explained to Deirdre, “You have made a great sacrifice to the Lord, my child. Pray to him to take away the burdens of the body.” But Deirdre wasn’t listening.. She was lost in the strands of light dancing around her like lovers at a ball. A great warmth rested against her and she was far from the convent. Deirdre left the confessional genuflecting in front of the tabernacle. A celestial wind stirred between her legs as Jesus drew near. “Follow me; Deirdre, I will bring rain to your drought. You have love. And I…I will harvest it.” Deirdre hurried back to her room, rushing to bring the Lord up the long stairs to where they could be alone again. Once again in her unadorned room and on her sparse bed, she waited and listened for him. What special message did he have for her now? She tried to feel him but there was nothing. In the confessional, he was as alive and real as Father Peter. She closed her eyes and felt herself leaving the burdensome demands of her flesh. Free from her body, she twisted and turned in the room. Heaven was all around her. She was in and out of dreams again. She felt someone next to her in bed. Her Lord had not abandoned her. A talkative girl with loud red hair, Bridget was Deirdre’s best friend at the convent. She had come from County Mayo on the far side of Ireland. She was forced into the calling like many, but she took it with humor and a good bit of disdain. As Deirdre cut the potatos for supper, Bridget talked significant nonsense about her hopes and dreams for a man. “Don’t you ever wonder about love though? Sure, you and me are not like the rest of those old goats around here.” “I think about love.” Sometimes during the day, Deirdre could sense her Lord and lover around, listening to her and carressing her. He was there now. She grew quiet and listened to his voice in the air. “Tonight my love,” he whispered. Deirdre felt fear and wonder. Would it be a sin with the Lord? “Deirdre! Deirdre! I lost you in your thoughts,” Bridget interrupted loudmouth that she was. “Were you away dreaming of a bouquet of roses?” “I was thinking about something wrong.” The Lord stayed with her, “No one must know about us.” ” You may as well get yourself to Father Peter and confess what you were thinking.” “Sometimes I wonder. Is it really a sin?” With the Lord present, Deirdre drifted off inside of herself to the far side of her soul. Deep behind a wall, where she had hid her dreams for her life, the Lord lingered there watching and waiting. Deridre would give herself to her savior tonight. How could she not comply? She felt herself being pulled closer to his heavenly spirit. Stars from the sky fell like raindrops into the convent, as cherubs and seraphs descended from above. Angels were around them- a heavenly choir singing of their love. “You are beloved amongst all. For you are chosen to bear the heavenly spirit,” they intoned in harmony. Like a cosmic convergance, his form was drawing closer to hers. What would happen tonight? Deirdre and the Lord embraced as Bridget added parsley to the soup. Deirdre awoke with a start. She wasn’t with Bridget, she was in bed. She didn’t remember walking back upstairs. What had happened? She remembered the Lord. There was knocking coming from behind the door. It had been the knocking that pulled Bridget back into herself and away from the freedom of sleep. How she wished she could just sleep forever, but the knocking continued. One of the other sisters was calling her, “Deirdre, the Mother Superior needs to see you.” The Mother Superior had called Deirdre into her office to lecture her on her behavior. Deirdre hated to be around this woman. Years ago, when Deirdre’s mother was passing, Mother Superior had come to the house to take Deirdre away. She had one look at the tiny girl of 16 with her tangled hair and poor education and stated she would “do her best with this one.” Her body was hunched and falling then and was hunched and falling now. Gravity had been pulling her down to the grave. Hair sprouted like wild funeral flowers out of the clefts in her chin. Time had made her bitter and mean. Deirdre could see life’s cruelness on each of her wrinkles and moles. “You were sleeping during the morning mass.” The Mother Superior’s breath was foul and pungent. She wondered when the mother had first come to the monastary. Deirdre imagined the old woman always haunting the halls, but surely she was young once too. Deirdre could see a young Mother Superior spending time with Father Peter, himself a young man, praying and planning for the church. Could she have loved him? Her body had been thirsty for love all those years ago, but had been dried out by the desert sun. “I’m glad your mother is not here to see you. God rest her soul.” Deirdre turned away in disgust. The Lord had no need for this weathered old bag, smelling of death and disease. He had chosen Deirdre of all women. He had told her she was beautiful. The Lord was with her now. He slid between her legs and gently tickled her thighs. Soft kisses gently crawled across the soft skin of her stomach going slowly down and down, until…. “Yes…yes, I will try harder.” She wouldn’t end up like the tyrant across from her. He had once promised her children. Maybe tonight, when they were together…the sons of the Son of God! Mother Superior ranted, unaware that Deirdre was inside of herself again. There was no one else in the world. All around the convent, bodies were rotting from the inside out. Not Deirdre though. Not tonight. She would be a mother tonight. But not to the zombies of death around her. She would give birth to a new world. It was a world Deirdre only knew from her dreams. The Mother Superior had stopped talking now. She had noticed Deirdre’s absence from their dialogue. The young nun was deep within herself again. “You’re dismissed. But keep your mind here in this convent. Jesus needs you here. ” After her bath, Deirdre ignored her habit. She pulled out the dress she had worn on the day she arrived. It was long and plain, but it was the best she had. Her blouse she left unbuttoned. She lit candles around her bed. As she closed her eyes, she prayed for his arrival, while she began to touch and massage her breasts gently. Nervousness and curiousity made her excitement intensify. Her hands went lower and lower. The Lord was inside of her mind and was moving them for her. The hands of a ghost spread her legs wider and wider. With each moment, new sensations exploded in her body. As the Lord entered her, his warm breath fell on her neck like crashing waves. She was gasping in pleasure and she couldn’t breathe. Her head was submerged beneathe a sea of sensations from the Lord. Her body was now being dragged with the currants father and farther from the docks. Would she ever return? Oh the esctacy! Heaven and Earth joined for a minute. When she was done, she felt he loved her and she loved him. She wished she could see him, but knew she wouldn’t be able to. She couldn’t even smell him. There was a smell in the air, but it was just the sweet smell of her body. She rolled over and began to dream. She was in childhood home. Was she a child? Her mother was there, and they were waiting for her father to return home from work. He would be home any minute. Deirdre knew she was dreaming, but she felt whole. Someone was in the front of the cottage. She could hear them approaching the door. It was her father! He was home from the fields for dinner. She waited anxiously, but no one came in. Deirdre awoke hours later with a great pressure on her chest. Only partially awake, she couldn’t see past the darkness. Darkness was everywhere. There was a darker shade on her and she could feel it forcing itself into her. What had happened to the Lord? She tried to move but couldn’t. The shadows were tearing at her body. They weren’t gentle. They didn’t acknowledge her. They just took and took. Their laughing echoed through the halls of the rectory. She tried to pray but no words came out of her mouth. The Lord was gone, and she knew he wouldn’t come back. The demons were laughing. They mocked her and called her a whore. They said they would rape her with Jesus’s cock. In her terror, she called for her mother, but wasn’t able to speak. Deirdre tried to mouth the words, “Please, Mammy. Please.” But her mother was dead ten years. This is why she had come to this convent- alone and orphaned. When the pain became to much to bear, she blacked out and returned to the world of nightmares. She was in her cottage again, as she remembered it before she left. Food rotted on the sink. Newpapers were strewn on the floor, yellowed and filthy. Their dog was wet and starving. He whimpered to himself for his lot in life. Her mother was as she remembered her, with her unwashed clothes and tangled hair. Physically ill and talking to ghosts from her past, she waited for Deirdre’s father to return. He wasn’t coming back. When she awoke, she was running through the woods screaming in terror. Was she still dreaming? Her clothes and face were torn. She knew they were following her because she could hear them- horrible children with demonic faces. They were gaining on her, so she ran and fell and continued to run and fall. She would never stop because she knew they wouldn’t stop. She had birthed them and they wouldn’t leave her. Their horrible laughter echoed through the night. When she couldn’t run anymore, she began to crawl. Almost naked now, she was blinded by blood and tears. She couldn’t see anymore, but could still hear her children around her. They would feast on her flesh. Why had Jesus abandoned her? The Mother Superior would find her naked and bloody in the morning. She was covered in blood and screaming about her children.