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A Holy Bullet - Short Story

My classroom was on the first floor, next to the nun’s lounge. Next door we could hear the rap of a yard stick as it came upon buttocks with swift impartiality. Each of us prayed, hoping to never face similar punishment. Mother Brag was momentarily out of the room and as such, we could rest easy for the time being. This “school” was authoritarian indoctrination disguised as religious purity. Here, they were promoting servile behavior and beating down any thought or belief that was not par with classical Catholic tradition. They despised leadership and taught children to be sheep. It took the best we had not to get shorn.  

When Mother Brag begrudgingly entered, a feeling came over the room that resembled her old habit. Everyone became eerily stiff, fearfully ordered and utterly devoid of emotion. “Children why do you continue to sin and commit mischief,” said the old crone, “must we beat it out of you?” She slumped down in her armchair with a sigh and looked gravely at each one of us with a stare that could burn oil. I realized sitting in the front of the class was a bad idea and I regretted my decision once I was called up to recite. “Recall for me Matthew twenty-three verses three and four,” said Mother Brag. I knew this verse. I fantasized yelling it at these old ordered hags for three years now, so I spoke: “Do not do what the Pharisees do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”  I then proceeded to sit down when my ear was suddenly seized by a pale bony hand. “Did I sense a hint of rebellion in your tone unrighteous child,” she scowled. As beads of sweat streamed down my cheek I contemplated the consequences of what I was about to do. I thought on the verse I had just read, asked for forgiveness and spat on her. Yes, I spat on a nun. Saliva shot out of my mouth like a holy bullet and landed on her furiously wound unibrow. The aim was impeccable. My class was shocked but soon began to chuckle at the “heresy” while Mother Brag sported a face that not only could curdle new milk, but would likely kill all cows within a thirty-mile radius as well. I was paddled bloody that day, but righteous pain never felt so good.

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