On the horizon stood every single sister from the convent armed to the teeth. In their alabaster hands they brandished clubs, bicycle chains, crucifixes ripped from the walls and sharpened on all points.
The vestal virgin apocalypse—their smothering cloaks flying and menacing weapons raised high—closed in around Perpetua. Mother Superior shot through their ranks, her black habit spreading behind her like expended rocket fuel from a missile.
Perpetua’s head dropped in customary obeisance until the animal smell of the black leather snapped her to. Her Savior stepped out clad in Perpetua’s demure former self as the nuns tightened their ranks. Suffocating darkness and stern faces blocked any escape.
The Rider clutched Perpetua’s arm and transferred the Savior’s supernatural power through Perpetua, shocking her heart and soul. Perpetua staggered back—the earth threatening to swallow her—as the mystical current hotly purified her being.
Dazzling light radiated through her every pore.
“Back you sinners!” Perpetua roared at the nuns. She sheltered her twin and withdrew a slender silver dagger from her boot, holding it high in the light emanating from her. Its brilliant reflection sliced first across Mother Superior’s throat and then spread its threat across the rest of the nuns’ throats.
The squadron of holy women fell back at the sight of the armed, vengeful woman with the otherworldly voice. All knew of the long line at daily confession. Even Mother Superior was impure: her online gambling had nearly bankrupted the convent house, her cover-up had almost cost her high position, but her appetite for dominance knew no bounds. She used her knowledge of the high cardinal’s undisclosed sex crimes to keep her power.
“The heretic must die!” Mother Superior cried, spinning her weaponized rosary to signal the charge.


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Front page photo by Nicole Feest.

PERPETUA is a project by Susan Koefod. New sections are released every other Friday. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here:

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Susan Koefod

About the Author

Susan Koefod’s debut novel, Washed Up, was praised by Library Journal and made Library Journal’s debut novel list in October 2011. Her second book, Broken Down was released September 2012 and a third in her mystery series is due out this fall. Her short story “Boys will be Boys” recently appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her latest project is ‘big, cheesy novel’. You can read the first chapter on her website,
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