Sister Perpetua held the helmet for a long time, her hands shaking slightly and then handed it back to the rider and said in a whisper, “Who are you?”
Standing before her was a woman—not that the Lord can’t be a woman, Perpetua knew. But why did her face look so familiar?
The rider got off her machine, took Perpetua’s hand, and led her to the nearest streetlight. She situated them so their faces were brightly lit, then positioned the helmet’s visor to act as a mirror. Perpetua glanced at the rider who was gazing at the mirror. The woman appeared to be close to Perpetua’s present age of 33.
“Behold,” the rider inaudibly conveyed through a series of pleasurable waves sent ripping through Perpetua. The nun looked in the mirror, and saw a single face—hers—until the rider made a slight adjustment to the angle of the visor. Then two identical faces came into view, and Perpetua wondered at the optical illusion, like the kind created in a carnival’s hall of mirrors.
Unlike the other nuns, Perpetua loved the crowds, dust, and noise of the county fair. She quickly slipped away from the fair’s multi-denominational chapel to head to the funhouse. The perpetuating visions were sinfully intoxicating, even though they were sometimes grotesque. The carneys let her stay as long as she liked. Her habitual appearance became part of the attraction they luridly pitched, drawing in customers who crept by Perpetua with shrieks and giggles.
Was her experience of the Savior nothing more than a funhouse maze of mirrors? What was the Messiah trying to tell her with this curious vision?
Just then one face in the mirror turned to the side, while the other looked straight ahead. Perpetua gasped.
The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was her twin.


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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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