But not a twin. For there was one difference between her and the Biker — an irreverence for silence. The Biker tossed her helmet aside, mounted her Harley, and gunned the engine. An apocalyptic din reverberated through the neighborhood, broadcasting lusty echoes off the nearby cathedral.
The Biker glanced at her discarded helmet and then eyed Perpetua with a challenging look. The Rider announced her imminent departure with another loud howl from her machine.
Lights flickered on inside the convent house and began to throw damning omens onto the lawn. Shadowy figures gathered behind the windows.
The convent door creaked open.
The Biker pulled her machine away from the curb. A moment later, Perpetua snatched the helmet and leapt onto the Harley, clinging tightly to her Savior. They fled into the darkness, the bike accelerating when they left the town.
They sped across the roller-coaster countryside, thrilling nausea accenting every transition from descent to ascent. They entered a narrow, twisted river valley as dawn curved through the coulees and lit the river bluffs and the towns. The bike swiftly stitched the winding seam of land and shimmering river.
At last, the Harley slowed and came to a stop along the main street of a tiny riverside village.
“Come, Sister,” the Biker said, taking Perpetua’s hand and leading her inside a cottage. Stilts held the back half of the house above a steep embankment. Just below the house, railroad tracks edged the riverbank; a wide expanse of water mirrored the empty blue sky.
“Put these on,” the Biker commanded, handing Perpetua duplicate sets of the clothing she wore. Perpetua shed her chaste lingerie and clad herself in biker gear. “Now go,” the Biker said, pushing her out the door and handing her the keys to the place.


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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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