Sister Divine took her faith very seriously. The Lord God had given everything, His love, His dignity and His life, for His people and it was only right that she should give up everything for Him in return. And so she had chosen sisterhood in the Convent of the Blessed Mary, in the very ascetic order of the Damascene Nuns. Here there were no soft options in her dedication to her faith. Her possessions were left behind in the secular world beyond. Her hair was shaved off her head and off her body. And she was bereft of even the venal vanity of clothing. In this way, the Damascene sisters had nothing between themselves and the Love of the Jesus Christ.
There was no privacy in the convent. She shared her bare cell with a single mattress and Sister Admonition, another nun who had abandoned the temptations of the Godless world beyond, along with her hair and clothes. Her days were spent, as were the days of all the nuns, in prayer and in the service of the convent, which required all its nuns to work so that the convent would be rewarded by the remuneration for their labours otherwise owed to the material world and which permitted the convent to continue to exist buoyed in Godly contemplation amidst the vice and corruption of the world outside. A world which Sister Divine was forever grateful to have left behind, despite her parents' lack of encouragement in their daughter's faith, to live in a world where everyone saw the wisdom of sacrificing both body and soul to the service of the Lord.
She shared the single thin cotton mattress in her cell with Sister Admonition with only linen sheets between them and the coolness of the convent's air. Although she loved Sister Admonition as one loved anyone who was equal in the eyes of the Lord, sometimes as she gazed at her dozing cellmate as the sun sunk beneath the horizon she was reminded of another love: one which she had forsworn. A love which she suppressed while regarding her cellmate's bare shoulder, her head resting on the thin bolster which supported their heads, a possession which neither were allowed to own exclusively as was only right in an order which forbade any material avarice. Sister Admonition was a delicate, pretty young thing, slim and pert-breasted like herself, but whose flesh was as forbidden to her as the pleasures of the touch of her own skin.
She wished only that Sister Admonition had as strict a regard for the privations of the order as herself. So often in the night she would be awoken by her cellmate's soft moans as she stroked her crotch or nipples, perhaps unaware that Sister Divine might also have sleepless nights. This knowledge was not something that she would ever divulge to her cellmate. It was surely between Sister Admonition and the confessional whatever lustful thoughts she harboured, as her warm bare flesh lay so close beside her.
Every morning, she and Sister Admonition would administer to each other the rites of purification as they shaved each other's pate and the hair of their crotches. Sister Divine felt a kind of aching pang as she removed the last trace of stubble from Sister Admonition's labia, most especially when she was aware that her cellmate looked down on her at her labours. And she hid as best she could the warm feeling emanating from within when Sister Admonition returned the favour and shaved clean her own vaginal folds. The sacred shrine of her sex was reserved only for the Lord and only He, should He so choose, would ever have the opportunity of penetrating her there, as He surely did the Virgin Mary on that fateful day before the Dawn of Christendom.
Sister Divine, however, became increasingly aware of Sister Admonition's looser interpretation of the sacred vows as her stay in the convent lengthened. Her days were spent mostly in prayer and work for the greater good of the convent. She worked on the design and maintenance of the convent's website - a pictureless site, devoid of all but the God's word, attempting to inspire in others a devotion to the Lord's Grace, and, incidentally, to attract donations towards the upkeep of the convent nestled as it was in the trees and fields of the countryside, where only the smell of the farmer's manure and the distant roar of the combine harvesters were there to remind the sisters of the secular world beyond.
One day, Sister Divine returned to her cell early, troubled by a headache which had been brought on by so many hours of concentration at the Holy Scriptures and the Arial font of the Website of the Convent of the Blessed Mary. She expected only to see the bare mattress where she could lie for an hour or so, unaided by paracetamol or other such forbidden drug (all drugs were forbidden). Instead she found the mattress was not empty, as she'd expected. There was Sister Admonition arm and leg tangled with those of Sister Adoration, two shaven heads close together, lit by the glancing rays of the sun through the narrow windows of the convent cell. She stood silently by the door as she became aware of a groaning and a panting coming from the two girls and aware also that their hands were slowly and tenderly caressing the crotch of the other. She hovered for a moment as her mind was filled with images of passion and damnation in equal measure, before deciding on discretion and escaping to the chapel where for an hour or so she knelt before the altar of the Lord Jesus Christ asking Him for forgiveness and leniency towards Sister Admonition and her own sinful thoughts.
These last did not abandon her. Their malevolent presence was not helped by Sister Admonition's increasing boldness. Clearly, having bitten into the accursed Fruit of Knowledge, rather than repent she yearned for more. Sister Divine thought again and again of her secret encounter as she shaved her cellmate's crotch and head, the razor blade sliding over the shaving gel and removing that persistent stubble that the Lord had chosen to replenish each day. And as she lay on her back, facing the window of her cell, as the moon crept achingly slowly across the sky and her cell-mate dozed with none of the nightmares of remorse that plagued Sister Divine, despite her prayers to the contrary. In fact, Sister Admonition's sleep did not seem to be troubled in even the smallest regard.
One morning, she awoke from an especially deep and blissful sleep to find Sister Admonition's arms around her; legs tangled together, her warm cheek resting on her shoulder. The feeling was so delightful that it filled Sister Divine with terror. The following day was spent mostly in silent meditation and contemplation, as she asked the Lord for guidance for the torment that this unnatural emotion had aroused in her.
However, Sister Divine chose to ignore any of the small tendernesses that Sister Admonition increasingly expressed towards her. The slight lingering of her palm over her shaved crotch, the chin resting so much more frequently on her shoulder, the glances she observed between Sister Admonition and not one, but several, of the other nuns. She made no comment on those nights when she awoke many hours before matins to find herself alone on the mattress and Sister Admonition elsewhere, perhaps with one of those nuns whose glances had been so obviously reciprocal to those of her cellmate's. She chose instead to bury herself deeper in the Holy Scriptures and in lengthy prayer, whenever time permitted.
There were only a few places in the convent that the nuns met each other in their daily routine. One such place, of course, was in the chapel, where they would bow in prayer or intone in Latin the sacred texts that the Lord had been so kind to bequeath His unworthy subjects. Another place was the convent mess-room, where there would be a large twice-daily gathering of naked, shaved flesh, heads bent down in prayer before partaking of the meagre meals that the convent allowed the sisters. It was only here and, of course, in their cells or at work (if it were possible) that the nuns could ever talk to each other.
Sometimes Sister Divine would contemplate the friendships that were known to the secular world and, of course, the sexual relationships sanctioned only by marriage. Had she sacrificed more than she should for her devotion to the Lord? Perhaps Sister Admonition's apparent contentment in her freer associations with the other sisters was a message to Sister Divine that her own commitment to the order was insufficiently deep. Thoughts such as these, however, were enough to drive her to greater contemplation and prayer.
One day at lunch, as she bent over the vegetable stew that the Lord had bestowed on her she saw that she was sitting opposite a new sister whom she'd not seen before. Like herself, she wore no clothes, and her head and, no doubt, her crotch were shaved. Unlike Sister Divine, or indeed any of the other nuns, she was black-skinned. A sight rare enough in the town where Sister Divine had led her life before surrendering herself to the Lord, but previously totally unknown in the convent. Although she knew that all God's creation, of whatever hue or colour, were as one in the Lord's eyes and that she should view not one of them as different from another, she found it very difficult to remove her eyes from the new nun's very dark skin, the long slender arms, the proud light brown aureole nipples on the darker fuller flesh of her breasts, the long slender neck and the thick lips through which, so delightfully, shone a set of strong white teeth. That long arching neck culminating in the round shaven pate. Those luscious long eyelashes that intermittently obscured the piercing cornea of her sparkling white eyes. So this is what a black woman is like, thought Sister Divine. So wondrous and varied are the Lord's creation!
.... There is more of this story ...