On the writing course we were encouraged to ‘experiment creatively with form and content’. So, that’s just what I did. Fingers crossed this gets me 20 credits. Hope you like it.
The Nun, The Stripper, Their Writer and His Wife
The Nun took another long, exaggerated, drunken, yet oddly seductive draw on her Marlboro Gauloises and prised the cork out of another bottle of wine whiskey as she sat at her desk unable to come up with the next line. The glass was dirty, but she was too lazy to get a clean one and too drunk to care. Who knew how many bottles she’d been through?
‘Maybe,’ she thought, ‘I should lay off the booze when I’m writing.’
The cork popped and wine whiskey spilt down her jeans. ‘Shit! Damn! Gosh!’ Despite knowing that she was alone in the office, she looked around anyway. Guilt makes people to do all kinds of odd things, especially drunken guilt. Once she was sure that none of the orphans were in the room she felt at liberty to swear again. ‘Bollocks!’ she said in the most un-nunly way she could think of and then giggled at her own naughtiness.
I need the toilet, he thought. Leaving The Nun on the screen he rose awkwardly from his seat and went to the bathroom.
‘The long stream of warm, almost fluorescent, phosphorescent, waste water wound out of him and into the toilet bowl like a corkscrew gliding into a cork…’ That’s good, he thought. Maybe the last bit needs work… but there’s definitely something there. Why can’t I come up with this stuff when I’m in front of the computer? That’s good writing!
After he’d finished he made a half effort at mopping the whiskey spillage on his pants. Tonight was not going according to plan. This nun character really wasn’t working out. He knew she was a nun, but that was about all. Beyond her religious calling she stubbornly refused to be defined. He couldn’t even think of a name for her. That’s the problem with nuns, he thought. Once you’ve called them a ‘nun’ there’s really nowhere else to go! So he’d settled for calling her ‘The Nun’ and describing her as ‘a nun’. After all, who didn’t know what a nun looked like? And as for personality, well, she was a nun! Enough said! If only there was some way he could get her to drink whiskey, that might loosen things up a bit. He preferred whiskey.
‘Damn it, she’ll drink whiskey! It’s my bloody story, people will just have to go with it!’ he blurted out as he made his way back to the study. ‘It will be intriguing! She’ll be an enigma! An enigmatic nun! I like it! Could be a title there! Ha!’ He went back to his desk, poured another drink and lit another cigarette. His hands hovered over the keyboard.
The Stripper entered the room quite unexpectedly and apparently by mistake. She must have been looking for someone else in another room. Whatever the background to her appearance, she had clearly somehow got lost. She must have or else why would a stripper be in a convent? Or was the nun in a strip club? Hum… Maybe they were both in a library!
Neutral ground, that’s the way forward, he thought. Nun’s read and strippers are sometimes only stripping to pay their way through college. A library it shall be! But what’s a nun doing smoking and drinking in a library? Fear not! The creative process will reveal all…
The Stripper said, ‘I’m sorry, I think I’m in the wrong room, I was looking for…’
The Nun said, ‘Fuck off! I’m busy!’ and giggled like a small drunken child as she slid off the chair. As she did so the bottle slipped from her hand and slipped onto the slippery floor which had just been polished to make it extra slippery, which meant that The Stripper had to walk very carefully, because she was wearing stiletto heels, which is what strippers wear, and they’re really dangerous on slippery floors. It was, he thought, in fact, very lucky for The Stripper that she was standing still at this point. Or maybe that was just clever writing.
The Stripper said, ‘I beg your pardon!’ but then realised that all was perhaps not as it seemed in the room with the slippery floor and the drunken nun. ‘Sister? Are you..? You’re drunk!’
‘I am indeed!’ said The Nun, fumbling for another Marlboro Gauloises. ‘Care to join me?’
The Stripper pondered this offer thoughtfully. Her religious upbringing in a strict Catholic family had taught her a thing or two about nuns. This could turn into quite a party. It was a tempting offer. But how could she look at herself in the mirror tomorrow if she became that cliché: the booze swilling, fag smoking stripper, probably addicted to drugs and morally obliging, but with a heart of gold, a lost soul on the road to perdition, but always looking for redemption, which would no doubt be found in a place or situation where you’d least expect it? As a professional stripper she was already in enough trouble over her religious upbringing, strict Catholic family, college degree and choice of footwear. The question she pondered now was how far could she push it?
The Stripper scanned the room. Booze, fags, but no drugs and there seemed little or no danger of being morally obliging to a nun, even an exotic French one in tight fitting jeans.
He paused and wondered if he’d set up the fact that The Nun was French earlier in the story or if he’d just thought of it… Character development! He took another drink and pondered. He liked it. It added spice and a hint of reality. Lots of nuns are French, he thought. He was sure he’d read somewhere that, in fact, most nuns are French. Or was it French speaking?
Nationality of nuns: research to follow, he noted to himself. Onward! He was in full flow! This was a moment of tension, of drama! Without planning it and in a blatant display of his native literary genius, he had cleverly created this moral dilemma! The Stripper had a momentous decision to make! Would she accept this offer from the exotic, drunken French nun, laden as it was with the potential for both adventure and disaster, or would she not?
There was a long dramatic pause… And then, for the purposes of the plot, The Stripper decided to accept and see where this would lead.
He sat back in his chair and smiled the smug smile of the true literary genius. He’d known all along he’d figure this nun character out and now here she was, rounding out nicely: a nun, French, drinks whiskey, not wine, smokes and has a penchant for tight jeans. He allowed himself a rye smirk. ‘Ah, but if you’re French mon cherry, then you should smoke French cigarettes,’ he said out loud. He looked at the packet of Marlboros on the desk. No, it would have to be Gauloises. Cigarettes don’t come more French than that!
‘Damn I’m good,’ he said out loud.
While he was congratulating himself The Nun finally managed to extricate another Gauloises from the packet. By the time he caught up… the long, slender, white, tobacco filled paper tube was already protruding from her pouting, full red lips, waiting, tantalisingly alluding to its need for the sweet caress of a flame. The Stripper obliged, because strippers do, but she did so in a moral way.
‘I’m on fire!’ he shouted excitedly. ‘Ha! Now that is clever. Cigarette, fire, brilliant! How can I get that in?’
He took another deep drink and gathered himself.
‘Light sister?’ the Stripper said in a Humphrey Bogart playing Sam Spade kind of way, although she was actually calling her ‘sister’ because she, that is The Nun not The Stipper, was a non and not because Sam Spade calls all women sister.
‘Mes wee! Mercy,’ said the French nun in French. (Note to elf Find someone who can speak Fench for the French bits). The Nun looked deeply into The Stipper’s eyes and then at the burning end of her cigarette.
‘I’m on fire,’ said The Nun in a soft, seductive voice. She smiled an equally soft and suductive smile and then knocked back a stiff one. His head wobbled…
He fell asleep…
He woke with a start!
He shook his head.
‘Focus man!’ he said out loud.
‘I think Ill hav that dink now said The Slipper in a voiuce that was too tipsy… even though she hasn;t had a drink yet?????
Sparks of electricity flew dramalically, drumartfartly… dramamamaaticallcatly… in a dramatical way between them. The Nun’s fag cigarette hung seductively from the corner of her half open mouth and she ran a drunken finger over the skin tight denim that covering her thigh. She reached out for thhe whiskey glas…
Which what glass? Oh fu…kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk kllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllppp kkkkkkkkkkkkjih7tb7t67t 76vr5ce4ws45xw53w35w3 43w43w34w33 w3 wb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbm
On the screen there was another long dramatic pause… The Nun and The Stripper looked at each other then slowly turned to peer out at the face lying on the keyboard. Drool had started to seep out of the corner of his open mouth where the cigarette still clung to his lower lip and smoke rose as the lit end burned through the letter P.
‘Is he asleep?’ asked The Stripper.
‘Either that or he’s dead,’ said The Nun
‘Thank God for that! For a minute there I thought we were in real trouble!’
‘So did I,’ said The Nun, ‘and not just with the grammar!’
They both laughed out loud.
‘A nun, stripper lesbian scene in a library?’ mused The Stripper, ‘in a sci-fi story? What on earth was he thinking?”
‘I thought his wife was supposed to be in this story?’ said The Nun.
The Stripper frowned.
‘We really need to change writers,’ she said.
‘What would we do?’
‘We could try kid’s books.’
‘There’s not much call for nuns and strippers in kid’s books.’
The stripper smiled in a very moral way.
‘I’ve been thinking about that,’ she said, ‘how do you fancy being a fairy?’