Short Story Flashing Pope

I thought you might like to read my short story, Flashing Pope, which was published this time last year in the Alternating Current Anthology edited by Alan McMunnugal and his team at I visited Glasgow for the launch which is truly a spectacular city. It was a privilege to read my story at this time and when I returned in April for the re-launch.


Short Story Flashing Pope


I was 13 and it was 1983 in a boy’s only Christian brother school disco called ‘The Oasis’ in Dublin. Shalimar’s ‘Make This a Night to Remember’ was playing and I was sitting on the lap of Dave Savage as he surreptitiously fanny fiddled me. I wasn’t sure whether I liked it or not. A great uncle had done it to me when I was seven and it never felt right. But in The Oasis that night it didn’t matter as I liked him, the song and enjoyed my first snog. Although his tongue was a bit like a snake. The picture of the Pope on the wall behind the DJ was flashing. It was illuminated by the strobe lights.

A few of the Christian brothers were milling about watching out for untoward behaviour. One of them came over to us as the savage finger was rather swiftly removed from my pants. I jumped off his lap and went looking for my friends to delight in relaying my snogging news.

Every time I see a picture of the Pope now, I think of the savage fanny fiddler and say a prayer for his wellbeing along with my great uncle. It sounds like a great name for a new Irish Trad band ‘Savage Fanny Fiddler’. I tried various things throughout my life from nursing to webcam nursing fetishism. Which incidentally was a great earner but didn’t do a huge amount for my self-esteem. The sexy nurse and nun fetish is remarkably popular online. The ones that paid the most asked for the nurse-nun hybrid. I always got a kick out of it. However, in the end, none of it nourished my soul.

Everything came full circle when I finally returned to my childhood wish of becoming a nun. I spent a month as a guest in The Abbey to see whether it was for me. Followed by another 6 months and then one month at home to finally consider the new life I was about to begin. It’s not exactly the Nonnberg Abbey from The Sound of Music but it is a beautiful Abbey all the same in a lovely village in County Wexford in Ireland. Sisters of Mercy is my order which incidentally was my favorite band.

This morning I attended a funeral of one of the postulants. She had been a dear friend and confidante and was forever asking me to change my name from Sister Mary Felician to Sister Mary. She knew that one of the reasons I chose it was because it reminded me of the word fellatio. She reasoned that choosing a nun’s name based on the fact that it reminded me of a rude word was not very nun-like. I could see her point but the imp in me still loved to announce my name proudly whenever asked and smile inwardly at my mental wordplay.

Whilst they were lowering the coffin into the ground, I had to stop myself from smiling. I asked Pat the Butcher earlier on this morning how he was and he replied

‘Ah, above the ground’.

As opposed to the usual stock answer

‘Ah, I’m grand’.

I laughed as I had never heard it before. He told me that he saw it on some Irish TV programme. That was all I could think of whilst they were lowering Sr. Eustace. I think I have always used humour to deal with sad situations. To stop myself from smiling I had to think of all the places where you could not use this response. The following came to mind -The Underground in the UK, The Metro in France, coal mining in Australia, Cave diving, Scuba diving, post-apocalypse in a bunker and at a funeral. Definitely not at a funeral.

I enjoy lectio divina- where we study scripture and contemplate in the library- as it stops my mind from wandering to unholy things. A picture of Pope Francis hangs above my bed as I enjoy praying to him. My niece bought me a miniature disco ball as a joke when I announced my intention to become a nun. She said that I could recreate the ‘silent disco’ atmosphere in my room when I needed a break from being so holy. I couldn’t throw it away when I was ordained.

The magic mushroom kit that I bought online has paid dividends. They grow so well under my bed in the cool shade. Sr. Bernadette is a great pal and I have nicknamed her ‘Cupcake’ as she loves them. Particularly the red velvet ones that I make when I can have the kitchen to myself. The first time she had one she said that eating it was like a religious experience which gave us the giggles. We get together tonight as it is Saturday for a catch-up after evening Mass and our seventh period of prayers. I made the cupcakes early this morning at 3 am so that the oven could cool down before I could be found out as everyone rises for the first prayer at 4 am. I have added a few ‘shrooms’ as usual and cannot wait until we get off our merry tits on them. With the flashing Pope giving us his blessing and the disco light on the bible on top of my bedside locker. Our evening is always prefaced by a mutual orgasmic fanny fiddle.


All the best

Stay fab