"That's me singing karaoke."
"Not you, dear. It's the devil. It makes us do horrible things."
"I used to love it though."
"See. That's how he lures. He makes all bad seem good. Today what you do is an act of God."
"Right, Sister. Amen."
One walked away smiling. The next day, she read about the blast at the exhibition.
"I will survive," She hummed as she put on her scarf once again.
Ilda: They say that the photographer is blind.
Sylvia: How is that possible? How can a blind man capture images?
Ilda: Look at them, full of joy; every photo a frozen moment of laughter.
Sylvia: I still don’t believe this. Every frame is unique with a consistent theme of happiness. Meant to erase the sadness off people’s face and put a smile on it.
Ilda: Makes sense. You don’t need eyes to feel happiness. You need a heart. You can’t see happiness. You can feel it.
Sylvia: Never heard of anything else like that.
Ilda: Ever heard of God?
The three priests poked fun at the congregation,
In apparent state of uninhibited intoxication.
The Bishop though could not see the funny side,
Mother Superior had a few secrets to hide.
The confession box is where the grapevine started,
And the altar boy stole jewellery of the departed.
As Father sat with eyes closed in peaceful meditation,
Someone stole offerings from plate of donation.
The choir chose to do away with the church organ,
Heard they got some chorus in good bargain.
Wonder why the humour is so full of pretense,
Religiously laugh dear friends this is nun sense..
They came in every day. Stared at the same artwork for hours, whispering. Intrigued, one day, the manager scrutinized the portraits after they left. Shocked! Absolutely nothing special about them. He shifted the portrait elsewhere next day. Yet they stood back at the same spot! Months passed. No change in their routine. Until one day. They stopped visiting.
Only the nuns knew how sultry it felt during summer power-cuts. The pedestal-fan at the gallery’s corner solved the purpose. All they did was staring at portraits while enjoying its wind, whispering gossip until the power was back in the monastery.
"How long have we stayed like this?"
"I really don't know. But it seems like a small eternity."
The cameraman behind the two nuns studied the shadows through the prime lens carefully. A creepy feeling made him shudder. He turned his head.
The painter caught the glimpse of fear in his eyes and started a new painting. But his fingers seemed to get blurry. He felt empty, like a white sheet of paper.
At his computer, the writer reached the first twist in his novel. The nuns would be kidnapped.
Behind him, the stalker grinned and stabbed him. .
Two nuns gaped at the art piece in awe.
“It looks like a mother carrying her baby.” said one of the nuns.
“Well, I see a bird perched on a branch,” said the other.
“You would never agree with me, would you?” asked the first nun, with an edge in her voice.
They looked into each other’s eyes for a long moment.
'Of course we argue, disagree, squabble for every single thing under the sky. And probably that’s why we have been inseparable for the last twenty five years and would remain that way forever,' thought the second nun.
It had broken his heart when he had come to know that she was renouncing the pleasures of life to become a nun. She had not even exited her teenage. He was responsible for her decision. He had broken her heart and her decision hit him with guilt.
He resorted to being behind the lens, using it to find and spread happiness. Kids, smiles, comedians, togetherness, couples, friends were his usual motifs. He had given up on the wish that someday she would know her impact on his life, till she walked into his exhibition with a friend.
Sister Julie asked, 'Is this the painting where...'
"I told you, I'm an artist! How am I supposed to bring the painting alive? Without it, how do we collect donations? I have to paint!" Sister Agatha replied.
"It's marvellous, Sister Agatha, will you teach me, to paint... like you?'
The older nun looked at the younger nun with compassion and said, "Yes, of course. But first, we need to find someone with a pure soul. Someone like Brother Quinton.'.
"They stood thus, without much movement, for the better part of an hour, before the feed conked. Both dead. The series they were seemingly staring at, changed places. Do you think it means something Sire?" Merlyn asked.
"Seems like a ruse to throw us off-guard. Don't discount it yet though!" Malcolm said.
I laughed as I saw a blaze of beacons blare away through the streets. The misdirection had worked.
*He had never expected to call the number. Until now. "Malcolm here. The lie has been told. I repeat, The lie has been told!" his voice, barely a whisper now.*.