Change of heart


Pausing at the familiar portico, she wondered how many times she stood at the top of the steps and gazed at the valley below.  This was the last.   After twenty-five years, Sister Dominica no longer existed.   All evidence of her quarter century here would be expunged.

Mother Provincial had treated her as though she were a criminal.

Well, she wasn’t a Nun anymore, so she had looked the old woman in the eyes and declared,

“You’re a dinosaur, Sister.  Retire.”

Onlooking Sisters tried to smother their giggles.

It was Gabrielle Daignault who walked down the steps into the valley below.

Friday Fictioneers @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields:  Addicted to Purple
Photo Prompt:  Copyright Jennifer Pendergast
Word Count:  100

Many thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers


When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

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Posted in fiction, flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Nun
24 comments on “Change of heart
  1. I want to know who Gabrielle Daignault is! Is it you? Nice little tale, although I wish you said more about her decision to leave the order…

    • Lucy says:

      No, it’s not me. Only have 100 words to play with. I think the title says it. Change of heart. I went to a convent school for high school. I saw how some nuns struggled each day and others didn’t. Some of these orders haven’t changed since they were started– some for hundreds of years.. When I was in school, the order broke up. All the young nuns left and started up their own more progressive order. Don’t you know they were treated like criminals by the old nuns.

      Thanks though, for your interest. Maybe I can bring her back one day and cover the missing parts. Yes, she was a real person, a friend. Thanks again, Lucy

  2. annesquared says:

    Enjoyed your words … and would be interested in learning more.

  3. Dear Lucy,

    You could’ve called it A Change of Habit, too. 😉 I really enjoyed this. Well done.



  4. Oh just say there is a man waiting in the valley below..(and with those words I want a cup of coffee ‘fore I go)…

  5. Sarah Ann says:

    This is such a teaser – there is so much more to learn about Gabrielle. Well done for pulling us in.

    • Lucy says:

      Sorry about the teaser. Hard to get all in with only 100 words Thanks for coming by. Maybe Gabrielle will come back some time. Lucy

  6. Ellespeth says:

    Good for her! I liked the image of walking from a high place into a valley.

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. I have been asked if I’m Gabrielle. I went to a catholic high for 4 years and was always in trouble for refusing to go to Chapel, refusing to pray, etc. I did have a friend who became a nun and after many years left the order. Hey, thanks for coming by. Lucy

  7. Nice piece of fiction. Feel it needed a few more words to really give it the direction it needs though. 100 words can be a real challenge sometimes

    • Lucy says:

      I agree. i was going to go over the maximum by a few words but changed my mind. It felt incomplete. Thanks for for critique and your kind words. Lucy

  8. Kate Loveton says:

    100 words to tell a tale of liberation – and how well the photo backed up that feeling of impending freedom. I would anticipate more dissension in the ranks given the (smothered?) giggles from younger nuns. As the songwriter / poet once exclaimed, “The times… they are a ‘changin’…”

    Excellent use of 100 words to create a story and mood. It all worked.

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. I’ve had a few readers ask me if I’m the ex-nun in the story. “Fiction:, hello!. I could’ve used a few more words. Well, this order was one of the old fashioned ones. There are a lot of progressive orders where the nun has an apartment, doesn’t wear a habit, has a job and earns a good salary which she doesn’t have to give all to the order. One reader asked me why she left. Hello, fiction. I told her it was in the title. I recognized the location in the photo right away: Cornell Univ. I was there a lot as guest speaker.but I just didn;t want to do something about college students. You should join us. Hey, it’s only 100 words and you have a week. Lucy

      • Kate Loveton says:

        I laughed at the ‘Hello, it’s fiction’ remark. Gosh, I hope my readers don’t think I’m a murderess since I love to write about them! 😀

        Perhaps I’ll take you up on the 100 words challenge. Who needs to sleep nights? Not me!

        Seriously, perhaps I’ll give it a whirl.

      • Lucy says:

        Good. There’s a link to the site in the story. at the bottom, actually. It’ll be fun. I am not nor will I ever be a nun. Lucy

      • Kate Loveton says:

        Thanks for the link. I may give this a go.

  9. Lucy, I had to laugh when I read Bjorn’s comment. It sounded like The Sound of Music. I had a best friend who left a cloistered order after about 30 years. She did finally marry. Good story. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

  10. rgayer55 says:

    I’m not a nun either, nor did I play one on TV, but maybe someday . . .
    I loved the story and especially the MC’s name. She’s walking through the doorway to a new, and brighter future.

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