Mum doesn’t agree with enclosed/silent orders, nuns who waste their lives praying when they should be helping people. You silently dissent. Extreme nunhood is for you the ideal, unlike being in a rowdy family.

Books about nuns keep arriving from the Catholic Book Club. You know eighteen is old to be accepted for a noviciate. Best apply the moment you turn fifteen.

Or get a quiet job, buy a quiet flat/house, live a quiet life. And find quiet places to go on holiday, places that smell of incense.

Mum sighs. “You were a bouncy little girl, but you went quiet.”

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Frances Gapper’s stories have been published in three Best Microfiction anthologies and online in places including Splonk, Switch, Wigleaf, Twin Pies, trampset, 100 word story and New Flash Fiction Review.