This is a little piece of speculative fiction I’ve been messing with from time to time. Enjoy
© 2008 Suzanne Lazear
Sister Mary Grace sighed as she wiped the sweat off her brow as the drops rolled out from under her short black wimple. Her order still wore habits albeit they were freer and shorter than the black flowing ones of the days of old.
It was hot, and the black and white habit didn’t make it cooler, but she was the last of her sisters. Besides she didn’t have anything else.
Once called Ana, among other things, Sister Mary Grace left everything behind when she became a postulant, then a novice, and only six months ago had taken her simple vows in the order of the Sisters of Virtue.
An order that was gone along with nearly all of humanity.
A tiny cry woke her from her ruminations. Baby was the only other survivor, not just in the orphanage the sisters ran, or the sisterhood itself, but in the entire city of Chicago. She had looked for several days after her last sister had died. But other than her and Baby the city was now silent of human cries.
Finally she had gotten the call to take baby and leave the only home she had known since her parents died when she was four.
Packing supplies and tethering it to small pony that had wondered into her courtyard, probably someone’s former pet, she and baby set off to the Refuge. The place where the other survivors would meet.
Where they would wait.
For what she didn’t know.
But Mary Grace had faith. Perhaps it wasn’t the same kind of faith Mother Mary Hope spoke about, but it was faith all the same.
Giving her arms and back a cat-like stretch she planted a kiss on the top of the fuzzy head that poked out of the fabric carrier she wore on her chest. It was time to get up from under the shady tree.
All her muscles screamed.
She had been fragile ever since she could remember. Mary Grace was the last one anyone would think would have survived the sickness.
But faith, faith in something, something she could not explain in words, made her strong. Faith guided her on her journey.
As she stood up her hand went to the lump under her simple habit. It had been sheer impulse that made her take them. Since she had only taken simple vows Mother Mary Hope had kept her worldly possessions in case Mary Grace, Ana, decided in the next three years that the life of a sister was not for her. But the sisters were all she had known since her parents died.
The small medal and the ring on the golden chain were all Ana had from her previous life, the one where she had a mother and father. Where she was not little orphan Ana. It smacked of vanity when she took them from the vault in Mother Mary Hope’s office. But the order, her family, was gone and once again she was guided by faith.
How those two tiny objects would help her she didn’t know.
Faith, instinct, intuition, whatever it was it never steered her wrong. It had brought her to the orphanage and the sisters after the accident. It had guided her though life and now it was guiding her and Baby to the Refuge.
Jiggling Baby to calm him, she sang softly as she stowed her bottle of water in her pack. They’d need more supplies soon, especially milk for Baby. Tomorrow they’d find a farm where they’d find supplies. She tried to avoid cities unless she was guided there – too many feral animals.
With another sigh, she took the lead rope of the pony and continued her song. They had far to go today still as they continued their walk across the states. Sure it would take days, weeks even. But she would be the first and she’d have to get it ready for the others.
Besides when she found the Refuge there would be three with her and then four more would follow shortly thereafter.
They had lots of work to do before it was Time.