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A woman dressed as a nun is walking along a beaten path when a black haired, filthy looking albino man dressing in black driving a carriage with some corpses laying on the back.
He stops the horses, two black mares and asks the woman if she wants a ride.
This man despite assuring to be a gravedigger taking some newly dead to the graveyard nearby the closest monastery did not inspire trust.
He had been however the only living soul she had seen that whole day though if he was alive or not might have been one other story all of it's own, so she accept the ride rather than risking a cold by traveling all night on foot, alone and in complete darkness as the sun was quickly setting.
So they rode together on that beaten dirt road, the man smelling quite as bad or worse than the corpses.
His long hair hid most of his face his nose being the most visible part of his face a long with his mouth which bore some suspicious looking sharp and cruel teeth followed by a chin that displayed a beard as black and half as long as his hair.
"Say" he said to the woman "you look like a nun! Want to hear a funny nun story?"
"No" the woman replied, somewhat rudely.
"Fine, here it goes then" the man said quite jolly.
"There was once a pretty young nun. She was pretty happy with her little life. Until she was sent to a different monastery where people spoke of the mother superior in fear as if she was some kind of monster."
The man paused for a laugh and then went on.
"None of the other nuns in the monastery spoke to the new girl after she arrived. None but the Mother Superior who made a point of saying there was one golden rule. No one leaves the cells at night. To make sure of it the Mother Superior locked everyone in and said to have the only key.
The day went on without problem. It was the next morning that all went sour. During the night one of the nuns had gone missing. She could not have escaped without help! or so the old head nun would shout in a fury!
How she did it? No one knew. The cells lived to their names being tiny and impossible to escape except by the door, which was solid oak and well shut closed locked by Mother Superior's only key.
The day went by and night arrived and all was quiet.
Then morning arrived."
The woman dressed as a nun interrupted by saying:
"Let me guess, another one was gone."
Laughing the gravedigger shook his head and said:
"No, in fact another two had vanished.
"The Mother Superior became so furious her face turned red and the little sisters swore she would die of rage and that following night she crossed the monastery walls back and forth like an angry bull!
Then morning came again and now another three girls were missing!
The remaining nuns panicked and said the devil was roaming the house of the lord and they would all vanish into the bowels of hell."
The woman dressed as a nun became very uncomfortable and did not at all found this funny.
"After two more nights with increasing numbers of missing nuns and the little nuns going around praying for the devil not to take them and the new nun in the monastery was terrified the most, scared she might be next.
The story went on like so.
Until the young nun and the old hag were the only women left in the old monastery.
Fearing for her life that day the little nun took a knife from the kitchen and hid it in her room not fearing this to be found for the Mother Superior seemed to have resigned to their fate, pallid and silent like a wall painted white doing her usual things like nothing was wrong.
Night came again and the young nun did not sleep. She waited holding a knife in one hand and a crucifix in the other.
Then as the night was at it's darkest she heard her cell's door being unlocked.
She hold herself very still under her sheets, knife ready. Slowly the door opened, silent and the shadowy figure crawled nearer silent as a mouse and the young girl with her eyes ever only so slightly open saw through a slit that the figure rose one arm well high!"
The woman's attention was now held quite firmly by the tale and she waited in absolute silence for what was to come next.
"The young nun acted quickly! She stabbed the apparition with her knife, screaming like a banshee and blind with fear even with her eyes wide open she stabbed and stabbed! Until the figure laid still.
Lighting a candle her breath ragged and painful she lit upon the fresh corpse.
It was of course... The Mother Superior herself. She had the only key, she was known to be a beast and there being no people anywhere near the monastery who could be hiding or helping the nuns escape -or coming at night to kill them, for that matter- it all led the little poor nun to think it was the old woman doing all the killing.
That and the fact the old woman had a cudgel in one of her cold dead hands."
The man smiled unpleasantly and did not speak, luring the woman dressed as a nun to ask the question that might be on your mind as well, dear reader.
"What did she do with the other nuns?"
The scary gravedigger laughed.
"That's the joke. She did nothing to them."
The woman raised her left eyebrows in disbelief.
"That's stupid" she pointed out.
"It's life" he remarked "you see... The Mother Superior was an horrible old bitch. The other nuns after years of being terrified of her and hating her! all of them, old and young alike decided to escape the monastery and never come back.
They decided to copy the Mother Superior's key without her knowing and so they planned to escape by opening their own cells from the inside. There was however only one copy of the key, ordered in secret from a blacksmith which one of them nuns had helped long ago by healing him of a terrible wound. They had no money and only managed to reach the black smith because once and only once every two months were they allowed to go to town which was quite far and full of sinners...
That last visit was the day the new nun arrived and so she was unaware of the others plan.
The others not trusting the new girl and fearing she might have told it all to the old bitch, kept the plan secret from her and so all the nuns escaped by using the key to flee their cells but always making certain that the cell was locked again once they were out of it and then hid the key on a secret place which they had arranged so the next morning a different nun could take it. Thus the process was repeated until only two were left."
The woman was still not convinced.
"Why didn't they all left?" she asked "all of them on the same night?"
The grave digger seemed happy either because his morbid story had got her attention or perhaps simply because he was a lonely and smelly man eager for someone that would hear him talk and then reply, something beyond the ability of the corpses which kept him company.
"Imagine what it would be like to have dozens of scared, angry nuns running in the dark of the night! They would be caught for sure! They were paranoid and did not want to be caught! One escaped first alone. Then two because a distraction might have been necessary for them to escape once the old nun became suspicious. Thus the ones that were left behind began acting scared saying it was the devil to ward of the Mother Superior's suspicions as much as they could.
Eventually since they were so lucky as to escape without trouble and kept disappearing in bigger numbers the old woman herself began believing it was the devil's work."
The woman pondered upon this and wondered if this had been a terrible or a brilliant plan.
Perhaps it had been both.
"This story doesn't seem funny at all to me" she declared "and I find it awful because of the unnecessary death and the fact it carries no moral whatsoever."
The gravedigger cackled.
"Here his the graveyard, you must walk onwards from here on your own."
The corpse cart halted and the woman jumped off. There were was a great gate of iron and the gravestones behind it were many and enshrouded by mist as the stars shone meekly upon them.
"You want a moral? This story has two" the gravedigger said "the first being not to judge thing by what they seem."
He pointed towards some hills.
"Nearest to us and to the left of this hills you will find a monastery where a kind old monk lives on his own. Ask him for food and bed and you shall have it."
The grave digger climbed down from the cart and opened the graveyard's gate and guided his mares across, walking by their side and then closing the iron gates behind him.
"Wait!" the woman shouted from outside "what is the other moral of the story?" she asked.
The man stopped, the gates shut closed he pushed his face the bars and took a deep breath before replying.
"Isn't it obvious?" he asked her with a serious voice.
"Never trust a fucking nun!"
He tossed his head back, laughing like a maniac and happily frolicked deeper into the graveyard with his mares pushing the cart along.
The night was cold and the woman dressed as a nun turned her back and walked towards the monastery.
She smiled as she walked that road again on her lonesome.
What a strange man, she thought.
For she was in fact not a nun, not at all what she seemed to be.
Perhaps the gravedigger knew. Perhaps, due to the nature of his story he even knew of her crime.
For she was a woman that had killed.
She had killed her husband which in turn had tried to kill her and so now she traveled disguised as a nun to ward of suspicion and within her robes she had hidden a kitchen knife meant to be used in her own defense.
Not all things were what they seemed.
And you should never trust a nun.
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