A Very Bad Habit
Keith: 22, tall and skinny.
Sister Tammy: 41, plain, dressed in a nun’s habit.
(Sister Tammy wanders the aisles. Keith is at the cash register. This is one of those convenience stores that is almost a headshop. The floor is carpeted. Near the checkout is a glass display case full of pipes shaped like dragons. A sign hangs on it, which reads: Pipes for tobacco use only. Please see associate for details.)
Keith: Can I help you find anything, ma’am?
Sister Tammy: Actually, I’m looking for Tab. Father Bob says this is the only store in a thirty mile radius that carries it.
Keith: Yeah, it should be in the cooler to the right, all the way on the bottom shelf.
(Sister Tammy goes to the cooler, pulls out five cans of Tab, and brings them to the cash register.)
Keith: Alright, the total comes to $6.66. Is there anything else I can get for you?
Sister Tammy: The sign of the beast! The day has come!
Keith: Hey, sorry, what?
Sister Tammy: Actually, do you carry American Spirits? I’ll take a pack if you got’em.
Keith: Uh, yeah, sure… I didn’t know nuns could smoke–Can I ask you something I’ve always wanted to ask one of you people? What made you wanna be a nun?
Sister Tammy: I didn’t have a choice. (Pulls a cigarette from the package on the counter, lights it with her finger, takes a drag like a professional.) I came out of the womb feet first, and I was thrown to the convent because the dula saw the legs and said “devil horns.”
Keith: Hey, cool! I was a C-section.
Sister Tammy: They said this day would come, I’ve been waiting for years.
Keith: You know, you shouldn’t let your parents tell you how to live your life. My mom said I was a washed-up drug addict and look at me. Things are so great. Mr. Patel even lets me lock up the store all by myself now.
Sister Tammy: (Throws her leg over the counter.) Young man, teach me the ways of the sinner.
Keith: Holy shit! I’ve gotta tell the guys about this one!
(A pair of veiny wings burst through the back of Sister Tammy’s nun outfit, which rips in half and falls off.)
Hey, no disrespect lady, I know you’re like, tight with Jesus and stuff, but you gotta be wearing a shirt to be in here, ya know.
Sister Tammy: I am no longer bound by the constraints of the mortal world. Soon this cage of flesh will recede into the earth once more.
Keith: Aw come on lady, I tried to kill myself once too, but I promise you, it’s not worth it. There’s a lot of good stuff going on around here. Do you… like punk music?
Sister Tammy: Give me your body human. I must feed on a male host for my transformation to commence. Time is of the essence.
Keith: I mean I guess I could sell you a bowl if that’s what you’re getting at. If you don’t like dragons I think there’s some turtle ones left in the back…let me go check.
(Keith goes to the back room in search of additional reptile tobacco accessories. The ground begins shaking.)
Sister Tammy: No! Come back, my true form must be released! I can’t go back to hell! It’s almost as bad as the church!
(The carpet splits open and sucks Sister Tammy into the earth.)
Keith: Hey did you feel that earthquake too? Sister? (Looking around.) Hey, where’d you go? You forgot to pay for your Tab.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick is a student at Central Connecticut State University. Her favorite animal is a slow loris.