Diary of a Convent Girl: A Serial

by Galloway

One could suppose that this was found under the floorboards of an old house, or in the bottom of a chest bought at an antiques auction. There was only one date found in the Journal, March, 1899.


March, 1899

I think I will grow to hate it here. The world of the convent school is rigid, ordered. We rise before matins, dress, go to mass, then breakfast, then catechism, Latin, grammar and rhetoric, mathematics, geography, luncheon then literature (no Petronius, Ovid, Catullus, Byron, or Shelley. A little Donne, but only his sermons. Milton, Saint Anselm, and Saint Ignatius are more the order of the day, and more’s the pity too!), household economy (or how to buy beef, lard, and flour cheaply, how to dress a goose, and keep records of the same; dull as ditchwater), sewing, then exercises, supper, vespers, and then we had a few quiet hours for study and contemplation before bedtime Confession twice a week, at least. But this may not be the safe haven that my mother had pictured when she sent me here. Far from it.

Before Mass today I went to the confessional. In truth, I had to wonder what could I have to confess; there is so little opportunity for sin. I entered the confessional, crossed myself and began to speak. Before I had even finished asking the father to bless me, and stated how long it had been since my last confession, the priest whispered to me through the grille.

“What is it that you have to confess to me? Have you had licentious thoughts?” I was taken aback, and stammered that I had not, but he only murmured that he doubted the truth of that statement. I recalled the book in my father’s study, and I began to tell him about it.

“How did it make you feel?” he asked, “ Did it make your little cunt wet and hot and hungry for a man? I think it did, you little whore.”

For a moment I could not speak. I had never heard a priest speak so. I looked through the grille at the older man whose pale eyes burned in the gloom of the confessional. I could hear the rustle of his vestments as he leaned forward to speak further. “You must tell me, if you do not, how can you truly be confessed?”

I leaned forward and whispered back to him. Yes, I had licentious thoughts, stirred into full flower by the book I found in my father’s study. I told him about the first illustration I saw in it. A man, partially clothed, shown in profile, his member enormously engorged and erect facing a woman wearing only an elaborate headdress of pearls, her sloe eyes limned with kohl, with her hand guiding it to her secret places, her legs opened wide to receive it, the both of them smiling. The book described how when a man entered a woman he could do so slowly, letting her feel the length of him as he penetrated into her, and how she should tighten the muscles of her body around him so as to give them both greater pleasure when he began to stir himself within her. I told him that this passage did not horrify me, it only made me curious, that it created in me an unknown longing, a dark, juicy heat that pulsed between my thighs.

“Did you fulfill it, that lust? What did you do?” he inquired. I could hear the sound of flesh touching flesh behind the grille. Peering through it I could see that he had drawn his cassock up over his hairy thighs. At the juncture between his legs his erect penis rose like a mast, his hand wrapped around the base of it, gliding up its length, over the tip then back down. I could see the vein that ran along it pulsing, the flesh deepening in color. I felt an answering pulse in my own body, the thick honey-like moisture dampening my pantalets, slicking my upper thighs. I shifted my skirts to move the fabric away from between my legs, and began to press my thighs close together, twitching my hips to stimulate that little nodule of flesh that seemed to ache and pulse with its own life as I recounted my sins. I told him that no, just then I did nothing, but I could imagine it, the feeling of a man’s body over mine, the weight of him pressing against me, my legs opening to receive his thrust into me. I told him that I was not entirely sure how to fulfill this burning, but that the book described a woman’s organs, how she has a little kernel of flesh that when pressed or stroked would give her release and rapture. I told him that I had explored my body in the dark, in the night with my own two hands and found this spot.

“Show me what you did, you little slut! I must know the depth of your depravity before you can be shriven,” he said. I watched his hand begin to move faster, his other hand moving below, manipulating the heavy mass of his testicles, stroking the insides of his thighs.

“Can you see me, father?” I asked as I lifted my petticoats above my hips. I spread my legs wider to let him see me through the open seam of my pantalets, the heavy garters holding up the black woolen stockings that we all had to wear. I spread the cotton fabric wide, showing him the soft, curling hair, stroking it softly, letting him see the beads of moisture dampening it.

His voice hoarse, he told me he could see me. I asked him if he liked it, looking at me this way, seeing what the book called the gate of heaven. He groaned a resonant yes, as I spread my nether lips to show him the passage into my body, the gates of paradise. I began to stroke the clitoris, feeling the subtle thrilling waves of pleasure building, widening to take in my whole body. Bracing one foot against the wall by the grille I continued to touch my own body, gasping for breath, my lungs fighting against the whalebone stays encircling my ribs as I watched the priest’s hands move more rapidly, jerkily, a cloudy fluid spilling over his fingertips as he began to groan in time to his motions, my own eyes rolling back as a rapture like the annunciation filled me, bursting through me, radiating outward from my center.

Panting, the priest told me that I was to say ten Hail Mary’s and that I was absolved, and to go forth and sin no more. I crossed myself with my dampened fingers, then rearranged my skirts, and left the small, quiet booth and walked out into the pews. Lowering the prie diu, I began to pray. Out of the corner of my eye I could see other girls enter into the booth, a few, upon exiting were flushed, their eyes gimlet bright, others left in tears. All of us whispering the eternal chant: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee….”

After supper, when I had retired to the library to finish my Latin exercises, one of my schoolfellows pressed a note into my hand. Furtively, I opened the folded paper. It read:

“ Did you make a “good” confession today? I am sure we both did, as Father Aloysius could not stop smiling all through supper! Such an irony, is it not, that we must sin in order to be wholly shriven! Tell me truly though, do you not find it much more fun this way? Your Margaret.”

I looked over at the plump girl with brown braids wrapped around her head that had handed me the note. I smiled at her and nodded. She winked back, then we both dissolved into giggles at the long table. One of the sisters looked up from the desk and shushed us, which only made me giggle more loudly. The sister’s face hardened under her starched wimple, and she rose in a flurry of black serge, the long rosary clicking against the desk. Margaret’s round eyes widened in alarm and she whispered, “The old crow is taking flight!” Not knowing what else to do, I quickly crumpled the note and put it into my mouth, swallowing the bitter wad of paper just as the nun clamped her claw into my shoulder.

The nun motioned both Margaret and me to follow her into her private office in the library. Sister Agatha paced back and forth before her desk, as we stood before her, attempting to look penitent.

“We pride ourselves here on order and our incorruptible discipline, ladies. I will know the source of your frivolity in the library,” she said, her low voice grating like gravel under a cartwheel. Margaret and I looked at one another. What could we say? That we were joking about the priest who had heard our confessions that afternoon, and our knowledge of his erotic enjoyment of them? Were we to tell her that the confessional was ripe with the scent of unfulfilled lust, and that the very same hands that placed the body of our Lord into our waiting mouths were dampened by his own emissions? That the taste of his seed added a certain piquancy to taking communion? Or that we had come to know that unless our confessions inflamed his desire we would have even harder penance to endure? Hardly that, I should think! So, there we stood, silent and watchful.

“Margaret, you have been with us since girlhood, but your friend is a recent student at our school. Do not think, young woman, as I will not deign to call you a lady, that I am not unaware of why you have been sent to us. Your licentious behavior is why your family sent you to us for discipline. You couldn’t resist it, could you? That book, illuminated with the most vulgar of drawings, depicting the most depraved acts! The sporting of the sparrow indeed! Was it worth it to you to read the writings of Vatsayana, that heathen pervert! I will not allow you to corrupt other girls in my care, young woman.”

I felt a blush creeping into my cheeks as Sister Agatha spoke. Margaret looked over at me, a similar flush staining her cheeks. But, even embarrassed as I was I wondered how she knew the content of what I had read in my father’s study. I doubted my mother or father would have detailed the very titles of the acts I had read about between those wonderful pages, or described the drawings that interleaved the text. Scanning the office I espied behind the desk, away from the glass fronted bookcases a cabinet with stained glass doors, and a heavy lock strung through a hasp at the front. What could a nun, and the school’s librarian guard under lock and key other than the very sort of books that she was now condemning me for reading. As Sister Agatha continued in her castigation of my supposed libertinage I imagined her sitting behind her heavy oak desk, the chest behind it unlocked, a copy of the very book open on her desk, and the pious nun breaking into a cold sweat as she read how a man like a proud bull should mount a woman from behind, wrapping his arms about her waist to draw her near to him. How he should not forget to stimulate her body so that his pleasure in taking her would not be solitary.

I barely minded her when she told us that we would be given extra chores. It would actually be a relief to be sent to some task rather than endure the endless hours of prayer that filled our days. Then a thought came to me, and stifling a smile I put on the most penitent face I could muster.

“Sister,” I said, “I acknowledge that I have been the most horrid of transgressors, and am truly grateful for being sent here to learn to moderate my conduct. I can imagine no better discipline than to be given appropriate work. May we ask to clean your private study, that way you can be assured of our good behavior?”

This seemed to mollify the old harridan. Little did she notice my glance at her keys, sitting on the top of her desk. Margaret stared at me in surprise. Reaching out, I took her hand in mine, squeezing it, trying to tell her to wait and I would explain. I glanced from the table to the cabinet behind it, then lowered my eyes. Margaret smiled and stammered that she too would be honored to be given the task of cleaning the librarian’s study. The nun’s face under her wimple filled with a smug triumph, and my lowered eyes rested on that glinting ring of keys. Holding hands, Margaret and I walked out of the room to collect our books and retreat to the dormitory.

Walking down the hall together, Margaret asked me what did Sister Agatha mean about how I came to be here, at the convent school. “I was sent here for reading a book.”

“A book!” cried Margaret, “my parents sent me here when they caught me playing doctors with the gardener’s son.”

“Tell me more,” I whispered, sitting with Margaret on the edge of my narrow bed.


About Galloway: If anyone ever wants to know, I never turn down strawberry ice cream. Ever. I read the news every day. Sometimes I find articles that make me sit up and think. I read history whenever I can. I've kept a journal since I was ten, and I started writing about other people about the same time. I never stopped.

email Galloway

Diary of a Convent Girl © 2005
by Galloway
All rights reserved.





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