On Sunday, Mass was said at dawn. The nuns wore white. Marcy thought them beautiful as she watched their silent exodus from Quarters to the chapel doors. So clean, so pure, so virginal, they floated over the grounds like apparitions. And oh, how much she longed to join them—or rejoin them, for since Sister Dana's revelation, a theory had begun to form in Marcy's mind.

In the past few days her questions about her identity had multiplied. And though this new self-interest was thwarted by a memory gone blank, she still had current events to feed her clues.

Her theory was that her name had once been Sister Marcy. Had not she felt a holy presence while trying on the wimple? And was she not told that her doing so had constituted sacrilege?

Why sacrilege? Unless she was no longer worthy. Unless she had somehow fallen out of favor in the eyes of the Lord. Why else would the chapel be declared off limits to her and her alone?

Could her sin be so unspeakable that it excluded her from the House of God? If so, she feared her loss of hair must be a punishment from Him—never to grow back until she repented. Yet how could she ever make amends when nobody would tell her what she had done? For no matter whom she asked, her questions about her past were all evaded.

The evidence was mounting though, each sign an allegation. She was guilty of something, that much was certain; she simply did not know of what—not yet.

Dejectedly she closed the curtains. The chapel bell tolled. She retreated to her bed, crept in, curled up underneath the blankets, and said a silent prayer for her redemption.



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