FLYING NUN: Decameron Minus 99

By Uncle Mike

Introduction: Carlo sees an angel descending from the skies;
upon alighting, the angel becomes a nun; Carlo tells the sister
of the demon that besets him and she helps him fight it;
another day, the nun returns and they do battle with his demon
again; at last Carlo can take the battles no more and sends the
nun off to find other demons.

=== === === ===

Know, then, that in the woods outside our city lived a poor
man, Carlo, some fifty years of age, who eked out a bare
existence farming the poor soil in a small clearing he had
made; and he had been married once, but lost her to an
itinerant tinsmith, who, taking away Carlo's bedmate,
condemned him to a life of solitary pleasures, such as they
were. One day -- it being too early in the spring to plant, and
yet pleasant enough to tarry out of doors -- Carlo was sitting
on a stool outside his little shack, watching the clouds roll
past the small opening in the trees that surrounded him, when
a bit of movement captured his eye, and he, looking at it,
rubbed them for a moment. An angel! Or so it appeared, for as
the vision drew nearer he could see that it had something of
the manner of a human, in a robe, but truly there were wings,
for it was flying through the sky!

Still lower the vision came, and now Carlo could see more
clearly through his rheumy eyes, and the angel had an angel's
face, round, like a cherub in the old, thick Bible on his top
shelf; when it drew still nearer, though, it appeared this angel
wore shoes.

At last the vision drew very near, and the angel seemed to
be verily a fallen one, for its hands were flailing and its feet
nearly touched the treetops; it cleared them, though, and the
angel descended into the clearing, landing but a few feet from
Carlo's stool, he having risen to greet the apparition. But
greeting it, Carlo was hushed, for the angel told him she was,
indeed, not an angel, but rather a nun from the nearby convent;
she explaining further that the wings were those of her habit;
she having been perhaps the lightest ever to wear the habit, it
was found that a stiff wind could render her airborne, but she
had not fully mastered the art of flight and sometimes was
forced to land whither she could, rather than whither she

Carlo heard her words, and understood, but still marveled
at the sight; then a twinkle in his eye appeared, and he
addressed her thus, saying, "Be you not an angel, still you may
be sent by one, for I have a demon that I cannot slay. Perhaps
you were sent to be my strength." The angel, who calleth
herself Sister Bertrille, expressed puzzlement at the nature
of this demon, for though she was but still young she had
listened to the words of the old and she did not believe
demons still roamed the land. But, lo, he told her, his demon
did not roam, but had entered Carlo's own body, and tormented
him day and night; whereupon he pointed to his lap, and truly
Sister Bertrille could see that something had taken
possession of the man, for a large bulge had appeared there
and was growing as she watched.

"This is my demon," Carlo told her, "and a wicked demon it
is, for it issues forth from me and I must battle it, trying to
force it back in, lest it erupt and take with it my very soul;
but it resisteth my struggle, and only after much toil can I
subdue it. Alas, I grow weak, for I have not the strength of the
young, nor the grace of the godly."

"Tell me what is required, and I will battle your demon for
you," the nun said; and thus Carlo told her, drawing forth the
demon from his pants and laying it in his lap. "Oh," Sister
Bertrille said, "surely I can see it is a demon, for it has but
one eye, and that an evil one." "Yes," Carlo told her, "but we
shall vanquish it and force its bile to issue forth, and I shall
have peace." And so, following his instruction, Sister Bertrille
grasped the demon in her soft hands, which had never known
hard work, and Carlo said that it was good; whereupon he
urged her to push the demon into him, and she attempteth to
do so by pressing down on the head, but the demon was
cunning, and resisteth, and Carlo cried out in pain, and said
the demon was too strong, but might be conquered by another
method. Whereupon Sister Bertrille began to rub her hands up
and down the demon's length; it grew longer, and thicker, and
seemed to stiffen, but Carlo said that he felt it was working,
and urged her continue. Which she did, rubbing her hands
mightily until Carlo began to groan, and she would stop; but he
urged her on, through gritted teeth, and she did, and the demon
at last leaped in her hands, and issued forth its bile, and sank

Thus did Sister Bertrille conquer Carlo's demon, for which
he thanked her mightily, but she being a modest nun, declined
his thanks, and a stiff wind now coming through the trees, she
lifted off and flew away.

Two weeks later Carlo was in his small garden, tilling the
hard soil and cursing his loneliness, when a voice from above
summoned him; he looked up, swallowing his curse and
beseeching the Deity for forgiveness, but seeing a familiar
shape, grew silent; for Sister Bertrille was slipping down
through the overhanging branches again, and drifted to a
landing nearby.

Greetings they exchanged; Sister Bertrille asked after his
demon, and, alas, Carlo had to admit the demon had returned
and troubled him even then; whereupon, looking down, the nun
could see that it was true. So she led him to the stool and bid
him issue forth the demon, that she might battle it again, for
she had said special prayers that the victory be hers. But
Carlo said he feared her hands were too soft and her arms too
weak for the demon, who was strong and hard and had survived
many battles and many temporary defeats; still, he suggested,
there might be hope if the good sister were willing to try
another means; she being indeed willing, Carlo issued forth
the demon, and truly it was fierce of appearance that day.

Then he bade the nun remove her underclothing, for, he
said, she had a weapon which might slay this demon, mighty
as it was, and that weapon was beneath her, in a holy place;
whereupon she did so, removing her many layers underneath,
but leaving on the habit above; until, prepared, Carlo
instructed her to approach him, that he might ready her
weapon for combat. And he did so, inserting his fingers into
her holy place and moving them about until he deemed her
ready; then she moved upon him, and he held his demon steady,
that it might not escape, and she took the demon into her. But
the demon resisted, as she told Carlo, and would not enter all
the way; whereupon he warned her that the demon might bite,
but she, saying that she feareth not the demon's bite, bid them
try further, and they did. The demon then did bite her, and
Sister Bertrille cried forth; still, she said, her pain was but
small price for Carlo's salvation; he, agreeing, began to help
her battle the demon, and they battled forth for many minutes,
Sister Bertrille rising and falling on the demon's shaft, trying
to force it back into Carlo; and truly he said, the battle was
going well; for he could feel her weapon plunging down upon
his demon and it was good; Sister Betrille said it was good
for her, too; until at last he cried out, and truly Sister
Bertrille felt the demon's bile enter her, and it was still.

Just a few days later, while Carlo was planting seeds, he
noticed a shadow on the ground, and looking up, saw that it
was his angel descending again; whereupon Sister Bertrille
inquired about his demon, and finding that it had not left, did
not seem unduly upset, but bid him prepare her to battle it
again. And so they did, and mightily, and the next day, and the
day after that; when came a day that Sister Bertrille arrived,
and the demon would not issue forth, but lay small and
shriveled on Carlo's lap, and it seemed the battle was won;
but, seeing the disappointment on the good sister's face, Carlo
said he suspected the demon was merely tired, but not beaten,
and Sister Bertrille said that in that case it would be best to
continue the struggle; Carlo, agreeing, told her she must call
it forth, and perhaps it would do battle, and she agreed. So he
instructed her to take the demon into her mouth, and draw it
forth, and again, and again, and lo! soon the demon did indeed
come forth, and thicken, and grow long and hard, and the nun
was pleased.

They battled the demon that day; indeed, three times did
Sister Bertrille battle the demon, until at last Carlo called
enough; yet still he had to promise the nun that she could
return anew the next day to continue the struggle.

She did, and the day after that, and the next, and Carlo
despaired, for the demon was indeed weakened, and so was
Carlo; whereupon the good sister's attempts to call forth the
demon availeth not, though mightily she tried, and taxed the
poor man's vitality; until at last he declared that she had won,
and his demon was beaten; but, he said, it might return, and
the good sister should be so kind as to return every week just
to make sure. Which she agreed forthwith, but still looked
downcast, and asked if it might not be safer to come every
day, or at least every other; but Carlo said no; and yet she
tarried, and he took pity; whereupon he told her that other
men had demons too, and saw her eyes brighten; and he told
her that young men, boys even, had especially powerful
demons, that needed battling many times a day; Sister
Bertrille was glad, and her joy shone forth, and she flew
away, promising to return in a week's time. Would we all have
such guardian angels watching over us!


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