Babette had been born to a mother who, for unknown reasons, was unable to keep her newborn infant, so Babette was raised by the Order for Calm and Peace. The Order was funded by produce from the organic gardens and orchards, which were sold at the market each week. Nobody ever went hungry at the convent and everyone did their fair share of work.
The building was designed and built and its accompanying property had been donated by an anonymous benefactor who wished to remain that way. The donor kept the building maintained and paid all taxes on the property. The townsfolk whispered and rumors spread, but The Head Nun, Sister Mary Jane “MJ” Cinnamon, knew how to keep a secret.
Only MJ – and dozens of women, who also knew how to keep secrets – knew the truth.
Babette’s father, and the father of the dozens of other children at the convent, was a man with insatiable sexual appetite – and who also owned the silver mine, 90% of the stores in the small nearby village, and 80% of the sharecropper lands in the district.
Mr. Parker used various methods to access the women, and when they invariably ended up pregnant, he promised an ongoing stipend with a non-disclosure agreement and their promise to take the child to the convent to be raised by the nuns. As Parkerton was a poverty-stricken town for but a few, the women agreed and knew they were no longer in fear of starvation.
Mr. Parker visited once a month to have dinner in the main dining hall with the nuns and his children, under a pretense it was for the very public donations he gave the Order.
Babette was clairvoyant from an early age. One Sunday dinner when Mr. Parker came to visit, she recognized him as her father but said nothing. At age 18, she began plotting her revenge.
Fandango is the host of Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Fandango says:
Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a relatively short flash fiction piece inspired by the photo. While there are no definitive style or word limits, I suggest trying to keep your posts to under 300 words.
The image [above] is from thesuccess at Morguefile.com.