Alice’s residence: The Apostolic Palace behind the Basilica of St. Peter’s church in Vatican City
** This is a spoiler-free post. **
Nuns take three vows — poverty, chastity, and obedience.
The vow of poverty is supposed to free a nun from being fascinated by material things so that she may be free to serve others. The vow of chastity is supposed to free a nun from the demands of an exclusive human relationship so that she can give all her love to God, and through God to all people. The vow of obedience is supposed to free a nun to seek God’s will for her and obey her lawful superiors according to the constitution of the church.
If you have read Feet of Clay, you may have noticed that Sister Jacobine (Alice Fisher) wears Armani suits, she carries a Gucci handbag, and she uses the finest Italian firearms available.
It occurred to me while I was writing Feet of Clay and getting to know Alice that due to her “special circumstances”, having lived the life she’s lived, she would have gradually forged a somewhat flexible relationship with not only her vows but with the ten commandments, as well.
The Ten Commandments
For starters, of course, Alice is an assassin for the Pope. He calls her his giusta mano destra — righteous right hand. The duties of her job require her to break one of the ten commandments — Thou shalt not kill. Given Alice’s “special circumstances”, that causes her no problems whatsoever. In fact, those “special circumstances” are what led her to her job in the first place, especially if one subscribes to the belief that God has a plan for each of us.
Once she came to the realization that she had no problem with breaking Thou shalt not kill, her flexible relationship with the rest of the commandments and with her vows would have grown naturally over her lifetime. At the point in her life that she is at for the six stories in The Book of Jacobine, it would not worry her at all, in fact, it would no longer even enter her mind that she was breaking one of the commandments or one of her vows. It’s not that she doesn’t take either of them seriously, she’s just come to understand that God’s will for her is different from that of every other nun in creation. And, to put it succinctly, she is His creation and she would see His will done.
One of the things that I’m curious about in regards to Alice is this: everyone remembers their first time…doing anything. What were her first times like breaking her vows or any of the other commandments? How did she feel? What were the circumstances?
Could be interesting, don’t you think?
This Omnibus Edition collects the six Nun With A Gun stories into a single volume, The Book of Jacobine.
The Pope calls Alice Fisher—Sister Jacobine—his giusta mano destra or “righteous right hand.” At his behest, she deals with those who step outside of the Church’s doctrines and, through their actions, dishonor His Holiness. Alice’s unique skillset and God-given gifts make her particularly well-suited as the Pope’s enforcer.
Powerful forces inside the Church target Sister Jacobine, to weaken His Holiness’ preeminence and further their own dark agenda. Alice must use her considerable skills and resources to safeguard those closest to her, including His Holiness himself.
When a Vatican hit squad targets her, Alice turns to the only person she can count on for help—the Philadelphia Police Detective who arrested her for murder.
Feet of Clay, the first Jacobine story, was released as a standalone short on September 1, 2020. Due to reader demand, the rest of the stories were released over the next six weeks.
A Nun With A Gun is a series of short stories and novelettes about Sister Jacobine, the Pope’s hitwoman. They are best read in order.
1.0 Feet of Clay
2.0 A Port in the Storm
4.0 Requiem Mass
5.0 Den of Lions
6.0 The Narrow Gate
Thriller Short Story Omnibus