Sixteen year old outcast Izzy is disturbed by unusual, even supernatural, activity in her school - and in her head. Something, or someone, is trying to make contact with her. As she starts to unlock the secrets of the past, she realizes that wrongs are not always forgiven - and most certainly not forgotten.
Mary-Anne was on her knees. Her hands ached as she plunged them once again into the steaming hot water. She clamped her fingers around the thick, soaking material of the habit and pulled it from the water. She could have left it longer, and she knew it, but she was so tired and just wanted to finish her work as soon as possible.
She wrung the garment into the bucket, and sat back on her heels. Putting a hand under her round, swollen belly, she gently eased herself to her feet.
Something cracked against her lower back. The familiar kiss of the cane. Mary-Anne let a gasp rip from her lips.
"Going somewhere?" came a cold voice in her left ear.
Heart racing up her throat, Mary-Anne replied, "Yes, Sister. I-I just finished my last -"
"Finished?" Sister Augusta repeated, tearing the habit from the young girl's arms. "You call this finished? There are children starving in the streets who wear garments cleaner than this."
Next to Mary-Anne's feet, a pretty little girl called Ellen squirmed. Ellen was a much meeker girl than Mary-Anne. She'd never have dared claim her work finished until a nun suggested it was.
"There are children starving in the streets than receive more food than we do, Sister," said Mary-Anne.
The anger of a veangeful God flashed through the nun's cold grey irises. Mary-Anne barely had a moment to wish she'd said nothing, because just then there was an unusual sensation in her stomach. She gasped and grabbed the bump that pushed against her simple, shapeless frock. It's moving, she thought.
"Answer me, child!" shrieked Sister Augusta, cracking the cane across Mary-Anne's back once more.
Mary-Anne gave a painful cry, and stumbled over her wash-bucket. Scalding hot water immersed her feet as she hit the ground. Cheek pushed against the cold stone floor, she just thought of how she would stay there forever, and never get up.
But an icy, bony hand gripped her upper left arm painfully, and she was dragged to her feet, and towards the great wooden door of the wash room. Mary-Anne glanced desperately over her shoulder at Ellen. With a bitter but precedented disappointment, she saw that her friend had not even looked up from her bucket.
As she was towed by the furious nun, Mary-Anne did not absorb one word that was spoken to her. Instead she wondered frantically - could my fall have done any damage to my ba-
"May God have mercy on you, girl!" Sister Augusta said.
Mary-Anne realized she'd never been to this part of the building before. It was dark, and gave her a creeping feeling of unease. Sister Augusta reached for the handle of a small, strange door, and grabbed the back of Mary-Anne's head.
"No! No!" Mary-Anne screamed as she was shoved head-first through the door and into darkness. She stumbled and fell against a wall almost immediately. The ceiling was barely higher than her head.
"You can stay in here until God forgives you," hissed Sister Augusta from outside, before the door was slammed shut, and Mary-Anne was left with nothing for company but the black darkness and the tiny vessel of life that resided inside her.