SISTER JOAN BY PAUL GILMARTIN Sister Joan, age 54, ignores the desert sun, The stranded church bus smoking, no sign of anyone. Buzzards circle overhead, panic starts to set. The kids are getting restless, her habit soaked with sweat. The minutes become hours, she wobbles in the heat. Then, a distant engine roars, approaching from the East. She squints through horn-rimmed glasses, her pure heart skips a beat. Snake McGinty's Harley Hog, parts the dusty heat. Black leather-clad from head to toe, his eyelids barely open, Sister Joan says, "Holy Ghost, please tell me that you're joking." He parks his bike, stands six foot four, then gives her a nod. Through leather pants his manhood shows, she rolls her eyes at God. "Havin' trouble?", he barely mumbles. "Yes sir", she replies. He pops the hood, takes off his shirt, she covers up her eyes. "Kids", she says, "Back on the bus. Everyone be good." Her fingers part, her eyes take in his reflection off the hood. She grips her rosary tight with guilt and stares down at her socks. Her mind protects her vows with God, but her body picks the lock. He bends to check the fan belt, her nipples say, "Hello". Her eyes climb up his leather chaps like a snail with vertigo. She shuts her eyes and shakes her head, her legs start feeling funny. "Lord", she says, "For work like this, I'm making shitty money." He shuts the hood, "My name is Snake, I'm wanted in five states." She said, "Snake you're my forbidden fruit, and I need a little taste." The kids look on in disbelief. The kiss is slow, then faster. Cheering rocks the school bus, till she says "Snake let's ditch these bastards. As they left, the kids screamed "No", she turned around and waved. Her next confession killed a priest and lasted seven days. For years the scandal rocked the church, but she regained their trust. She still teaches Sunday school, but she doesn't drive the bus.