Six Thousand Word Story -the Wakefield Doctrine- (…well, no, not exactly 6 thousand, it just feels like that on Wednesday)

Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)


The time of the week when we are challenged to write a story of no more than 6 Sentences. The only ‘Rule’ is that it, (the story, not the Rule), use, employ, infer, imply or otherwise, (in whatever manner the author might deem likely to cause the) Reader to encounter a certain word. In the case of this week’s Six Sentence Story, our host, zoe/ivy would ask that we invoke the word, ‘convert’

‘To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.’ (Thomas Aquinas)

“I really don’t believe you are taking this matter quite as seriously as you should.” sitting in the single chair positioned directly before the desk of the Mother Superior, Sister Margaret Ryan is trying to forget what she thinks she now knows about herself.

The room is a symphony of wood and stain, carved relief figures, (scenes of forests and huntsmen, the ‘Action Figures’ of a long ago and very different time), and towering shelves holding priceless First Editions and dead animals,  a bygone era reflected in polished oak and walnut, the decidedly masculine tone somewhat offset by the intricate patterns of the oriental carpet. The former owner, a devout Banker who, undoubtedly, decided that leaving his mansion to the Church would be a sound investment,  the building, now converted to a Convent, made the nuns living there the envy of their Order and, this room was the Inner Sanctum for the person holding power over, …nothing as mundane as Life and Death, rather the woman who reigned within held sway on a person’s Life After Death, and though not physically elevated, the expanse of desk between the two women was no less a Judge’s bench, lacking only a Bailiff and Stenographer.

“Are you Listening, Sister Ryan?”

She was not listening, she was staring out the window that framed the imposing figure of Sister Affrontina, the Autumn colors of the trees outside made the (mostly) black garbed (with a splash of white surrounding her face), woman seem especially predatory, an albino tiger nearly perfectly still in the underbrush, waiting for the prey to make a fatal error.

Sister Margaret Ryan was thinking about a girl in 6th Grade at Our Lady of Penance,

If you don’t apply yourself and use the gifts you were born with, it will be like putting a gun to God’s head and pulling the trigger,

the memory-echos of well-intentioned, yet wholly twisted and disfigured efforts to motivate a talented young girl, maintained it’s power, the remarkable violence contained in the words, like a greenstick fracture mistaken for a minor injury, returning years later with consequences far in excess of the original trauma,

‘Who says that kind of thing to a child?! Margaret said out loud… looking at dedicated and devoted woman and feeling only like prey, “these are children, they’re not prey…



clarkscottroger About clarkscottroger
Well, what exactly do you want to know? Whether I am a clark or a scott or roger? If you have to ask, then you need to keep reading the Posts for two reasons: a)to get a clear enough understanding to be able to make the determination of which type I am and 2) to realize that by definition I am all three.* *which is true for you as well, all three...but mostly one


  1. ivywalker says:

    Wow, Clark…a little Catholic school in your background? I know I would have a hard time convincing you of this (maybe…hmmm ) but i read this and wish i could write more like this… Its your description without running on and on as well as your metaphors and analogies… Really good at this…

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      thank you (I’m working on it*) only Grades 2 through 6 ( you know, ‘the totally non-impressionable Years’ )

      * being the surprisingly resistant self-updating on self-concept and I appreciate the remaindering that not ‘staying current with the results of my efforts to self-develop myself comes at a high cost.’

  2. Denise says:

    I concur ivy. Clark is really good at this.

  3. Denise says:

    P.S. Milla will always be known for these movies, non? Nice.

  4. christine says:

    You are good at this! When I saw the word of the week, I knew at least one person would write something about a Catholic. :)

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      Thank you Christine, I have most of my residual skill at spelling courtesy of the (ironically named) Sisters of Mercy. (I do kid them a lot and no institution that has survived and thrived as long as the Catholic Church could remain free of quirks and dysfunction, however, given that I did put in my time Grades 2 through 6 I’m happy now that I have a more immediate benefit from my education experience.)

  5. Kristi says:

    And with that word, “prey,” in that last sentence, I thought “scott.”

  6. Ivy is so right, Clark, you do this story writing thing incredibly well! Your story took my breath away, not so much it it’s commentary on parochial education, as in what it says about the things that are said to children that worm their way into their hearts and souls. We have to be so very careful not only in our motives and the messages we are trying to convey, but in the way we convey them. Words can hurt! Powerful story, excellent read.

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      thank you (we have Una, but there have been times that I’ve wondered, ‘how do parents even get out of bed, knowing how impressionable …. malleable their children are (at a certain) age…. I suspect that you can’t let that lock you up, being too careful with what you say and do)

  7. valj2750 says:

    Enthralling story filled with wonderful descriptions of setting, emotion and plot. I could not only picture it, I could feel it. We can all champion Sister Ryan – standing up to the “man”, in this case Mother Superior. But doesn’t that have UNIVERSAL applications for all of us in many situations, even if the metaphoric Mother Superior is our own self.

    • clarkscottroger clarkscottroger says:

      very much the ‘real’ insight, one that I must always remind myself, that I have in common with everyone and everything in my world, the good and the bad. Which is not bad and while it can be good, it’s not bad. (You anticipated an element of the point I was going for in today’s FTSF) cool