The College of Cardinals started entering the room, one by one, boomingly announced by the Master of Ceremony who declared their names and responsibilities with a slight tinge of irony in his voice. Lining up behind a curtain, waiting for their names to be called, they reluctantly logged off Twitter, switched off their mobile phones and abandoned all hopes to see their partners for the foreseeable future. But some, unaware of the task ahead, were foolishly overcome by excitement; the Old Ones, as they’re hitherto known, looked upon their countenance with disapproving disdain and some dared rolling their eyes.
The days ahead would be fuelled by unholy sustenance such as coffee and donuts and robes and apparel would soon be renounced for the more convenient amenity of sweatpants. Endeavouring to elect the next representative of God on Earth requires the easiness of cotton and the freedom that only loosen jogging bottoms offer.
Though, I have sworn secrecy and while resting my hand on a bible, professed I would never utter the truth about my father’s standing, my allegiance to my readers proves to be greater than my oath and I here forth confess to be the son of a Vatican’s butler.
Papa left me and mother when I was but a bundle of flesh unable to support the weight of my own head. It requires many a years of research to finally embrace him in my arms and hear him grand me forgiveness as he had, upon on my birth, seen the great devil lingering inside of me. He was most unpleased by my gayness but agreed to take me in, hoping the Vatican would eradicate my wretchedness. I was present when John Paul II passed away and, shamefully, deceived my father into letting me help serve the beverages during the Papal Conclave. I watch as History unfolded in front of me; I heard the unspoken truth while picking up dirty plates off the floor and discovered a reality which decency forbids me from repeating. Profoundly shaken by what my eyes had witnessed, I hastened a retreat to my room where wireless offered me lonesome comfort. Benedict XVI was made the infallible voice of God and I the bearer of a secret that would unravel me to my core.
I have been visiting papa regularly since and become acquainted with the Old Ones who relish my companionship for reasons beyond my understanding or so I have them believed.
On hearing the abdication of Benedict, I henceforth decided to make a triumphal return to my old dwellings and present myself to the chamber of the Conclave and monologue my way into the newly available position. Pope Jerome I, I believed, had a good ring to it. I endeavour to manipulate the Old Ones into enthroning me, no matter how high the cost. Fully aware that my blasphemous ways were playing against me and that I wasn’t quite of age, I, nonetheless, using methods that should remain inarticulated, convinced enough Gaydinals to let me defend my application in front of the entire College.
The procedure ran smoothly, most looked at me with googly eyes and on finishing my rather revolutionary presentation, they nodded approvingly. I had successfully spoon-fed them what they wanted to hear and managed to never utter profanatory terms like cock and balls. I elegantly exited the room; my papa was glowing with pride.
When the white smoke rose up from the Sistine Chapel, I hadn’t been asked if I had accepted the charge. I knew I had blown it! Habemus Papam. Habemus fucking Papam. And it ain’t me! God Damn it!