Jump, Bitch, Jump
& Deconstruction

by Allison Whittenberg

Jump, Bitch, Jump

Jump, Bitch, jump was the last thing I heard before I did as if I needed further proof I'd made the right decision to go up there. This is a no good world and no one really cares about you but your mother and in my case that's not even true (but don't get me started on how that tramp fucked up my life).

Jump, Bitch, jump. They sounded beyond impatient — there was indignation to their chant. Sure, traffic was snarled for miles but their snotty tone confirmed my verdict on humanity (or the lack thereof). People are shits. It's all about them them them. What about me me me.

Jump, Bitch, jump, so I did. I experienced the freedom of flight. A lovely sail through the air then the big drop — swift and sure. I really thought that splat would do it. But I lived. Broken, hospitalized and in intensive care. I was alive. And you should have seen the avalanche of flowers, stuffed animals, and hard candy. And the cards and letters that read: Get well, bitch, Get well.


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the... oh, you know the rest...

I'm Sister Ardeth Margaret Katherine D'Arby, and I have just been sentenced to three years. He knows what He's doing. It will be three years well spent, that I assure you. Those souls locked away need my guidance, and it won't be my first time on the inside, as they say. It won't be so bad. I hope we will be able to stay together though. The others Sisters Jacqueline and Carol. I pray that they won't split us up. I've known them since I first entered the order. We were so young then, thinking we could save the world.

The judge had such harsh words for us. Such words. He said we were "dangerously irresponsible." To that Sister Carol said, "Nuclear warfare is dangerously irresponsible!" And that Judge told her to Shut Up. Shut up, he said. Imagine such talk. Shut up, he said. Some government property should be destroyed. All the papers made such a big deal about the blood. We used our blood to make crosses on the missiles. I've been with the order for 20 years. I would do it again. And then we used a hammer. Pounding and pounding . If only we could turn it into salt.

Allison Whittenberg is a poet and novelist (Life Is Fine, Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, and Tutored, all from Random House). She lives in Philadelphia.