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Fanfic / Sister Floriana

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"Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for making Abbess Maria our Mother Superior! Please protect her and take care of her, and take care of us! Things might be bad in the world right now, but as long as we're all together I still have hope, because You are with us. In the name of God we pray, Amen."
Sister Floriana "Flori" Alonzo

Sister Floriana is a fanfiction on Wattpad by Robert Mitchell chronicling the lives of young novices in a Spanish Monastery during the war. The story is based off of and takes inspiration from Little Nuns, a series of drawings by Diva which depict nuns in an Animesque style, getting into hijinks and misadventures. (With the exception of the cover, which is by SHIHO.)

Sister Floriana is a 17-year-old novice, living in the Cristo el Rey (Christ the King) Monastery, along with her friends; the only sane woman, Sister Eulalia, who is also her best friend; Cute Bookworm Sister Pacifica who loves drawing and painting; Brainless Beauty Sister Carmen, who's incompetent at most things that don't involve domestic housework; the Bespectacled Cutie, Sister Marisol; and Sister Diana, who resents being treated like the novices, despite having taken her Temporary Vows.

Helping the monastery run, while making sure it doesn't fall apart at the seams is Father Alvadeo, almost never seen without his sunglasses, and the Mother Superior Maria, who can't help but spoil the girls under her care.

Oh, and it's set during the Spanish Civil War and all of the main characters are diehard supporters of Francisco Franco. This is mostly irrelevant to the plot aside from a few chapters dedicated to depicting Franco as a great and heroic man (according to the author.)

Each story is tailored to the drawing, and can be found in its entirety here. It's currently on an indefinite hiatus, to allow the author to work on his original projects.

Sister Floriana contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: Several having to do with religion or just life in general.
    • The Birthday: Try to understand why people are angry or acting mean to you. They might be going through a lot.
    • The Fight: Sometimes kids need to learn how to solve problems on their own. On the other hand, there's no replacement for a responsible adult.
    • The Wasp: Even though an animal might be mean, dangerous, and downright disgusting, they are all God's creatures, and they all have their own place in the ecosystem.
    • The Drawing: Teaching is a talent all to itself. Not everyone who's gifted is that good at instructing others.
    • The Game: Consequentialism is wrong. God judges each action on its intrinsic moral value.
    • The Goose Arc: Good and generous people can come from any religion, or no religion at all.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Nuns don't show their hair underneath their habits. They also don't usually accept anyone under the age of 18. The drawings the story is based on have steadily implied that the underage "nuns" are more like students in a Catholic school, while Floriana was abandoned on the convent's doorstep as a baby and is the only real novice in the group.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In The Warm-Up, Sister Isabel tries to rig a soccer game in her friends' favor by tricking the opposing team into doing unnecessary exercises, calling them "lateral back-stretches." They figure out she's improvising, and make her and her team do the exercises too, before crushing them in the game.
  • Author Appeal: The narration will occasionally go into detail on the history of the Spanish Civil War, and facts about Catholic theology.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Sister Carmen seems to believe in this trope, indulging in fantasies of having a child of her own after hearing that she's going to have another sibling.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Sister Marisol cannot see three inches in front of her without her glasses. Deconstructed in that replacing them when they get broken is much more difficult, now that most doctors are serving in the war.
  • Broken Glass Penalty: The drawings reveal that some unfortunate accidents with a soccer ball have resulted in the game being banned at the monastery.
  • Characterization Marches On: In very early drawings, long before the fanfic begins, Floriana and others are drawn with habits that don't cover their legs, with no stockings underneath. This was possibly due to Diva simply being uninformed on Catholic nuns' modesty standards.
  • Continuity Nod: In The Coffee, Sister Floriana makes a bet with Sister Diana that she can down an entire cup of black coffee in one gulp. If she loses, she has to ask Sister Carmen for another haircut, just like in The Haircut.
  • Clutching Hand Trap: When Pablo gets his head stuck in a flowerpot in The Vase, Floriana sticks her own hand in one, to test if they can smash one without hurting him. Unfortunately it gets stuck and she chickens out almost immediately. Pacifica thinks she's being a crybaby and sticks her own hand in, only to immediately get her hand stuck too.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Sister Diana used to have a keen dislike for tomatoes.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Rain ends with Sister Floriana excited to go frog catching again. Unfortunately, that's not what Mother Superior has planned for the frogs.
  • Food as Bribe: In The Cookies, Sister Benita uses cookies an incentive to help the Sisters study, giving them one for each math question they get right.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Floriana is the only one (at first) who can tell Pablo apart from the other ducks, and is the only one who enjoys touching frogs. Diana is reluctant to tell her that if the frogs come back a third time, they have instructions to have them destroyed. Spiders and creepy crawlies are the exception.
  • Gag Haircut: In The Haircut, Floriana makes the mistake of letting Sister Carmen cut her hair, resulting in her losing her trademark bangs. Luckily, it turns out Sister Diana is a surprisingly good barber!
  • Gone Horribly Right: In The Goose, Flori doesn't want to have to sell Mother Superior's precious glass goose, so she tries to make sure it remains dirty and unpolished by snatching it away from the other Sisters. Then she trips and breaks it in half.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: In The Scarecrow, Juanito tells the sisters that the church steeple is evidence that God has not abandoned them.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In The Apples, Floriana, who has a fear of creepy crawlies realizes an apple she's eating is infested with a worm. The experience scares her off apples for a while.
  • Impossible Pickle Jar: In The Jar the girls put the keys to their dormitory in a jar to keep the ducks from stealing them. This quickly becomes a problem when they can't open the jar, and can't get inside the dorms.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In "The Birthday," Floriana and her friends decide to try and break Sister Diana out of her shell by throwing her a surprise birthday party, which she apparently misses having, according to her best friend, Sister Emmie. But when Diana sees it, she says she doesn't want it, and gets annoyed at them when she realizes they moved her books to make room for decorations. When Floriana goes to her afterwards she learns that Diana's mother is bedridden with Polio. The whole reason she missed surprise parties is because her mother threw them for her.
  • It Will Never Catch On: In The Blankets, Eulalia wishes for a blanket she can wear, with mittens on it to hold your things. Floriana expresses doubt at the thought of anyone buying it.
  • Missing Mom: Sister Diana's mother is stuck in a hospital with Polio, over 20 years before there was a vaccine for it. At least until The Cross.
  • Mood Whiplash: "The Jar" goes from a serious speech about war and hope, to the typical silliness between the nuns, and back to drama with Sister Diana and Father Alvadeo's conversation.
  • Mushroom Samba: Subverted. In The Shrooms, Sister Pacifica faints after eating a "coin-toss mushroom," named so because the chances of distinguishing it from a poisonous mushroom that looks just like it is the same as flipping a coin. They rush her to the infirmary, but it turns out the reason she fainted is that she also accidentally ate a spider that was on it.
  • Named by the Adaptation: In the original drawings, whenever a character would be referred to by name in writing, they are instead identified with a drawing of their face. (They're most commonly referred to in comments on the drawings by a notable feature; Sister Eulalia is "Half-Bang", Sister Marisol is "Glasses Nun", Sister Diana is "Beauty Mark", and so forth.)
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever the "Chili accident" is. While it hasn't been explained in the story, the original drawings show Sister Eulalia with a secret chili garden and a love of spicy food that apparently led to the peppers being confiscated and banned.
  • Not So Above It All: In The Mission, Sister Diana catches the novices trying to steal back confiscated items from the nuns' common room. She lets them go on the condition they help her get something of her own back- a cheesy French romance novel.
    • Again in The Gambler, when she catches Flori and Eula playing poker with cookies. Threatening Eula with cleaning detail if she didn't hand over her winnings, it turns out she was actually lying and had actually made a bet with Sister Isabel over it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Neither Floriana nor Eulalia have any memory of who their parents are. They grew up on the streets until they were taken in by Mother Superior Maria.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Downplayed. In The Fish, it's revealed a group of kindergartners got stuck in the bottom of a small pond forcing them to discard their boots.
  • Real Men Take It Black: Diana likes the sense of maturity and sophistication that comes with taking her coffee black.
  • Right Behind Me: In the original drawings, Floriana pokes fun at Sister Diana in a puppet show, only to have her walk in while she's performing it.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: In The Debate, the Sisters have a debate about Just War Theory, as proposed by Thomas Aquinas, considering the advancements in modern warfare. This is based off of Pope Francis' recent remarks that wars in the modern day are nearly impossible to justify thanks to things like nukes and drones.
  • Rousing Speech: In The Jar the Sisters celebrate the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, a year after leftist soldiers staged an execution of the Sacred Heart statue in Madrid. To assuage his congregation's fears, Father Alvadeo gives them a message of hope:
    Father Alvadeo: There are many in the Vatican who call this war a crusade. They are absolutely right. But mere men do not decide what is and isn't a crusade. In truth, our crusade began in the Garden of Eden, when God promised us a savior from the devil! Every day, we fight a battle not just against the Reds, but against sin and temptation. Most importantly, we fight a battle against fear. But we are not alone in this battle- we have each other, and we have God. And that is the true meaning of the word: any battle where God is on our side is a crusade! So be not afraid. Lift your voice in prayer, and God will answer. The communists think this war will be won with guns and tanks. But our army consists not only of the brave soldiers that defend our homes, but every woman and child praying for them, every man the world over praying for truth and righteousness, and every saint in heaven praying for us! Suffice it to say, they are vastly outnumbered!
  • Uncle Pennybags: In The Rollerskates, Sister Isabel's uncle buys her and her friends a dozen pairs of roller skates after finding out she liked to skate as a child. He's the one who facilitates Diana's mother's visit to the monastery in The Cross.
  • Wrong-Name Outburst: In The Cold, Floriana goes to cheer up a sick Sister Diana. As she dozes off and falls asleep, she calls Flori "mama".