I Have News of Your Career Plan and Mine

A terse, nerve-wracking work of fiction that speaks to the heartfelt sacrifices we often make for those we love…

by: Shannon Savvas

“Good morning Betty—”

Petey? We’re at the airport. Adam and I—”

“This is your brother, Peter Paul Ignatius O’Donnell. Please visit me by web-jet in Whangarei, the best large city in the whole wide world because I need access to my trust fund to pay for my studies at the Holy Cross Seminary in Mosgiel. I know they moved it to Auckland but the Papal Boot Camp stayed in Dunedin—”

“We are about to board our flight Petey.”

…This is the final call for Air New Zealand flight NZ41 to Tahiti, Gate 15R…

“Then I’ll attend the Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans before the Pontifical University of the Lateran in Rome.”

“Let’s talk when I get back. Adam and I — our honeymoon, remember? We can’t cancel. Not again. Tahiti. Remember?”

“—where I’ll receive a Doctorate in Sacred Theological Biomathematics and a Masters in Catholic Human Bioethics, and Synthetic Biology—”

Petey, please. Take a breath. Listen to—”

“—because I will be Pope one day, there will be three of us at the same time in Alaska, New Zealand and Paris—”

Petey, have you stopped the meds again? Because—”

“I haven’t exercised my brain in many years Betty, because the pills stop me thinking and because I’ve lost my education through illness I must start again—”

I’ll call Dr Wilson. Just sit tight, my lovely.”

“—because God has called me to find a way to transfuse Jesus’s most precious blood through Transubstantiation, to people injured in wars and in collisions and to regenerate people’s teeth. Imagine, Betty, everyone with perfect teeth. I wish to fund your Doctorate in Paediatrics, Betty, it is never too late to learn. I will buy you a house here.”

…This is the last and final call for NZ41.Gate closing…

“Petey, I have to go. We’ll lose the money this time.”


“Adam’s waiting for me.”


“Petey, don’t cry my lovely.”

…Gate 15R has closed…




“I’ll be there in a couple of hours, sweetheart. Soon as I can get a flight.”


Shannon Savvas has been published in Gulf Coast Online, Into the Void, Anti-heroin Chic, Ellipsis, Storgy Magazine, Inktears, Reflex Fiction, as well as many other publications. She has won writing awards from Reflex Fiction (Winter 2017), Cuirt New Writing Prize (March 2019), and Flash500 (Summer 2019). Read more from Shannon at shannonsavvas.com.

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