Bewitching Faith

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 18, 2017

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Submitted: December 18, 2017

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February 29, 1692

What had our world come to? Had it actually been over-run by Lucifer and his demons? What was going to happen to Abigail? What was happening to her?

I sat in the back of the courthouse staring ahead at the girls sprawled on the floor in front of Judge Stoughton. He seemed mortified by the display, screaming at Goodie Good, telling her to stop hurting them, to call off the demons she was inflicting on the girls.

Goodie Good sat petrified, staring at the girls. She looked like she didn’t know what was going on.

“Papa, why is Abbie acting that way? Why is she lain on the floor so? Surrounded by the other girls?”

My father looked to me, he had a pained look on his face, and he whispered to me that he would explain when we were home. Then he tightened his grip on my shoulder and continued to watch the girls. I couldn’t understand why his look was so sad. I tried to ignore it and continued to hear the crowd’s roar grow with every shout and scream of the girls.

 

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I sat perched on a trunk in the ground with Abbie by my side, and the other girls were either leaning against a tree or on the moist ground of the woods. I sat there stupefied by their reactions after what had happened. Just hours before they had been on the ground of the courthouse, writhing in pain.

“Did you see the face of Goodie Good when she saw what we were blaming her for?”- Snort- “She looked so scared! Sacred little Goodie Good!” Elizabeth Parris or Betty I guess she prefered, was the one in the center, laughing the hardest.

“Gayle, why aren’t you laughin’? Didn’t you see that show?” Mercy Lewis stood up away from her spot by the tree, trying to catch her breath, “Didn’t you see the look on Goodie Good’s face? She was so scared!”

“Mercy, I just said that. come up with your own stuff, would’ja?

“Sorry Betty,” Mercy leaned back against the tree, her look forlorn.

“Gayle, why aren’t you laughing?”

I looked up to Betty  she was now sitting cross-legged, and all the other girls stopped laughing and were now staring at me, waiting for an answer. I sat up more, prepared to stand my ground.

“I guess, I just don’t find it especially funny. I sincerely thought you girls were in pain. Why did you accuse Goodie Good, Betty? Why did you get her in trouble?”

Abbie laid her hand on my shoulder, silently telling me to shush.

“It wasn’t funny? You know Sadler, your daddy may be one of the best and well-known teachers in all of Salem, but you ain’t know jack-shit about what’s funny and what’s not.”

“Then why did you ask me?”

“Now you being smart with me Gayle Sadler?” Betty rose from her seat on the ground and started coming towards me to loom over me.

I rose from my spot to stand face to face with Betty. I may be younger, but I’m certainly not going to be patronized by her, and that’s exactly what I told her.

“Patronized, hm? That’s an awfully big word you’ve used there little Sadler, did your daddy teach it to you? Tell me little Sadler, did your daddy teach you? Or, maybe, your mommy?”

I quickly inhaled. Betty’s smile widened when she saw my intake, “Oh, that’s right, your mommy can’t teach you anything. Now, tell me, what was it that caused your mommy to die? Your birth? Now, wouldn’t that make you a murderer? That’s almost as bad as, almost as bad as a witch!”

“Betty stop,” Abbie stepped in front of Betty’s pointing finger.

I couldn’t say anything. The thought had certainly crossed my mind, that I had inadvertently killed my mother. I couldn’t say a thing to that, because deep, deep down, I thought it truth.

“Gayle, I think you need to leave. Now.” Abbie knocked me out of my thoughts, bringing me back to the woods where the girls stood menacingly around me.

Then my legs began to move as I ran as fast as they could, branches whipping my face all the way, combining with tears.  I ran through the door of my house  and into my father’s arms. I didn’t speak a word of anything that had happened.

 

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“You want me to what?” The girls and I were back in the woods, but with a blanket and snacks this time.

“We want you to help us accuse Mr. John Proctor of our pains, and prove him to be a witch.” Betty stated it as if it was something girls our age did  everyday. Well, in the case of these girls, it practically was. I’ve had to sit by and watch them accuse and condemn to death at least, 8, 10 maybe? Though it felt like hundreds.

Am I to go to Hell for this? What have I become? Is there a God? If so, then why would he allow our lives to come to this? Why is He leaving this on me?

“We’ll give you time, but we’re accusing at least three, four others in mind, but we want you there for Proctor. You’-”

“You’ve earned it!” Mercy cut in, curving Betty’s sentence to a stop.

“Yes, you’ve earned it,” Betty continued, giving a look to Mercy that said she was going to handle her later.

“Earned what exactly? What have I done to earn sending an innocent soul to be condemned to an early grave? Where is it our position to do such a thing? It is not our place, but the place of our Father, the Lord, and we can’t jus-”

“Would you stop with that oodie goodie, God poppycock! He is isn’t real, He never was. Don’t you think these people would have been protected from us with some holy shield? Or some bull like that?”

I sat there shocked, she had practically said the exact words from my mind aloud. I couldn’t argue, I had thought it, therefore, I must agree. Right?

“Think about it Sadler, and let us know tomorrow morning during the trial for the soon to be accused Goodie Carrier.” At her name, the girls collapsed on the ground or against a rock in convulsions, screaming in fake agony. “We’ll see you then, and oh, Gayle?” I turned, hearing her refer to me by my real name for the first time. “We wouldn’t want to accuse a dear old friend of ours of witchcraft, would we? Now, that wouldn’t look good on your daddy. So, remember to think long and hard about Mr. Proctor.”

 

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I did. I thought long, and very hard.

Did I want to be responsible for his death? Was it my place? Was Betty right when she had spoken my thoughts? Was there still a God? Was there ever?

I sat in my room on my bed thinking this over and over again. I continued to glance at my Bible on the bedside every once in a while, wondering if the words with in it were real. Or if I had been taught falsely.

My father continued to check on my every so often, asking if I wanted some stew, or corn bread, and I continued to refuse. I couldn’t eat. If I did, it would just be returned to the world outside of my stomach.

Finally, Papa had had enough. He told me that he would ask one more time what was wrong, and then he would send me out of the house if I didn’t not respond; which, of course, I didn’t. He told me to grab my Bible and read over a chapter, and tell me what I had gotten out of it. Then he sent me out, locking the door behind me, which I knew would stay locked until nightfall some hours away, for it was still morning, just before lunch.

I walked away from the house, passing a trough that the pigs drank out of I dropped my Bible into it, watching the pages absorb the words on the pages. I then walked towards the woods to think. It was peaceful enough.

I came to the area that the girls meet, and found a small patch of grass. Laying down, I found that I was exhausted, and fell asleep quickly.

 

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When I woke up, it was nighttime, and I could see the moon hanging low in the sky. I looked around me and could see shadows looming in the darkness.

“She’s up” I heard a girls voice say, Mercy maybe?

“No, really? Shut up and go by the others.” Betty came out of the shadows to stand in the moonlight. “Well, if it isn’t Gayle Sadler, we were just going to send Abigail to go get you. Have you made your decision yet?” She stood in front of me, and I could make out the other girls standing around in their usual spots. They all looked at me as if expecting me to run, some of them looked like they felt bad for me,  urging me to run, others looked as if they hoped I would so they could chase me down.

I stood my ground. Abbie looked at me like I was crazy. “Yes, I have.” I loomed in front of her, my body language saying I was ready for whatever she had to throw at me.

But I hadn’t prepared for this.

“Well, what shall we do with her girls?” Betty turned towards the other girls, her hands her hips. “Shall we accuse her? Or no… I have something even better. Gayle? You love your ‘God’ don’t you? Well, how would you feel about meeting him?” Her lips curled into something inhuman as her and the other girls swarmed me. They had sticks, rocks, nails, and fists. They pounded and pounded around me until I could feel the blood leaving me body. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I started slipping. Slipping. Slipping. Then it was dark.

 

Epilogue

I felt as if awaking from a dream. The light around me was bright, and blinding. I looked up to come face to face with a ghost-like face, and what looks like arms lifting up, greeting me. He stood there, doing nothing. Then He said two words. The two truest words I had ever heard.

“Welcome home.”

 


© Copyright 2018 Max Spencer. All rights reserved.

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