Burning Flesh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of a lady's experiences in the Salem Witch Trials. Just a preview of my current work-in-progress, 'The Phoenix Trilogy'. Please excuse the font, it is there to simulate the handwritten nature of the story.

Submitted: June 14, 2015

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Submitted: June 14, 2015

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The girl was hoisted up upon the pole, I recognised her, vaguely, I must have seen her about the town. She screamed and shouted in defiance, but her protestations were drowned out by the crowd, whom was baying for the blood of a witch. The wood beneath her was lit and the yellow fingers began to reach up for their prey. The flames licked her dress, and her screams of anger became ones of terror, as the cloth of her frock caught, and she was soon engulfed in flame. The crowd cheered more as her screams echoed around the village and gradually quietened as the life she was once so full of was slowly taken from her. Once the screams had stopped and the flames receded to display the charred corpse, the crowd dispersed and resumed their daily activities, without so much as a thought for yet another innocent victim of these vile times.
 

It is the eighteenth day of the month of September, the year of our Lord sixteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, and I, Maureen Baxter, have just returned from a witch burning.

 
In recent months, accusations of witchcraft have been thrown around left right and centre like a case of the bubonic plague, people wrongly accusing others of witchcraft in order to save their own skins, and it all started with one little whippersnapper called Abigail Williams. Miss Williams and her sister who is of the age of nine started the whole event by pretending to be under the influence of witches, and promptly dirtied the name of a rival family of theirs by accusing Ann Putnam Jr. of being a witch, and from thereon the accusations flowed freely.
 
At this point, seventeen people have been hanged for witchcraft, and three more are in jail. Of course none of these poor girls were actually witches, the real witches are far too clever to get caught, however with these random accusations being thrown around, many of these witches are leaving the area, and moving their covens to other, safer areas.
 
I am writing this now as I pack my bags, I'm not sure why I am, but I am. It's mostly been the big names in town that have been accused. But there are only so many people in this town and the accusations are getting more and more random, I fear it is only a matter of time before I feel the noose around my neck.
 
My sisters have already fled, I am the last of my coven, the others have discreetly moved down to safer lands in Washington, and I intend to follow tonight.
 
However, I cannot just up and go, as people will notice and suspicions will rise. I must provide suitable cover for my departure, and, Lord forgive me for so much as thinking this, but I feel that the recently departed girl may be of some use to me.
 
In the dead of night, out I must sneak and into Salem Town. The locals will not notice the missing corpse, they will merely think that the body has been taken away to be disposed of, however the physical remains of the deceased will prove to be of great value to me.
 
Once I have transported the corpse back to my dwelling, I must place her on the floor, and recite an incantation to create a flame to burn the house much like the villagers burnt the girl. The villagers will assume that my house - which is right on the edge of town - has been attacked by Indians, and the body they will no doubt mistake for the remains of myself.
 
Now, as I write this, I watch as my house burns to the ground and the village people crowd around it and attempt to extinguish the flames, and the feel the warmth on my face. Now it is safe, now I must flee.
 


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