Custom Epilogue to the Crucible

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I was digging through some old archives and found this little guy hiding in the corner. This was an old assignment for one of my English classes. The assignment was to create an epilogue for the play "The Crucible" based on the perspective of one of the characters. I'm actually surprised at how organized the story was, I thought it would be a lot worse. I look at some of the stuff I wrote later and I feel I would rate this higher than some of my works.

Submitted: February 22, 2014

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Submitted: February 22, 2014

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“It is my unfortunate duty to tell you Mr. Parris that you have been relieved of your position as minister of Salem. Your withholding of information from the court, inability to control family members and obvious incompetence of being unable to instill the values of God in this town has forced me to remove you from the church.” intoned Danforth. The former Reverend Samuel Parris stood alone in the court room with Judge Danforth. Parris was pulled into the courtroom suddenly by the Deputy Governor when the marshal had taken Proctor to be hanged. Cold sunlight filtered in through the bars, making the room seem more foreboding than it should have been as the last of the color drained from Parris’ already worn out face.

 

“You-You can’t possibly remove me from my position. You have no right. You have no authority!” protested Parris, “I was ordained as a minister to serve God for the rest of my life-”

 

“I am the Deputy Governor, Mr. Parris, I have the right. I have the authority. Both Judge Hathorne, myself, and almost half of the town,” he said and paused to show him a tightly bound scroll, “all agree that you should be removed from your position as minister immediately.”

 

“Don’t you see? Don’t you understand?! Ever since I found that dagger stuck in my door, I knew they were plotting something. This is their chance, I no longer have God to protect me!” cried Parris desperately.

 

“Spare me your laments” said Danforth suddenly in disgusted tones, “Rebellion is breaking out everywhere over these witch trials: heathens who go against the law set down by the church go against God! I do not have the time to help a pitiful man who could not keep a leash on a seventeen-year old girl. You will receive an official notice of your removal from a courier in a week’s time. Good day, Mr. Parris.” Without another word, Danforth gave a final contemptuous glance towards Parris and strode out of the room with his cloak billowing behind him, leaving a horrifying silence.

 

It had been a week since Danforth had left Salem to quell a sudden uprising in Andover. Samuel Parris had been a nervous wreck that entire week, becoming more and more dishevelled each day. He still managed to get up to the pulpit each day of that dreadful week, though he had no reason as to why he did so. A part of him hoped that what had happened that day had all been an awful dream: his removal from office, John Proctor’s hanging, and the dagger he had found stuck in his door. Another part of him clinged to the fact that he had been a minister for so long, that he couldn’t possibly give it up now. The days of the week passed with excruciating slowness as he continued his sermons until the final day of the week had come at last.

 

 

 

Each second, each breath, Parris desperately held onto, fearing it would be his last as the day slowly went by. The sun soon set, and the courier still had not come before a new day started. Hope blossomed in Samuel’s chest as he let out a huge sigh of relief. “Why do you sigh like that Father?” asked a voice.

 

Parris flinched at the sound and saw his wide-eyed daughter Betty sitting at the foot of the stairs. Giving a small smile he replied, “I sigh because I am safe my child, they cannot harm me now.”

 

“We will be punished for what we did Father, that’s why Abby ran away.” said Betty suddenly, “We won‘t be able to stop what happens next“. She ran back up the stairs just as silently as she had come to leave a deeply disturbed Parris. He had known she was right, Parris had seen through Abigail’s charade of being possessed just as Proctor and Hale had, yet he had done nothing to stop it, but instead let the trials to proceed as they hanged countless innocents. They had to leave to Salem, they had to leave now.

 

In good times Samuel never would have stooped so low as to stealing, but he had found himself in a desperate situation, and he needed the money to be able to make an escape with Betty. With a wry smile, he thought, If I’m going to steal from anyone, it might as well be from those blasted Corey’s. Salem had not yet awoke as it was still early in the morning, so Parris’ trek to one of Giles’ sons’ house was uneventful. When Parris had exited the house clutching a strongbox he knew had contained money, his heart nearly came out his mouth.

 

There standing around the house he had just exited were a group of villagers including Thomas Putnam, Elizabeth Proctor and her three children, Samuel Nurse and several of Giles’ sons. The congregation stood silent before Parris, waiting for their minister to speak. Wetting his lips, Samuel croaked, “I am simply-simply collecting what was due. That is to say, the money that Giles Corey had owed me for damages to the church.”

 

Strangely enough, Parris was wondering why someone did not lead the entire group into prayer as they usually did after he spoke. Instead, a question sprang up from the dark mass set before him: “Should we hang him?”

 

“You cannot!” immediately burst out Parris, his chest heaving, “ I am a minister, a man chosen by God! You cannot harm me lest you incur the wrath of God upon yourself! What’s more-” Samuel stopped suddenly as complete terror paralyzed every single nerve in his body when he saw what Thomas Putnam was wagging gleefully in his hand. Putnam was holding an opened letter bearing the Deputy Governor’s bright red and luminescent seal upon it.

 

“Did you really think you’d be able to get away as easily as that whore did?” asked Putnam malevolently.

 

“You can’t do this, the witch trials are over, I have made no compact with the Devil!” shouted Samuel.

 

“Aye.” said a stony faced Elizabeth, “You can’t be hanged for witchcraft without ministers to confirm traces of the Devil.”

 

Parris’ eyes shone with gratitude, “Elizabeth, thank you so much for defending-”

 

“But thievery,” said Putnam in a business like tone, cutting off Parris‘ last ties to life, “Now thievery is an entirely different story.”


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