HANG THE WITCH

Excerpted Chapter:

The jailer came for her the next morning. He swaggered into her space. “Well, it is your turn today. I am supposed to escort you over to the meeting house, so don’t try any of your evil witchcraft on me. You know, you really are a pretty thing to be a witch.” He grabbed her by the arm and propelled her in front of him feeling her breast and pinching her bottom at the same time.

She whirled on him. “Stop this instant. You have no right to touch me.” He started to laugh but she continued, “You think I’m a witch? If you truly believe me to be the witch they are all talking about, you had best be careful how you handle me.” His face paled and she laughed at his fear of her and took great satisfaction in the power his fear of witches gave to her.

It was a short walk from the log cabin used as the jail to the meeting house where the trial would be held. Elizabeth found herself holding her breath as she took each step, somehow hoping she would wake and find this was a nightmare. But her practical mind reminded her this was no horror of sleep, but real and happening to her now. As she was prodded into the front of the room by the rough jailer, she noted the usual eight magistrates, twelve jury men and the judge. She wondered whether the situation might be different for her if women were allowed to serve on the jury.

The judge told Elizabeth to be seated. After she had settled on the uncomfortable wooden bench, he asked, “Do you understand the charges that have been brought against you?

She answered, “I understand I have been indicted for being a witch but I do not know why or what I did to be accused of using sorcery. Tell me, what did I do?”

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