Back in April I wrote a piece for the Choice and Consequence challenge about a Puritan woman scorned, Lamenting the Tempest. My dad thought it was a story about witchcraft. Soooo I thought, what if the cousin thought the same thing?
I offer the following in response: Betrayal
Deliverance paced at the edge of the Amesbury marketplace while she awaited her cousin. Over the transient noises drifting in the heavy marine fog, the town crier announced the hour. The clamor of his bell summoned the image of her false-hearted lover’s ship. Sweat moistened the hair beneath her cap and trickled down her neck. Her anger amplified the heat of pregnancy so that she thought her woolen dress would burst into hellfire.
Hours passed, slow as maple sap, as she stewed in her own skin. The crier’s bell thrice knelled but Esther had yet to return. Deliverance set her jaw and walked the muddy path into town, ignoring the gaping mouths of those with whom she once sought fellowship. No longer a part of the community, she was forbidden to trade in the marketplace publicly. She passed the chapel and blanched as someone gripped her arm, dragging her bodily forward.
Esther stood before the magistrate’s office and pointed an accusatory finger her direction. Magistrate Whitson sneered at her approach. “And what happened then, Mrs. Lovejoy?”
Esther twisted a handkerchief into a noose about her fingers. “She called upon the fiends of Hell to sink her lover’s ship.”
Deliverance wanted nothing so badly than to reach across the empty space and throttle her cousin’s dainty neck. “I called for the Lord God Almighty to loose his hellhounds in righteous vengeance against a defiler of virtues. I have no truck with Satan or his demons!”
Whitson growled, “Deliverance Redd, you are hereby accused of witchery, and through filthy fornication with demons summoned the storm that downed the Goodship September, drowning all her hands. You are to be brought before the Court of Oyer and Terminer to be examined and tried. May God have mercy upon your soul.”