Sunday, November 11, 2007

Entry #22

By Nightfall, a Pile of Rocks, in a Clearing
by Amusing

I still don’t understand why.

The birds began to sing some time ago, when the first light cracked the darkness. I sit alone with so many questions.

Why me?

Was I unkind?

Was I so very strange to them?

Why did the others go along?

Is love some kind of enchantment? I did not encourage his attentions. Nothing for me to gain. And now I have lost everything.

I hear movement on the road. A horse and wagon. Voices in the distance. A shout.

Will they let the girls watch? Will he be there? Will a crowd stand and pray that I will end their troubles, as they end mine?

I have only helped. I have healed. I have worked.

And yet they accuse me.

They killed my dog. They called him the devil. And then they came for me.

They called that a trial and yet left so many questions unanswered.

The girls pointed at me, and the others believed.

They are coming now. I hear them. Soon the door will open, and the weak light of dawn will shine full on me. They will bind my hands. They will follow the cart, spitting, hurling their own forgivable curses. They call me a witch, yet do not hold themselves accountable for their own actions against the word of god.

Will I be afraid then? I am a little afraid now.

The stones will press.

I will take one last breath.

And that will be all.


Sarah Hina said...

Wow, Salem revisited. I think your short, staccato style here is very effective. It feels authentic for someone in distress. Very imaginative take on that picture, and nicely written, too. Good job.

SzélsőFa said...

The sheer strength of people of lesser intelligence defeats people of knowledge. This is well captured in the monologue. A very sad story, indeed.

Beth said...

There is another story about the witch trials as well in this contest, but very different. You have used rocks, which I saw in Salem when I visited there. These witch trial tales are so sad. I wonder if people read this and realize it happened many times to many women. What can be worse than mob mentality in the name of God?

amusing said...

Thank you all for reading and for the comments. And Beth, I will havhe to go find the other Salem story -- thanks for mentioning it.

I just finished Margaret Atwood's wonderful Alias Grace, which a very strong point of view -- and my son is studying Salem at school, so I combined the two thoughts in my head.

How very strange to read in the New York Times today about children being accused of witchcraft in Africa, and beaten or abandoned by their families! The 21st century..... fear never goes out of style.

amusing said...

Having read the other piece about witches, I have to say that, to me, it speaks to a much earlier period -- the dawning of Christianity when they were persecuting the pagan gods to establish a new church and a new power structure. But the theme of fear and power and narrowness certainly runs through both

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

I thought this was excellent.

Anonymous said...

I liked the direct language. It made the march of events seem unstoppable. Great technique. I also appreciate the mention of a less commonly mentioned form of execution. Piled rocks.

High marks.