January 15, 1692
It actually happened today. I finally got to hear Tituba’s tales of Voodoo and fortunetelling. Her stories were mystical and mysterious; they’re all I can think about now! I have so many questions and ideas. I want to share them with my brother, but I know he will tattle on me to Mother and Father. If they ever find out I am dead and so is Tituba. Fortunetelling is strictly forbidden in the eyes of Puritans; I don’t understand why though. The stories were dark, yet fascinating and inspiring. They make me want to write a book for everyone in the town to read, so they can experience them too. Tituba, my friend Sarah’s slave from the West Indies, told the stories with so much passion and made them seem real. My best friend, Mary Hudson, gripped my hand the entire time. On our way home, all I could talk about was how amazing the stories were and how I couldn’t wait to write about them. Mary was extremely quiet on the walk back from Sarah’s house, even more so than usual. I could tell she was really shaken and scared. I really hope Mary doesn’t tell her father, Father Hudson, about how fascinated I was with the stories; the entire church will look down on me. They already think I am a troublemaker and a loud mouth. I don’t need to add sinner to my list of negative labels.
I met Mary when my family moved to Salem Village in 1683. I was six years old and eager to finally settle down and make friends. My father was a sea captain in the rum and slave trade, so we moved around a lot when I was younger. Nicholas Hawthorne, a fellow sea captain, invited us to his house the day after we moved to town for a party. At the party, I met Mr. Hawthorne’s daughter and slave, Sarah and Tituba. I also met Mary Hudson, a timid, kind girl who would turn out to be my bestest friend in the world.
Sarah, Mary, and I had a blast at the party. We ate sweets and played in the yard. By the end of the day, I was filthy; Mary only had a smudge of dirt on her dress. I remember feeling so free to be myself around her. We ran around the yard feeling the breeze run through our hair and smelling the sweet aroma of wildflowers from the garden. Eventually, Mary’s parents called her to leave. As Mary went over to her parents, she dragged me along with her. Mary introduced me and her parents began to ask me about myself. Father Hudson asked me if we belonged to a church. In reply I said, “My family is Puritan, but I wish we weren't’t. I hate all the rules and judgements.” As I replied, I saw Father Hudson’s jaw tighten as he reached for his daughter by the shoulders. He nodded and whisked his family away, leaving me to ponder what I said to offend him. After all, I was young and just voicing my opinion. As Mary walked away, I heard her father tell her to stay away from me. She looked back at me with an expression of guilt and longing. The next day, I went to Mary’s house to see if she wanted to play outside with me. Mary wanted to, but her mother told her she couldn’t. This exchange occurred many times until one day, when Mary’s mother finally allowed her to come play with me. After that, Mary and I were inseparable. I am the impulsive, crazy one and she is the lovable, polite one. We are complete opposites which makes us perfect for each other.
January 16, 1692
It’s Friday night which means Mary is coming over for family dinner. It has been our tradition ever since we were eight years old. Mother is making a delicious fish stew with sweet carrots, plump peas, and crisp cabbage. I can smell the beckoning aroma from my room. I need to get ready because Mary will be here soon.
The dinner started out marvelous, like any other Friday night. When Mary arrived, we went to help Mother in the kitchen. Father had Jonathan in his massive study looking at maps of the vast oceans that encompassed our Earth. Once the stew was finished, Mary and I set the table and called everyone to dinner. As we sat down at the pristine dark, oak table, we joined hands in preparation to say grace. Father began to call to God and thank him for everything we had as we bowed our heads and closed our eyes. I looked up at Mary with a mischievous look in my eye and snickered. Mary immediately gave me a harsh stare and bowed her head again; I sheepishly retreated to the same position until grace was over. As we ate, Father told us stories about his voyages at sea.
Just as he was getting to the best part of the story, I felt an indescribable feeling run abruptly through my body like the spark as a match ignites. The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of the dining room with shattered glass and food all over the room. My family was staring at me with looks of shock and disgust. Mother was in tears and holding onto Father with a death grip; Mary looked horrified. I slowly got up and asked what happened. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Jonathan finally spoke up. “You fell to the floor and began convulsing. We tried to stop you, but you began to get violent. You ran under the table and began to hiss at us. Your eyes were all the way rolled back into your eye sockets, so there was only white showing. I tried to get you to come out from under the table; you started screaming hysterically and convulsing again. It was… scary and… creepy. It seemed like you were going to keep convulsing until the end of time! What happened to you?” After hearing what my brother said, I tried to recall what he was talking about, but the last ten minutes were completely blank for me. Confused, I stood up and began to pick up shards of glass from the floor. Mother, Father, and Jonathan helped me clean up, but Mary stayed planted in place. Abruptly, Mary ran out the door in a blur of motion. Father told me to not go after her, so I went up to my room and got ready for bed.
January 18, 1692
I never thought Mary would do this to me. She has always accepted me even though we have different views. After my episode on Friday night, Mary ran home and told her father about what happened and the horrors of the episode. He was shocked and terrified by what Mary described. Father Hudson took his entire family to the church to pray for me. While at the church, Father Hudson began to talk to the other ministers; they were all petrified by his descriptions. One minister, Father Biggs, kept pondering what happened to me. The only conclusion he could come to was the Devil was inside of me. Are you hearing this? THE DEVIL! It is the most absurd thing I have ever heard! Once Father Biggs planted the seed of the Devil in the other minister’s brains, it was all they could think about. They brainstormed ways to extract the Devil, however they came up with nothing. After a long night of discussing, the ministers determined the only way to deal with me was to throw me in jail, which is where I am now. In a dark, damp, disgusting dungeon that smells like dung.
The news of the Devil inhabiting a young girl spread like wildfire through the town. Everyone is on edge, looking for the Devil’s presence left and right. I don’t understand how anyone can believe the “Devil” exists or that he has inhabited my body. If God is supposed to protect humans, why did he allow the Devil to consume my soul (as Father Hudson would say)? Mother and Father won’t come to visit me in the jail; only Jonathan has come. I asked him if Mary asked about me. He told me she hadn’t and didn’t want to see me. He said she called me an “abomination to our society”. When he told me this, my heart broke apart into a million pieces. I thought after all these years, Mary wouldn’t abandon me because of something the church said. I guess her love for God is more than her love for me.
January 31, 1692
I have been locked in the jail for almost two weeks now. I long for the sun to smile down on me with its inviting rays. I get fed a slice of bread and a hunk of meat every morning and night. The guard doesn’t talk to me. I’m sure I look dreadful because I haven’t been able to wash myself. I’m so sick of sitting on the hard stone floor; my back aches from restless nights. On my ninth day in the cellar, another woman was brought in and locked up. Her name is Amy and she is 26 years old. Her husband and children reported her to the church after she began convulsing while making supper. All she does is cry; all of my tears have dried up. Mary still hasn’t come to see me, but I have learned to not get my hopes up. Jonathan’s visits have become sparse. Yesterday he came to tell me there would be a trial to prove whether or not I was a “witch”. He also said the town is going on “witch hunts” to find more. My adventurous spirit has flown away; my life is a canvas of gray with no more happiness. My own family hates me! I don’t know how long I can go on like this.
February 22, 1692
All I do is stare at the cellar wall and daydream of playing in the garden with Mary. I have become weak and dull. Amy doesn’t talk to me, but I’m glad because I have nothing to say. My trial is in 10 days.
February 28, 1692
Jonathan said if I admit to being a witch that I can come out of the jail. I want to get out of this jail, but I don’t want to tell the entire town that I am a witch. Although if it gets me out of jail, what’s the harm in telling a little fib?
March 4, 1692
I am so stupid. I am so so so stupid. Why did I do this to myself! I am so young I don’t deserve this!
My trial was today. The guard came to get me early in the morning and brought me into an empty courtroom. I stumbled and almost fell walking because my muscles have atrophied. I was seated facing the judge’s seat and the guard stood behind me. As time went on, townspeople trickled into the room. I saw my parents and brother come in. I tried to wave to them and call them over, but the guard yelled at me. My parents wouldn’t look at me. Next, I saw Mary and Father Hudson come into the courtroom. As with my parents, Mary wouldn’t look at me; she had a disgusted look on her face. She carried a paper in her hands with writing scribbled all over it. Finally, the judge came in followed by the ministers of the church. The judge called the court to order and presented my charges. He said I was being charged with witchcraft and called for people to testify against me. I had no idea what was going on; all I knew was that I could not speak.
The first person to testify was my mother. Mother told the court about the fit of hysteria I had during dinner and how I was being possessed by the Devil. She showed no emotion in her testimony, but never laid an eye on me. Everyone in the courtroom seemed to agree with Mother. Next, Father Hudson came to the podium. Father Hudson claimed to have seen my spectar come to his house in the middle of the night when he was in the study reading. He said my spectar came into his house and began to choke him for revenge for exposing me as a witch. With this, I objected to the obviously false statement. The judge was furious that I interrupted Father Hudson’s testimony. He told me that if I spoke again, I would be put back in jail and the trial would continue without me.
The final testimony was made by Mary. When called on, she sheepishly walked to the podium with her head bowed. Mary placed the paper she was holding on the podium and began to read from it. She told of how we sat and listened to Tituba’s forbidden stories. Mary claimed I dragged her to listen to the stories and that she never wanted to be there in the first place. Next, Mary told of how I did not conform to our society. According to her, the Devil had planted his seed inside of me which caused me to be a radical thinker and have a distrust in God. Finally, Mary ended her testimony by telling the court about times when I pressured her into doing forbidden activities. One of her example was of a time when I made Mary come with me to steal forbidden books from a townsperson’s home.
After completing her testimony, Mary solemnly walked back to her seat. The judge told the court he would deliberate with his colleagues and come to a consensus, although I knew he was going to find me guilty from the look he was giving me. In that moment, I made up my mind to plead guilty. The people I loved most in the world, my family and best friend, thought I was a witch and was being possessed by an evil spirit; they couldn’t even look at me. I thought that if I pleaded guilty they would see I was doing the right thing and would love me again. I mean what other option did I have?
The judge called the court to order and asked me if I choose to plead guilty. He did not say what the consequences would be. “I would like to plead… guilty,” I proclaimed. Everyone in the court went dead silent to hear what the judge would say next. The judge stood up and told the room what my sentencing would be. For being a self-proclaimed witch, I was sentenced to be hanged in three days. The news hit me like a giant wave crashing on the shore. I gasped for air, but my lungs wouldn’t fill up with oxygen; my whole body trembled. This can’t be happening was all I could think.
March 7, 1692
Today, my life ends. I thought I would be more nervous, but I am surprisingly calm. I don’t think my mind has been able to process what will happen to me. It’s so strange how today I am alive and in a few hours, I won’t be. I am actually looking forward to getting out of the misery of being stuck in this awful jail cell. I wonder if my parents will come to my hanging. I hope Jonathan doesn’t come; I don’t want him to see his sister die.
Will Mary come? In my time in the jail, I have come to understand why Mary did what she did. She was scared and didn’t want to go against the beliefs that have been ingrained in her head since the day she was born. I admire her loyalty to her beliefs, although I wish they didn’t involve me being hanged.
Just one more hour until my hanging. I have come to peace with my death, mainly because Mary came to see me. After all this time, I finally got the visitor I have been hoping for. I was sitting in my cell combing my fingers through my hair when I heard the quiet patter of steps on the stone floor. Mary came to the bars of the cell and cleared her throat. She just looked at me for a little while and then burst into tears. I stood up and went over to her. I sat down next to her and reached my hand through the bars. Mary grasped my hand like she never wanted to let go. She told me how sorry she was and how she never thought this would happen in a million years. She kept repeating “I’m so sorry” over and over again through her sobs. I stroked her hand and told her it was ok. I felt as though nothing else needed to be said. I knew she felt remorse and she knew I forgave her. As long as I had her for just a little while, I knew I would be fine.
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