The clouds were gathering slowly in the distance. Not a good sign, I thought. From my perch in the massive oak I could feel the wind pick up. The scent of bonfire smoke and angry voices carried strongly through the air. As my curiosity got the better of me, I began to climb down. Making my way through the branches, I could see people were beginning to gather on the other side of the hill. What is going on? Reaching the ground, I began to make my way towards the hill.
Slowly I climbed our town’s biggest hill to look down into the valley below. Our quiet town is a secluded place surrounded by the ocean and massive hills. I always thought it was really cool at how protected we seemed to be. Maybe that’s why our town has survived for so many centuries. Finally reaching the top, I truly hoped that my eyes and ears were deceiving me. The voices were clearer but what they shouted didn’t make sense and worse, what I saw made my stomach begin to churn and my hands tingle.
“She’s a witch!!”
My brain went into overdrive. This can’t be happening! This is 21st Century, people don’t do this anymore!
Hands bound behind her back, eyes searching the crowd for help, stood my neighbor, Mrs. Bishop. She had taught at our town’s high school for as long as I can remember. Sweet, yet firm, Mrs. Bishop knew how to get her students to work and learn their history. She was one of my favorite teachers, one I had felt drawn to.
Suddenly a thick rope was tossed over one of our town’s strong tree branches and I noticed something even more horrifying – the noose. It was around Mrs. Bishop’s neck. The air surrounding our town grew oppressive and tense as if even nature was holding its breath.
“Elizabeth Bishop, you have been accused of being a witch. Within your home were books from the 1600’s with physic recipes. Because of this you have been denied a trial and will hang on this day, June 10, 2012, just as your ancestor did 320 years ago, then your body will be burned. May God save your soul.”
Please be a dream – this can’t be real! I open my eyes.