I have been working on a story for a few years now. i have the first chapter and am working on chapter 2. i would love comments and or suggestions. I am at a hard spot, having a bit of writer’s block. i know how i want the story to go, but no clue as to how i will get it there…one step at a time i guess. at the very least i hope those who read it will enjoy what i have so far.
To whoever may find this,
I realize I was fairly naive. I believed the world would change for me. I thought I would be able to do anything. I know better now. I should have known then. I ask that you reserve your judgments until my tale is finished. The year is fourteen ninety-eight. I had thought that in the reign of Henry the VII that England would be civilized. I was born to a noble house and having always had plenty of money. I never abused my wealth, That goes against my nature. I was simply myself, nothing more.
I started healing various ailments. Having a small talent for herbal craft, but having little patience for the formal training the doctors went through. The idea of using leeches disgusted me. The church endorsed their use, thus it became the accepted way to deal with all illness, but I did not see where it helped the ill at all. I often healed those the doctor’s thought to be hopeless . Simple herbal remedies that brought comfort to the ailing and aged. Arthritis to madness, there was no one I would not treat. If I had paid heed to the tongues that wagged, I would have been prepared. I gave freely to the poor and to the wretched. I spoke of acceptance to those who had sinned. For why would God not forgive, when it is what was promised?
My father begged me to hold my tongue about such matters. He said my flaming hair would garner accusations and my shrewish tongue would prove them. I was beautiful then, of this I have no doubt. A lot of the accused committed no other crime than that. A lord’s daughter should not be so reckless. I suppose now I should have heard clearer what he said. You understand, of course, I knew it all then. I had no shame, only pride.
I ignored the witch hunters. I was no witch, so I saw no need to pay them mind. The whispers around town were of torture and of evil things being done to the accused; the whispers spoke of jealousies and false accusations as well. None of this touched me, It should have. The accusation was made a week ago. I assumed the wealth and power my father had would free me or the magistrate would dismiss on the clear fact that it was nonsense. When the hunters came, I was unafraid. I stood up against the mob and the jeers. For what could hurt me? I had the truth, and I had God. I would soon find out how little that was.
I was stripped of all my clothes and belongings. The magistrate and his helpers searched for the mark of the beast that would prove me false. A mark that did not ever exist. They looked for a symbol or a brand, even a mole or blemish. I am sure any mark would have sufficed. For this would prove their accusations, at least in the eyes of the court. I did not cry then. The exam was long, and I was made to stand the entire time. I was pinched and poked. Then prodded with cold metal to see that I yet bled. Yet, even then I was unafraid. I was stretched on a rack and told to admit myself the witch. I was left for hours pulled taught and in pain. I would not lie. My jailers refused to believe anything I said. The days got worse as each passed. I found torture to be too kind a description for the cruelty I endured. Forced to endure thumbscrews, and hot pincers left me weak. For the last two days I found myself left alone with my thoughts. That was the worst of torments, as it can easily drive one mad. I was given moldy bread and dirty water every evening. After a time I ate, and was thankful for it.
As the seventh day dawns, I find fear in my heart and prayers on my lips. I have never broken the covenant with God or man, but find that my death approaches faster than I ever thought it would. My flaming hair hangs matted now, as bathing has not been allowed me. I hear whispers at night of a young man’s voice. I am sure the voice is a sign that my mind is cracking, or my will breaking. Either way, I cannot remain here.
Come the dawn I will try to escape, and perhaps the voices who whisper of aid they will lend me are more than just my fever speaking. Either that or the attempt will mean my life; it will be an ending to my torment.
Suzanne stared blankly at the yellowing paper. Surprise too mild to describe the thoughts she was having, she quickly sat and reread the handwritten note. Looking around at the artifacts in the attic, she decided she had to know what happened to this poor girl. She left the rest of the artifacts for later.
Having inherited the house was going to be more interesting than she thought. Running her fingers through her red hair, she smiles and hurries to the phone. Quickly finding the number she needed, she felt impatience as all she reached was a voice mail.”Joe, this is Suzanne. Remember the joke about the museum inheriting when I did? Well, I need you to find someone. A girl from 1498 England. Elizabeth, probably accused of witchcraft. Need I say asap?” Frustrated she looked at the mirror above the phone. What else could she do to find this girl? Research was never her specialty. She looked over the image in the mirror and wondered what the connection was. Could she be finding family history? The tempestuous storm of emotions raged in her green eyes.
Shaking her head, she glared at the phone as if it could make Joe call sooner. Well she thought, nothing to be solved by staring at the phone all day. Grabbing her cell and the cordless, she went back to the attic in hopes of finding more documents or other info to go on. ‘Gram sure left me a mess’ she grumbled to herself. Taking the stairs to the attic in two’s, her long legs quickly covered the space back to where she was. Glancing around for something of interest, her eyes landed on a half-covered painting in the rear of the attic. Curiosity poked her until she walked to it and took the paper off. The eyes that looked back at her were as green as her own. Flaming hair and soft features, beauty indeed. Yet the eyes held a sadness, as though the owner had seen hell and lived through it.
‘Who could that be?’ Suzanne wondered. ‘this could easily be a portrait of myself, the eyes and hair so like my own. The delicate features, yet I would hope my eyes never look that sad.’ In her moment of pondering, the phone rang causing her to jump. “Hello?” Hearing Joe’s baritone on the line, Suzanne smiled. “Did you get my message? I want info on her and any other info you have on the family and the town she was in.” She listened to his comment and smiled. “ Yes I realize I ask for the impossible before breakfast. You really should see what a find is in this attic gathering dust. Yes the museum will get most of it. Thanks Joe!”