The year was 1692. Spring was finally coming into bloom as the trees paraded their fresh new coats and daisies were sprouting on the lawn. As Alice young began the short walk to the court house she looked up at the sky.
No clouds, no clouds at all, it was a perfect blue, still pale as a robin’s egg as it shook off the last of the dawn.
Not a chance of rain. No cloud would dare intrude on that vast empty blue, wouldn’t dare spoil or taint such a bewitching sight. The only creatures who dared intrude on the chaste sight were the sparrows, enviously fleeing far off lands she had never heard of, carelessly drifting over sights she’d never see, ignorantly flaunting a freedom now unknown to her.
Her two escorts told her she need to move.
When she arrived at the courthouse it was only then she realized what an audience had gathered to bear witness. She could have named them all, tradesmen, workers. Family’s. Her sisters, her brother, aunts, uncles, even her father had lined up with the rest of them.
Not one was going to smile for her, not a friendly face in the lot of them. No one to help or ease the pain, no one to offer comfort or pity. They could save her about as much as she could save herself, they just turned up for the show, the entertainment of her pitiful reality, soon to be hers no longer. Wishes and prayers offered salvation but only for a moment, the time for childishness and hope was long gone and the world and all its cruelty was going to make sure of it.
As she dragged her feet over the worn stones and choked earth whispers made their way through the crowd, drifting between honest folk to twist and needle at their morality snagging ears and winding into mouths. ‘About time someone did something.’ ‘Not right what her family did, lettin her run wild and unchecked with no discipline.’ ‘Always the youngest, they get away with it the longest coz they always act the innocent.’ She continued down her path, now watched by a mob with baited breath, eager to witness her last few moments.
Always the same lies they’d tell, though rare her heart sank at how she wasn’t the only girl from her village to have suffered this fate, hell near every girl who dared dreaming of something new, different, something she knew they wouldn’t like wound up here, she was just tracing their footsteps. She wondered if the same melancholy daydream’s flickered through their minds as they trudged down this familiar path to meet their destiny, perhaps they had felt fear envelope them as they drew closer. Or maybe their thoughts took a darker turn and became malice and resentment towards their former neighbors and friends. She thought she’d feel the fear. She…