Friday, May 22, 2015

the Secret of Sara Taylor

the Secret of Sara Taylor 

I was taught to be an obedient child of God but I, Mary Taylor, fourteen years of age, was living the biggest deceit. We lived in rural Salem Village, surrounded by unkind wilderness and endless rivers and ‘twas Spring 1691. I was supposed to act like I was the only child when I had a younger sister named Sara, twelve years of age, hidden away. 

My mother and father had told me that she was possessed by a malevolent spirit that made her babble nonsense, see things that weren’t there, scream or burst into uncontrollable laughter, and have violent fits but instead of going to the church for help, where she surely would be killed, they kept her a secret and told the church that she died from a severe fever the year before, while they privately prayed for her soul. Even though I secretly thought that her condition wasn’t caused by evil but by a bump on the head, I never said such things aloud for people would think of me as mad or ill-mattered. 

The only one outside of the family that knew about Sara was our mean-spirited neighbor,  Mr. Thomson, whom my father worked for as a harvester in his small corn field. He had seen Sara by accident by the window and he said that as long as my father kept growing and picking beautiful, delicious ears of corn for him, he would keep our secret but if not, he would tell Reverend Samuel Parris about our unholy ways. Even though the soil was rocky and poor, my father always managed to grow perfect corn. Our horrible secret remained kept and ’twas peaceful until 1692.

The cold winter had not been kind. Many people had died from fever and exposure. Crops also suffered and Mr. Thomson’s corn field was frosted. When Spring finally arrived, the field was dead. My father could only pick four ears of corn that were not prey to the harsh winter and the damage to the field couldn’t be undone. All that we could do was pray that Mr. Thomson did not act upon his threat. 

On June 1692, we had a great deal of anxiety on our minds. Many women, including Margaret Jones, a kind midwife and the reverend’s own colored slave named Tituba were arrested, being accused of witchcraft. We knew if the church ever knew about Sara, she would be in danger. One day, Sara was in the corner, speaking to herself with her eyes fixed on a piece of thread that she was holding and Mother and I were sewing a dress for her, while Father was outside working, when Reverend Parris,  the deputy governor Thomas Dudley, and Mr. Thomson burst in. Father came quickly in after them.

“Good morrow Gentlemen,” said Father, trying to smile, “What is this unorthodox visit about?”

“About your youngest daughter Sara,” said Mr. Thomson with pleasure and disdain, pointing at her, “She’s a witch! She poisoned my corn field.”

“Neither of my daughters would do such a thing,” exclaimed my father, “The winter was just bitter and killed the crops!”

“I saw the witch during the winter conjuring in my field,” Mr. Thomson lied.

Then, the reverend stepped forward. Dressed in a black robe, he was a tall man with brown hair and eyes, and a pointed nose that made it look like he was always looking down upon you, smelling the stench of sin on you. 

“Thou has lied about a child’s death,” said Reverend, “and thy house is full of sin and evil alliances!” 

“You misunderstand,” said Father desperately, “Maybe a witch is afflicting her…please…help.” They ignored his pleas.

“Sara Taylor and the rest of your family are declared as under arrest for witchcraft,” said the deputy governor, presenting Father with a condemning scroll. Before I knew it, we were being dragged out of our home and Sara was madly screaming, kicking, biting, and spitting the entire time. Our neighbors just watched with fear and disgust. 

I couldn't let this happen. In a quick moment, I turned my back on the puritan ways and a spirit of courage took over me. My family wasn't evil and my sister wasn't a witch. Her mind just differed from ours. I stomped on the deputy's foot and grabbing my sister by the hand, I ran with her. I wanted to save Mother and Father also but they said: “Go!” As we ran, I could hear the men chasing us and other angry villagers joining them, chanting: "Witches...witches...witches!”

We came to a bridge over Crane river. As judging eyes approached us,  I realized that there was no place for me or my sister on this plain. I was taught to be an obedient child of God but people used Him to control, to condemn. Thinking fast, I said: “Jump!” We both plummeted into the river and let ourselves painfully drown. No one stopped us because ‘twas said that witches would simply bob on the surface. They learned of our innocence too late.   

(c)Lena Holdman, all rights reserved 2015 

This was my first attempt at historical fiction. It was an assignment for an online class. I hope that you like it. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For My Adorable Niece

My niece is graduating from pre-school on Friday. She's so adorable, always singing, crafting things, and asking questions, lol. She's so smart. I love her very much.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

My 2nd Family

My group of friends have been my secondary family throughout the years; (elementary school, junior high, high school, and now). They’re the people that know all of the sides of me, which they truly accept. They’re fun, dysfunctional, hilarious, loud, and perfectly imperfect. I love them.