Fall From Grace – Chapter 4

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As you know my current project is Fall From Grace. The synopsis of this work in progress (WIP) is:

In a community where God’s path is the single, most important part of your life, witchcraft is the foulest sin imaginable.

On the eve of her betrothal, Grace Bacon stands accused of this horrendous crime. Will she be able to withstand the harsh conditions that the Salem Jail and Dungeon contain? Will anyone believe that she didn’t commit the dreadful acts she stands accused? Will she be able to hold onto to her faith?

 

Without further ado I give you chapter  4 of Fall From Grace. As always feel free to tell me what you think of the current book I am working on!

Happy reading!

The sun was shining through the narrow windows of the jail providing thin slits of illumination to the prisoners. The four women sat on the muddy floor. Grace was between Mrs. Good and Mrs. Osbourne while Tituba sat on the end.

 
Tituba’s dark head was resting on the stone wall as hinges creaked. The grating sound roused the four from their restless thoughts. Bumping into each other they rose. As they stood in a row Mrs. Osbourne rested a cold and trembling hand on Grace’s back.

 
“Remember, Miss Bacon, mortal man and his laws are still judged by God,” Mrs. Osbourne soothingly whispered.

 
A dimple fleetingly appeared on Grace’s face as she nodded confirmation to Mrs. Osbourne. “And a man who cares little for God will never find favor in his hallowed halls,” Grace whispered back.

 
“If you two will quit your yammering prayers we have a more severe problem. I don’t think these men care what God would want. Tis more like they would rather partake in earthly pleasures,” Mrs. Good snapped.

 
“Intoning the Will of God allows us to keep our necks from getting stretched,” Mrs. Osbourne shot back snarkily.

 
Grace took a deep breath and implored, “Ladies, have some dignity if you please. We will face our accusers with the grace God gave us at birth,” she finished sternly.
A light clapping could be heard from the approaching figures before a male voice complimented, “Well done, Grace.”

 
A worn book was secured under one arm.

 
A grin bloomed on Graces face as she exclaimed, “Abraham! What are you doing here?”

 
“Trying to see you,” Abraham answered as he approached the cell. When Abraham stepped close to the cell his eyes flared in anger as his hands reached through the doors. He gently reached for Grace’s face only to have her flinch.

 
“Who would dare,” Abraham quietly thundered.

 
Grace shuddered at the anger in Abraham’s voice. “Worry not Abraham. Bruises fade with God’s grace,” Grace comforted.

 
“No Grace. Do not give forgiveness for those that would dare harm a woman. They are the ones that have no grace,” Abraham instructed. Abraham took a deep breath to control his rage before continuing, “Father told me you were charged with witchcraft. With your faith, I cannot believe such a thing possible,” Abraham insisted.

 
Grace shook her head and whispered, “I have not done this Abraham, my soul has always belonged to God. ‘Tis a mistake made of Miss Betty and Miss Abigail.”

 
“How do children come into this,” Abraham asked in confusion.

 
Grace looked to Tituba only to see the woman swaying on her feet. “Mrs. Good. She is going to fall,” Grace quietly exclaimed. Unfortunately, the warning was too late. Before Mrs. Good could steady Tituba, the bruised woman fell backwards.

 
As Tituba fell the arms of the other women flailed out in a desperate attempt to keep themselves upright. As they toppled the women landed one on top of the other.
Tituba’s pained moans were heard from the bottom of the pile. The women carefully and quickly pulled apart. Upon seeing this Abraham practically shouted, “Together!”
“Tis alright, Abraham. Anger will not serve us here. At least we are still alive,” Grace reasoned.

 
“This is inhumane. One man should not be chained to another; ‘tis not God’s will,” Abraham ardently insisted.

 
“There is not much to be done for it Abraham. Man writes the rules at the moment. We can only trust that God has chosen the right man for the times,” Grace patiently explained.

 
“How are you accepting of this degradation?”

 
“I know I am innocent,” Grace simply replied.

 
Abraham shook his head as he looked down at his sister. “I know that as well. Sadly, that does not explain the situation.”

 
“As I said earlier, Miss Betty and Miss Abigail have a part in this. As you know they have been frightfully ill of late. At any rate, a pastor from the village came to take a look at them.

 
“The girls were asked who caused them such an illness and they claimed bewitchment by Tituba.

 
“She apparently tried to tell Reverend Parris that I would vouch her godliness and I ended up here,” Grace quickly explained.

 
“Showing a kindness is what ended you up here,” Abraham asked incredulously.

 
Grace nodded her head as a tear escaped her eyes. “I’ll try speaking with Father again. He adamantly refuses to discuss the matter. I found out through Nazareth what happened. It’s throughout the entire Towne what happened.

 
“I’m afraid that Mr. Millson has informed Father that a Courtship is now out of the question,” Abraham regrettably informed his sister.

 
“Abraham, I swear this to you. I am not guilty of witchcraft,” Grace insisted as tears leaked from her eyes.

 
“I know little sister,” Abraham whispered as he grabbed the book from under his arm. He leaned into the cell to better reach his sister. The book bridged the gap between the two for a short moment.

 
“I know you well Grace. May you find some comfort in these pages while I attempt to convince Father that his only daughter would never turn from God,” Abraham assured.
Grace took the book handed to her and smiled as she read the cover – Holy Bible. Grace’s trembling hand reached out to accept the gift from her brother. “I believe you sister, of that have no doubt.

 
“Until then stay strong for us all.”

 
“Abraham, this means more to me than you could know.”

 
“No Grace. The love I have for you mirrors the love God has for all his children. If I can help you in anyway, I will. Hope sends her love as well,” Abraham informed.

 
Grace bowed her head from where she sat. Just knowing that someone believed her was enough to give Grace the strength to see this through.

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Fall From Grace – Chapter 3

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As many of you here know, I have been working on Fall From Grace. So far the word count is 13,217 – not too bad a start I think.

Fall From Grace is the story of Grace Bacon. Grace is a bakers daughter in Salem Towne, Massachussettes, 1692. Grace has been accused of Witchcraft, a crime akin to treason in the Puritan way of life. How will she survive the atrocious conditions in the Dungeon and Jail? More importantly will she hang because of these unthinkable accusations?

Without further ado, I give you the rough form of Chapter 3 in Fall From Grace.

Happy Reading!

The next morning dawned cold and damp for the unfortunate women in the cell. The floor was nothing more than ice encrusted mud and the three had huddled together for warmth throughout the frozen night. Ratty hair and near blue lips were the only features that distinguished themselves in the pale morning light. The vapor from their breath provided a hazy halo that highlighted their miserable state.

 
The hems of their dresses were caked in mud and Graces’ left cheek was dark purple and swollen. All three women sat with their backs to the stone wall while water began to seep onto the floor. They huddled on the floor shivering until the sheriff brazenly walked to the cell.

 
“On your feet, all of you,” he brusquely demanded.

 
The three women swayed and bumped into each other as they struggled to their numb feet. The rattling of metal against metal screeched in the air as their bound legs moved together. The sneering face of the sheriff looked as though he were smelling cow manure as he gazed upon the miserable women.

 
Mrs. Good sneered back at the sheriff while Mrs. Osbourne looked on him with pity, while she placed a frozen hand on Graces’ back. Grace flinched at the harsh tone. When the women steadied themselves, a door at the end of the hall opened and the women could see a huddled figure between two men.

 
The two men drug the huddled figure towards the cell where the other prisoners stood. From where they stood the women could hear the huddled figure whimpering. When the three newcomers approached the cell, even though the huddled figures face was hidden from view, Grace recognized the caramel colored skin of Tituba. The two guards stopped outside of the cell and waited for the sheriff to open the iron door.

 
Slowly the rusty hinges creaked and the door swung open. The sheriff held the door as the guards shoved Tituba into the cell with the others. One guard held Tituba up and the other knelt down to shackle her to the other prisoners. Once the guards stepped out of the cell the sheriff locked the door securely behind them.

 
Four cold, sore women now stood looking out from the bars of a cell. The breath that escaped their mouth provided a hazy cloud that obscured their features from the jailors.
As the sheriff was walking away from the near broken women he informed, “Your Investigators will be here in the next few days. Until then, in here you’ll stay. With luck your dark master will take you off our godly hands.” The malice in his voice made all four women shudder.

 
The echoing of the footsteps faded as a heavy wooden door closed leaving the women alone once more. While they were still standing Grace looked over at Tituba and exclaimed, “Tituba! What happened?”

 
Tituba raised her head revealing swollen cheeks and cracked lips. As she struggled to blink, bloody tears escaped bloodshot eyes. “I’m sorry Miss Grace. Master Parris beat me until I blacked out. I’m sorry Miss Grace,” Tituba desperately sobbed as she sank to the floor.

 
That collapsing act saw Tituba pull the others down with her. “Harrumph. May as well get settled so we can find the extent of our troubles,” Mrs. Good muttered darkly.

 
“Oh hush, Mrs. Good. God knows we’re in enough trouble as it is. Your bitterness isn’t needed for our morning libations,” Mrs. Osbourne chastised.

 
“He knows we’re in trouble, maybe he can do something about it,” Mrs. Good sniped back.
“Ladies, please! We have trouble aplenty and at the moment bickering isn’t helping anyone. Tituba isn’t well, perhaps we should be concentrate on her at the moment,” Grace suggested from her place on the floor.

 
Mrs. Good grumbled under her breath while Mrs. Osbourne bowed her head at the admonishment.

 
Grace carefully reached across Mrs. Good to grab Tituba’s trembling hand. “It’ll be alright Tituba. God will see us through this,” Grace weakly assured the bruised woman.

 
“I’m sorry Miss Grace. You were the only one I could think of,” Tituba moaned pitifully.

 

“What do you mean Tituba,” Grace gently implored.

 
“Miss Betty and Miss Abigail were awfully sick, Miss Grace. The healers tried everything and so did Mr. Parris. Mistress Elizabeth prayed as hard as she could.

 
“Finally Mr. Parris sent for another priest to look at the girls. He said the girls were bewitched. You were always so kind to me at the store.

 
“I thought they would ask you if I was witch, Miss Grace. I didn’t mean for you to get in trouble,” Tituba desperately explained.

 
“Why would he think the girls are bewitched,” Grace asked quizzically.

 
“That’s what the girls said,” Tituba quietly whispered.

 
“Mr. Parris is a man of God! Surely he wouldn’t believe such nonsense,” Grace insisted.

 

“I’m sorry Miss Grace, I only thought you would be able to help. When the priest said the children were bewitched Mr. Parris became enraged. He kept insisting I bewitched them.

 

“I desperately pleaded with him that I didn’t do it. I kept saying I was innocent and the more I insisted the madder Mr. Parris became. He started beating me.

 
“I know I blacked out a couple times Miss Grace. I said anything to get him to stop! I’m sorry Miss Grace!

 
“I swear to you and God though Miss Grace, I didn’t hurt those girls,” Tituba wailed through her cracked lips.

 
“Hush now, Tituba. God will help us through this nightmare,” Grace quietly assured.

 

Fall From Grace – Ch 2

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Here I present to you the rough draft of Chapter 2 in Fall From Grace. What do you think? As always enjoy and Happy Reading!

A dying fire kept the little apartment above the bakery warm. The sturdy table had an oil lamp in the middle of it. A half full pitcher of beer sat next to the lamp. Bowls of half-eaten stew surrounded the table. A partially sliced loaf of bread glowed in lamp light.

 
Grace, her parents, and younger brother Nazareth, sat around the table. “Grace, Mother has agreed to take your place at the bakery tomorrow after church,” her father declared.

 
“Surely there is no need Father. The bakery on a Saturday is a slow enough day to work,” Grace stated.

 
“Any other Saturday and I would agree with you Grace. However young Mr. Millson has asked to Court you. I feel that if you were to spend time with him at the Commons it might be possible for you to love him. If you are amenable that is,” Grace’s father finished with a slow smile.

 
Grace smiled brightly at her father before chirpily replying, “If God wills it than that would be a most welcome outcome.”

 
“Then I shall tell Mr. Millson that you would be glad to spend the afternoon with him under the watchful eye of Reverend Parris,” her father informed.

 
Grace turned to face her mother and gratefully expressed, “Mother, I thank you for this joyous opportunity.”

 
“Thank me not Grace. Thank the Lord for he would see us all happy,” her mother finished serenely as a loud rapping sounded at the door.

 
“Who would be calling at this hour that the Lord reserves for family,” Father asked as he rose to answer the door.

 
Grace and her mother shared a look of concern as father crossed the little room.
“Mother, why would people call in the evening when the Lord says that this is family time,” Nazareth curiously asked from his seat.

 
“I don’t know my son,” Mother answered calmly.

 
While Father was at the door the small family sat and waited with almost baited breath. Callers in the evening were unheard of, most people needed their rest for morning. Church and work were all important to the people of town.

 
Before another word could be said the family heard father exclaim, “There must be some mistake! God would not allow this to happen!”

 
A deep rumbling could be heard as father was seen to bow his head in submission. Father stepped to the side admitting a stocky man who had dried stains on his breeches and iron manacles in his hands.

 
The man walked over to the table and roughly grabbed Grace by the shoulder before stating, “Grace Bacon, you are hereby charged with the treasonous crime of witchcraft.”
As the man finalized his statement he roughly pulled Grace from her chair and placed a set of heavy iron manacles around her wrists.

 
Grace looked around the room in horror before pleading, “Father, I swear with God as my witness I have had no dealings with the devil!”

 
As the man was pulling her from the room Mother was crying while Nazareth sat there with his jaw dropped. Father hung his head in shame as he replied, “We raised you with God, Grace. How you could have dealings with such a creature as the devil is beyond my mortal soul,” Father told her scornfully.

 
“Father, as God as my witness, I did not do this,” Grace pleaded once more as she was forcefully drug out into the chilly night air. She could hear her mother’s tears as the door slammed shut.

 
The sheriff practically shoved her down the stairs, causing Grace to stumble into a bare, waiting wagon. He then climbed in behind Grace and shackled her next to the other women in the wagon.

 
Grace found herself seated next to two other women. Both of which were older than she was by a fair few decades. On one side of the wagon sat a pregnant and bitter looking Mrs. Good; the opposite held pale Mrs. Osbourne. Both women had tears staining their confusion etched faces. Once the shackles were tightened the Sheriff jumped out of the wagon and headed to the front. Within moments he was driving the cold, wooden wagon to the north side of town.

 
As the wagon started to move, Grace gingerly sat next to Mrs. Good. The woman was muttering harshly under her breath causing Grace to wrap her arms around herself. Bowing her head, Grace closed her eyes and began to silently recite psalms from the bible she had read since childhood.

 
As the wagon bounced along the bumpy road, Grace hit her head on the covered back causing her to cry out in pain more than once. Before Grace knew what was happening the wagon came to a halt.

 
Two burly men in dark clothes rushed into the back of the wagon and loosened their shackles. One of them furiously spat, “Out you foul creatures!” The dark tone in which they were ordered saw all three women to flinch in their seats.

 
Rough hands grabbed Grace by the shoulders and shoved her out of the wagon, causing her to land on her knees. As tears leaked out of Grace’s eyes, she cried out, “Ow!”

 
“You’ll get no pity from me, witch,” one of the men spat scornfully.

 
As tears streamed down her face, Grace looked from where she had fallen and stated, “I am no more a witch than your own mother is.”

 
The guard turned an angry red as he towered over her. As the guard yanked on Grace’s arm, she cried out once more.

 
“My mother walks with God,” he snarled as spittle came flying out of his mouth.
“She would be ashamed to know that you are treating a woman of God in this manner,” Grace argued back as she tried to free her arm from the guard’s tight grip.

 
“A witch has no place at God’s table,” the Guard spat in her face.

 
Grace opened her mouth to retort only to be feel a sharp pain where the guards hand struck her face. Standing in shock Grace felt a gentle hand on the small of her back. “It’s not worth it at the moment girl.

 
“If these people want the devil to confuse them, they are more Godless than those they accuse,” Sarah Good whispered.

 
Grace flinched at the often sour woman’s voice, but did as advised.