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.
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.