Fall From Grace – Chapter 10

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything from my latest work. I apologize for that, but I have been working further on Fall From Grace.

Without further ado, I give you Chapter 10 of Fall From Grace.

As always feel free to let me know what you think of this rough endeavor!

Happy Reading!!

Slowly the frigid icicles melted into sunshine and fragrant spring blooms. With earlier sunrises and later sunsets visitors were few and far between. The last visitor to appear was Grace’s dour grandfather. Grace lost count of the days since her arrival; sadly, conditions had only worsened since the beginning of her incarceration.

As the days passed, Mrs. Osbourne’s cough seemed to rack her frail body more and more, while people rotated through the cell like a millstone over grain. As people came and went their body heat often made the cell feel like the inside of a beehive oven at midday. The stone walls no longer wept with moisture; the sweat between her toes played havoc with the leather shoes on Grace’s feet.

After the midnight interrogation split the bottom of her shoes, blood saturated the leather. As the leather dried out, the shoes ended up encrusted and allowed sores to form between her toes. Fearing rot, Tituba peeled the leather off of Graces skin only to find that the flesh was growing over leather flaps .

They had been out of the Dungeon and Jail once when the sheriff had shackled them together in order to take a cart down to the river to wash. The pillory was removed prior to the river trip allowing Grace to stand fully upright for the first time in a month. The only reminders of that humiliating device were the bruises that surround her wrists and ankles. A fleeting smile flashed across Grace’s face as she remembered the rush of water running over her urine soaked body.

The water soaked her dress chilling her to the bone, but she was clean. The only other bright moment in this foul circumstance was the bible that Abraham provided. The three women had taken turns reading aloud. The back cover of the bible held the names of every soul who entered this jail written in blood. The comfort that this simple act brought them was immeasurable.

Currently, Mrs. Osbourne was reading the Prayer of the Lord from the bible. Grace was breathing heavily while biting her lips. Tituba was tugging at the stiff leather removing layers of skin the size of crabapples.

Mrs. Osbourne gently ran her fingers through Grace’s hair, giving the young woman some form of comfort for this painful ordeal. Strips of dead skin drenched in blood littered the floor as mice made their way into the cell chittering in excitement. The metallic smell of blood mixed with the nauseous fumes of tobacco combined to produce something far more foul than cow manure.

Grace flinched and bit through her lips as a flesh coated piece of leather joined the dead skin on the muddy floor. “Just a little bit more, Miss Grace, I promise. I’m sorry I got you into this mess. I just wanted them to stop,” Tituba softly apologized.

A lung racking cough from Mrs. Osbourne punctuated Tituba’s apology. Grace looked up from her position to see a trickle of blood escaping Mrs. Osbourne’s lips. With a shake of her head, Grace admonished, “You should be at home with your children and husband – not stuck in this oven-like, rat infested prison that smells worse than a tannery on a hot day.”

“‘Twould do me little good. My sons dispute my husband at every turn, and this affliction has been at my side for a number of years. I’ve gotten more rest in this damp dungeon than my ears would ever hear in my own home.

“Besides, if you can hold to your integrity and beliefs, so can I,” Mrs. Osbourne offered.

“But I’m not ill Mrs. Osbourne. If this affliction takes you to God’s waiting embrace, then at the very least you should greet him in your own bed with your family by your side,” Grace insisted.

“You and I may see that as a reasonable request, Grace, but methinks that our jailers would have something to say about that.”

Grace growled as she hissed low.

“Sorry Miss Grace, but that’ll be the last of it. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep it semi-clean so the doctor won’t have to amputate it,” Tituba glumly informed.

“Somehow Tituba, methinks, the doctors would prefer to have to amputate. At this point, they would seek out the farthest seas of pain to press from us a confession to a crime that is not our doing,” Grace sadly stated.

“You’re positive it’s the grains, Grace,” Mrs. Osbourne questioned.

“I am as sure of that, as I am that God loves all his children. When father and I were in Stamford to see about some business, the same afflictions were occurring. Though they took a scientific approach and refused to believe the ramblings of a bitter person,” Grace whispered as she sat up.

Grace leaned heavily on the wall behind her so that she wouldn’t feint as violent coughing racked Mrs. Osbourne again. Tituba and Grace watched as Mrs. Osbourne stiffened as her affliction turned her face tomato red.

Grace pulled Mrs. Osbourne into a hug, “Rest your head on my shoulder, for now, Mrs. Osbourne. Should God call you home this evening, know that at least one person will miss you in this world.”

“May God bless your future, child,” Mrs. Osbourne blessed as her eyes closed.
Once Grace was sure that Mrs. Osbourne was asleep, she turned to Tituba and sadly smiled, “Thank you Tituba.

“Thank you Tituba. You’ve the steadiest hands in Salem.”

“Thank you, Miss Grace. Twas the least I could do after getting you in this mess,” Tituba whispered.

Grace shook her head before answering, “You’ve no reason to apologize when all you did was ask for succor. The beatings you received should never have been done in Gods name.”

“That’s kind of you to say, Miss Grace, but truth is, I’m the reason you’re here,” Tituba stubbornly insisted.

“We’ll agree to disagree then,” Grace fondly told her.

Tituba smiled before asking, “How’s Mrs. Osbourne doing?”

Grace looked at the older woman. The wrinkles on her forehead were relaxed and jagged breaths had ceased. Mrs. Osbourne’s jaw was ajar and crimson blood stained her chin. Her pallid skin held a bluish tint as lice jumped between hosts.

A tear fell down Grace’s face as it appeared that Mrs. Osbourne had cheated the residents of Salem. The citizens would no longer be able to see a neck stretched for a false accusation; for she was in God’s embrace now.

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Time For Another Rant

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As most of you know, I keep my views on religion to myself. I respect your beliefs and ask the respect mine. The one thing I do ask is that you don’t shove your views down my throat and in return I will not shove my views down yours. Unfortunately, I read something that upset me and I had to respond. So I wrote another rant that I would like to share with you.

As always feel free to let me know what you think and happy reading!

Madame,

Do you realize that the religion you claim to follow is based on war, torture, lies, and identity theft? Adultery and repression are also hallmarks of said religion. As Heather McGinnis stated, check your facts.

Let us start with war, shall we? The death toll for wars fought in the name of Christianity is unimaginably high – some estimates range as high as nine million people. There were three crusades fought to reclaim Jerusalem – all were in the name of Christianity. Mind you all that power was in the hands of one mortal man.

Moving on to torture I present to you the Spanish Inquisition of 1480, instituted by Ferdinand II and Isabella I – King and Queen of Spain. Use a globe to locate Spain if you must. The Spanish Inquisition tortured people with branding, the pear, the rack, disfigurement, and water boarding. These are just a few. The number of victims is unknown.

Another time that Christianity committed an act of torture is known as the Salem Witch Trials. Nineteen men and women were hung because one man likened his struggles to that of Jesus. He thought they were against him and charges of witchcraft were levied. What those prisoners went through is considered to be crimes against humanity. If you don’t believe me, Google it.

As for lies, I’ll stick to lies by omission and there are more of those than I can list. All I have to say on that is a suggestion that you look up banned books of the bible. There are several and they are luminous, to say the least.

Identity theft is a fun one. Where do you think Christians get almost all of their holidays? The only way they could subjugate the locals of a religion was to give an acceptable meaning to their celebrations. By acceptable, I mean those that were tolerable to a Christian mindset. Halloween came from the Fall Harvest and the Christmas celebrations came from Saturnalia. All were ways to worship the old Gods for prosperity in the coming years.

For reference, the word Pagan is Roman in origin and was used to refer to the locals of a conquered region. It in no way meant ‘one who doesn’t believe in Christ’. Most of the regions conquered by the Romans were not as advanced as they were leading them to say that “Pagans were a backwards lot”.

Adultery and oppression were one and the same. The reason that women’s rights were stripped is because the church was afraid that the woman would take power away from them. The Borgia popes were notorious for having multiple affairs outside of their wives. Many times children were produced and they benefitted greatly from their father’s position. Yes, there was a time when priests were allowed to have wives as it was thought that they would relate more to their congregation.

The truth is that monotheism is a repressive culture that is designed to control the masses and incite violence. Look at how many people make vile comments and assumptions in the name of religion. If that doesn’t frighten you I don’t know what will, but far be it for me to ridicule you for your beliefs. If those are your honestly held views, then more power to you.
I would advise that the next time you choose to share them that you at least check your facts.