Sorry it’s been so long since my last update, but things have been a bit hectic. The more that I read and learn about the Puritans and the form of Christianity they practised the more I understand them. I also find that I can empathize with them.
I encourage you to study them more. You would honestly be amazed by how much you can relate to their struggles and fears.
I promise that I have multiple chapters written in this upcoming novel. Without further ado, I give you Chapter 10 of Fall From Grace.
As always feel free to tell me what you think of Grace Bacon’s journey so far!
The humidity in the prison gave the mirage of life to Mrs. Osbourne’s body. Grace and Tituba sat huddled in a corner, as far from the rancid scent of decay as their shackles would allow.
Mrs. Osbourne lay peacefully while Grace whispered a final prayer, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
“As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter:
“Nevertheless, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Amen,” a male voice answered when the prayer was over.
“Abraham,” Grace gasped as she looked up.
“Offering holy guidance to your fellow accused, Grace,” Abraham asked with a smile.
“Were the priest to do his duty I wouldn’t attempt to take a place that God reserved for man. Either way last rites had to be given,” Grace tiredly stated.
A grey storm cloud passed over Abraham’s features as he darkly rumbled, “Truthfully?!”
“Barely a soul has crossed this threshold since the day of my interrogation,” Grace confirmed.
“The doctor for your foot was here then?”
“Nay. Tis the handiwork of Tituba that you see.”
“Then who called upon you after the interrogation?”
Abraham shook his head in denial. “The accused should not be held in such deplorable conditions. This is not our way.
“I’ll see you shortly,” Abraham coldly stated as he turned on his heel and stomped away.
“He didn’t sound too happy, Miss Grace,” Tituba mumbled.
Grace smiled grimly when she replied, “Abraham takes God very seriously. A more devout person you’d be hard pressed to find. He knows that God would frown upon this.”
As Grace finished she heard quick and heavy footsteps coming through the communal cell. Being accused of witchcraft saw the privilege of that cell denied to Grace; the walled off courtyard was another luxury that had been denied. All because people listened to the word of children rather than reason.
When Abraham returned the sheriff was with him. Both of their faces resembled the ripe apples used to make pints of apple jack; although the sheriffs skin resembled that of a shriveled apple. “What have you Godless creatures done to one of your own,” the sheriff growled.
“That is not the way one speaks to a lady,” Abraham warned.
“These creatures lost the protection that God gave them when they signed the Devil’s Book.”
From inside of her cell Grace snapped, “We signed no such book!”
The sheriff’s eyes blazed in anger as he glared at Grace with all the power of a storm.
Before the sheriff could say another word, Abraham warned, “Sheriff unless you want to be held accountable for plague spreading in our village, you had best remove Mrs. Osbourne’s body, before decay sets loose a pandemic.
“Were I to write to the governor about your treatment of a lady, you might find yourself at the receiving end of His Excellency’s pleasure,” Abraham ended with enough derision to curdle milk.
The sheriff’s face turned pale as he demanded, “I’ll need your guarantee that the prisoners won’t leave the jail.”
“Neither myself or the ladies will stray from the prison. We shall stray no further than the bench in the courtyard,” Abraham assured.
On that assurance the sheriff unlocked the cells and demanded, “Stay next to Mr. Bacon he’s better than either of you deserve.”
Once the shackles were off Grace leaned on Tituba as the two women hobbled out of the cell; Grace had her bible clutched tightly in her arms as her foot throbbed with each step. By the time they were out of the cell salty tears streaked clear streams down Grace’s cheeks.
Abraham wasted no time in helping Tituba to hold Grace up so that her weeping foot would touch the ground as little as possible. Once they were in the sunshine, Abraham directed both women to the bench that sat along the outer wall. When he had them seated, Abraham asked, “How long were the two of you shackled to her body?”
“Barely quarter of an hour, though it seemed forever,” Grace answered truthfully.
“Spring planting has begun and the shop is busier than one would think, otherwise I’d have been here sooner, “Abraham apologized.
“There is no need for an apology when the land calls, Abraham. I know mother is taking my place at the counter. I pray that you and Hope have had luck with a child?”
“God has not blessed us yet, though thanks to you, Hope is helping mother more and more,” Abraham stated grimly.
“Prithee, why am I the reason?”
“Dearest sister, you’re the one that noticed the stew. Father had been furious thinking you would turn your back to God, until reason lit the problem as bright as day. Father has been over at Stamford for the last couple of weeks,” Abraham explained.
Grace sagged in the bench as though someone had removed a waterwheel from her shoulders.