Fall From Grace – Chapter 14


Here is the next installment of Fall From Grace. As Always feel free to tell me what you think and Happy Reading!

The blazing midday sun turned the Dungeon and Jail into a humid oasis of pain and displeasure baking in a cramped beehive. Grace and Tituba sat in the shadows of the window bars with their backs to the stone wall.

Grace’s bloodshot eyes glowed as brightly as hot embers in the dim lighting of the cell as they overlooked the roaming prisoners, her throat and jaw were a mottled mass of bruises resembling the garish makeup worn by the royal court.
Just after dawn the two guards came and whisked Mrs. Nurse away to her trial, leaving Tituba and Grace alone in the confines of the cell. Tituba quietly sat up with Grace after the sheriff departed from the communal cell last night, whispering prayers that no one could hear; every so often she would wake Grace to make sure that the young woman didn’t leave the cell in the company of the grim reaper – the king of terrors frightened all who resided on earth. After the sheriff stormed out in a rage the other prisoners settled down to rest as best they could in these hellish conditions.
The heat of the sun signified that it was almost time for the afternoon meal. The accused in the large, communal cell took turns walking in the walled off courtyard, while Grace watched them as her head rested on Tituba’s bony shoulder.
The bruising on her neck resembled the vibrant hues of autumn leaves with some patches being as dark as freshly tilled soil. The dim lighting of the cell may have hidden her bruises, but it couldn’t hide the ominous glow of bloodshot eyes leaking murky tears.

Those same eyes widened when the door separating the cells from the sheriff’s office opened with a thud. Four men rushed into the midst of the prisoners. Grace could hear metal clanking as the shackles that hung at the deputies waists moved about. Their hands were filled with rough, heavy rope.
Each of the deputies had full beards and enough scars on them to frighten the devil himself. They wore no hats, leaving their shaved scalps, glistening with sweat, for all the world to see. As the grit built up in her eyes and her vision continued to burn and blur Grace watched the deputies roughly seize the prisoners and bind them together with shackles.
Shrieks and cries resounded in the Dungeon and Jail as multiple people were crammed into the remaining solitary cells – four at a time. The prisoners rained curses down upon the jailers as though it would make them see reason. They tripped over each other as their bindings caught and landed in piles of arms and legs. Apparently, the sheriff had not taken the prisoners show of solidarity lightly.
The cacophony of terror that the prisoners were shouting resembled horses stampeding down a dusty road in a deluge of rain. The only thing clearly heard over the noise was the foul insanity that the deputies were growling. Once the last of the restricted cells were slammed shut, the deputies stomped out to the courtyard and rounded up those that were still free.
Those outside were pulled into the communal cell in pairs of two, bound by rope. More than one of the prisoners had fresh cuts that stung as sweat and dirt mixed into them. Of all the prisoners only one was escorted in by herself.
Her proud head was bent while her steel grey hair was streaked bright with blood, but the strength in her shoulders was not to be denied. As the guards drug the middle-aged woman between them, her head flopped from one shoulder to the next. When Grace caught a look at the limp face on the rough body that the guards were dragging towards her cell, she paled allowing her blood shot eyes to glow in horror at the sight of an abused human being.
Bruises formed on Mrs. Bishop’s blood soaked body. Two deputies roughly pulled the unconscious form of Mrs. Bishop in front of the cell Grace and Tituba inhabited.
One deputy roughly held the still body of the tavern owner and the other unlocked the cell. Mrs. Bishop was roughly thrown to the floor in a limp heap as the cell door slammed shut.
Grace looked upon Mrs. Bishop with pity and took a deep breath while glancing at Tituba before gruffly asking, “Why are we the ones accused of witchcraft, when they are the people that go against God’s Law?”
Even though prisoners were still wailing and groaning about their fate, Grace’s gravelly voice carried. Tituba looked at her friend as though Grace had lost her wits. The other prisoners were muttering in agreement with Grace’s statement and the guard that had thrown Mrs. Bishop around like a rag doll had the decency to blush apple red in shame.

The other deputy on the other hand, sneered at Grace and spat, “Were you Godly citizens we wouldn’t have to be teaching you your place.” The grey eyes of this deputy were colder than a sunless day in the dead of winter, showing Grace all she needed to know about this so-called creature of God.
“Were the Reverend Parris not so greedy, we wouldn’t be here. He wanted more firewood and stricter laws to curtail our small earthly pleasures away from the Town and thus reigned this evil down upon us. Now he and the judge believe the mouths of babes who have naught enough to do during the day,” Grace boldly stated.
The deputy with the cold grey eyes turned an angry shade of purple. Rather than open the cell to rain down another punishment on Grace for her stubbornness , the deputy stood as close to the cell door as he could and spat on Grace.
The man’s spittle landed on Grace’s chin and was a mix of slimy mucus and day old tobacco. Grace angrily bestowed a glowering glare on the guard as his spittle dripped onto her already tattered and filthy dress adding another stain to the mix; she refused to give him the satisfaction of seeing her clean his filth from her face. Pride may be a high offense to God, but Grace would not give this soulless creature the pleasure of seeing her break.
“We shall see how prideful you are the day you swing lifelessly from Gallow’s Hill as God condemns your soul,” the deputy sneered as he turned from the cell in a cloud of dust.
“Should that day arrive I will meet God with a heart full of devotion. Can you say the same,” Grace retorted. This bold statement caused only one of the guards to hang their heads in front of the prisoners; though none of them could face the accusation honestly.

Rather than face the truth, the deputies did the only thing left to them. They strode from the communal prison leaving only a mouse to scurry around looking for crumbs of a meal not yet served.


Fall From Grace – Chapter 12


Hi folks!

Aside from the deplorable review that had nothing to do with Chapter 1 of Fall From Grace, nothing much has happened in my own little world. On the other hand I have been diligently working on Fall From Grace. I’m currently at almost 34,000 words and I’ve got to say, my characters have a mind of their own! lol

At any rate, in honor of All Hallow’s Eve, I  thought I would share the rough draft of Chapter 12 with you. So without further ado, here is the next installment of Fall From Grace!

Happy Reading, and as always feel free to tell me what you think!

As Grace sat taking in the news that her father believed her, Abraham turned to Tituba and asked, “Tituba, I have no right to ask this of you, but will you continue to care for Grace until the day you are both released from the suburbs of hell?”

“You don’t have to ask that of the likes of me Mr. Bacon. Were I not a slave I would still care for thy sister. Though my state be lonely, Miss Bacon is one of the few that have always shown me kindness and mercy. It would be a disgrace to me and God were I not to help in any way I can. Specially with all the trouble I’ve caused,” Tituba answered sincerely.

“You’ve caused no grief, Tituba,” Grace gently rebuked.

“Miss Grace if I hadn’t asked for thee, you wouldn’t be sitting here with an open wound on your foot,” Tituba insisted.

“Tituba, you didn’t force them to use a whip, you weren’t even in the cell, when it happened. You did nothing except to call a witness to your character,” Grace reasoned.

“Had I left you out of my pleas, you wouldn’t be suffering in the suburbs of hell,” Tituba countered.

“Man has a choice as well, in the acts that he partakes of. The way of God does not include the atrocities that are being committed in his name,” Grace reasoned.

“We’ll not agree on this, Miss Grace,” Tituba stated with a grim smile.

Abraham snorted before interjecting, “Grace is as stubborn as the sun is hot, Tituba.”

Grace chuckled at the description that her brother had given. “The warmth of the sun feels like heaven on my skin. Especially in comparison to the hellishly frozen caverns of the dungeon,” Grace whispered.

“Truthfully it is,” Tituba quietly intoned.

Grace looked up from her seat and tentatively asked, “Has the Millson family said naught of this whole fiasco?”

Abraham shook his head, creased his brow and solemnly replied, “I would not hold thy breath for fear of turning blue when this ordeal is at an end. It seems they are as believing of these trumped up charges as God was in creating the earth in six days.”

Already tired shoulders sagged even further as moisture gathered in Graces’ eyes. Tituba reached over and pulled Grace tightly to her. “Twill be all right, Miss Grace. You’ll see. Let’s enjoy the sunshine that God has provided,” Tituba comforted.

The two women sat close for several minutes while Abraham shook his head at the quiet pleasure that the ladies took in breathing clean air. A man clearing his throat broke the quiet serenity in the exercise yard, “Time’s up. Back into your cell.”

“Sheriff, I see you’ve returned from your duties. Perhaps you could find it in your soul to allow the ladies to sit here for a bit longer,” Abraham dourly asked.

“That I have and with one less witch to feed. Those same duties also state that prisoners are only allowed a short stint in the courtyard at a time,” the sheriff retorted.

Abraham bit his lips while his face turned tomato red, a vein at his temple pulsed. Grace reached a hand up to rest on his forehead as she shook her head. “God will see us through,” she insisted.

“You shouldn’t have to rely solely on God. Man should know when they are crossing the line into hysteria and nonsense,” Abraham growled.

Grace sighed as she struggled to her feet, “Trust in God, Abraham. He is the only surety we have in this life and the next.”

The sheriff stood in front of Grace and Tituba and tied a heavy hemp rope to each of their waists, there were no shackles to bind their ankles. He then grabbed the rope between the two and pulled them forward, leaving Abraham to bring up the rear of the party with a scowl on his tan face.

The sheriff led the small party out of the afternoon sunshine into the dark, humid Dungeon and Jail. The air was thick enough that Grace could reach out and almost grab the air. The stones that made up the walls were warm enough to blister a carelessly placed hand. Grace slowly limped onto the wooden floor with Tituba’s support. The sheriff escorted both women to the tiny cell they occupied. Once the door was locked and the sheriff gone, Abraham promised, “I shall see you in the future, Grace.”


Fall From Grace – Chapter 5


Hi all,

As you know my current WIP – which I am planning to have out by Oct. 31st at the latest – features Grace Bacon. The back drop for this book is the horror of the Salem witch trials. The men and women who were charged with these crimes were victims of class warfare.

Some one else wanted what they had and chose to use a serious medical that many suffered from to persecute these men and women.

While I would like to think that men and women of the modern era would not go on a witch hunt in the name of religion I also know that mass hysteria can happen at any time.

Also, in this chapter I have brought in the Geneva Bible which is the one that the Puritans would have used in the seventeenth century. By attempting to study this bible I have gained several insights on the ways that time and people have changed.

So Please be conscious of what you say and how you act, for you never know when something will change.

Without further ado I give you Chapter 5 of Fall From Grace.

As always,

Happy Reading!

p.s. Don’t forget to tell me what you think!

The sun had set long ago and Grace laid her head upon her hands. The fire pit at the end of the hall had died hours before, leaving cool embers to emit what little warmth they had left. The moon sporadically peaked through the clouds above; giving infrequent illumination to the cell. Supper would be soon and the four of them had huddled together for warmth. Grace held the bible that Abraham had given her earlier next to her chest as she prayed silently.

Her hazy breath surrounded her face in the dark cell. The clothes she wore were muddy; loose threads frayed at the seams of her skirt. Her once bright skirt was now stained with mud as urine began to reek in the cell. Mice began to scurry on the floor as the ladies settled into an odd form of comfort.

Their jailers refused to let them out to relieve even the most basic of human needs.

Sitting on the ice encrusted, mud floor in the midst of three other women, Grace let out a sigh as her stomach grumbled. Dinner should have been served when the sun had set. Apparently there would be no dinner today.

“Perhaps it’s for the best that they forgot to serve dinner. Whether they stretch our necks or dismiss the charges there is no way the doormen will let us leave here without paying our due,” Mrs. Good dourly informed.

“Very true, Mrs. Good. They will charge us for use of our shackles and the meals we eat. Though I don’t think they forgot to feed us,” Grace grimly replied.

“Forget not our lodging as well, child,” Mrs. Good sourly reminded.

“Hmm,” Grace answered in quite reply. “Mrs. Good, what is it you are always muttering when you walk away from someone?”

Mrs. Good snorted sharply before responding, “A prayer for patience. Some of those I beg food and work from are less humble than they should be. Why? Are you so lost in God that you leave your fate to the villainous man he created?”

“Peace, Mrs. Good. Twas only a question asked in friendship, no offense was meant,” Grace beseeched.

“Besides,” Grace continued primly, “Tis a known fact that God helps those who help themselves. Could I entreat you to take the Prayer of the Lord with me?”

“I suppose it couldn’t hurt,” was the sour, defeated reply.

Quietly the two began, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.”

When Mrs. Good and Grace finished their prayer, Tituba and Mrs. Osbourne whispered in unison, “Amen.” Both voices were broken, one from illness and the other from abuse.
Grace raised her head and quietly apologized, “Ladies forgive me. I had not meant to disturb your rest.”

“Worry not m’girl,” Mrs. Osbourne assured, “A prayer is sometimes the only recourse we have.”

An inelegant snort escaped from Mrs. Good. Grace shook her head as she listened to the two elderly women butt heads once again. As the women spoke harshly to one another Grace looked over and whispered, “How are you feeling Tituba?”

“A bit sore Miss Grace. What are we to do now,” she asked plaintively.

“Had I a direct ear to God, Tituba, I would know. Barring that unlikely happening, all we can do is to pray that He knows what is best for us,” Grace murmured as tears welled up in her eyes.

“Miss Grace, I’m scared,” Tituba whispered.

Grace trembled where she sat as salty tears began to fall. Wincing from the weight of something so small Grace sobbed, “We all are.”


Fall From Grace – Chapter 3


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


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.

Cover Concept Fall From Grace


I’ve been working on a new book set during the Salem Witch Trials. This book stars Grace Bacon as the protagonist. The following is a brief summary for this upcoming trial of tragedies.

Grace Bacon is a baker’s daughter in Salem Massachusetts, 1692. She devoutly holds the beliefs of the Puritans in her heart. God and his plant are the only way for her.

After finding out that Mr. Millson has asked permission to court her Grace is on top of the world. Until the unthinkable happens and she is accused of the vilest of sins – witchcraft. To her utter horror Grace is arrested and thrown into Salem Dungeon and Jail awaiting interrogation and trial.

Will the atrocities that she is subjugated to break her faith or will Grace rise ever stronger. Will the suspicious minds of mortal man manage to take the breath from her body or will the Grace see her through?

Next up we have a concept cover for this intriguing tale of faith and horror.

Fall From Grace Cover 1

And finally for your reading enjoyment we have the first chapter to Fall From Grace. I hope you enjoy this peak into the inner mind of Grace Bacon, a devout believer of the way she was raised. This young woman is the person who will never renounce her faith.


Grace Bacon stood behind her father’s bakery counter. The smells of fresh baked breads and pies surrounded her. On top of the counter were several pieces of paper; the uppermost sheet was partially filled with neat rows of writing – a legible account of the sales. The far corner of the counter held a bowl full of dried apple slices. Off to the side was a bible. Her brother, Abraham, was helping a woman load a wagon for Reverend Parris. Only one customer was in the bakery at the moment and he was Ephraim Millson. Ephraim’s family owned the largest mill in town.
Ephraim stood a head taller than anyone else in the village and his green eyes always seemed to sparkle. A wide brimmed hat hid his closely shaven head. When he smiled quietly, Grace couldn’t help but to return the small affection.
As Ephraim approached the counter he greeted, “Miss Bacon, how are you this sunny day?”
Grace smiled and replied, “Quite well, Mr. Millson. How about yourself?”
“It looks like we will be having a busy season. Father just had a load of rye arrive at the mill,” Ephraim genially replied.
“Looks like God has blessed you with work this fall day,” Grace serenely stated.
“That he has. The crisp, clean air of spring will make it more enjoyable in the mill as well.
“How do you intend to cope with the warmer months ahead,” Ephraim asked inquisitively.
“The way God intended, Ephraim. By keeping my hands and mind busy; thus denying the devil a foothold in my heart,” Grace authoritatively answered.
The door to the bakery opened, admitting a dark skinned woman wearing a thin white bonnet and tan dress. Wisps of dark hair escaped her bonnet giving the appearance of exhaustion. She had brown eyes with dark bags underneath them.
Grace looked up from her conversation and greeted, “Good morrow, Tituba! How fares the Reverend and Mrs. Parris?”
“The Reverend is looking forward to morning services and Mrs. Parris is afflicted again,” Tituba meekly informed.
“God will surely see her well soon,” Grace promised before asking, “Was there something the Reverend was looking for?”
“The Reverend was wondering if there was any of Mrs. Bacon’s bread to be had. “It always makes Mrs. Parris feel shades better than the gloomy night,” Tituba quietly informed.
“Several are fresh from the beehive. I’ll have a package ready for you shortly,” Grace helpfully informed.
Tituba bowed her head in thanks as Grace stepped away from the counter.
“How fares the Reverend’s youngest,” Ephraim sternly asked Tituba.

“After seeing two doctors she’s still afflicted,” Tituba replied docilely. 

Ephraim frowned at Tituba. “As God wills it,” Ephraim ended the conversation as an awkward silence filled the little bakery. A grey cloud passed over his face at the thought of a child suffering.
Tituba bowed her head once more as the rustling of Grace’s petticoats could be heard. With a content smile on her face Grace handed Tituba a small bundle. Before Tituba could walk away Grace reached into one of the baskets on the counter and grabbed a handful of dried apple slices.
Handing the slices to Tituba, Grace quietly blessed, “May God ease your sufferings even the tiniest bit.”
Tituba gave a tremulous smile of thanks before hurrying out of the store.
“You’ve done her a far kinder service than she probably deserves,” Ephraim stoically complimented.
“God loves us all; even the Unchosen. Perhaps one day she will walk with us on His path,” Grace reasoned.
“What will your father say to the loss of profit,” Ephraim questioned.
“Father loves a good deed as much as God does. Blessings will come in one form or another,” Grace assured.
“Your faith is a model for all of Salem Towne to follow,” Ephraim complimented warmly. “Are you not afraid though for the children in her care?”

“The Reverend would not have her about were Tituba to harm their immortal souls,” Grace reasoned.
“True, though God tells us that the Devil can blind the best of us,” Ephraim admonished.
“The Reverend would never be blinded by such as that foul creature! Besides, I have it on high authority that he sent for another reverend from the village to see if any sense could be made of Miss Betty’s affliction,” Grace stridently informed.
“Let us pray that you are right,” Ephraim stated with concern.
“Ephraim, we are all God’s children. It is up to those of us who are chosen to lead others to the Righteous Path. Compassion is needed for all people who walk this test with us,” Grace implored of a doubtful Ephraim.
“Though you are right, I fear there is no saving the ignorant,” Ephraim observed.
Grace shook her head in dismay as her brother, Abraham, walked into the family owned bakery.
“How fare you this chilly day, Ephraim,” Abraham cordially asked with a smile.
“With God’s blessing the afternoon harvest of winter rye will be ready for the mill; by morning it should be ready for sale,” Ephraim cheerily informed.
“Our thanks Ephraim. Father will always be willing to pay a fair price for God’s bounty,” Abraham assured.
Ephraim nodded and thanked Abraham as he took his leave of the bakery.
Abraham turned to look at his sister and gently teased, “He seems like a pleasant sort.”
“He is polite enough,” Grace returned with a smile.
Abraham chuckled at his sister before asking, “If he asked father for a courtship, would you consider it?”
Grace cocked her head to the side and with a sly smile replied, “That depends. Has he?”
Abraham chuckled lightly as he responded, “Father was going to say something to you this evening. Fortunately, I know that you loathe surprises as much as God despises Hell.”
“Surprises do me no good,” Grace calmly stated as fire lit her eyes.
“Are you going to accept,” Abraham asked insistently.
Grace raised an eyebrow and stared into space for a moment before answering, “I do believe I shall. After all, life is a blessing; learning to love another is part of that blessing,” she finished serenely.
“Sister you truly do understand God’s will. Remember, father will not be upset if you find that you cannot learn to love him. Being honest and truthful is the first law,” Abraham reminded.
“Of course he wouldn’t. One cannot learn if one does not try though,” Grace insisted.