The Covenant III: The Wood's Hole Warlock
An elderly, bald man fixed a white, curled wig upon his head. The air was cold, and he was glad for the extra warmth, had this wig been placed on his head for any other reason than the reason tonight. He wasn't even sure if this man was guilty, but as a judge, he went by what the people voted. He wished he could change the crowd, but they had ruled against the man in question, so thus he bore no choice.
He sighed at the bearded, stocky man before him, then nodded to him in assurance that he was ready for the night's task. The stocky man then grabbed a rope that was hanging on the nearby brick wall, and the fiery torch that perched next to it, and ventured down the dark stone corridors only assuming that the judge would follow. The judge watched in pity and slight horror at the decaying prisoners that all begged for freedom, or even to be allowed the release of death. They all stank to high heaven, so horrid that the judge had to whip out his handkerchief just to stand it.
The stocky guard then stopped before one cell and patiently waited for the judge to catch up, then pointed inside without a word.
Judge Richards slowly looked into the cell, looking at the man in the dark of the musty prison, lit only with the spotlight of the moon through the one window. His wrists were bound in shackles, chained to the stone walls. His head was bowed, his long, dirty, matted hair fallen over his face so that you could not see his once handsome features. His clothes were tattered, dirty and worn, wearing only a long coat and buckled pants, but he was otherwise exposed in chest and feet.
Somehow, the judge assumed that if this man was really what they claimed, he could bust himself out of this prison at any moment. The very thought put the judge on edge. Why had he not tried already? Why did he not even struggle, or attempt to survive?
Then the convict looked up at the judge with his bright blue eyes, and Judge Richards immediately knew. Something else had defeated this man, stealing his soul and leaving only this empty shell behind. He was quite ready to die, and thus possessed no will to escape or even protest his fate.
As they led the prisoner through the door, the crowd gathered outside exploded in chaos and shouts, throwing rotten fruit and anything they could get their hands on. The long-haired condemned did not even flinch.
They led him to a stake already prepared, and the stocky guard bound him around it with the rope he held in his hands, as the judge began the rituals.
"John Putnam, you have been found guilty under the court of law for the practice of witchcraft against a citizen of Salem, Massachusetts."
The convict looked to the judge with the same eyes he had given him inside the jail, and it surprisingly pained him to see those eyes again. How he pitied the damned man... he knew what no other person did about why this man had done what he was going to die for, but it would serve no good.
The judge found the only other sources of pity for the ill-fated man, four others standing motionless in the crowd. Four other men, his closest friends, who carried expressions of utter shame, as if the conviction was their own.
"Because of your crimes, you will now be burned at the stake," --the judge waited for the mob's cheers to die down before continuing-- "The town minister will now forgive you of your final sins."
"I have nothing to forgive," John replied. "I loved her as the next man would love a woman. She only accused me to salvage the honor of her deceased husband. I will die honorably to save our child."
The minister than slapped John in the face for his blasphemy.
"A bastard child for a demon father!"
"I only turn the other cheek, minister," John mocked sinisterly. So the minister slapped him again on the other side, just to spite him.
"Your devil child will join you in hell," the minister growled.
The minister then opened his large black Bible and began to recite the final forgivenesses, all too gladly.
…God loves, God forgives you of your crimes…
The judge inconspicuously went close to John, to whisper in his ear:
"Your son will live to see tomorrow, I vow it."
…Do not forsake His love, not deny His power…
John seemed surprised, but looked to the judge with grateful eyes.
"Discreetly," John hissed. "My left pocket."
The judge slipped his hand quickly into John's trench-coat pocket, pulling out a large envelope stuffed with papers.
"I was going to let the secret die with me," John said. "But there is no hope for us."
…Faced with the final judgment, let the Lord embrace you with open arms…
"Us?" the judge repeated.
"Yes, Your Honor. We are both humanity alike."
…May God have mercy on your soul…
As the flames danced at his feet, John lifted his head to the sky, and closed his eyes. It would all be over soon. All there was to do now was try his best not to scream.
But as the fire ate through his thin leather shoes and started at his feet, then his legs, his yells pierced the night, growing louder and louder until he begged for death… screaming even louder than the roaring crowd…
"AAAHHHH!!!" Caleb screamed, as he jerked upright in bed, holding his sweaty forehead. His dreams were becoming more vivid by the day. Oddly enough, it was the same one, over and over again. Three days in a row this had been happening, at that was two too many to simply pass off as a weird nightmare.
"Again?" Pogue asked, as he opened the door to Caleb's room with concern on his face. "I heard yells…"
Caleb sighed heavily, running his hands over his tired face.
"It's probably just another one of Reid's pranks," Caleb shrugged it off. "No big deal."
Pogue blinked in stunned silence, shaking his head in disbelief.
Caleb knew immediately what Pogue meant, and groaned in hatred of his own foolishness.
"God!" Caleb scolded himself angrily, as he furrowed his brow in frustration. "It's just so soon…"
"I know what you mean," Pogue replied sympathetically. "It's too soon for all of us, man."
Here we go again! Please review.