**Well, this is a backstory to one of the characters for a story Cristina (my best friend) and I are going to work on. Any "mean sayins" toward any religion is no offense to anybody who is in a religion. This is just how these certain people thought, so I need to portray it. Also, the character Exercise is actually my 9th great-uncle, so no mean things toward him! lol R&R!**
My family and I were on the ship "Constable" as we traveled overseas from England to the 'New World'. I was only sixteen years old, knowing what future was lying ahead of me, but not knowing how it would turn out. Father was finding a wealthy family with a son around my age to marry me. Artie was already married to a wonderful woman named Maria. Richard was only a couple of years older than me, so of course he was looking as well as me. On the other hand, Richard was living with Artie and Maria in Virginia, so how would I know?
I felt a presence behind me, slowly creeping to my side, and I knew who it was after so many years. I felt her similar innocent aura, her calm, light, and quiet steps. Daisy always walked up to someone as if not to disturb people from their thoughts. Father was the same way, so it was a trait that they shared. I was trained to be more like my mother, but some part of me wished to be the complete opposite. But, that was improper. What man would want to marry a 'disruptive' girl?
Daisy, my fourteen year old sister, stood beside me, resting her elbows on the rim of the ship and daydreaming out into the sea. "Do you think our lives will be different than life in England?"
I snorted, simply lying so she wouldn't get too crazy. "Only if mother decides to stop making us into ladies."
Daisy sighed. "You know that will never happen."
"Exactly," I took a step away from that side of the ship and began heading back to my cabin.
As I glided toward my cabin, which was on the opposite side of the ship, I slid my hand over the rim as I passed by. I heard a yell from afar, so I glanced up into the sea. I stopped abruptly, frozen in horror. A ship was far away from us, somehow going the opposite way of us. A shiver ran down my spine as I recognized the flag.
The Jolly Roger.
The men were standing from the ladder ropes on the side of the ship, whistling and yelling mumbled things I could not make out. I glared, knowing they wanted me over there. A thought ran through my mind, wishing my petty little lie to Daisy was true.
Our lives were truly going to be different.
The next morning was the arrival of the Constable on the port of New York. Daisy ran into my room, screaming that we had arrived. I was rather annoyed with her cheeriness, so I slammed a pillow at her. She flew to floor from the hit. I giggled to myself, underestimating how much strength I had. Girls our age were to be dainty and petite, not strength what-so-ever; except for during childbirth.
As I dressed myself, I noticed in the reflection of my large mirror that Daisy was already dressed and ready. I must have been the last one up. If it wasn't for Daisy, would have anybody woke me up? I'm sure that's why Daisy came into my room, probably sent in by my parents. Daisy left the room to finish getting her things, as did I.
I felt when the ship came into port because the ship came to a sudden stop, almost sending me across the room. I heard the rambling on the decks of men carrying our things off the ship. Soon enough, men barged into my room and getting my suitcases and whatever else I brought.
When I stepped off the plank that day, into the New World, a new world exactly is what led me into who I am today.
Two years later, we moved to Naumkeag (which is now called Salem). Daisy and I sat in the same carriage, watching each other. I had grown of age for finding a husband as of now, and Daisy was just at the age where she was being "looked at". I had warn Daisy, but she didn't believe me at first, that you always feel like a piece of furniture, being checked over to make sure you are "good enough". Daisy, now, would often sit uncomfortably at tables while men "looked" over her. I could see the glint in her eyes that said help me.
The carriage slammed on its "breaks" when we arrived into the city of Naumkeag. I stepped down from the carriage, my blood reeling with excitement as I glanced around the beautiful red-stoned town, full of people and animals. Daisy moved her eyes over the town, her mouth gaping. I couldn't help but chuckle at her youngness.
Naumkeag was a beautiful world. A world full of magnificent wardrobe, enchanting people, overall…it had a feeling to it that made you feel as if we walked into an interesting world that would lead to something extraordinary. I never expected that my family would step right into the beginning of the "trials".
Mother, Father, Daisy, and I begun to tread down the town, taking a walk around town before we headed into our new home. Father had our home built early, so we had somewhere to go when we did move here. Daisy and I found ourselves gazing into the wonderful shops full of beautiful gowns and intense jewelry. I could hear mother laughing with my Father, either from something they saw or the look on our faces.
A sudden, cold, strange breeze flew past us, whisking my hair around my face so I had to pull it back to see. It was an eerie feeling, not the greatest first impression of the town. I held my hair in place as I stared up the street, which most the people were doing.
Screams burst through the town all at once, people began to start scattering past, crowds pushing everybody apart. I snapped my head next to me to grab onto Daisy, but she was gone. I looked up and saw she caught in the flood of people. Mother and Father luckily pulled her out before she could swish past them.
"Daisy! Mum! Dad!" I screamed as I was being moved in the opposite direction.
I used this uncontrollable force against the people so I could push my way through. Anger and fear was tingling inside my body, the emotions growing more and more as I started to cry. What could possibly be going on? Why was I so scared of something I never knew about?
I screamed out in rage, this feeling showing me I had an easy powerful stage. When I opened my eyes, I saw a few feet of space around me, and people that were rushing past me stared at me with uncomfortable eyes. It wasn't the same watchful eyes of a man looking me over, it thaws the watchful eyes of people seeing you as some sort of creature. I remember people staring at Mother the same way in the streets of Cambridge. I didn't know why my mother hung her head in shame when passerby did this, but I knew it meant something strange.
"Excuse me," I asked this woman with fiery red hair and pale eyes that stood in front of me. "I just moved her this morning. What is going on?"
Fear rushed through her eyes and she flashed her eyes over her shoulder where all the commotion started. "Witches."
The people hurried past me while my eyes reached horror. Witches? I remembering hearing stories about them when I was a little girl in Cambridge, but no one was ever a witch. I moved my eyes over to where the woman was looking and found two men, a group of young girls (younger than Daisy, at least), and a young woman that they were trudging after. I could see the danger in the men's eyes, the fear in the girls as they pointed at the woman, and the uttered horror of the young woman. I saw one certain young girl that had pale blonde hair and dark, very dark, brown eyes. A smirk rested on her face, a smirk that I knew was not good. It was evil. When the girl saw me watching her, she forced her smirk away, but she stared at me, a hint of a glare in her eyes.
The men and girls finally got the woman cornered. Only a few people remained in the streets, but they were past me. I could eye Mother and Father in the crowd as well.
"This is the woman, Father!" the littlest girl exclaimed.
"Are you quite sure, Elizabeth?" the leader of the group asked her.
"We are sure, Uncle Samuel," the little girl with the smirk answered.
"Very well, Abigail," Samuel said.
The woman they cornered was shivering, hopefully not going to make herself faint. I could even her light wheezing.
Samuel glared at the woman. "Sarah Osborne?"
"Y-yes," the woman stuttered.
"My daughter, Elizabeth, my niece, Abigail, and the other girls say you are one of the witches, as well as Sarah Goode."
"No-o, never-r," Sarah pleaded.
Samuel acknowledged her as two more young men came scurrying up to the group. The man in front, he must have been at least in his late thirties came to a sudden stop, but standing in front of Sarah Osborne.
"Minister Parris, calm down please," the man sneered. I noted he had dark, curly brown hair and kind blue eyes. But, for the moment, his kind blue eyes looked determined.
"Please, Conant, step aside. We are interrogating Miss Osborne here," Samuel Parris raised at hand at the woman.
"No, Parris, I will not stand aside. Miss Osborne shall not be interrogated without a proper court justifying this."
"A true gentleman, Exercise," Samuel said, in a mocking tone.
Exercise growled. "Of course I am, Parris. Unlike some of us."
Samuel glowered at Exercise. "Just because your father made this placed doesn't mean you can be in control of anything."
"I have every right as you do, Parris."
Samuel glared, placing a hand on his daughter, Elizabeth, and the little Abigail gave an evil glare toward Exercise. I even felt a shiver run down my spine. I turned around to find Mother and Father and I saw Mother silently crying, while Father held her. I turned back around, confused as to why Mother would be crying about something like this.
The group disappeared, except for Exercise, Sarah Osborne, and soon the other man that came with Exercise disappeared. The townspeople returned to their business there, but I continued to watch Exercise. He turned to Sarah Osborne, spoke something softly to her, and she walked away, still shaken and frightened I suppose. Exercise glanced up, caught me spying on him, and smiled. I giggled. He headed toward my way, hands in his pockets.
"Are you part of the new family that was to arrive this morning?" he asked, those pretty blue eyes shining in the sun.
"Yes. I am their eldest daughter, Hannah," I curtsied.
"Don't do that here," Exercise stated, blunt.
"Why ever so?"
"Everyone knows each other here. We aren't quite formal, unless the Queen decides to visit," he chuckled.
I found myself laugh with him. "Was that woman really a witch?"
"Not to people who know her."
"Then to whom?" Father walked up beside me, followed by mother and Daisy.
"To those girls and to anyone who believes in a source that does their wrong doing for them," Exercise explained.
My family didn't consider ourselves in a religion (for whatever reason), but we only went to Church to seem 'normal'.
"Who were those little girls?" Mother asked. "And why do they have so much power?"
"The two whom were talking to Minister Parris were his daughter Elizabeth and his niece, Abigail Williams. Elizabeth, often called Betty, is only nine years old. Abigail, though, is twelve. She's dangerous, that one," Exercise seemed to shiver. "Abigail and Betty were often having these 'fits' and people swore that the Devil was controlling them, but the girls said it was the witches of the town. Other girls have taken on these 'fits', but if you look closely, the other girls are Abigail and Betty's friends, otherwise, no girls are having the fits. It disgusts me, honestly. I have a bad feeling that these little girls are digging a grave too big for themselves."
"So, these little girls have so much power because they claim that witches are trying to control them?" Father asked, turning to Mother to give her a worried look. She hung her head down in shame, just like the times in Cambridge.
"Exactly. These people don't realize that their own families are starting to get accused. It's ridiculous. It's honestly getting way too out of hand. These little girls have so much control, it's unbearable."
We all stood in silence as Exercise maneuvered his eyes over the town that once belonged to his father, Roger. The way he stared intently at the town showed that he was somehow wishing for things to change, just with the flicker of his eyes. He turned back to us, sighing, knowing there was no hope in change just from him.
"My father found this place to start a world that was not lived by strong religion," he sighed again. "Now, it has been sucked back into pure religion. Damn Christians."
Exercise suddenly realized he was talking to a new family in town, whom might have been Christian. I laughed, quietly, behind my hand.
"No offense to any of you," he shook his hand in apology.
"We are not Christian," Father said.
Exercise exhaled in relief.
"But aren't these people Puritan?" Daisy asked, confused.
Exercise turned to us. "What's the difference? Religion is all the same. Believing there is some source controlling every bit of us, another source controlling our bad deeds, waiting to devour us in a world of hell. No matter how much other religions say they are not like other religions, they all have the same base of belief. I do believe in God, of course, but I don't believe he's a controllable as everyone says. I think God is everywhere, not just one giant thing in the sky. He's everywhere, helping us choose the right paths, but letting us choose what is along the path to take us on a ride. Our sins are our sins, not the Devil forcing us to. We control our lives, God only gives us the push or extra hand to stand up."
I stared at Exercise in bewilderment. He was amazing. How could so much thought come out of one man?
"You should be a preacher Mr. Conant!" Daisy smiled.
"Call me Exercise. But, what religion would I be a preacher for? I have no one to do that for."
"I would go!" Daisy yelped.
"We'll see where things go after these witch trials."
"Witch Trials?" Mother squeaked.
"These women that are proclaimed 'witches' are tried and most often, hung."
Everyone hear mother gulp. I glanced at her, surprised.
"Anyway, let me introduce myself," Exercise greeted. "Exercise Conant, son of Naumkeag founder."
"My name is Layton Mansfield. This is my wife, Isabel. My two daughters, Hannah and Daisy," Father introduced.
"Lovely daughters, sir," Exercise complimented.
Daisy and I giggled to ourselves.
"Much obliged. We just moved from New York."
"Excellent! The Big City!" Exercise exclaimed, making us all laugh. "I live with my wife, Sarah, here in town. I also have my children, Sarah, Abiah, Jane, Elizabeth, Josiah, and Caleb."
"Many girls," Father and Exercise laughed, a men joke I guessed. "My two other sons, Artie and Richard, are living together in Virginia with Artie's wife."
"Well, I hope I will meet them someday as well. I should be off to my business. Farewell Layton, Isabel, Daisy, and Hannah," Exercise gave me a friendly wink before whistling off.
"He seems like a nice man," Mother spoke.
"I agree, but still, I have a strange feeling about him," Father explained.
We all walked back to our new home, in silence.
**Actually, the Founder of Salem, Roger Conant, is my 10th great-grandfather, so of course I am going to know a lot about him! lol. Anyway, tell me what you think about, any comments are welcome. Thanks**