Challenge Taken: Write Historical Fiction
A few days ago I was doing some research on the internet; how historically accurate Fantasy Fictions should be; when I stumbled across Haley Whitehall’s blog; the post that grabbed my attention was called Challenge to Write in a Different Genre -intrigued, I took up the challenge; now how much I have succeeded in the task at hand is beyond me so I will need some heads up for this; so please let me know if I am on the right track or if I have veered off to my comfortable zone… Haley, this was a tough challenge; one that really made me struggle and I did research where I could; saying that I think I would need to research old dialects more etc as I think that may be my biggest failings; that’s my own personal observations. With the limited timescale and scope I had to do this; I enjoyed it immensely despite my complaints of struggle, I do hope it reads well and holds a resonance to the past I tried to capture.
A Demise of my Own Doing
I really did not understand why I was standing on this stool; staring at the coarse noose inches away from my face; I knew the reason why I was here; I just could not fathom why they turned against me… why have I been labelled thus? I did nothing wrong… I didn’t I didn’t!
Master Cranfield, a merchant by trade, had said Mistress was ill; suffering from fits; there were talks of sorcery and unusual happenings in the Manor -they thought it were linked; apparently it started to happen about the same time I began working for them. I do not know why that would be my fault -it was a coincidence; I know that because I know who I am. Mistress had been poorly from the moment we met; even lying weakly in her bed she was a beautiful lady, delicate looking but her eyes were strong, determined; I could tell she did not take to being idle; however, she did not have the strength to do anything in her current state, she had to rest; I had noticed that her dresses were made of the finest embroidery and lace. “Cometh away from there child!” she had called out once when I took an admiring glance at her garments as I was I was summoned to attend to her needs.
No, I could not understand why I was the one facing the loud cries of the townsfolk; why they were throwing food at me; it didn’t make any sense, I did nothing wrong!
That Miss Hatchett that had come with the Doctor, she had said if I wanted to continue working at the Cranfield residence I should confess to making Mistress ill; she said it was a small price to pay for good employment. I didn’t realise that confession would cost me my life; I had thought that Miss Hatchett was being nice; her words; I didn’t understand all the time; too many words I had not heard before; she seemed nice; I trusted her so I confessed “Yes Master I made Mistress ill.” As soon as I said those words I wished I had not; I was sent to my quarters, not allowed to speak to anyone; I was punished, no supper was given. I was scared; just like when I was left alone when mother died… Tears streamed down my eyes; that Miss Hatchett is a wicked woman! I must tell Master Cranfield the truth.
I decanted; I wailed -no screamed for mercy “Master! I was tricked; I know nowt of magic, or witchery! Please have mercy…” I fell to my knees trembling unable to contain my fear. Drops of tears flowed in gushes down my cheeks but it was too late; they concurred my sudden outburst of intolerable behaviour was proof enough of what they feared; I was put on trial; the case against me: Use of magic to cause the ill-health and death of Lady Cranfield. I was sentenced for my crime; death by hanging.
So herewith I stand in front of the aforementioned noose; it beckons me forward; I close my eyes unable to hold my tears nor the piercing screams of hatred coming from the crowd; I did not deserve this; a punishment undeserving for my hapless life. Then there she was; her embrace reassuring; her smile gentle though her woeful eyes told me where I was; the memory of the rope restricting my airways; I gasped trying to breathe; nothing; I struggled; my body twitched; then swayed like a swing in a thunderous storm; my strength failed me; my eyes opened involuntarily; there was darkness; I heard a voice I recognised; I searched for it; my pain eased as soon as I saw her again; she smiled; arms outstretched; I ran towards her not looking back; I hadn’t realised how much I had missed her…
What was my name? Who was I? You really do not need to know; I was one of many with this fate; it was harrowing; a very dark time for us; incidentally, it was not until after 1685 the witch trials and hunts were abolished in England; sadly that was too late for me as well as others of my kind…