NOTE - this tale is a prequel to Arthur Miller's play The Crucible.
If you are not familiar with this classic play about the Salem witch trials,
check it out or catch the precis here
The aging sun had set and now long shadows stalked the forest’s winding pathways. Through the gathering gloom, we traced our way to the clearing. In the twilight, the gnarled trees appeared like pagan idols; implacable, primitive and hungry. The barren space, a curious dead spot ringed by ancient sentinels, seemed to be waiting to be filled with our young strong energy. On this night, in this place, Abigail planned to open the way her desires. But on this night, the Devil himself came to Salem.
The Dark Man came to old Salem-town. Reaving through the tangled shadows of of our streets and carrying a cannibal sword named Vengeance in his His sooty claws. He ran through the town, through every home, His cloven hooves striking up white-hot sparks off the worn flagstones of the Puritans.
This is no girlish exaggeration sir, I was there. With these two eyes I saw Him arrive. I witnessed the lights slowly dimming as His shadow comsumed us. I watched Him tie the rat-gnawed nooses about their necks. And it was He who added the fatal weight that pressed poor Giles. For my sins, I was there from the start. I was with Abigail when He came, all ash-black and smoking; when the bitter clouds of revenge were first scented…
…The unwilling slave lit the fire of our evil intents; her black skin furrowed with worries. Sweat gleamed on her brow as the brazen flames began their dance upon the dead wood. Her ebony skin glowing with reflected fire; with horns and barbed tail she could have passed for one of Satan’s own imps.
O thou conjuring crone! O Tituba, why did you not refuse thy mistress? Why couldn’t you have shoved a silver needle through a poppet’s heart? The harlot could have been slain while she lay in her bed dreaming of sins. Then Salem would have truly been cleansed of temptations and witchery.
Papa Samedi, Tituba’s pet toad, crouched on a low rock. His amber eyes winking out of the darkness, glinting brightly as we undressed. Almost smiling when the dance began. Oh yes, good sir, we danced. Naked and blaspheming in the sycamore shadows. White shivers and prudish chills shook off with chants. Limbs licked orange and red by the firelight and other flames.
A silver flash! And the black hen was dead. Warm blood spidering across the blade like the consequences to come. A red trickle into a dirty cup. A few dread syllables muttered through unwilling lips. Then the harlot drank. Drank deep, draining all. And then she smiled, blood seeping from the corners of that lustful grin and dripping onto her naked breasts. Evil brimming in her narrow soul, lust coursing through her sinful body. Excited by the carnal pleasures which were soon to be hers. She enjoyed the striving for her wicked goal. She didn’t even gag when she drank the still-warm blood; she was lost sir, lost in the ecstasy at the ripe taste of vengeance.
The fire burnt higher. Flames soaring as we danced once more. Flirting with the Fallen Ones. The crack and spit of the burning logs pulsing like voodoo drums for our hellish revelries. The leering wind’s breath caressing our smooth bodies. Tituba crouching over the fires, chanting to the dark gods of her homelands. She gazed deep into the coals, working necromancy. The hot embers writhing in the breezes, forming hellish swarms of infernal foetuses. And it was then He decided to answer the call…
A crashing in the dead wood.
The steaming air cooling rapidly.
Hissing breezes whirling the woodsmoke and carrying a hint of…brimstone?
Our hearts beat faster though the dance had froze. In the sudden chill our guilty, rebellious pleasures withered into proper Puritan shame. He had come to claim his own. Hastily we tried to dress and flee. All of us except the whore., still aroused, still excited by her lust. Uncooled by shame, she stood naked and proud, gulping in the scene, waiting for her incubus, her dark seducer. All was still, the silence only broken by Abigail’s panting breaths.
A twig cracked in the darkness. Papa Samedi leapt into the kettle. Tituba shrank into the shadows, diminished by the power of her own incantations. We cowered into the tangled embrace of the woods, leaving the harlot behind. In the clearing, Abigail still waited, hot with temptation, dripping in blood and expectation.
Then He stirred, leaping high, black and cloaked, from the tatters of a thorn bush. Still smoking from the Pit and leaving his shadow snagged on the twisted briars. He landed, hooves and all, before the delirious Abigail, her nude form now burning with bestial passion.
The Devil breathed slow, feasting His gaze on Abigail’s full figure. He reached out, touched, caressed. And the whore loved every second of of it.
“How ripe you are, my little Abigail,” He whispered.
The Lord of the Fallen stepped closer, entering the red circle of firelight. Abigail gasped as the dying flames revealed Him. The flickering embers slowly painting in the sooty features of Mr Parris.
“Do you not like my disguise?” enquired the Fiend.