~ part ten ~
“They woke up,” Em said. “The rest were worse — Sarah Good, Susannah, Elizabeth, and Sarah Wildes.”
“They were hanged in July,” George said. “Bridget in June.”
“If you can imagine, there was no embalming. It was a warm summer,” Em said. “It was . . . disgusting. The weird thing, well, the whole thing is weird, but a weird thing was that the people who were rotten didn’t mind being rotten.”
“We were happy to be alive,” George said.
“I don’t know how long we were there,” Em said. “Gallows Hill was outside of town, but you could see it from every part of town. We were there most of the night, cleaning up and getting our functions back, some.”
“It took years for some of it to come back,” George said. “Especially for those of us who had been dead a while.”
“Giles,” Em said. “He had been pressed to death a couple days before I was hanged.”
“He was there, too?” Isaac asked.
“He was in with us,” Em said.
“The refuse pile,” George said.
“You remember that I had sons?” Em asked George.
“Two,” George said.
“An hour or so before dawn, I went to my teenaged son,” Em said. “He and I were very close. I knew he wouldn’t be afraid; I knew he would know me regardless of how crazy I looked. He didn’t say a word. Of course, I couldn’t talk. He got the horse and wagon he used for his apprenticeship and brought it to Gallows Hill. He and I moved everyone in the wagon. We had to move fast because dawn was coming. He took Alice home to her husband because she was so adamant. Everyone else, he took to a homestead ten miles or more outside of town.”
“Whose was that?” George asked.
“Mine,” Em said. “Well, my late husbands. He didn’t use it or claim it, because his parents died before they made it to the US.”
“They died in England?” George asked.
“Right,” Em said. “We’d been married in England. They asked us not to go, but . . . Anyway, the house had been torn down, but the barn was still there.”
“Barn,” George said. “Yes.”
“Someone had to go, get out of Salem Village, and figure out how we would survive,” Em said. “I was in the best shape, so it had to be me. My son dropped me with Alice. Luckily, John, Alice’s husband, let me tag along with them as far as Boston. They went on to the South — North Carolina, I think.”
“You just ‘woke up’?” Isaac asked.
Suffer a Witch continues...