Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And Evil Will Unfold Upon Itself In The End

Excerpt from The Hour Glass Witch by Alisha Paige

Clio held tightly to the object within her hand as Ben led her up the steps of the gallows and secured the noose around her slender neck.
“I love you,” he whispered from behind his black hood. Then he put on a show for the bloodthirsty crowd, his voice booming, loud and clear. “What say you, Miss Clio? Are you not a witch? Have you made no contract with the devil?”
“I have not! But you have! All of you!”
The crowd hissed and then chanted, “Die, witch! Die!”
She looked at Ben. His eyes darted to her, beneath his hood and she knew by the curve of his lids that he was smiling. She opened her hand and held it out to the crowd.
“Come see for yourself! Look at what I hold for all of you to see!”
The crowd quieted, drawing closer. Curiosity rose like a fever. Something sparkled within her opened palm and one by one, the townspeople filtered by, looking down at her hand. The first woman to look pulled on Clio’s hand, bringing it closer. She stared down at it, opened mouth, screamed and fled into the woods.
Then a man came; he first looked at Clio. “Is this another spell, witch?”
“See for yourself,” she said. Ever so slowly, his gaze traveled down the length of her and into her palm.
“Oh, my God! My God!” he screamed, holding his hands over his face and then following the woman into the woods.
Another and another came, all of them deathly afraid of what the witch held.
“Stop her!” someone cried. Clio looked up. Minister Parris walked down the center of the now silent crowd. “Enough, witch! Reveal what it is you hold that has crazed half the good folk in Salem!”
“Are you sure, Minister?”
“Put a stop to this, Ben! Take it from her! Reveal what she holds!”
Ben smiled beneath his hood and took her hand in his. He took hold of the object with her and held it up high. Something glittered in the sun, reflecting bright rays upon them all. The crowd gasped, afraid the witch would now cast a spell upon them all. But staring back at them all was the town itself; the people, the accusations, those already dead. It was a tiny mirror. What all of them saw was a reflection of their own cruelness, harsh and crystal clear, reflected within their own souls. The mirror grew like a bubble, expanding over the crowd. The townspeople looked up and saw their own faces, wicked and mean, staring back at one another. Their evil chanting bounced back onto their own ears. They felt what the accused had already gone through. Some were able to escape before the bubble closed over them all. Innocents, really. Children mostly, and those that were only following the frenzy to avoid death themselves. Those of pure souls were salvaged when the bubble closed, enveloping the hate mongers who had started it all. Ben removed the noose from Clio’s neck and pulled her into his arms as they both watched history unfold onto itself. The townspeople screamed, pounding against the mirror that had taken over their world, a reflection of their own hatred and ignorance. Ever so slowly, the mirror tomb rose off the ground and into the brilliant sunshine, floating on a summer breeze of death long ago but not forgotten. Flying higher and higher into the clouds where it burst into fire.

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