My fingernails dug into my palms as my eyelids tried to shut out every twitch and pain of the past twenty-four hours.
I had spent last night and today locked in the stocks in the town square, meant to be a spectacle, a reminder to the community of what happens to traitors. But I was NO traitor.
“You will not escape unscathed, young lady,” snarled Constable Duffield. “Washington’s words spared your life, nothing more. Make sure she does not forget what happens to those who even think of betrayal.”
Two jurymen held me while others cut my hair. I struggled vehemently, twisting beneath their grip, screaming for them to stop. My efforts only insured my hair was shorn in uneven tufts close to my head. I must have looked hideous.
Once released, the length of my rejection would be determined by the how long it took my hair to grow back. They couldn’t go against the word of General Washington, but they could make certain I’d be shunned by the entire city.
I struggled to stay awake. It would be easy to fall asleep and hope the cold would take me. But, I couldn’t die now. Abby needed me.