TITLE: The Witch's Last Word
GENRE: Middle Grade Fiction
Nineteen more agonizing steps up the hill and it would finally be over. Her chest felt as if massive stones were pressing down upon her, squeezing every last breath of life from her frail body. But that was not the chosen fate for her today. Her large, blue eyes peered out from her delicate face, pale and gaunt after so much time in isolation. Her long blond hair, now hacked short, lay loose under a thin cap. She gazed up at the tall oak tree stretched before her on Gallows Hill, its branches spread wide open, inviting and comforting against the backdrop of the raging crowd. The tree stood before her, strong and resolute.
She could barely hear the tormented townspeople around her, stirring themselves into a frothing brew of fear and hate. They screamed and taunted her, “Be done with her!” “God save her soul!” “Rid us of this witch!” She frantically searched the crowd, her eyes darting from face to face. Where was he? She inhaled quickly, but her breath skipped, choking on the missing air. She could not fail. He had to be there. He had to be the man that she believed in.
The letter, moist with her sweat, molded against her bosom. Taking another step forward, she grasped hold of a deep breath, renewed her strength, and focused on the task at hand. She had one thing to accomplish before she arrived at the tree. Deliver the letter in the hopes of preserving her name, her blood, her legacy.