TITLE: The Salem Witch Detectives
GENRE: Adult Fantasy
Merilyn Bookwright would prefer to hang the witch hunters plaguing Salem, but witches rarely get what they want in colonial New England. Yet the sheriffs searching for witches have forgotten the oldest wives' tale. Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.
Merilyn Bookwright has never wanted to kill anyone, much less in front of her daughter, but the shout, "Be careful! There's a witch on the loose!" reminds her that neither God nor fate has ever shown much concern for her wishes. Taking them into her own hands, Merilyn pulls Gwenifer close, while the Puritans skitter away from the sheriffs, each person staring at their neighbors with expressions that all ask: "Who?"
For those few seconds, everyone is a suspect. Anyone could be next on the judges' list.
To lessen the chance she's put on it, Merilyn shrieks, "Please save us from the witch, Sheriff Corwin!" and faints alongside Gwenifer, who mimics her mother without instruction. It's what every witch learns before they can be trusted with magic. Although her daughter's heart beats hard enough for Merilyn to feel through her hug, Gwenifer wiggles forward to spy from beneath her bonnet as well.
The ever-smiling Sheriff Corwin and his team of witch hunters sweep past, checking the other women in the marketplace. The plain wool dress so many wear hides the wolf among the sheep until the accused reveals herself by running toward the docks.
"Don't let her reach a boat!" Sheriff Corwin says, charging after his prey, but even the largest sailors scatter before her, no more willing to fight a witch than a mouse would a serpent.