Ariel Francis has always had a way with words, ever since she was little, she would write stories, songs and poems about the world around her. However, Ariel's words are more than just words, they are powerful. So powerful, that just by saying the right words, and wanting it to happen, it does. Now Ariel has the chance to change everything. But she mustn't forget that words are the mightiest weapon, and it is an impressive responsibility to yield, especially when others want her power for themse
1647 Essex, England
“Emily, do you think he will discover us?” Agatha Francis asked her older sister, Emily Francis, as they travelled through the Essex countryside. The cold evening air had somehow seeped into their carriage and Emily could feel gooseflesh rise on her arms. Agatha was a nervous person by nature, but Emily hadn’t seen her sister so out of odds since their parents had died and they had been left in the care of their mother’s sister Mary Gould, their aunt.
“Aggie, the man is a deluded fool. If he had any intelligence, he would have found us already. It has been two years now since he began his crusade and all he has convicted is the innocent, so no, I doubt it. We are being as careful as possible to avoid exposure, aren’t we? Aunt Mary has put in certain precautions, should he have any suspicion,” Emily replied. The coach hit a sudden bump in the muddy road and the two young women we jerked suddenly, causing them to lose their stature for a moment or two. The carriage stopped as they composed themselves.
“What do you think is going on Emily?” Agatha queried, peering through the velvet curtains and peeking through the glass window pane. All she could see was the ire green forest that they rode aside. Agatha’s fear began to grow as she stared into the dark cluster of trees. It reminded her of a nightmare she once had, she had woken up screaming and alone, and it was not something she wished to remember.
“Well, I will just have to go and see, won’t I, Aggie?” Emily said as she gathered her skirts and swallowed her own fear. Emily wasn’t accustomed to being scared, she was seventeen now, and far too old for scary ghost stories to frighten her, and knew that she could very well defend herself if the need arise; but that was only in dire situations, where her or her sister’s life was in danger. Emily, shook away these worrying thoughts as she climbed out of the carriage.
“William? Why did we stop?” she asked their driver. William had worked for her aunt for years, and was a trusted ally. A few seconds had gone by and William hadn’t replied.
“William?” Emily asked again, her earlier fear rising up within her again. “Is everything alright?” She began to say as she drew nearer to where he was supposed to be. She couldn’t see him. She heard a blood curdling scream as she began to mount the steps to the driver’s seat.
“Aggie?!” She cried, ignoring the unconscious William in front of her. He had been hit with something, and Emily suspected that whatever had knocked William out had made her sister scream. Her heart raced as she quickly jumped from the driver’s seat and landed in a cat-like position on the hard ground, her muscles were taught and she was ready to spring an attack if she had to.I look too suspicious, she thought to herself as she stood from her crouched position, adrenaline still pulsing through her veins.
She ripped the door of the coach open and was unprepared for what she saw. Agatha was bound, gagged and unconscious on the floor of the cabin, locks of her defiant curly red hair, the same red hair that the two sisters shared, draped over her face, almost covering a trickle of red blood that had come from a cut on her forehead. Standing over her was a man that struck terror into the most bravest of men and women. The Witchfinder General.
Matthew Hopkins was a man that Emily, Agatha and Aunt Mary sought to protect themselves from. He was not a man that could easily lose, his games were that of the mind, and he often dabbled in torture to get what he wanted. It was this man’s beady eyes that had made Emily feel something she hadn’t in a long time, terror.
“Devil’s associate! You are under arrest for the practice of witchcraft. You will be hung for your crimes, you and your vile sister.” He sneered. The witchfinder’s eyes narrowed, full of hatred. They were the colour of the forest surrounding them; dark green at the edges, but at that moment, all Emily could see was a black abyss, drawing her in threatening to swallow her whole.
“Sir, I can assure you, that my sister and I are good Christians, and would never –“ she began, only to be interrupted by Mr Hopkins’ accusations.
“Liar!” He cried, pointing his index finger at him. “How dare you lie to my face evil witch! You deal with the Devil, and shall die for it!”
“You, Mr Hopkins, have no proof of such nonsense!” Emily argued, her expression hardening, her fear taking second place to her anger. She would not be accused of doing the devil’s bidding.
“Actually, Miss Francis, your sister attempted to cast a charm upon me, but I ceased her mumblings, and that Miss Francis, is my proof!” He parried. So her sister had gone against her and her Aunt’s rules and exposed herself, endangering all three of them.There is only on solution now, thought Emily,I must make him forget.
Emily racked through her brains for the words, if she got them wrong, the consequences would be dire, and then everyone would be doomed, but Emily was no novice, she knew what to do. “Obiviscor nos” She whispered, staring him straight in the eye, focusing all on her energy on him. As soon as she muttered the words, the witchfinder’s face relaxed and his eyes drooped, and he collapsed to the floor with a thud.
It took little over ten minutes for Emily to untie her siste and haul his unconscious body to the edge of the carriage and haul him out, setting him down in the road, where they were was only five miles from the nearest village, so there was a chance he would be discovered by morning. After deliberating whether or not to leave him there unprotected to the world around him, her morals took over and she muttered the word “Tutis,” and turned back to the carriage. By this time, William had woken, albeit dishevelled, but he looked fine.
“Miss, what happened? I remember driving the coach, then – “ He began to say, then he spotted Mr Hopkins on the ground. “My, my, we have been busy, Miss,” he said with a smile, looking at her knowingly. “I expect that this will be fun to explain to your aunt,”
“Ah, what she doesn’t know, cannot hurt her William,” she answered back, a glimmer of defiance in her blue eyes. “Can I trust you to keep a secret?” She asked, looking at him from beneath her eyelashes.
“Of course, Miss Francis, there is nothing to tell,” He said as he caught one of her hands, clad in thick leather gloves, and kissed it. “Though, if I may make a suggestion,” he dropped her hand from his lips and lowered it gently before letting it go. “That we make haste; I do not believe that he will be in a rather good mood when he wakes,”
“Yes, I think that may be a good thing to do,” She replied, breaking eye contact as she turned back to the coach and began to board it. She then turned her head back to him and said, “See you in a while, William,” and closed the door behind her.