The Accused

The Accused

June 15, 2012 Writing 42
image from Madison Woods

It is summer, 1692 AD in Salem, Massachusetts, and my name is Mary. The world around me has gone crazy. I have watched as the village turned on its own, hanging innocents out of fear and the lies of children. Good, kind, God-fearing innocents.

I fear for my life. I have worked beside many of the accused, lending a hand in the kneading and baking of bread, tending to their gardens. I fear I am next.

I could stay, anxiously waiting, or I could follow that path behind my house through the woods, leaving behind all I have ever known.





Today’s fiction is inspired by Madison Woods’ photo prompt for #FridayFictioneers and the Bloggy Mom’s Writer’s Workshop prompt, which was to write what you don’t know, or something new. I’ve never taken on historical fiction, so I thought I would try it here. It also works for Write on Edge’s Friday prompt, which was the role of Fate.

I would love to get your thoughts on this short piece. Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!


42 Responses

  1. I love this! My only criticism is that it’s too short! I would really like to see you turn this into a multi-part story. The Salem Witch Trials have always fascinated me and with your style of writing, I really think you could do it justice!

  2. Wisper says:

    Nice! You captured quite a bit in that short thought. I, too, think this would be a great jumping off point for a longer piece. Keep going with it!

    • SAM says:

      thanks! i think i could do this, a little research at a time, build the story, plot, characters, etc.

      Sent from my iPad

  3. Marian says:

    run! those witch-burners (and pressers and stoners) be crazy!

  4. Oh, yes. Definitely a nano project. Are you doing the August Camp? I really like the idea. You should pursue it for sure. First person is not my forte, but I read it when other people have the courage to give it a try.

    Here’s the link to mine:

    • SAM says:

      I usually do the November camp. I know they have more other parts of the year, but I do November. This gives me time to put it all together so when November comes I can just write.

  5. This reminds me of the Crucible, by Arthur Miller. Poignantly and beautifully told. Mine is here:

  6. Stacey says:

    Witches! Definitely different than the children I was envisioning in my piece.

    My main suggestion is to try to vary your use of the word “fear.” “God-fearing” gave me a sense of Mary and her culture, but in other places “hanging innocents out of fear,” “I fear for my life,” “I fear I am next,” changing things up a bit would make the writing feel more alive. Using either “I fear I am next” or “I fear for my life” puts emphasis on the point without overdoing it (repeating it), or you could possibly go the other way and squish them together (“I fear I am next. I fear for my life.”), acknowledging you’re doing it on purpose and driving the “fear” factor. If you are able to convey the fear without using the word fear, then you’ve got it made 🙂

    • SAM says:

      Thank you for the suggestions. I do want her fear here to have an affect. I will take your suggestions and tweak it as I get more of the story together. Thank you agaiN!

  7. Wow! That was really well done!! I enjoyed that a lot. I’m here:

  8. Brian Benoit says:

    I’m always a fan of the historical perspective — I’ve been doing a lot of research on colonial New England lately, myself, so this really did the trick for me. And then you take that historical background and bend it toward a fresh story and an adventure. Great!

    Brian (

    • SAM says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I was a bit nervous that I focused too much on the story and the historical aspects would fall to the side, so I really appreciate your comment letting me know that it came out well.

  9. Sandra says:

    Best to go, I think. Reason seemed to be in short supply at that time. You captured the time well.

    • SAM says:

      Thank you for the support. It was my hope that I could establish enough of the time period and the time within the short space, so I am very happy that you could see that.

  10. VSichalwe says:

    All I could think was wow she is a WITCH!!! and she is going to be burnt.. really exciting and I really really loved it actually. Thank you for sharing

  11. Imelda says:

    I fear for an unjust trial. I hope she escapes.

  12. Carrie says:

    Ah witches. Always a fun topic. For a short piece it’s good, lots of tension, some dribbles of information. My only critique is the statement at the beginning. I think you could figure out another way to set us in time without just giving the date.

    But obviously since it Was just a short piece this works 🙂

    Go Mary! Run! Run fast!

    • SAM says:

      If I did go bigger with this thing, that part would probably be put in the very beginning to establish the timeline. it was definitely a different way to start a story for me!

      Sent from my iPad

  13. Kathy McClure says:

    Leave it, leave it, leave it! See it worked, I’m rooting for your protagonist. GOOOO!


  14. erinleary says:

    I like the feeling of freedom the path holds for her. Interesting premise, too!

    Mine is here:

    • SAM says:

      Thank you. I have to admit that I’ve always had a fascination with the witch trials, so this was fun.

      Sent from my iPad

  15. WriteForACause.Org says:

    Why were they hanged and accused? Since it’s dated 1692, are they performing witchcraft or something? Because people who used black magics during this period were executed, as far as I know. ^_____^
    here’s mine by the way:

  16. yaralwrites says:

    Nicely done and Mary should run for it!
    here is mine

  17. Nice! I’m a sucker for period pieces.

    When using dates during that time, it would have been customary to have “In the year of our Lord” instead of AD. Just something to keep in mind.

    So far I’m hooked!

  18. Kwadwo says:

    This is an excellent opening to a story. It makes the reader beg for more.
    I’ll like to know what happens with Mary. What does she decide?

    Here’s mine:

  19. JKBradley says:

    I wonder how many of those murdered in the trials experienced this very situation you’ve described. Evocative. Thanks.

  20. Lora Mitchell says:

    Wow…this reminds one of the dilemma these poor, innocent women faced, falsely accused of being witches. Maybe if she ran to the forest, there’s a chance an Indian tribe would take her in and save her. I’ve read stories of Indian tribes saving white women and children. Here’s mine:

    • SAM says:

      Oh! What a nice idea! I haven’t researched that far into this time but that sounds like it could be a nice addition to the story if I pursue it. Thanks for stopping in!

  21. Patricia (@patricialynne07) says:

    Wonderful job. In just a few words, you had me hoping and rooting she’d escape.

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

Scroll Up